Research network on electrochemical energy storage,
Research center on batteries and supercapacitors

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    The Formula E Championship is a car race dedicated to electric vehicles, organized annually by the International Federation of Automobile (FIA).  Since its first  season in 2014, this environmentally conscious alternative to the Formula 1 Championship is raising awareness toward electric cars by demonstrating that they can be used as very high performance vehicles. The EV championship will also drive the development of much needed innovations. Still, racing EVs still suffer some important limitations. Due to the extreme performance there are pushed to, their autonomy is particularly short-lived, forcing the pilot to switch car during the race.For the fifth season of the Championship (2018-2019), the FIA has decided to push further the innovation and to update its vehicles.

    The federation has appointed French manufacturer Spark Racing Technologies as the official designer of the chassis of the next generation of electric race car. The SRT05E will replace the SRT01E, the first version of the car still currently used. The design will need to take into account the growing expectations for electric racing, and EV in general. To increase the performance, Spark engineers are planning to develop a chassis with a more efficient aero design to elevate the speed, a lower weight to compensate with a heavier battery (+ 10%) and a more efficient drivetrain. Not to forget new solutions to insure the driver’s safety.

    Innovation is indeed a race, and electric vehicles are in the starting blocks.

    Source : http://www.sparkracingtechnology.com/en/content/spark-racing-technology-develop-formula-e-season-5-car


  • A team of researchers from Stanford University, has proposed in Science a new safety mechanism for Li-ion battery: a separator (the permeable membrane that protects batteries from short circuits) made by electrospinning embedded with a thermal-triggered flame retardant that can be delivered directly into the electrolyte in the event of overheat or damages to the battery.

    This new concept of separator is composed of a protective polymer shell containing a flame-retardant chemical designed to melt at around 160°C, at the early stage of a battery's combustion. The fire-fighting chemical is then released in the liquid electrolyte, preventing or extinguishing any flames, and keeping the battery from causing potential damages.

    This mechanism has also the advantages not to impact the battery’s performances according to the researchers.

    Jean-Marie Tarascon, head of our research network and professor at College de France said that including a flame-retardant inside the separator is “conceptually innovative” yet “more exhaustive characterization must be made” and that it “would be interesting to see the results ported to real-world batteries”.

    Source: [Science]


  • On Friday the 13th of January, the ISS will complete the upgrade of its energy storage system, replacing the current nickel-hydrogen batteries with lithium-ion batteries. Their advantages are to offer higher power and to be are smaller and lighter than they predecessors.

    This operation is critical to the smooth running of the station: the station orbits the planet every 90 minutes, 35 of which take place in the Earth shadow, where the 2500 m² of solar pThis fridayanels cannot work. For that reason, batteries need to take over the solar arrays, so that the station can continue to function properly. It is therefore essential that batteries can take over to ensure the proper operation of the station ... and the survival of its crew.

    Changing the ISS power equipment is no easy task, as it requires to intervene outside the station. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and station commander Shane Kimbrough from NASA will accomplish the spacewalk.

    The mission will be broadcasted live starting at 11:00 AM at the following address: https://proxima.cnes.fr/fr/AllezThomas


  • Bruker AXS, an international manufacturer of scientific equipment, is now the official supplier of a LRCS' (a founding member of a RS2E) innovation. The cell allows the precise observation of an operating battery. The cells is currently on display at Bruker AXS' booth at Chicago's wolrd-class congress on batteries, the International Meeting on Lithium Batteries, where 2.000 researchers from around the globe gathers. The analysis cell will be sold to industrials and to research labs from the field.

    The innovation is the results of many years of work with the participation of Jean-Bernard Leriche, Christian Masquelier, Jean-Marie Tarascon, Mathieu Morcrette and Jean-Noël Chotard. But it's also a human adventure that rests on many colaborations within RS2E.

    Sources : [English press release, French press release]


  • Electric vehicles manufacturer Tesla is currently building its new massive battery factory in Reno (Nevada, USA). The firm has planned the grand opening celebration for July 29th, 2016. This date has been communicated by email to customers. Indeed, some lucky ones have won their place to the event by inducing more than five Model S sales through Tesla’s car referral program.

    Earlier in May, the construction was only 14% complete. But the event will be held in areas where the construction is complete. (click here to read media reports following early visits in March). The operation have even started with the assembly of the Powerwall which has been initiated in January.

    In the Gigafactory, Tesla will produce massive amounts of NCA batteries for its electric vehicles with the end goal being to drive the costs below the 200 $/kWh mark. The factory will also accelerate the manufacturing and assembly capability of the Model S, X and 3.

    Source: [Teslarati, Fortune]

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