European consortium wants to improve lead battery technology

Electric car charger. (Image by Kārlis Dambrāns, Flickr).

The Consortium for Battery Innovation made public this week its technology roadmap, a document that sets its research and innovation targets for the next three years in advanced lead battery electrochemical science.

In a media statement, the group said the program was prepared with the idea of tackling a predicted 10x increase in demand for EU battery energy storage by 2050 and attending to findings in independent market assessments which predict that worldwide demand for battery energy storage will jump to 400,000 megawatt-hours in 2025, compared with 100,000 in 2015.

The Consortium predicts that demand for all battery technologies will continue to rise as countries pursue low carbon and electrification policies

The plan includes improving dynamic charge acceptance – the energy stored in a battery when a car brakes – in micro and mild-hybrid cars, delivering much-improved carbon and fuel savings. For start-stop and micro-hybrid vehicles, fuel consumption is reduced by between 5-10% as a result of using advanced lead battery technology.

But in the Consortium’s view, it’s not all about cars because while lithium batteries’ share of the market will grow through the increase in electric vehicles, demand for all battery technologies will continue to rise as countries pursue low carbon and electrification policies.

“Batteries supporting local electricity grids and renewable energy projects are aiming for longer lifetimes with improved battery cycle life, helping to significantly reduce operating costs,” the organization’s press brief reads. “By lowering operating costs, a key parameter for utility and renewable energy installations, this means a greater number of energy storage projects across the globe providing reliable and affordable electricity.”

In this context, the group sees a need for a range of high-performance batteries for different products and applications. Amongst those batteries, there is interest in lead batteries and how their performance could be improved.

“Our technology innovation plan looms at a short-term boost in battery performance. But we’re also focusing on the next big leap in advanced batteries over the next decade as new forms of lead battery technology come to market,” Alistair Davidson, Director of the Consortium for Battery Innovation, said in the press release.

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