Strong growth continues in batteries, underpinned by buoyant electrical vehicles and consumer electronics markets. This highly demanding sector requires innovative technology for faster charging, enhanced battery pack design and higher energy density batteries. Reducing cost of use is essential. Electrical vehicles aim to be ever more competitive with their conventional counterparts and suppliers are expected to offer quality materials and solutions, along with secure supply, particularly through sufficient production capacity.
Amount of electric or hybrid vehicles in global production by 20301
CAGR growth in batteries between 2018 and 20302
Challenges for customers
The recyclability of batteries and the availability of raw materials such as lithium and rare earths are among the key challenges raised by this trend. So too are scaling-up infrastructures, the capacity of the electrical grid and the potential for vehicles to inject into and receive power from the system.
Opportunities for Solvay
Solvay is at the cutting edge of battery innovation.
- Together, our recognized expertise in fluorine chemistry, robust portfolio of fluorinated products and lithium salts make us a leader in new solutions for next generation batteries to meet our customers’ challenges, offering them enhanced safety, energy density and power at lower cost.
- We build partnership projects to leverage the expertise of actors across the value chain in this multi-competence industry. And we collaborate in globally funded projects to validate the use of innovative materials in real-world applications and with top-level academic research organizations and startups worldwide. We recently invested in two startups working on innovative battery solutions, NOHMs Technologies and SOLID POWER and we are teaming up with SAFT Alliance to create a European champion in electrification.
- We are a key player in 2nd generation batteries (more safety, better lifecycle) and actively participate in setting up an ecosystem dedicated to the recycling of batteries. To do so, we leverage our unique methodology that allows enhanced recovery of value minerals and our broad range of solvent extractants for the purification and concentration of metals like lithium.
Accelerating growth in batteries
In 2019, we created a dedicated innovation structure to accelerate growth and engineer partnerships and alliances across the value chain. The platform provides a catalog of high-level diversified skills, including physicists, engineers, mathematicians and chemists and best-in-class technologies. The goal is to build a batteries ecosystem, where experts interact with customers and meet their urgent needs. Our dedicated Battery Application Development Center in Seoul, South Korea, offers a unique space for collaboration with our customers from the start of a project, jointly developing tailor-made solutions. This structure reflects our unique customer-focused capabilities in batteries, a fast-growing market and a strong focus for Solvay within our G.R.O.W. strategy.
Sources: 1: Roland Berger, 2: World Material Forum, Global Battery Alliance