Reducing costs of electric vehicle batteries

Sep 09, 2011
By means of an integrated approach, KIT wishes to rapidly commercialize its innovations. Credit: KIT

Costs of manufacture of batteries and power trains of electric vehicles can be halved by 2018, if the gaps in the innovation chain can be closed. For reaching this objective, KIT scientists develop concrete, close-to-industry solutions for energy stores and power trains and combine them on the system level. A close-to-industry "research factory" is planned to be constructed on the premises of KIT. KIT will present its concept of the 200-million-Euro project in the coming week at the IAA International Motor Show.

"It is no longer focused on studying individual molecules or components, but on developing solutions on the system level, which meet industrial requirements," explains the project head Andreas Gutsch. Under the "Competence E" umbrella project at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 250 scientists from 25 institutes cooperate in an interdisciplinary manner in order to commercialize innovations from research.

The list of developments made by KIT is long: Nanomaterials based on iron-carbon already have twice the specific capacity compared to conventional batteries. A new process reduces the filling time of batteries with to one tenth. The corresponding patent has been applied for. Modular battery and power train concepts will allow for a massive cost reduction in . "To make use of the large innovation potential resulting from the high number of partial improvements, we will consistently pursue further development on the system level," announces Gutsch. For this purpose, a so-called "research factory" is being planned at KIT. Here, the gap in the chain of innovation and added value between research and industry will be closed by the construction of demonstrators and prototype fabrication lines for novel batteries and electric motors based on KIT's know-how.

The project costs for construction and development are calculated to amount to about EUR 200 million until 2018. Similar to other publicly funded big research facilities, such as accelerators and clean-room laboratories, the "research factory" will be opened to all partners from industry and research and, thus, contribute to a rapid and wide dissemination of new technologies in Germany. "It is a central objective of Competence E to rapidly commercialize innovations from Karlsruhe," emphasizes Gutsch. Apart from teaching and research, innovation is one of the three pillars of KIT. "We are actively approaching industry and will even intensify these efforts. We are conducting excellent research for application, not for the drawer."

Under the Competence E project of KIT, about 150 new positions are to be occupied by engineers. The first 50 engineers will be employed in 2012 already. In an extra-occupational qualification program at KIT, they will be trained to become specialists in the field of electromobility. Applications for the positions will be invited in Germany and Spain.

Explore further: Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Green' energy from algae

Aug 06, 2009

In view of the shortage of petrochemical resources and climate change, development of CO2-neutral sustainable fuels is one of the most urgent challenges of our times. Energy plants like rape or oil palm a ...

Taiwan scientist unveils rapid, low-cost TB test kit

Mar 28, 2010

A Taiwan scientist on Sunday unveiled what he said is the first low-cost and efficient test kit for identifying tuberculosis bacteria, killer of more than 1.5 million people worldwide every year.

Taiwan scientists develop sperm 'efficiency' kit

Sep 17, 2009

Scientists in Taiwan said Thursday they have invented a male fertility home test kit that breaks new ground by measuring the efficiency of sperm cells -- a key factor in determining men's ability to father children.

Generator with superconductors

Mar 30, 2011

Siemens and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) plan to demonstrate that high-temperature superconductor technology is suitable for power generation in everyday operation. The research project, which ...

Recommended for you

Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

17 hours ago

There is much need to develop energy efficient solutions for residential buildings in Europe. The EU-funded project, MeeFS, due to be completed by the end of 2015, is developing an innovative multifunctional and energy efficient ...

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

18 hours ago

(AP)—American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.

Simulation models optimize water power

19 hours ago

The Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest offers great potential for water power; hydroelectric power stations there generate over 20 000 megawatts already. Now a simulation model will help optimize the operation ...

Charging electric cars efficiently inductive

20 hours ago

We already charge our toothbrushes and cellphones using contactless technology. Researchers have developed a particularly efficient and cost-effective method that means electric cars could soon follow suit.

User comments : 0