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Current status and challenges for automotive battery production technologies

Abstract

Production technology for automotive lithium-ion battery (LIB) cells and packs has improved considerably in the past five years. However, the transfer of developments in materials, cell design and processes from lab scale to production scale remains a challenge due to the large number of consecutive process steps and the significant impact of material properties, electrode compositions and cell designs on processes. This requires an in-depth understanding of the individual production processes and their interactions, and pilot-scale investigations into process parameter selection and prototype cell production. Furthermore, emerging process concepts must be developed at lab and pilot scale that reduce production costs and improve cell performance. Here, we present an introductory summary of the state-of-the-art production technologies for automotive LIBs. We then discuss the key relationships between process, quality and performance, as well as explore the impact of materials and processes on scale and cost. Finally, future developments and innovations that aim to overcome the main challenges are presented.

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Fig. 1: Components of LIB packs and a mass content breakdown.
Fig. 2: Generalized battery process chain.
Fig. 3: Effect of drying and calendering processes on physical electrode structure.
Fig. 4: Scalability of electrode and cell production.
Fig. 5: Breakdown of manufacturing costs at battery cell level.
Fig. 6: Prospective concepts for electrode and cell production technologies.

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Acknowledgements

We thank production experts of cell manufacturers including LG Chem (Korea), Litarion (Germany) and Saft (France) for their comments on the Review article.

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Kwade, A., Haselrieder, W., Leithoff, R. et al. Current status and challenges for automotive battery production technologies. Nat Energy 3, 290–300 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-018-0130-3

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