A New European Battery Alliance

By Jack Burke26 February 2018

Saft, the French specialist in advanced technology battery solutions for industrial applications, announced an alliance with other European partners for the research, development and industrialization for new generations of batteries focusing on advanced high-density Li-ion and solid state technology.

The program addresses all market segments, such as electro-mobility (in commercial vehicles, railway, marine, and aviation), energy storage, and specialty industries, according to Saft, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Total.

The alliance includes the following European partners: Belgium-based Solvay, a materials and chemical multinational with expertise in polymer and electrolyte solutions; Manz, headquartered in Germany, manufactures equipment for battery cell and module assembly; Germany-based Siemens, a global technology company which equips manufacturing facilities with software and automation solutions; and other European companies working in the fields of active material and system integration.

The new generation batteries will provide performance, cost and safety advantages, compared to current lithium-ion products, Saft said. The batteries, which will be integrated into their system environments, with digitalized functions and interfaces, are planned to be designed together with leading material suppliers. They will meet the most stringent standards for sustainable development. Should the development be successful, the next step will be to work together with industrial partners on new manufacturing processes, and on cell and system industrialization.

“Saft has 100 years of experience in research, development and manufacturing of high performing industrial cells and batteries, including over 25 years in lithium-ion,” said Ghislain Lescuyer, CEO of Saft.  “This program is focusing on the battery technology of the future, and when development of such solid-state technology is successfully achieved, innovative industrialization processes with scalable 1 GWh manufacturing blocks will start. Batteries are at the heart of the current technological revolution. Their development and production play a strategic role in the ongoing transition to clean mobility and clean energy systems.”

Saft added that, to build European leadership in this domain, the alliance will need strong regulatory support and appropriate funding from European and national authorities.

While this alliance is not exclusive of other agreements or partnerships, the companies will work together over the next seven years to reach the common ambition. Throughout the different phases of the project, the core group of the alliance will partner with European academia, research centers, customers and other entities to leverage the wealth of expertise already accumulated throughout Europe.

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