The Secondary Battery Show in Japan: Review Part 1 - Battery

2011/05/02

Summary

This Report introduces remarkable new products and technologies concerning a Li-ion battery/next-generation battery and a nickel hydrogen battery to be used in green vehicles (hybrid vehicle, plug-in hybrid vehicle, electric vehicle, and fuel-cell vehicles) by 14 companies at the 2nd Battery Japan 2011 (held at Tokyo Big Site from March 2 to 4, 2011).

Battery type Company Product/Technology
Li-ion battery / Next-Generation battery Hitachi Vehicle Energy Li-ion battery for HEVs (to be supplied to GM’s eAssist hybrid vehicle).
Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery
Li-ion battery for construction machinery.
IHI / A123Systems (USA) Li-ion battery module (to be supplied to Karma PHEV).
Power Supply Design / Showa Aircraft Industry

- Lithium-ion iron phosphate battery and BMS (Battery Management System).

- Noncontact quick charge system.
GS Yuasa / Lithium Energy Japan

- Li-ion battery “LEV50”.

- Lithium vanadium phosphate battery.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Li-ion battery "MLiX".
Daiwa Can/ Pues

- Production of Li-ion battery pack by commissioning.

- BMS.
Seiki / Advanced Electronics Energy (China) Lithium polymer battery for electric motorcycles.
Edison Power / Kokam (Korea) Li-ion battery for industrial use / smart grids.
GS Caltex (Korea) All-solid-state thin-film secondary battery.

Zhuhai Yintong

Energy (YTE) (China)

- Lithium-ion iron phosphate battery.

- Lithium-ion titanate battery (acquired technology through the acquisition of US-based Altairnano).
FDK Li-ion capacitor for HEVs “EneCapten”.
Nickel-Metal Hydrogen battery Kawasaki Heavy Industries

- Large-capacity nickel hydrogen battery “Giga Cell”.

- Next-generation street car “LRV”.
Sebang Global Battery (Korea) Nickel hydrogen battery for EVs “GMH”.

(Note) Click following pictures to enlarge.



Li-ion battery / Next-Generation battery

Hitachi Vehicle Energy (Japanese only)

Hitachi Vehicle Energy exhibited a Li-ion battery for hybrid vehicles for the first time, which it supplies to GM’s eAssist mild hybrid system vehicle (2012-year-model of the Buick sedan, “LaCrosse”). The Li-ion battery pack that was exhibited employs 32 cylindrical-shape battery cells, LIB-Ⅲ. The maximum output is 15kW, the power capacity is 0.5kWh, and the voltage is 115V. The cylindrical-shape battery cell, LIB-Ⅲ, is 40mm (diameter) x 92mm (height), weighs 0.26kg with 3.6V (voltage), 4.4Ah (ampacity), 3kW/kg (power density), and 61Wh/kg (energy density).

(Note) The eAssist mild hybrid system boasts a higher motor output than the conventional belt-driven mild hybrid system, increases the amount of energy during regenerative braking and power assist, and uses a Li-ion battery instead of a nickel hydrogen battery. The power-generating capacity of the motor/generator is up to 15kW during regenerative braking and up to 11kW during power assist. The engine does not stop until the vehicle speed drops to zero. The engine starts to cut fuel sooner during deceleration and minimizes vibration by reducing torque variations with the motor.

Characteristics of Li-ion battery module for HEVs, which is used for GM’s eAssist mild hybrid vehicle

Characteristics and specifications of Li-ion battery for commercial vehicles, which has been mass-produced since 2005 (The vehicle is the Isuzu Elf hybrid)

Characteristics and specifications of LIB-IV and HEV-EV, which are box-shape Li-ion battery cells for HEV/PHEV

Characteristics and specifications of LIB-II and LIB-III, which are cylindrical-shape Li-ion battery cells for HEVs

Exhibit of Li-ion battery module for HEVs, employed in LIB-II

Exhibit of Li-ion battery module for HEVs, employed in LIB-III

(Note) Click above pictures to enlarge.

Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery (Japanese only)

Under the restructuring of the Hitachi group’s battery business, the designing and manufacturing of Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery’s manganese Li-ion battery for HEVs (which has been supplied to Nissan Tino hybrid) was transferred to Hitachi Vehicle Energy in 2004. Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery is currently in charge of the Li-ion battery business for construction machinery.

Characteristics and specifications of the Li-ion battery for industrial machinery (The industrial machine on the picture is an electric power shovel made by Hitachi Construction Machinery)

(Note) Click above picture to enlarge.

IHI / A123Systems (Japanese only)

In October 2009, IHI concluded a contract on a joint venture with US-based battery manufacturer, A123Systems, and entered the Li-ion battery business for vehicles. A123Systems has already commercialized a box-shape Li-ion battery cell under the product name of Nanophosphate, supplying Li-ion battery packs to the US start-up EV manufacturer, Fisker Automotive’s PHEV vehicle, the Karma, and the US major supplier, Eaton’s PHEV. IHI is forming an alliance with A123Systems, currently operating Li-ion batter plants in Japan, Korea, China, the US, and Europe. In Japan, the company provided a Li-ion battery cell for electric motorcycles to the Ministry of the Environment’s FY2010 demonstration project.

IHI formed an alliance with A123Systems to enter the Li-ion battery business for vehicles.

IHI formed an alliance with A123Systems, currently operating Li-ion battery plants in Japan, Korea, China, the US, and Europe.

IHI supplies Li-ion battery cells for electric motorcycles to Pues under the Ministry of Environment’s FY2010 demonstration project.

IHI supplies Li-ion battery packs to US-based Eaton’s PHEV industrial vehicle

(Note) Click above pictures to enlarge.

Power Supply Design (Japanese only) / Showa Aircraft Industry

Power Supply Design and Showa Aircraft Industry jointly exhibited a lithium-ion iron phosphate battery and BMS (Battery Management System) and a noncontact quick charge system, respectively, and also presented the results of “Manufacturing project of EV with a lithium-ion iron phosphate battery (WEB-0 Advanced compact EV system),” which it is jointly implementing with Waseda University (Japan), Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, and Elec-Cell. Showa Aircraft Industry seems to shift from the current compact EV business to the noncontact quick charge system business. It is currently promoting EV commuter buses with a noncontact quick charge system with Waseda University etc.

The FY2010 EV manufacturing project, of which Waseda University takes the initiative (Compact EV WEB-0 Advanced)

(Note) Click above picture to enlarge.

 GS Yuasa / Lithium Energy Japan

GS Yuasa displayed “LEV50”, which is a box-shape Li-ion battery of Lithium Energy Japan (a 3-way joint venture among GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsubishi Motors), as a proven automotive large battery and also exhibited a lithium vanadium phosphate battery – a next-generation battery - for reference. Vanadium phosphate, which is used for positive-electrode material, is developed by the company under NEDO’s consigned development project. While the battery secures safety at the same level as lithium iron phosphate, which has already been commercialized, it has improved output characteristics by more than 20%; GS Yuasa says that it has seen prospects on manufacturing a positive electrode in a relatively low-cost synthesis method as compared to positive-electrode material of an existing lithium-ion battery. The nominal voltage and the capacity of the lithium vanadium phosphate battery are 3.5V and 5.0Ah, respectively. The company is planning to press ahead with the development for application in HEVs and for mild HEVs including idle reduction systems.

GS Yuasa also showcased a quick charger. As new technologies, the company exhibited for reference a PV-EV system for EVs that combines a solar power generation system, Li-ion battery, and a quick charger, which attracted attention.

(Note 1) For further details of the Li-ion battery, LEV50, please access the following URL.
http://lithiumenergy.jp/en/index.html

(Note 2) To see the public relations material of the lithium vanadium phosphate battery, please access the following URL.
http://www.gs-yuasa.com/gyp/jp/pdf/20100909.pdf  (Japanese only)

Prototype of lithium vanadium phosphate battery (Photo from Yuasa’s public relations material)

Characteristics of the quick charger for EVs, which uses solar power energy
(Data from Yuasa’s brochure)

System structure and operation mode of the quick charger for EVs, which uses solar power energy
(Data from Yuasa’s brochure)

(Note) Click above pictures to enlarge.

 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries exhibited its-own box-shape multilayer Li-ion battery, “MLiX”. The capacity of one cell is 50Ah; the cell boasts a larger capacity and also has more energy density than the products of competitors. The company started marketing the world’s first 4 to 5t-class diesel-powered hybrid forklift in Japan in October 2009. It also developed an electric bus under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s “FY2010 town development demonstration” and carries out a test run in Kyoto and Aomori, aiming to put electric buses into practical use.

 Daiwa Can / Pues

Daiwa Can Company has formed an alliance with Pues, currently pressing ahead with the commercialization of consigned production of the “e-Link Can”, which is a Li-ion battery pack with Pues’ BCM (Battery Control Module). However, the company does not seem to be considering making the product into ones that can be used in vehicles for the time being.

Characteristics of the consigned production business of “e-Link Can”
(Data from Daiwa Can Company’s brochure)

Characteristics of the consigned production business of “e-Link Can”
(Data from Daiwa Can Company’s brochure)

Exhibit of samples of a can module, “e-Link Can” and BCM.

(Note) Click above pictures to enlarge.

Seiki (Japanese only)/ Advanced Electronics Energy

Seiki exhibited a lithium polymer battery for electric motorcycles, which is made by China-based Li-ion battery manufacturer, Advanced Electronics Energy, and BMS (Battery Management System), which is developed by Advanced Electronics Energy. Advanced Electronics Energy used to be a mere dealer but, with electric control technology, started the battery business for electric motorcycles with BMS, which it developed in an integrated manner.

Characteristics of the lithium polymer battery from Advanced Electronics Energy  
(Data from Advanced Electronics Energy’s brochure)

Exhibit of a sample of Seiki’s BMS

Exhibit of a sample of a lithium polymer battery from Advanced Electronics Energy

(Note) Click above pictures to enlarge.

Edison Power / Kokam (Japanese only)

Edison Power is a start-up company that markets a Li-ion battery for industrial use/smart grids by combining a lithium polymer battery of Korea-based Kokam, with which it concluded a comprehensive technical contract, with BMS, which Edison Power independently developed, and also applies the battery to EVs. Examples of the application to vehicles in Japan are Gunma University’s Next-Generation EV Society and Ehime Prefecture’s EV development project. Gunma University (Japan) developed an ultra-compact  EV, “μ-TT2”, which is a 1-seat EV classified as a moped. Ehime Prefecture (Japan) established an EV development center in order to foster the converted EV industry within the prefecture, currently promoting the development of converted EVs and converted electric fishing boats.

Characteristics of Kokam’s industrial-use large lithium polymer battery 
(Data from Edison Power’s brochure)

Example of the application of Kokam’s large lithium polymer battery
(Data from Edison Power’s brochure)

Presentation of results of the Next-Generation EV Society by Gunma University (Japan)

Outline of a battery unit for “μ-TT2” ultra-compact EV

(Note) Click above pictures to enlarge.

 GS Caltex

GS Caltex, Korea-based major compound energy company, has developed a lithium cobalt oxide positive-electrode material, lithium metal negative-electrode material and an all-solid-state thin-film secondary battery that uses solid electrolyte. This time, it exhibited an all-solid-state lithium secondary battery, which is a thin stamp-size battery. This battery is not for automotive use, but the competition in the development of an all-solid-state secondary battery has been intensifying as a next-generation battery among battery manufacturers and automakers. For example, Toyota’s battery research division is currently carrying out research and development of a lithium-air battery and also an all-solid state battery. In the near future, when the all-solid-state lithium-ion secondary battery is commercialized, the performance of the battery will be improved to a nominal voltage 3.9V (3.7V for a lithium-ion battery) and operating temperature -20℃-120℃ (-20℃ to 60℃ for a lithium-ion battery) and the safety will be improved remarkably, which is why automakers have high expectations for the battery.

Inabata & Co., Ltd. is GS Caltex’s dealer in Japan and they jointly exhibited the product.

Outline of technology for all-solid-state thin-film secondary battery

Comparison of all-solid-state thin-film secondary battery and other types of batteries

(Note) Click above pictures to enlarge.

 Zhuhai Yintong Energy

Zhuhai Yintong Energy was a start-up Li-ion battery manufacturer established in December 2009. The company mainly markets a lithium-ion iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. Soon after its establishment, the company acquired US-based Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. to obtain lithium titanate (LTO) technology for negative-electrode material (October 2010), currently promoting the lithium-ion titanate battery business aggressively. Further, the company has formed an alliance with FAW to promote commercialization of EV buses.

Proposed use of the lithium-ion titanate battery

Notice on the acquisition of the US-based Altair Nanotechnologies

Characteristics and specifications of an EV bus that the company developed independently
(Data from Zhuhai Yintong Energy’s brochure)

Characteristics and specifications of an EV bus that is jointly developed with FAW
(Data from Zhuhai Yintong Energy’s brochure)

(Note) Click above picture to enlarge.

 FDK

FDK in the Fujitsu group exhibited a Li-ion capacitor for HEVs, “EneCapTen” in order to propose it to the automotive industry. The EneCapTen has applied lithium-ion to the negative electrode in advance. This lithium-ion increases the voltage of the capacitor cell and the capacitance of the negative electrode, which allows the battery to boost the energy density compared to the conventional electric double-layer capacitor. With this, the charging and discharging cycle is lengthened and large-current quick charge and discharge is made possible.

Characteristics of “EneCapTen”, Li-ion capacitor for HEVs

Display of a sample of “EneCapTen”, Li-ion capacitor for HEVs

(Note) Click above picture to enlarge.

Nickel-Metal Hydrogen battery

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japanese only)

Kawasaki Heavy Industries exhibited a large-capacity nickel hydrogen battery “Giga Cell®”. The Giga Cell employs a bi-polar 3D structure, which makes it possible to increase the capacity and the number of cells that makes up the module and to produce a high-capacity battery. As an example of the application for transportation, it has already been used in the next-generation street car “LRV”, which is currently being test-run in the city of Sapporo (Japan) etc. LRV can run without overhead wires and widens the passenger-cabin floor area of the low-floor vehicle significantly. The company further proposes that Giga Cell be used for compact EVs and EV buses as well as forklifts by utilizing the characteristics of the product including “quick charge is possible through low internal resistance” and “constant output is possible because voltage reduction is limited when the battery is deeply discharged”.

Specifications of the nickel hydrogen battery “Giga cell®”
(Data from Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ brochure)

Outline of a next-generation street car, “LRV”

(Note) Click above picture to enlarge.

 Sebang Global Battery

Korea-based battery manufacturer, Sebang exhibited “GMH”, nickel hydrogen battery for EVs. The company attracts attention to the product’s low cost and high safety as compared to a Li-ion battery. As an example of application, it introduced Korea-based C company (commuter EV), L company (EV passenger car), and T company (military multi-purpose EV).

Characteristics and examples of the application of “GMH” - nickel hydrogen battery for EVs.

Exhibit of a battery pack of a nickel hydrogen battery for EVs, “GMH” (used in Korea-based L company’s EV passenger car). The voltage of the battery pack is 72V and the capacity is 150Ah. L company’s EV passenger car runs about 100km on one charge and the maximum speed is 100km/h.

(Note) Click above picture to enlarge.

 

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