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Battery Day and the North American Lithium-ion Supply Chain


Tesla’s Battery Day on September 22 did not disappoint.  Whether you came away encouraged (as did many EV enthusiasts) or disappointed (as did the stock market), Elon and the gang provided ample content for the advanced battery community to dissect and debate for the next six months. For me, the most noteworthy content was not the technical detail of where Tesla is going with its battery technology.  The move to tabless 4860 cells, more silicon, less cobalt, away from solid state technology (apparently), and the road map to a 56% reduction in battery costs were all very interesting topics, if not [...]

Battery Day and the North American Lithium-ion Supply Chain2020-09-25T16:36:57-04:00

Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries is an Inadequate First Step


On Thursday, September 10, the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the creation of the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) to accelerate development of a domestic industrial base for advanced batteries.  The FCAB is part of the strategy outlined in the DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) Draft Roadmap, an initiative that started earlier this year. Although the FCAB announcement is light on details (see:, it seems to be an effort to pull experts from multiple agencies, including the DOE, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense and the Department of State, [...]

Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries is an Inadequate First Step2020-09-11T16:50:42-04:00

Recycling Workshop a Virtual Success


NAATBatt held its third annual Workshop on Recycling Lithium-Ion Batteries on Tuesday, July 14.  Because of the Covid situation, NAATBatt was forced to hold the workshop as a webinar rather than as a live event.  I was unsure exactly how that was going to work out. In fact, the virtual workshop worked better than I expected and far better than I had feared.  185 people registered to attend this year’s recycling workshop, almost double the number that attended the highly successful second annual workshop in Buffalo last July. The sudden move in the battery industry, and indeed in all industries, [...]

Recycling Workshop a Virtual Success2020-07-17T07:09:09-04:00

What Makes Certain Goods Strategic?


Interest in revitalizing U.S. manufacturing combined with COVID-19 supply chain disruptions is driving new action in Washington to support strategic industries and protect strategic supply chains.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported Intel’s offer to partner with the Pentagon in building a silicon chip foundry in the United States.  Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. just announced plans to build a chip factory in Arizona based on unspecified incentives from the federal government.  NAATBatt believes that a federal initiative to support domestic manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries may soon be announced as well. While NAATBatt can be expected to endorse any initiative to [...]

What Makes Certain Goods Strategic?2020-05-15T19:53:01-04:00

Time for a Grand Bargain?


As the Covid-19 crisis grabs headlines in most of the United States, it is important to appreciate that for a good part of the U.S. oil patch, COVID-19 is second page news.  First page news is the collapse of worldwide oil prices.  The price of West Texas Intermediate Crude closed this week at $22.76 per barrel.  This is nothing short of a disaster for the U.S. petroleum industry and for a significant portion of the U.S. workforce that depends on its health. There are many reasons for the oil price collapse.  The petroleum market is nothing if not complex.  This [...]

Time for a Grand Bargain?2020-04-10T20:25:43-04:00

The Next Stimulus Package Should Focus on Lithium Battery Infrastructure


During a recent telephone meeting of the NAATBatt Strategic Planning Committee, one committee member noted that the next stage of the COVID-19 stimulus package was likely to include investments in national transportation infrastructure.  The committee member suggested that NAATBatt advocate for allocating part of those new investment to building up the lithium battery supply chain in the United States. I have argued in this column on many occasions that lithium-based battery technology is one of the most important technologies of the 21st Century.  Countries that control that technology will have the inside track on leadership in the development and manufacture [...]

The Next Stimulus Package Should Focus on Lithium Battery Infrastructure2020-04-03T21:32:17-04:00

Are Lithium-Ion Batteries a Strategic Technology?


One of the most interesting sessions during the NAATBatt 2020 annual meeting was the Industry Leaders Roundtable: How To Make the U.S. a Leader in Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing.  The session featured a discussion among government and industry leaders in energy storage about what the United States might do better to support the domestic manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cells. The panelists generally agreed on a number of points:  that building a supply chain is important but building demand for the batteries may be more important;  that the U.S. does not have the same tools to work with that China does; and [...]

Are Lithium-Ion Batteries a Strategic Technology?2020-02-24T03:01:00-05:00

NAATBatt 2020 is a Great Success


NAATBatt 2020, the 11th annual meeting and conference of the NAATBatt International organization, concluded on Thursday of this week.  To say that NAATBatt 2020 was NAATBatt’s biggest and best program yet would not be hyperbole:  it is an undeniable fact. NAATBatt 2020 had almost 300 attendees, nearly 20 exhibitors and over 80 e-minute “flash” presentations by NAATBatt member firms, jury-selected emerging companies and winners of the Department of Energy’s Phase I Battery Recycling Prize competition. As I warned from the podium in kicking off the meeting, listening to the presentations was a bit like drinking from a fire hose.  Everything important [...]

NAATBatt 2020 is a Great Success2020-02-15T00:14:37-05:00

What Should the United States Do to Regain Leadership in Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing? — by Dr. George Crabtree


by Dr. George Crabtree Director, Joint Center for Energy Storage Research Argonne National Laboratory             Dr. George Crabtree Here is an optimistic perspective: the U.S. or Europe can regain a competitive and perhaps a leading position in lithium-ion battery manufacturing with no significant change in battery chemistry. Two facts support this optimism. First, 15 years ago China had little or no footprint in lithium-ion battery manufacturing.  At that time, Japan and South Korea dominated the field.  In the last 15 years, China rose from effectively zero to the leading position in lithium-ion battery manufacturing.  [...]

What Should the United States Do to Regain Leadership in Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing? — by Dr. George Crabtree2019-12-06T15:18:36-05:00

What Should the United States Do to Regain Leadership in Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing? — by Dave Roberts


by  Dave Roberts Chief Innovation Officer of the State of Indiana Vice President of NAATBatt International                Dave Roberts As innovative advancements commercialize disruptive technologies that will forever change the way move, communicate, and buy our free-range turkeys from a farm within ten miles, a natural question is where the enabling technology was made and how secure is it.  Without disrespect to other technologies currently available or being developed, lithium-ion is the best answer we have today for many of these critical applications.  And it is natural and good for the nation [...]

What Should the United States Do to Regain Leadership in Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing? — by Dave Roberts2019-11-28T09:34:27-05:00
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