The "Electrification" of the World: Battery Safety and Efficiency Demands Grow Amidst Lofty Global Environmental Goals
Vancouver, Kelowna, and Delta, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - November 21, 2022) - Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering EV manufacturers, energy and battery stocks releases a special report on the growing demand for safer and more efficient battery options featuring KULR Technology Group, Inc. (NYSE American: KULR). As EV production ramps up, we also see an "electrification" of the world agenda in an attempt to move away from traditional fossil fuel options.
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According to an S&P Global Future of Copper report, the world may face a shortfall of between 1.6 and 9.9 million tons of copper by 2035. Even under an optimistic scenario, supply would not meet the copper demand required for net-zero emissions by 2050. An EV requires 2.5 times more copper than an ICE vehicle and the forecasted supply shortage needs a better solution than more mining. Current collectors used on the cathode and anode are made from aluminum and copper foils, respectively, and together contribute about 15% of the weight of the battery cell; the heavier copper material accounts for more than 10%.
This follows a general trend of global battery needs and demands seen in other recent reports saying that, "According to the latest research study, the demand for global Sodium Ion Battery Market size & share was valued at approximately USD 1120 Million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 1317 Million in 2022 and is expected to reach a value of around USD 2899 Million by 2030, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 11.8% during the forecast period 2022 to 2030."
KULR Technology Group, Inc. (NYSE American: KULR), a leading energy management platform company accelerating the global transition to a sustainable electrification economy, recently announced the launch of its new CubeSat SmallSat Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack format to further support the NASA space program and launch of Artemis. From the International Space Station and the Mars Rover Perseverance mission to the new Artemis Space Program, KULR continues its close relationship and contract with NASA helping to ensure the safety of battery systems, flight, and the exploration of space.
From the news: With an industry-leading position in safe battery design and testing, and as a major player in the current global electrification movement, KULR is one of few companies that has successfully achieved the stringent requirements and rigorous testing set forth by the JSC 20793 Revision D safety standard created by NASA crewed space missions. This qualification allows for KULR's products and solutions to be utilized for the Artemis missions as well as other forthcoming, critical voyages. And, as a result of today's mission success, KULR has established a deepened proof of concept, positioning itself to offer this battery format to customers across various commercial applications. KULR expects to begin accepting consumer orders in Q1 of 2023.
This follows the company's previous announcement of entering into an agreement to provide its internal short circuit ("ISC") battery safety and testing device to the largest automotive manufacturer in the United States. Additional information regarding the Customer pipeline can be found in the Company's latest 10-Q filing.
The internal short circuit testing solution reliably creates thermal runaway in lithium-ion battery trigger cells in controlled, laboratory conditions. The device does not rely on mechanically damaging the battery exterior to activate the short, as do most of the other evaluation methodologies, but instead triggers a true internal short. This makes it possible to accurately pinpoint and fix problems leading to malfunctions. This superior testing method allows KULR and its customers to more effectively test the next generation of EV batteries and bring more reliable and safer battery systems to market in a faster and more cost-effective manner.
The ISC technology received the prestigious R&D 100 Award in 2016 and was the runner-up for NASA invention of the year in 2017.
"We are at the beginning of the electrification movement and it's great to see a global automotive company fully embrace the strategic value of better testing for designing the next wave of EV battery systems," said Michael Mo, CEO at KULR Technology. "Particularly in the wake of Hurricane Ian and the continued destruction that was caused by the explosion of EV batteries in areas affected by the storm, solutions like KULR's ISC device are more important than ever at ensuring consumer safety across a variety of industries including electric vehicles, electric vertical take-off and landing aircrafts, maritime and more."
In their recent 10Q the company reported, "The KULR sales and marketing team has expanded its customer engagements through direct sales and their Manufacturer's Representative team to support some East Coast customers. KULR had over 300 customer engagements by the end of Q3 2022 with some of the world's largest industrial and commercial companies such as Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, subsidiary of Ball Corporation, SAFT, subsidiary of TotalEnergies SE, General Motors, Cirba, Redwood Materials, Leidos Holdings , Meta Platforms Inc., Viridi and BOSCH. As we continue to expand our relationship with major partners such as Lockheed Martin across their product portfolio, it is expected they will be able to cross-sell and up-sell their total solution package to these customers."
A recent news article in Energy and Storage, reports that General Motors Company is partnering with one of California's main investor-owned utilities (IOUs), Utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), which serves 3.7 million people, to explore the potential of vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home battery integration.
Continued: They plan to investigate the feasibility of integrating bi-directional electric vehicles (EVs) to act as an energy resource for the grid. That includes looking at the various considerations for hardware, software, processes and construction required to enable vehicle-to-grid (V2G), where energy stored in vehicles can be leveraged for the network.
It closely follows the launch by carmaker GM last month of a dedicated energy storage division, called GM Energy. GM Energy is offering products to the residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) battery storage market segments, along with EV charging, powered with lithium battery cells from Ultium, the company's joint venture (JV) with LG.
The collaboration comes amid a wave of exploratory and pilot activity in the vehicle-to-x sector. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), another of California's IOUs, recently established the US' first dynamic export mechanism for commercial vehicle V2G charging.
Meta Materials Inc. is also looking into the EV space having recently announced it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") in partnership with DuPont Teijin Films and Mitsubishi Electric Europe. Using META's PLASMAfusion®, the parties plan to scale a proprietary, high volume, roll-to-roll manufacturing system for film-based, coated copper current collectors. The film-based products will reduce battery weight and cost, improve energy efficiency, extend vehicle range, and enhance safety against the risk of battery fires (known as thermal runaway) compared to standard Li-Ion batteries for electric vehicles and other use cases.
"Current Li-Ion battery innovations focus mainly on extending battery range and life span. With today's climate crisis and the increased demand for Electric Vehicles, a next generation Li-Ion battery is required that is more sustainable and safer," said George Palikaras, META's President and CEO. "We are excited to form a strategic alliance with Dupont Teijin Films and Mitsubishi Electric Europe focused on scaling PLASMAfusion® in a proprietary high volume battery coating system that can reduce copper volume and provide superior functionality, reduced cost, and improved battery safety."
From the news :The MOU is focused on developing battery materials, such as coated copper current collectors and solid-state battery electrodes, as a multi-year project in several stages: a pilot-scale roll-to-roll system, to be followed by an industrial scale mass production line, and further development of the application to the production of solid-state batteries. META will contribute the PLASMAfusion® technology platform, system development and independent testing of finished cells; DuPont Teijin Films will develop and supply the polyester substrates, and Mitsubishi Electric Europe will contribute automation technology, expertise, and interface to machine builders.
Continued: META's PLASMAfusion® technology has already been demonstrated in a project funded by the UK Research and Innovation Faraday Battery Challenge. Thin layers of copper are deposited on both sides of a polyester substrate, reducing the weight of the current collector by up to 80%. Lighter weight increases energy density, extending vehicle range. The polyester inner layer acts like a fuse, helping to inhibit thermal runaway. This new battery technology can reduce the dependence on copper that is needed for the other parts of electric vehicles. With copper consumption in electric vehicles predicted to increase to 4 million tons annually by 2040, this innovation could save millions of tons of copper.
Enovix Corporation also remains on trend having recently announced that it has placed the remaining purchase orders for the laser patterning and assembly line equipment of its Gen2 Autoline.
The Gen2 Autoline represents a step-change improvement in manufacturing of Enovix cells, with up to 10x faster throughput and a 6x improvement in changeover speeds for different size batteries relative to the Gen1 production line that went into service earlier this year in Fremont. The Gen2 Autoline will be the "copy exact" platform from which the company plans to scale up production to meet the strong demand for its advanced batteries.
"We prioritized getting Gen2 right with the knowledge that we have to move fast to capitalize on our opportunity to deliver a game-changing battery in an industry starved for innovation," said Harrold Rust, Enovix Co-founder and CEO. "I'm pleased that our team has delivered on the commitment we made in our last quarterly earnings call to get these critical Gen2 purchase orders placed swiftly."
Whether we are looking at long-time auto manufacturers like GM and their new energy/battery demands, or companies like KULR Technology Group working with NASA on the Artemis Project, our global and local battery needs are both a possible risk for our growingly battery dependent world and a great boon for battery manufacturers. Every crisis creates an opportunity and as EV's continue to gain market share alongside much more ambitious projects that are literally out of this world, there is a real need for batteries that are easy to produce at scale while remaining efficient and safe.
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