Expansion of xEVs, Advanced Materials and More: AABC 2018 Preview

April 25, 2018 | The 18th Annual Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC), June 4-7 in San Diego, is quickly approaching. With the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado as the backdrop, AABC 2018 will highlight the technical and business issues that will impact the pace and path of vehicle electrification worldwide. Whether you are most interested in xEV expansion, raw material development, partnering, or R&D, the event will address some of the fundamental questions facing the industry and roadmaps for the future. The full agenda is available online; here are a few topics that caught our eye. – The Editors

The plenary sessions are a powerhouse of experts covering the market expansion of xEVs. Menahem Anderman, AABC conference creator and President of Total Battery Consulting, will dig into the xEV market expansion and how the growth of each xEV architecture is tied to government regulations, cost, technology and consumer demand. Other sessions to note include Michael Lord with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing discussing Electrification of Major World Vehicle Markets, and Takeshi Miyamoto with B3 Corp. in the Latest Analysis of xEV and LIB Battery Technology and Market Trends. Morning of Wednesday, June 6

A new addition to AABC is the Automotive Partnering Summit. This track brings together early stage companies that have compelling technology with venture capitalists and investors.  David Jacoby, President at Boston Strategies, kicks of the track with how early stage companies can navigate partnering agreements and how to balance risk and reward. The VC-led panels will cover funding new business strategies, alternative investment structures, and harnessing the potential of the transportation sector. Start-ups have an opportunity to showcase their technology, from autonomous vehicle navigation and a biosensor that may prevent drunk driving, to wireless EV charging and liquefied gas electrolytes. Monday, June 4

Developing advanced materials is an important topic in battery research. Chengdu Liang, Dean at CATL, will discuss developments in cathode, anode, and electrolyte for xEV applications, and focus on high nickel cathode and Si anode materials. There are opportunities to increase the cell energy and cell cycle life by improving the negative electrode. Mark Obrovac, Professor of Chemistry and Physics with Dalhousie University, is going to show how using simple materials, Si alloys can improve handling properties and cycling performance. Afternoon of Monday, June 4

The increasing energy and power demands are driving complex and high energy density Li-ion systems. Joshua Lamb will highlight how Sandia National Laboratories uses abusive battery testing to better understand the potential risks surrounding high energy batteries.  Afternoon of Monday, June 4

How will we balance the supply and demand for battery materials, especially when the demand for lithium could exceed the supply by 25% in 2020? Simon Moores, Managing Director at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, will demystify the resources, reserves, chemicals, battery grade materials, and cathode manufacturing. Emilio Bunel, Senior Analyst with SQM, will highlight some past and present activities to develop lithium offerings for the battery industry, including standard uses and energy storage. Christophe Pillot, Battery Survey Manager with Avicenne Energy, France, will dig into the demand for cathodes, anodes, electrolytes, and separators. He will discuss the major component suppliers and discuss price evolution and major technical trends. Afternoon of Monday, June 4

Ahmad Mayyas, Engineer at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will tackle the manufacturing competiveness of recycled Li-ion battery materials. He will provide a comparative cost analysis between regions and countries for recycling cathode, anode, and electrolyte materials. In addition, he’ll give a detailed supply chain map to show the flows of virgin and recycled material in the global market and evaluate the value added from recycling Li-ion battery materials. Afternoon of Tuesday, June 5

Bob Taenaka, Technical Specialist with Ford Motor Company, will discuss why xEV batteries must be  designed not only to meet warranty and operational design life targets of eight to 10 years of use, but provisions must be made to have service replacement batteries available for as long as 10-15 years after the end of xEV battery and vehicle production. He’ll describe the strategies for making them available for 10+ years after the end of the battery cell and battery pack mass production. Afternoon of Thursday, June 7

Kevin Konecky, Battery Systems Consultant at Total Battery Consulting, plans on covering industry trends in charging and infrastructure. Li-ion battery systems are an enabling technology in the propagation of xEVs with longer range and higher energy density batteries, enabling public acceptance are convenient and time-effective charging options. He will review a large number of xEVs currently in production and discuss trends and diversity in the subsystem design choices that were implemented in each production system including charge capabilities. Different charging protocols and standards across the globe with be discussed with trends analyzed, as well as improvement to user convenience including faster DC-charging and wireless charging. Afternoon of Thursday, June 7