HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
ZETA ENERGY (USA)
Materials will be instrumental in the development of future batteries. Up to 2025 all battery technologies are fixed as OEMs test today what will be used by then. Tesla will remain the key influencer as their investment in giga-factories have paved the way. Their introduction of the dry electrodes process, that is fully compatible with current tools, will contribute to making low cost but high- performance electrodes for Li-Ion batteries. The elimination of the current wet slurry manufacturing method will lower the production cost and make the process more environmentally friendly while allowing the production of thicker electrodes with high energy density results. Materials are now the main focus of developers to continue lowering battery costs as materials now make up to 68% of the total costs of batteries, and that share will only grow as factories are scaled to ever higher volumes.
Battery performance will be assessed in terms of energy and power density, safety and recycling capabilities. Li- Sulfur batteries are inherently cheaper because they use no cobalt or nickel, and they will be able to satisfy the needs of most of the mobility or storage market.
Using cheap sulfur (12 to 14 cents per kg), cheap carbon material and no cobalt, manganese or nickel is the name of the game. This still allows batteries to reach 350Wh/kg, competing with premium NMC and far more than current batteries. It also offers guaranteed easy and local access to the materials and is compatible with localized supply chains that now sought due to the risks of long and unsecured supply chains. The target of well below $80/Wh will be reached, making the technology competitive, beyond mobility, for the storage market as an indispensable complement to windmill and solar.