2022 EV Battery Report Take-Aways; The Need For Battery Protection

BY ALT Technologies | 19th May 2023

Volta Foundation has released its 2022 Battery Report every year for the past three years. It covers everything from the latest battery trends to new chemical advancements, recycling and safety issues, key players, the current shift from ICE vehicles to EVs, and much more. 

Ahead of this year’s Battery Show 2023, we thought it would be helpful to highlight the key points from this report and the ever-growing need to protect batteries to ensure longevity and maximum product safety. 

The Battery Report 2022

The report brings together insights and data from top industry experts and academics in the growing field of battery technology. We summarised our highlights into trends, OEM industry developments, sustainability and recycling, battery safety, and the electronics protection materials needed to maintain EV batteries. 

What Direction Are Electric Vehicle Batteries Going In?

Consumer Choices

There has been a significant increase in EV uptake in 2022 compared to 2021, as is expected, as we continually hear how EVs are slowly overtaking diesel and petrol vehicles. In addition, electric van growth is rising as we see a more considerable uptake in the interest of more oversized vehicles going electric.

Battery Price Increases 

Another reason to strive to protect batteries is not just for general vehicle and occupant safety but also because battery prices are increasing. There are many reasons for this:

  • Manufacturing challenges related to yield and ramp rates. Shortages in equipment, raw materials, personnel, and manufacturing know-how. Several safety and reliability incidents have slowed commercialisation efforts and depleted cash.
  • Soaring lithium, cobalt & nickel, and electrolyte prices due to supply constraints; inflation; geopolitical conflict; and lingering Covid-19 supply chain issues. Prices are expected to drop in the coming months or years. Stabilised and lower commodity prices, new cell chemistries (e.g. chemistries that use more nickel and less cobalt and higher adoption of LFP), and economies of scale should start to bring average battery pack prices back down in 2024.

Fast Charging

Fast charging is a hot initiative for many players to accelerate EV adoption; however, overheating battery elements remain a concern. Polestar is in the middle of creating more accessible fast charging points. 

Fast charging research is also well underway as scientists at Penn State University look at developing novel thermal management solutions that actively modulate the internal temperature of cells, known as asymmetric thermal modulation, using nickel foil resistive heaters. 

How are OEMs Continuing to Develop Electric Vehicles?

OEMs are investing in critical infrastructure to have more control over the manufacturing processes. For example, Northvolt announced the opening of a new factory in Germany, and Panasonic made significant investments in Tesla in recycled materials during battery cell production. In addition, we see more and more OEMs launching electric trucks to the market, showing viability in larger vehicles capable of running on electricity. 

  • Charging infrastructure, critical mineral supply for batteries, and vehicle manufacturing remain significant focus areas for large auto OEMs in transitioning to the EV economy. 
  • In 2022 car  OEMs and cell manufacturers continued to develop new JVs (joint ventures) and partnerships to provide a steady supply of battery cells for electric vehicles.
  • Climate tech investment is massively rising, doubling from 2021 to $64B in 2022. 
  • OEMs announce development plans for their battery manufacturing plants to reduce their costs in the long term.  

Battery Safety Concerns

Battery safety remains a significant concern for all players in the battery manufacturing supply chain due to the continuous reporting of fires and battery overheating issues.

There have been numerous product recalls of electric vehicles in recent years, with incidences including the following:

  • Reported fires from folded anode tabs.
  • Overheating during charging and fires caused by contamination of cells during production.
  • Contaminants in the battery cell could lead to short circuits.
  • Debris in the battery could cause a short circuit.
  • Fast charging risk from issues with battery conformity.
  • Fires from torn anode tab and separator folds.
  • Internal short courses in batteries.
  • Cathode debris poses a fire risk.
  • Incorrect soldering inside the battery may cause unreliable connection, making the car prone to crash.
  • Battery connector corrosion poses a risk of water entering the battery pack.

Research shows that ICE cars catch fire more than electric cars, but hybrid cars have the most reported fires. However, compared to ICE cars, the hybrid and electric fires were caused solely by the battery, whereas in the others, it’s fuel leaks, electrical shorts and anti-lock braking systems. 

The Importance of Electronics Protection for Electric Vehicles Batteries  

There are many key focus areas around the battery to provide safety and support to last the vehicle’s lifetime and maintain overall protection. 

ALT Technologies develops critical safety components for the automotive industry, focusing on tailor-made die-cut, self-adhesive and printed products, and continually performs highly in all quality standards. 

Within the ALT EV battery portfolio, you can find Electronics Protection & Shielding such as EMC/EMI shielding, insulators, thermal interface materials such as pads, tapes and grease, battery management solutions based on ALT’s printed electronics wire harness, and extreme temperature RFIDs and Traceability barcode labels that are OEM-compliant and high-temperature resistant.

Battery cell developments are also taking place, with new concepts underway, leading to new ways of thinking for thermally conductive adhesives. Thermal interface materials could see a new vested interest due to the development of prismatic cell designs in batteries. Thermally conductive adhesives may replace regular thermal gap fillers because cells are now required to enhance the battery pack’s structural stability. 

Cell-to-pack batteries have no extended modules, so thermal runway poses a much higher risk. This can be better managed by adapting heat shield materials for cell-to-cell structures. 

We look forward to speaking with The Battery Show Europe attendees about what they think will be the significant battery protection designs and how we can continue to shape and improve these applications. With over 50 years of converting and adhesive expertise, we have and continue to thrive creating new solutions with our customers, from prototype and design to thoroughly-tested products. Our team will be available at booth 8-G73 to showcase our products and discuss how they can benefit your business. 



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