IPP&T Magazine Online

Growing demand for EV battery market doubles revenues

December 19, 2017  

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The growing demand for electric-powered vehicles has become a bonanza for battery production companies, with more players in the market vying to increase battery efficiency.

Festo is one of those players, and in each of the last two years, the company’s revenues in electromobility have doubled.

“We have worked with LG Chem for over two years,” says Johannes Strasser, Global Key Account Management and Industry Segment Management Electronics at Festo, whose company is supplying the South Korean battery manufacturer with a number of copper-free products. “We are delighted to have been chosen over strong international competitors to contribute our solution competence and know-how for automating battery module assembly. For LG Chem’s new factory, we supplied all the electrical axes and valves. All products were designed to be copper-free.”

The battery accounts for between roughly 30 and 40 per cent of the value added in all-electric (EV) vehicles. The production of lithium-ion batteries presents technology providers with special challenges throughout the production chain, from making electrodes to manufacturing cells and assembling battery modules.

In 2017, actual or announced investments in automobile battery production increased tenfold, notably in Asia and especially China where the government is actively supporting, even subsidizing, battery production. Festo is advising and supplying a number of major global customers with a wide range of copper-free products – along with its services and engineering. LG Chem, Korea’s leading manufacturer of advanced batteries, is constructing an EV battery plant in Wrocław, Poland.

This is the first large-scale lithium-ion battery plant for automotive application in Europe, with Festo the handling equipment supplier.

Roughly 95 per cent of Festo’s standard product portfolio is made of polymer and copper-free. Festo also offers special copper-free products for battery production. The guide bearings, bearings and all parts that generate friction are free of copper.