Market Insights

13th Battery Experts’ Forum

May 22, 2017 by Roland Ackerman

This article discusses the 13th Battery Experts’ Forum that took place in Aschaffenburg town hall from 14 to 16 March 2017.

The 13th Battery Experts’ Forum again was the meeting point for the 750 participants of the international battery world and took place in Aschaffenburg town hall from 14 to 16 March 2017. The organiser was Batteryuniversity GmbH in Karlstein (Bavaria). More than 50 leading experts, developers and researchers reported on the latest trends in lithium-ion battery technologies; and 40 specialist exhibitors complemented the experts´ meeting.

The Forum offered participants the rare opportunity to get comprehensive information in direct dialogue with the experts on all major trends and new developments in a comparatively short time. The main topics:

  • World market analysis: Market – Trends – Prices
  • Next-generation cell chemistry
  • Cell production in Germany
  • E-Mobility

The event was moderated by Dr. Jochen Maehliss, manager of Battery university GmbH, Dr Kyriakos Georgiadis, manager of BMZ GmbH research projects, and Dipl.-Ing. David Flaschentraeger, senior project manager for storage vehicle application at BMZ. The participants had the opportunity to visit BMZ GmbH in Karlstein by e-bus. In the production halls of BMZ, they could experience automated production with industrial robots live with plant manager Daniel Fabbiano.

On 14 March, several training courses were offered. Participants could use the unique opportunity to find out about the principal fundamentals of lithium-ion battery technology, battery management systems, the latest standards and legislation as well as the transport of lithium batteries on the road.


Roundtable Discussion


BEF Roundtable

Figure 1: BEF Roundtable


The separate roundtable with leading experts of the lithium-ion battery technology discussed the question “Does Germany need a cell production?” As the market researchers predict a ten-fold increase of lithium-ion cells for electromobility, energy storage, healthcare and consumer products, it would be disadvantageous for German companies to remain dependent on foreign, predominantly Asian manufacturers of battery cells.

The technology of the total battery and thus the traction battery cells, too, is a key element for individual electromobility. Today, the traction battery is one of the most important components of the electric vehicle (value-added share 30 to 40%). With a share of around 60 to 70% the traction battery cell determines the added value of the battery pack.

Prerequisite of future plans is the improvement of the know-how, an increased fundamental research in the universities plus the decision, whether to stay with the lithium-ion or to switch to lithium-sulphur or lithium-air technologies respectively. The answer: In parallel with the growing success of electric vehicles operation of a sustainable volume cell production in Germany would be economically feasible. The national platform for electromobility (NPE) has published a roadmap and recommends the start of production in 2021 and a gradual expansion to 13 GWh/year in 2025, requiring investments of around 3 billion Euros.

Selected members of the competence network lithium-ion batteries (KLiB), including Manz AG, M+W Group, ThyssenKrupp AG, BMZ Group, Litarion and StreetScooter, have founded an initiative to form a “neutral” nucleus that is open for companies of all industries. Sven Bauer, founder and CEO of BMZ, commented: “Objective of this nucleus is the installation of a team planning series production of cells in Germany – prismatic, pouch and cylindrical 21700.


Technology Location Germany

With high-quality products, services and solutions, the German industry is one of the leading suppliers worldwide. In Germany, new registrations of electric vehicles are developing very dynamically. For Germany, electromobility means the chance and the challenge to secure and expand its top position as an industry, science and technology location. The federal government is pursuing the aim of registering a million electric cars by 2020. To this end, it agreed a promotion in 2016 in the form of buyers’ premiums, tax incentives, and expansion of the charging infrastructure.


Energy Storage Systems as a Future Trend

In addition to electromobility, experts see the area of electricity storage in private households and for commercial purposes as one of the largest future markets for lithium-ion battery technologies. Energy storage systems (ESS) are an innovative and forward-looking energy storage technology with great market potential. Using these stationary energy storage systems, the energy generated by photovoltaic systems or other renewable energy sources such as wind and hydropower can be temporarily stored locally. As required, the stored electricity can be either fed into the mains grid or used by the producer.


Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies on the Rise

Lithium-ion accumulators are generally used where long-lasting and energy-rich storage systems with high energy density are required. The electronics industry, in particular, uses the advantages of lithium-ion accumulator technology, such as lightweight, long standby time, and high capacity. In the future, this demand will be increased further with the development of new application areas, such as power and garden tools. The predicted trend towards increased use of electromobility in the area of electric vehicles such as cars, buses, forklifts or delivery vehicles, e-bikes and electric scooters as well as towards high-performance energy storage systems will generate increasing demand.


Li-Ion batteries – a Cornerstone for the Breakthrough of Electromobility and Renewable Energies

Battery research is running at full pelt and it is an important element for the breakthrough of electromobility and renewable energies. Electromobility protects the climate and the environment, promotes technological innovation, and makes new business models possible. Globally, electromobility is the key to the climate-friendly transformation of mobility. It is a task for the whole of society and comprises many more elements than just the electric vehicle: the electromobility system is formed of many components together, from drive technologies to the charging infrastructure. Between 2020 and 2030, the experts from the German national platform for electromobility (NPE) are expecting a significant breakthrough in electromobility.


Three Highly Interesting Sessions

In the sessions of the Battery Experts´ Forum, the top topics of this year’s industry meeting point on 15 and 16 March 2017 included the “Global Market for Lithium Ion Battery Technologies” and “Cell Manufacturers and Users”. The topics of “Electromobility” and “New Materials and Technologies” were discussed in two parallel sessions. The keynotes included:

  • Global market analysis, trends and future visions: Sven Bauer, Managing Director, BMZ GmbH
  • The future of German cell production: Dr Michael Krausa, Managing Director, Lithium-Ion Battery Competence Network (KLIB)
  • Status of electromobility in Germany: Kurt Sigl, President of the German federal association for e-mobility (Bundesverband eMobilität e.V.)
  • Commercial e-mobility – realised economically: Prof Achim Kampker, StreetScooter GmbH
  • The rechargeable battery market and main trends in 2016 – 2025: Christophe Pillot, AVICENNE Développement
  • Lithium-ion cells for power tools and e-bikes: Martin Donnert, Sony Europe Limited



Sven Bauer Battery Experts Forum 2017
Figure 2: Sven Bauer Battery Experts Forum 2017


Main Session

After the above-mentioned profound keynote of Sven Bauer the program in the main hall “World Market, Cell Manufacturers and Users” covered the following presentations:

  • Li-ion cells for power tools and e-bikes by Yoshihito Inoue from Sony Europe Ltd.
  • Battery longevity and its optimization on the example of a Li-NMC cell by Adrian Heuer and others, Fraunhofer ISE
  • Qualification activities for selection of cells at STIHL, by Henrik Gaul, Andreas Stihl AG
  • Methods for non-destructive aging detection by Peter Keil, Technical University Munich
  • Simulation-supported diagnosis of lithium-ion batteries, by Fridolin Roeder, TU Braunschweig Institute of Energy and Process Systems Engineering
  • Samsung Note 7 case battery safety issues impact on business by Samuel De-Leon, Shmuel De-Leon Energy, Ltd.
  • Challenges and milestones for building up a cell production, by Anis Koubaa, ESCAD Automation GmbH
  • Battery module production by wire and laser bonding by Paul Gruber, F&K Delvotek Bondtechnik GmbH
  • LG Chem Li-ion cell technology by Dong Wook Chun, LG Chemical Ltd, and
  • Next-generation cylindrical LiB and new market outlook by Tkyun Lee, Samsung SDI.


BEF Exhibition
Figure 3: BEF Exhibition


Session “E-Mobility”:

More than the above-mentioned keynotes of Prof. Achim Kampker and Kurt Sigl, the following topics were presented:

  • Batteries in high-performance vehicle applications, by Mate Rimac, Rimac Automobili d.o.o.
  • Pioneers of electromobility – what can we learn from them? By Roger Knecht, Kamoo AG
  • Integrating different battery technologies for the electromobility by Andreas Gronarz, Foreseepower SAS
  • Electric buses charging at night, by Harald Ludescher, Ziehl-Abegg Automotive GmbH
  • 100 V interchangeable batteries in practice by Franz Huber, Mattro Mobility Revolutions GmbH and
  • Gauss electric motorcycle – experiences during aunching and testing on test stands and on race tracks by Prof. Hans-Peter Bauer, Hochschule Darmstadt.


Session “New Material and Technologies”

  • Solid-state batteries by Dr. Martin Finsterbusch, Forschungszentrum Juelich,
  • Lithium sulphur batteries by Paul Haertel, Fraunhofer IWS
  • Solid electrolytes by Dr. Andreas Hofmann, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie,
  • Lithium-plating prediction in Li-ion batteries, by Dr. Hennning Lorrmann, Fraunhofer ISC,
  • Safety and emission tests on lithium-ion cell by Dr. Michael Abert, Fraunhofer ICT,
  • Advanced battery test solutions, by Martie Janssen, Chroma ATE Europe BV,
  • Dangerous good lithium batteries – violations and consequences by Uwe Wunderlich, hazardous freight consultant,
  • ADR-compliant transport and storage of not transport-safe lithium-ion batteries, by Michael Knobloch, Genius Technologie GmbH, and
  • Lithium batteries in the working environment, by Jens Erbstoesser, Erbstoesser GmbH.


Energy Storage System BMZ ESS 9.0
Figure 4: Energy Storage System BMZ ESS 9.0


Specialist Exhibition

At an accompanying specialist exhibition, international experts offered advice and first-hand information about their products and innovations. At the forum, companies such as Stihl AG & Co. KG, Panasonic Industrial Devices Europa GmbH, Samsung SDI, Shmuel De-Leon Energy, Sony Europe Limited, and Texas Instruments Inc. displayed their products, solution concepts and services. Visitors took the opportunity to discuss with experts and to make new contacts.


E-mobility Test

Track In the palace square in front of Aschaffenburg town hall, participants at the forum tested devices from Stihl in an outdoor pavilion. Interested parties tried out e-bikes with the BMZ drive system. Furthermore, there was an e-Porsche Speedster to test as well as a BMW i8. The electric bus from Ziehl-Abegg Automotive GmbH was also a highlight. The StreetScooter from the familiar DHL fleet could be tested, too.


BMZ Launches Energy Storage System with Higher Capacity

With the new lithium-ion energy storage option – the BMZ Energy Storage Systems (ESS) – both private and commercial solar system operators have the ability to inexpensively store solar energy during the day, then use it in their own homes or businesses as needed. The new storage system, designated ESS 9.0, has a rated capacity of 85 kWh and a lower specific price than its little brother, the ESS 7.0. Otherwise, it retains all the features typical for a BMZ energy storage system. Features:

  • Very powerful, up to 300 A discharge current
  • Flexible and expandable. Up to twelve units can be switched in parallel
  • Safe and robust with a multi-level safety concept
  • Emergency power supply and off-grid option.


This article originally appeared in the Bodo’s Power Systems magazine.