Germany: Batteries for E-Mobility Development of High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries: BASF and Porsche Work Together

Editor: Alexander Stark

To develop next-generation lithium-ion batteries, a joint venture between Porsche and Customcells Itzehoe has brought the chemical group BASF on board. The partner is to exclusively supply high-energy HEDTM cathode materials for Porsche's high-performance vehicles.

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Key to powerful battery materials: Precursor cathode active materials (green and brown powder), lithium carbonate (white powder) and cathode active materials (black powder).
Key to powerful battery materials: Precursor cathode active materials (green and brown powder), lithium carbonate (white powder) and cathode active materials (black powder).
(Source: BASF)

Ludwigshafen/Germany — BASF has been selected by Cellforce Group as the exclusive cell development partner for its next-generation lithium-ion battery. Under the collaboration, the chemical company will provide high-energy HEDTM NCM cathode materials for high-performance battery cells that enable fast charging and high energy density. The Cellforce Group, based in Tübingen, Germany, will manufacture the high-performance batteries. Cellforce's production facility is scheduled to come on stream in 2024 with an initial capacity of at least 100 MWh per year, producing batteries for around 1000 motorsport and high-performance vehicles.

With its production plants for precursors for cathode materials in Harjavalta, Finland, and for cathode materials in Schwarzheide, Germany, BASF aims to be able to offer battery materials with an exceptional sustainability footprint from 2022. This is to be made possible by responsible and reliable raw material sourcing. At the same time, the company says it is aiming for “the lowest CO2 footprint along the supply chain.” Production waste from Cellforce Group's future battery manufacturing facility will be recycled at the prototype battery recycling plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, thus closing the loop. Lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese are recycled in a hydrometallurgical process and reintroduced into the production process for cathode materials.

As an automotive manufacturer, Porsche aims to be CO2-neutral in its overall balance sheet by 2030. A low CO2 footprint, closed-loop recycling and sustainability are therefore increasingly in the foreground, said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche. The cooperation with BASF would be a win-win situation for all parties involved, he added. European sources for the materials nickel and cobalt, the associated security of supply and the short transport routes from Schwarzheide to Baden-Württemberg were all important arguments in favor of the decision to cooperate, Steiner added. The battery cells — especially the cathode materials — were the focus of the considerations, he said.

As Markus Gräf, Managing Director of the Cellforce Group, explained, the cathode materials show very high cycle stability from the start and are particularly good at fast charging. These are precisely the properties that Cellforce was looking for. In the production area, too, the companies have jointly developed a concept for capturing production waste generated in the various areas and returning it to closed-loop recycling.

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