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Energy & Critical Metals

Jelly Roll, Layer Cake or Popsicle Stick – The Evolution of Lithium-Ion Battery Shapes in EV’s

By Alf Stewart There are different forms of Lithium-Ion  batteries in use today, and two…

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This article was originally published by Resource World

By Alf Stewart

There are different forms of Lithium-Ion  batteries in use today, and two new sizes of batteries to be introduced in the next year. This article explores the three types: pouch cells, prismatic cells and cylindrical cells. A few of the advantages of that arise from these shapes are discussed. The introduction of the Blade Battery by BYD, the largest EV manufacturer in China may signal a new trend in the shape of batteries to come

There are different forms for Lithium-Ion batteries in use today.

Pouch Cells and Prismatic Cells – Layer Cake

Pouch Cell – No hard enclosure Layer Cake
Prismatic Cell – A Layer Cake in a hard shell

 

Prismatic cells are made up of many positive and negative electrodes layers sandwiched together leaving more possibility for short circuit and inconsistency. The higher capacity makes it difficult to protect each cell from over charging and dissipating heat. This is the form of Lithium-Ion Battery Cell used by General Motors and Hyundai. Unfortunately, these cells have been linked to some battery fires and Elon Musk that cylindrical cells are superior for protection from overheating.

Cylindrical Cell – A Jelly Roll

These cells are rolled up layers of the positive and negative cell sandwich. Reputedly more thermally stable than prismatic cells, and they have been Tesla’s choice for all its vehicles until recently. Tesla is currently leading the charge in terms of range, energy density and safety but that title may soon pass to another form as we shall discuss.

The current generation of cylindrical cells have dimensions of 21 millimetres long by 70 millimeters in diameter. At Tesla’s Battery Day event last September, the company introduced the 46 millimeter by 80-millimeter size, the 4680 cell for its next generation battery pack. The battery pack using 4680’s will be Tesla’s own Gigafactory product, but 3rd party battery manufacturers may also supply these cells to Tesla, with final assembly into packs done at Tesla’s Berlin or Austin Gigafactories.

It is expected that the 4680 Jelly Roll style battery can be produced on an automated assembly line by the millions, but Tesla is still in the start-up phase of making these new cells at commercial scale.

The Blade Battery is an extreme form of the Prismatic Cell design with a very long and thin shape.

The Blade Battery – A Popsicle Stick – A BYD Innovation

This shape allows the batteries to be used as strong planks in a battery pack. The batteries do not have to grouped into modules, as is common with other designs. They are also extremely stable thermally as BYD demonstrated by drilling into a standard Nickel -Cobalt- Manganese Prismatic Cell and then repeating the same experiment with a Blade Battery.

Tesla has opted for prismatic cells with Lithium-Ion Phosphate Chemistry for its Standard Range Plus Model 3 made in Shanghai. It may signal the emergence of Prismatic Cells with Lithium-Ion Phosphate chemistry as the most popular flavor in the Electric Vehicle market.




Author: Resource World

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Energy & Critical Metals

Pilbara Minerals Reaches Records Prices for Lithium Spodumene

Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) third auction on the Battery Material Exchange (BMX) digital platform for 10,000t (SC5.5%) spodumene went off at a record…

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Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) third auction on the Battery Material Exchange (BMX) digital platform for 10,000t (SC5.5%) spodumene went off at a record $US2,350/t.

It outshines auction two on September 14, which went off at a then-incredible $US2,240/t to singlehandedly spark a historic 86.5% month-on-month increase for average spod pricing industry-wide.

The average price for SC6% cargoes this time last year was ~$US380/t.

In the December half of 2020 – when pricing was still weak — Pilbara Minerals sold 114,239t of spodumene concentrate in contracts for revenues of ~$59m.

It has now raked in ~$US54m alone from these three spot cargoes totalling 28,000t.

“As with the previous two auctions, strong interest was received in both participation and bidding by a broad range of buyers,” Pilbara Minerals says.

“Parties placed 25 bids online during the 45-minute auction window, with the Company considering the bidding to be very strong in light of the deferred delivery date.”

 

 

The post Pilbara Minerals just sold the most expensive cargo of lithium spodumene ever appeared first on Stockhead.

Author: Reuben Adams

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Energy & Critical Metals

Hyliion’s Unique Bet on the Future of Trucking

Hyliion (NYSE:HYLN) is one of the flood of electric vehicle (EV) SPACs that emerged over the past year. HYLN stock, like its peer group, has also had a…

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Hyliion (NYSE:HYLN) is one of the flood of electric vehicle (EV) SPACs that emerged over the past year. HYLN stock, like its peer group, has also had a rough run in 2021 after the initial price spike.

Source: Muratart/Shutterstock.com

Unlike most of the EV companies, however, Hyliion has a unique vision. Rather than aiming to build its own EV brand from the ground-up, Hyliion is working on niche solutions to enhance the already-existing trucking industry. It aims for incremental improvement rather than reinventing the wheel.

So, will Hyliion’s new approach find commercial success?

Hyliion’s Products

Currently, Hyliion is working on a few different items to improve trucking efficiency. The company makes powertrains, which can be added to trucks. These are intended to capture power as a vehicle rolls downhill. That retained power charges a battery, which can help assist the vehicle once it needs energy again. However, the high $25,000 sticker price for HYLN’s product counteracts the fuel savings; so far, demand has been limited.

Hyliion is also working on battery packs. However this is a competitive field where it may not have a significant advantage.

The firm’s most promising item is the Hypertruck ERX. This is a unique product. It offers a truck a dual-powered system that runs on both a battery and a natural gas engine. For shorter-trips, it goes purely off the electric battery, offering clean emission-free driving. It has built-in features such as regenerative braking to help conserve and maximize power from the existing battery as well.

Once the vehicle goes beyond its range, however, it switches to using the on-board natural gas engine. Natural gas is much cleaner than diesel. Historically, it’s also been much cheaper, though that’s currently under question given the ferocious rally in natural gas prices over the past few months. Regardless, historically, there’s been a considerable amount of interest in using natural gas for trucking.

A combination natural gas/battery engine could be a best-of-both-worlds solution. It offers many of the efficiency and environmental benefits of electric, while having a much larger range thanks to the natural gas backup. Additionally, it gives trucking companies a relatively simple way to improve their business and improve their environmental profile without having to totally overhaul their whole fleet.

Is There Demand for This Solution?

There’s a bearish talking point on HYLN stock is worth considering. Simply put, there are dozens if not hundreds of companies in the EV space, with many of them focusing on trucking in particular. Yet Hyliion is the only one—or at least the only public one—pursuing this sort of hybrid approach.

Thus, one can reasonably suggest that Hyliion’s solution simply isn’t that promising . The existing trucking industry has operated as it has for decades. It may take a total rethinking of trucking from the ground up to disrupt the existing supply chain. Even if Hyliion can produce incrementally better results, that may not be enough to move the needle.

More broadly, there is a dilemma so many SPAC firms find themselves in. They have little in the way of profits or even recurring revenues yet. So, investors have to believe in the story to maintain their confidence in the firm. That certainly applies to HYLN stock, which has generated minimal revenues up to this point. The company does have a decent balance sheet and a number of pre-orders. Still, it will take more time to see if Hyliion can convert its potential into tangible results.

HYLN Stock Verdict

Hyliion is doing something different. You can argue that either way. Bears say no one else is pursuing this path because it is unlikely to garner much commercial interest. And that’s a fair argument.

On the other hand, there are way too many generic EV companies with a spiffy-looking prototype vehicle and little else. You might have better odds taking a chance on a company that is trying to advance a practical—albeit less flashy—solution to a widespread problem.

Hyliion lacks a lot of glamour you’d find in other EV companies. Relying partly on natural gas fails to check certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) boxes as well. However, if the company can deliver on its promises in terms of efficiency and cost savings, that other stuff shouldn’t matter too much. Hyliion still has to prove out that potential commercial demand. But the concept makes a lot of sense, and the valuation isn’t too demanding at this price, either.

On the date of publication, Ian Bezek did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Ian Bezek has written more than 1,000 articles for InvestorPlace.com and Seeking Alpha. He also worked as a Junior Analyst for Kerrisdale Capital, a $300 million New York City-based hedge fund. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.

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The post Hyliion’s Unique Bet on the Future of Trucking appeared first on InvestorPlace.

Author: Ian Bezek

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Energy & Critical Metals

Cypress Development kickstarts its pilot plant program

 
Cypress Development (CYP.V) has completed the assembly of the pilot plant which will be used to test the metallurgical characteristics of the Clayton…

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Cypress Development (CYP.V) has completed the assembly of the pilot plant which will be used to test the metallurgical characteristics of the Clayton Valley Lithium project in Nevada. The outcome of the pilot plant program will be very important as Cypress will be testing the use of a chloride-based leaching process in combination with the Chemionex-Lionex process for direct lithium extraction.

This approach worked on a smaller scale basis and the pilot plant program could be seen as the moment of the truth. The flow sheet seems to make sense, and could perhaps mean a breakthrough for clay-hosted lithium projects as the sector will for sure be moving towards a ‘cleaner’ approach to recover the lithium versus the classic acid leaching processes. A successful outcome will further de-risk the project, and the subsequent feasibility study may show superior economics if the company uses a slightly higher lithium price compared to the PEA and PFS studies. Keep in mind the current market price for lithium carbonate exceeds $20,000 per tonne and if that price would have been used in the PFS, the NPV of the Clayton Valley project would have been substantially higher.

The pilot plant programme comes very timely as this appears to be the right time to consider developing a lithium project in North America as the economics will for sure be underpinned by a strong lithium price.


Disclosure: The author has a long position in Cypress Development. Cypress is a sponsor of the website. Please read our disclaimer.

Author: CR Team

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