3 E‑mobility trends: What will dri­ve our mobil­i­ty of tomorrow

A look at the polit­i­cal goal of no longer per­mit­ting com­bus­tion engines from 2030 reveals: Renew­able ener­gies, ener­gy stor­age sys­tems and e‑mobility remain key to sus­tain­abil­i­ty and an envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly ener­gy sys­tem. Where are we right now and what trends are emerg­ing for 2022 with regard to bat­tery-pow­ered mobility?

1. bat­tery-elec­tric dri­ve remains the leader

Pro­fes­sor Dr. Max­i­m­il­ian Ficht­ner, chemist and direc­tor at the Helmholtz Insti­tute Ulm (HIU), pre­sent­ed sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies dur­ing a lec­ture at the Mobil­i­ty of the Future 2021 con­gress that clear­ly prove that the bat­tery-elec­tric dri­ve con­tin­ues to hold its own as the most effi­cient form of propul­sion. In attempts to use hydro­gen as a form of propul­sion, for exam­ple, it is found that most of the ener­gy gets caught in the tech­nol­o­gy chain and around 80 % of the effi­cien­cy is lost. In the case of the bat­tery-elec­tric dri­ve, this is a max­i­mum of 30% of the ener­gy expend­ed, which dis­tin­guish­es this form of dri­ve. A safe fore­cast for the future is that the bat­tery-elec­tric dri­ve will become cheap­er, even safer and more sus­tain­able in the future and thus remain the dri­ve type of the near future.

2.image change for the battery 

The bat­tery in par­tic­u­lar, the heart of elec­tric cars but also the core of many dis­cus­sions, gen­er­at­ed a lot of debate for a long time due to its man­u­fac­tur­ing process. How­ev­er, the neg­a­tive image of the bat­tery is decep­tive: even today, the mar­ket is push­ing for increas­ing­ly high sus­tain­abil­i­ty stan­dards in the pro­duc­tion of lithi­um-ion bat­ter­ies. Recy­cling and closed val­ue chains are also becom­ing increas­ing­ly rel­e­vant cri­te­ria for bat­tery cell man­u­fac­tur­ers and OEMs. In 2022, an ini­tial draft from the EU should also lay the foun­da­tions for the bat­tery pass­port that will fol­low lat­er, with which bind­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tions and stan­dards will come and which should make the social, eco­log­i­cal and eco­nom­ic prop­er­ties of the bat­ter­ies transparent.

But that’s not all: There is a lot going on in the field of bat­tery research and pro­duc­tion. In the near future, bat­ter­ies could be man­u­fac­tured dif­fer­ent­ly than they have been to date, using less harm­ful raw mate­ri­als that are avail­able in large quan­ti­ties. There are ini­tial attempts by var­i­ous man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­duce bat­ter­ies with­out lithi­um and instead with sodi­um. In addi­tion to the ben­e­fits of immense cost reduc­tion and ensur­ing raw mate­r­i­al avail­abil­i­ty, sodi­um also helps to increase sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Cer­tain­ly, this new man­u­fac­tur­ing vision of bat­ter­ies still needs time to mature, but the foun­da­tion for an even bet­ter future has already been laid.

3. cir­cu­lar instead of lin­ear use 

Breath­ing a sec­ond life into a bat­tery expands its val­ue chain enor­mous­ly. This is where bat­tery ana­lyt­ics is pio­neer­ing. This is because the soft­ware can be used to deter­mine and also fore­cast the wear and aging process for each type of bat­tery under cer­tain types of use. Even com­plex bat­tery sys­tems can become more effi­cient, sus­tain­able and reli­able, as the eval­u­a­tions sig­nif­i­cant­ly pro­mote longer-last­ing use and reuse in a sub­se­quent oth­er appli­ca­tion. With infor­ma­tion on the “state of health” of the bat­tery, a “sec­ond life” of bat­ter­ies is made pos­si­ble in the first place and imple­men­ta­tion is sig­nif­i­cant­ly sim­pli­fied with­out com­pro­mis­ing safe­ty dur­ing operation.

 

My con­clu­sion: we need a major rethink when it comes to bat­ter­ies and bat­tery ana­lyt­ics. In addi­tion to their first use, their sec­ond-life cycle must be increas­ing­ly focused on. To do this, it is essen­tial to look inside the bat­tery. If we take to heart all the find­ings relat­ing to the bat­tery and the bat­tery-elec­tric dri­ve, we can take off into an even green­er future.

If you want to learn more about sus­tain­able tech­nolo­gies, soft­ware and e‑mobility, you are cor­dial­ly invit­ed to the bat­tery soft­ware con­fer­ence TWAICE Vision on Feb­ru­ary 10, 2022! 

The author: Dr. Matthias Simol­ka works as Tech­ni­cal Solu­tion Engi­neer at TWAICE. In this func­tion, he forms the bridge between sales, prod­uct and tech­nol­o­gy. In doing so, he works with all teams to ensure that the max­i­mum val­ue and opti­mal solu­tion is deliv­ered to bat­tery cus­tomers. TWAICE sup­ports com­pa­nies in all indus­tries with pre­dic­tive bat­tery analy­sis soft­ware based on dig­i­tal twins.