High-energy batteries 2030+ and prospects for future battery technologies – Fraunhofer ISI presents an updated energy storage roadmap

With its roadmap “Highenergy batteries 2030+ and prospects for future battery technologies“ funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Fraunhofer ISI presents an update of its 2015 energy storage roadmap. The 2017 roadmap deals with challenges concerning the research and development (R&D) of high-energy batteries, for which a massive expansion in cell production capacities is currently taking place worldwide. In addition, long-term potentials for alternative battery technologies show whether and which technologies could enter the market beyond 2030.

There will be a drastic increase in the global demand for batteries in the next decade if electric vehicles, portable digital devices and stationary decentralized energy storage applications continue to take off. With a 20-30% share of global demand, Europe alone could contribute to cell production capacities of at least 200 GWh up to the TWh range having to be built at European locations by about 2030. The capacities of Asian and European cell manufacturers currently announced for Europe will not be able to meet this demand. With a view to the international supply chains from the raw materials up to recycling and re-use, the battery industry and its dependent system integrators urgently need to prepare for these developments.

The normative roadmap High-energy batteries 2030+ describes what these kinds of developments or specific problems in the technology development of lithium-ion or lithium-based batteries could look like in the next 10-15 years. It shows how all the cell components (cathode, anode to electrolyte/separator) can be changed successively to solid-state batteries in order to meet the demands for higher energy densities and improve the overall energy throughput in the battery system. Optimization must take place through the interaction of cell materials and components and include developments at cell and system level as well as integrate applications.

Optimized lithium-ion battery cells with 300-350 Wh/kg gravimetric and 1000 or more Wh/l volumetric energy density should be achievable by 2030+ with nickel-rich and high-energy NMC cathodes and high capacity anodes based on Si/C composites with up to 20% Si content. The cell costs here will probably be around 70-100 €/kWh. The performance parameters of the cylindrical, prismatic and pouch cell formats will increasingly converge at module level. Solid-state batteries with Li-metal anodes and even higher energy densities may appear on the market in the long term. However, these developments are risky and uncertain and require research into suitable electrolyte materials, new material designs and production technologies. For electric vehicle applications, the focus is on hybrid and ceramic solid-state batteries, which could be ready for the market from 2030 onwards.  

However, there are also risks associated with the development of high-energy batteries such as the danger of one-sided technology dependencies, for example. Several manufacturers are already trying to secure access to crucial battery raw materials such as cobalt and lithium for the coming years. In the long term, aspects of resource availability and sustainability will become more and more important and raise questions about raw material substitution and the availability of alternative technologies.

An explorative roadmap highlights realistic development directions for alternative battery technologies by indicating the long-term prospects for future battery technologies, which are mostly linked to disruptive solutions. Although a wide range of alternative technologies exists, there are still many unsolved problems in practice, such as the lack of suitable electrolytes that limit the development of new electrode materials and electrode design. In addition, there are still completely open questions about how to implement future production technology.

However, research activities in the field of alternative battery technologies are still important, because, alongside possible technical advances, it is not possible to rule out that the requirements for energy storage technologies may be adapted or re-assessed to have a stronger focus on sustainability aspects in the future. Even if they have poorer performance parameters, such solutions could represent future alternatives with a view to resource availability and costs.

The roadmap High-energy batteries 2030+ that focuses on electric vehicle applications and other applications, and the extended evaluation of performance parameters and potentials in the long-term prospects for future battery technologies are intended to support the development of a long-term research strategy for Germany.

The roadmap can be downloaded (in German) at: http://www.isi.fraunhofer.de/de/competence-center/neue-technologien/projekte/bema2020-batterie2020.html.

The study has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FKZ: 03XO0040B).

The roadmap contains:

  • Current “Meta-market analyses” of the global demand and production of lithium-ion batteries up to 2030 (by application and regional distribution)
  • Requirements and development parameters for high-energy batteries (gravimetric and volumetric energy densities and costs) at cell and module level up to 2030
  • 35 detailed R&D profiles,
  • 25 profiles of R&D challenges for high-energy batteries from the material up to cell and system level and
  • 10 profiles of R&D challenges for alternative future battery technologies
  • Milestones and their timing in a normative roadmap high-energy batteries 2030+ and an exploratory roadmap with long-term prospects for future battery technologies

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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