Conference Highlights - The Battery Show Europe 2017

More than 500 delegates flocked to the two-track conference to hear speakers including Ford, Nissan and Daimler discuss next-generation battery design, manufacturing and electrification in Europe. The conference kicked off with standing room only in the plenary keynote sessions, where LG Chem, Renault, European Commission, and PSA shared ideas on the future of hybrid/ electric vehicle technologies, strengthening the European Battery sector and more. Industry leaders took a closer look at manufacturing in Europe and at what both European and Asian battery producers opening sites across Europe could mean for the sector. All of this was discussed in relation to future demand and how electrification might affect both XEV and battery supply chains.

The afternoon's session on the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Track evaulated a different architectural options for hybrising passenger vehicles and light trucks, opening with AVL's Geral Teusch who set out to actively engage with the audience and find out what the experts in the audience thought about the hypothetical scenarios. This interactive approach brought the audience into the discussion of what the requirement and challenges are when hybrising platforms and architectures. This was followed by P3 and Volabo sharing their insights on drive platforms and giving an overview of high voltage architectures for passenger vehicles in the period 2017 - 2025.

Day two on The Battery Show track addressed the sector wide push to improve battery manufacturing processes. Bob Galyen, CTO at leading Chinese battery manufacturer CATL, shared ideas on how to drive advanced production capabilities, followed by Julia Attwood at Bloomberg New Energy Finance sharing a market forecast with enlightening cost scenarios for manufacturing across the globe. With further talks from Manz, Siemens and thyssenkrupp amongst others, the track formed an in-depth overview of current and new developments in driving better quality and lower cost manufacturing methods with an engaged audience.

Over on the Electric & Hybrid track, a day dedicated to 48V architecture was opened by Edmund Erich of ADD-Solution looking at 48V challenges and solutions, and this theme was developed by Michael Timmann of Daimler, Stefan Lauer of Continental and Olivier Coppin of Valeo discussing the development and evolution of 48V before senior representatives from Ford, A123 Systems, Siemens and Bosch addressed optimum 48V system designs. This included whether standardisation is a realistic possibility, what the requirements are for 48V powertrains and which designs might best fit different scenarios, regions and applications.

The final day of the Battery Conference was full of hot topics for the automotive battery sector. Representatives including Masato Origuchi at Renault, Paul Haney at Jaguar Land Rover and Franz Nietfield, Daimler took to the stage with their thoughts on XEV battery design and engineering development and how requirements might change. The later sessions were buzzing with ideas on next generation technology development with talks on lithium sulphur, flow batteries and ideas on how to get push the envelope in lead acid technology. The day and the conference was rounded out with sessions on battery safety with a focus on thermal management and avoiding thermal runaway. This incorporated lively talks from both Akos Kriston at the European Commission and Carolos Eric Vanlathem at Dow Corning.

In the Electric and Hybrid track bigger and better was the theme for the last day, specifically buses and commercial vehicle energy storage developments. Regional trends for electric and hybrid bus markets were outlined in a session that included David Barnett, director at Wrightbus, Bjoern Eberleh at Akasol and Steffen Werner at Daimler. Werner gave an enlightening talk sharing some of Daimler’s experiences in moving from testing to production in fleet vehicles. The day finished up with views from IDTechX chair Peter Harrop giving his forecasts for requirements in the fastest growing markets and a closer look at silent city construction for off-highway vehicles. The efficiency and safety concerns of varied electric drive systems nicely rounded off another jam-packed day of industry insight.