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Driving Innovation - The Road to Improved Battery Technology for EVs

April 19, 2023 7:02 AM EDT

Vancouver, Kelowna, and Delta, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - April 19, 2023) - Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering EV and battery stocks, releases a special news report on battery innovation, featuring Vancouver-based NEO Battery Materials Ltd. (TSXV: NBM) (OTCQB: NBMFF), a low-cost silicon anode materials developer that enables longer-running, rapid-charging lithium-ion batteries. The Company intends to become a silicon anode active materials supplier to the electric vehicle industry.

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https://www.investorideas.com/News/2023/renewable-energy/04190Driving-Innovation.asp

According to Market Research Future (MRFR), "The market size for Electric Vehicle is expected to reach USD 957.06 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.50% between 2022 and 2030. The market is being driven by a number of factors, including government incentives, increased consumer awareness and demand, and advances in EV technology."

"Improvements in battery technology have made EVs more affordable and increased their driving range, making them a more viable alternative to traditional ICE vehicles."

NEO Battery Materials Ltd. (TSXV: NBM) (OTCQB: NBMFF) just announced the Company has achieved a significant technology milestone in its nanocoating manufacturing process. The new uniform nanocoating capability allows NEO's proprietary silicon anode materials, NBMSiDE", to extend EV driving ranges and prompt faster battery charging.

NEO has achieved the ideal nanocoating conditions to produce uniformly-coated silicon particles consistently. As a result, uniform nanocoating layers will be an additional advantage to enhance the current performance achieved by NBMSiDE". Previously, non-uniform coatings often resulted in substandard capacity retention of NBMSiDE" due to mechanical breakdown (refer to Figures A and B).

However, this manufacturing breakthrough in uniform nanocoating will ensure robust capacity retention and enable coating thickness control during commercial-level testing. Figures C to E show that the enhanced capability is agnostic to the silicon's shape and structure, making possible uniform coatings on both spherical and edged particles.

Dr. S. G. Kim, CTO of NEO, commented, "Achieving uniform coating layers on the nano-scale is an exceptionally difficult task for a company of any size that handles chemical products. Especially for NEO, our metal silicon inputs take on a plate-shaped structure, which adds to the technical hurdle of enabling uniform coatings. However, by achieving this uniform coating capability through an additional solution process, we have made a remarkable accomplishment and have amassed great interest from 3rd party industry experts and players."

Over the past 2 years, the Company has developed a novel manufacturing approach that combines the mixing, grinding and nanocoating process into a one-step system. This transformational innovation will allow NEO to supply silicon anodes that are 70% cheaper compared to current competitors technologies. The Company is also underway filing additional patents related to the technology and additive materials for the uniform coating solution process.

Mr. Spencer Huh, President and CEO of NEO, added, "With commercialization on track for 2024, this technology milestone marks another significant advantage for us in the battery industry. This uniform coating capability may also be applied to different chemical and battery materials, such as cathode materials. At NEO, we aim to provide one of the most transformative, cost-effective battery technology solutions to encourage the mass adoption of electric vehicles."

According to a recent article in Whichcar.com, Tesla has a new battery in the works for its Model 3 that could give 700km driving range. The Tesla Model 3 Performance is set to gain an upgraded battery later this year, according to the world's largest EV battery supplier

Continued: Top spec 2024 Tesla Model 3 variants are expected to gain an all-new longer driving range battery pack utilising a different chemistry.

Continued: Reuters reports Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) will start mass production on a new pack slated for the flagship Model 3 Performance this year - potentially coinciding with the anticipated 2024 project 'Highland' update.

Continued: CATL chair Zeng Yuqun reportedly told investors that it'll feature new materials, offer higher energy density, and is cheaper than current nickel- and cobalt-based batteries.

Betting on battery swapping as part of its growth plan, NIO recently announced its March and first quarter 2023 delivery results.

From the news: NIO delivered 10,378 vehicles in March 2023. The deliveries consisted of 3,203 premium smart electric SUVs, and 7,175 premium smart electric sedans. NIO delivered 31,041 vehicles in the first quarter of 2023, representing an increase of 20.5% year-over-year. Cumulative deliveries of NIO vehicles reached 320,597 as of March 31, 2023.

Continued: Starting from March 28, 2023, NIO has rolled out the deployment of the third-generation Power Swap station in China, with each station having a service capacity of up to 408 swaps per day. As of March 31, 2023, NIO had deployed 1,339 Power Swap stations, 1,285 Power Charger stations with 6,467 chargers, and 1,154 destination charging stations with 7,993 chargers worldwide. NIO will speed up the expansion of the battery swapping network, and plans to install 1,000 Power Swap stations in 2023.

Continued: NIO has been gradually releasing NOP+ Beta to vehicles based on NIO Technology 2.0 (NT2.0). Since its debut on December 27, 2022, more than 30,000 users have activated and engaged NOP+ Beta, and the cumulative mileage has exceeded 15 million kilometers.

Rivian Automotive, Inc. is making headlines with its increased driving range for its pickup and SUV. Talking about the recent updates to these models, TopSpeed.com reported, "The most important new feature with the software update is likely to be an updated EPA range, which customers say could be at least 14 miles higher than before. According to further customer experience, the three driving modes after the update could thus deliver a range of 347 miles in Conserve driving mode, 315 miles in All-Purpose, and still 311 miles in Sport mode. One reason for the increased range of the R1T and R1S models is probably a battery update that Rivian is also performing with the software update."

"The manufacturer confirmed that the battery is now characterized by an increased depth of discharge, which increases the usable energy of the battery. This is likely to be accompanied in particular by the practical effect of providing customers with a higher available mileage at the top end of the charge. Other enhancements as part of the update will also bring new infotainment features as well as a new steering system designed to improve straight-line stability."

Going all in for the future EV market, Ford Motor Company announced earlier this month it is investing C$1.8 billion in its Oakville Assembly Complex to transform it into a high-volume hub of electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada - a key part of the company's plan to scale production of electric vehicles and make them more accessible to millions of customers.

Continued: Ford's Oakville, Ontario, Manufacturing Site Prepares to Build Next-Gen EVs; C$1.8 Billion Transformation Begins 2024 (CNW Group/Ford of Canada) Ford's Oakville, Ontario, Manufacturing Site Prepares to Build Next-Gen EVs; C$1.8 Billion Transformation Begins 2024 (CNW Group/Ford of Canada) The campus, to be renamed Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex, will begin to retool and modernize in the second quarter of 2024 to prepare for production of next-generation EVs. This marks the first time a full-line automaker has announced plans to produce passenger EVs in Canada for the North American market.

Continued: "Canada and the Oakville complex will play a vital role in our Ford+ transformation. It will be a modern, super-efficient, vertically integrated site for battery and vehicle assembly," said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. "I'm most excited for the world to see the incredible next-generation electric and fully digitally connected vehicles produced in Oakville."

GM is getting competitive in the lithium battery market through strategic investments that will pay off in the future. Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. and General Motors announced this month that GM Ventures is leading a $50 million Series B financing round in EnergyX, and has entered into a strategic agreement to develop EnergyX's lithium extraction and refinery technology. The collaboration is focused on unlocking the North American supply of lithium, a critical material for EV batteries, by using EnergyX's innovative process to maximize efficiency while improving sustainability for GM's rapidly scaling EV production.

EnergyX's direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology portfolio can make lithium metal directly from brine and potentially in anode-ready form for EV batteries, which enables more cost-effective and sustainable lithium recovery to unlock a vast lithium supply chain in North America that may otherwise be unviable.

GM is investing in every stage of the battery supply chain in North America, from raw materials to processing, to cell components and full battery cell production.

Battery technology innovation is the key to the long term success of the EV revolution, let the race begin.

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