3 Ways 3D Current Collectors Can Increase GWh while Reducing Production Costs

Ofer Friedman
Jul 20

With fluctuating materials costs and an increasing demand for batteries, EV manufacturers are constantly seeking innovative ways to increase battery capacity and improve efficiency, all while reducing costs. For the past few years, battery and battery technology companies have been focusing on improving battery chemistry. However, after making great leaps, this has reached a point where improvements are becoming more minor, leading these companies to look in other directions including into detail at the battery structure. Indeed, one way to create a more efficient battery structure is to increase the surface area of the electrodes by using advanced 3D Current Collectors. From using fewer materials to being a drop in solution and improving scalability, 3D Current Collectors could be the way forward.

n

Fewer Materials Leads to Fewer Costs

n

The car industry’s objective of making EVs the primary option for personal transportation was established under the assumption that the cost of batteries would decrease. However, whether it’s copper, lithium, nickel or cobalt, the prices of these materials have all fluctuated over the last few months, with some of them reaching record highs. Over the course of several years, the cost of batteries in the automotive industry witnessed a significant decline, starting from approximately $1,000 kW/h for early models a decade ago, to eventually reaching around $130 in 2021. However, in 2022, there was a notable rise in battery pack prices, marking the first increase since BloombergNEF began monitoring the market in 2010. As such, the average price reached $151 kWh, indicating a 7% increase compared to 2021.

nn

As manufacturers try to find a solution and new technologies to cut down costs while achieving the required energy density, 3D current collectors allow this to be achieved with fewer layers, reducing the costs associated with materials. Indeed, its porous structure allows more active material to be embedded and for it to be distributed evenly, leading to fewer layers being needed for the same energy density. In the case of porous copper, the combination of porous metals and the improved energy density, allowing the use of fewer layers in each cell, reduces the amount of copper in the battery by up to 60%, cutting down its associated costs and weight. As a result, more GWh can be produced at the same time as the requirement of fewer materials, leading to direct cost savings. Moreover, this would lead to fewer battery cells being needed for each car, which could lead to a reduction of final EV prices for both OEMs and consumers.

n

Manufacturing Techniques

A Drop-In Solution

n

In contrast to alternative solutions, 3D current collectors can be seamlessly integrated into existing battery assembly lines without the need for any costly add-ons. Despite possessing significantly distinct characteristics and structures, the 3D current collectors are able to serve as a direct 1:1 replacement for the current 2D foil. Indeed, they are designed to be compatible with any battery production line with no new capital equipment required nor additional tooling or steps needed.

n

Scalability

n

As 3D current collectors are efficiently and simply integrated into existing production lines, this drop-in solution allows their production to be scaled more easily. Indeed, once the adapted characteristics have been set, mass production can be carried out, enabling an economy of scale and leading to lower production costs per unit. This is due to their performance superiority and cost reduction associated with fewer materials needed per battery cell.

n

Trending: Increasing GWh while Reducing Production Costs

n

For battery manufacturers, one of the most important aspects of making batteries is reducing costs at the same time as increasing their manufacturing capacity. This is measured by the capacity they can produce in GWh. As a result, EV battery factories aim to produce as much GWh as possible.

nn

While today many car manufacturers are building battery factories including GM in Canada and Hyundai in the USA, their biggest threats are not producing enough batteries for the level of EV demand or for production to be too expensive. Consequently, battery facilities are already investing heavily in production technology and are seeking manufacturing advantages that will enable them to enhance their GWh capacity while simultaneously reducing production costs.

n

Achieving Production Goals with Addionics

n

With Addionics’ Smart 3D Current Collectors, battery efficiency and energy density are enhanced. Indeed, with improved performance advantages, Addionics is able to use more active materials at the same time as fewer layers. As such, for every layer, less copper, anode active material, separator, cathode active material, and aluminum current collector is needed. Therefore, more GWh is achieved during the production process as the battery has a higher energy density. Furthermore, a combination of various manufacturing advantages include needing fewer materials, being a drop-in solution and providing a simple way to be scaled. This solution for companies aiming to improve their energy storage capabilities enables a reduction in thecost of battery production while at the same time optimizing the GWh output.

nn

Find out more about Addionics’ technology and contact us for collaboration opportunities.

n

Related