Will the COVID-19 pandemic accelerate the electrification revolution?
“If electrification becomes a reality, the world will look like the picture.
If electrification becomes a reality, the world will look like the picture.
Satellite photos of Italy before and after the spread of the new crown pneumonia epidemic (2 months apart). The amount of activity is greatly reduced, resulting in less pollution emissions and cleaner skies.
March 25-April 25, 2017-2019
March 25-April 25, 2020
Source: NASA Science Visualization Studio
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken a huge toll on lives and brought the world economy to a severe standstill, we can begin to look ahead to what the world will look like after the pandemic has passed. There will undoubtedly be changes in the way we interact with each other, with the healthcare industry, and with service workers, but we rarely discuss the indirect and unanticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environment.
After the outbreak, the world began a months-long stay-at-home order to control the intensification of the epidemic, which also gave people the prospect of achieving carbon balance, or the hope of significantly reducing carbon emissions in the future. The negative impact we have had on the environment over the past few decades has become more visible as cars, ships and planes are used less frequently during the pandemic. Photos and videos of people taking real-world conditions before and after home quarantine have created a huge buzz.Because of the reduction in air pollution, for more than 30 years1residents of the Indian state of Punjab saw the Himalayas for the first time at a distance of 150 miles, and in the Venetian river, because of the shutdown of ships in the area and the reduction of water pollution, people saw marine life not seen for many years.2. Emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide dropped significantly in Beijing, New York and Paris.
The natural environment begins to recover, if only for a moment. While stagnating transport and transport infrastructure indefinitely in the name of environmental protection is not a viable solution, and would certainly cripple the world economy, achieving carbon neutrality through electrification can do both.
Electric vehicles are at the center of electrification
“If Los Angeles had electric cars and electric buses, the air would be clean every day.”
Dr. Leah Stokes, assistant professor at UC Santa Barbara.
At the heart of the global commitment to a more sustainable electrified future is the electric vehicle (EV). According to the World Economic Forum, “By 2030, the number of electric passenger cars will reach 215 million. This means that from 2018 to 2030, electric passenger car sales will grow at an annual rate of 23%. “Over the next decade, global EV penetration is expected to grow rapidly at this rate, and the demand for supporting technologies will continue to increase. Updated incentives for EV adoption have been rolled out in nearly every region of the world, and all major OEMs are in the process of electrifying their fleets. The world is investing more in electrification. Now is the time to push for an accelerated adoption of electrification technology, but it will take a process that will not happen overnight. Across the electrification ecosystem, there are still many barriers preventing EV adoption.
“Global demand for batteries will reach 2,523 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2030, with 2,333 GWh coming from the e-mobility industry.”
World Economic Forum (WEF)
Unfortunately, today’s grid infrastructure cannot keep up with the increasing demand for electricity from electric vehicles. Moreover, electric vehicles have not yet achieved the same level of price and performance as internal combustion engine vehicles, and have not yet been able to stimulate consumer demand. In addition, automakers are still looking for a more efficient and economical way to roll out electrification technology across their lineup. Additionally, today’s EV battery recovery and reuse programs are not cost-effective and resource-efficient enough to warrant widespread adoption. Many EV batteries end up in landfills if they cannot be reused and recycled for tiered use. This goes against the current intention of promoting environmental protection through electrification.
Infrastructure: The foundation of an electrified future
Energy storage systems, battery formation and testing, battery chemistry
In recent years, energy storage has become a global focus, driven by the expected adoption rate of electric vehicles and other electrification technologies. As the world becomes more and more reliant on electrification, the pressure on existing grids can be significant. Energy Storage Systems (ESS) enable modern grids to store off-peak electricity generated from renewable sources by using large batteries as buffers and provide it to all users and all applications (including EV charging) at any time during peak periods electricity to keep the grid stable. Energy storage systems can utilize multiple buffers placed near the point of load, enabling existing grids to provide more power without adding wires or power plants, reducing costs associated with infrastructure upgrades.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), by 2030, 65% of new energy storage capacity will be used to connect various renewable energy sources to the grid and provide various grid services; 30% will be used for residential, commercial and Power supply to industrial facilities; the remaining 5% is used to support electric vehicle infrastructure.
Battery formation and testing is a critical part of the EV battery manufacturing process, as it is where the battery meets key performance and safety standards. If these standards are not met, the battery may become unusable or adversely affect battery efficiency during and during use. The battery formation and testing process includes extremely precise management of current and voltage within 24 to 36 hours. Too much speed or poor precision can destroy the active chemistry inside the cell, drastically reducing the battery’s overall capacity and lifespan.
Emerging battery chemistries make already difficult battery formation and testing more difficult, creating further challenges for device and battery manufacturers. New chemistries require a higher degree of electrical measurement accuracy under the most stringent production conditions, while also keeping costs in check. Additionally, rapid expansion requires manufacturers to reduce the size of their existing formation and test equipment.
of electric car price tags are battery-related
Going forward, we see increasing importance of battery chemistries such as lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO). While cobalt-based chemicals may have 10% to 20% higher energy density than lithium iron phosphate, cobalt is highly ecotoxic and its extraction methods are controversial, making it a conflict material (and human rights violations) related). At the current rate of use, global cobalt reserves could be exhausted by 2030. In addition, lithium iron phosphate is low cost, safer when dealing with puncture or thermal runaway issues, and is well proven in production (in the industry for over 10 years), making it the technology of choice for leading OEMs.
Operation: Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles
Today’s electric vehicles typically have a range of 60 to 400 miles and require a charging time of 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the vehicle model and the type of car charger, ideal for short trips or commutes that can be recharged at home use. However, for the entire automotive market, range and charging time are extremely important factors. Additionally, with the electric vehicle market expected to grow tenfold over the next decade, the need for an efficient battery management system (BMS) to monitor, manage and maintain high-performance batteries to power millions of electric vehicles will grow day by day.
BMS electronics are required to maintain the highest precision in all operating conditions over the life of the car to maximize the electric vehicle’s range per charge.
Unlike a single energy storage element such as a fuel tank, an electric vehicle’s battery pack consists of hundreds or thousands of cells that work together. As power flows into or out of the battery pack, all cells must be precisely managed with extreme accuracy to ensure maximum range per charge. In addition, while the cost of Electronic components is only a fraction of the cost of batteries, they are a major factor in determining vehicle range, safety and cost. For example, to ensure maximum usable battery capacity over the life of the car, good accuracy must be ensured (over the 15-year life of the car) under all operating conditions and harsh environments, including extreme temperatures, electromagnetic and electrical noise. period). The current highest accuracy can reach 2 mV, and it must be ensured that each cell of a 400 V to 800 V battery pack can achieve this accuracy. To ensure safety, electronics must be carefully designed from the outset to fully comply with all stringent and evolving safety standards around the world. These standards are not limited to ASIL-D standards and require the development of innovative battery functional architectures.
In addition, disruptive technologies are emerging for BMS, and they are wireless. The wireless battery management system (WBMS) recently developed by Analog Devices builds on the existing components of a wired BMS and eliminates the need to use wire harnesses to connect cells together, saving engineering and development costs and eliminating the associated mechanical challenges and The complexity that comes with wiring harnesses. It also makes the battery pack design highly modular and tailorable so it can be reused across multiple vehicle designs. In addition, because each battery module is wireless, data can be collected and stored from the start of battery formation, through storage and assembly, to use in the car, enabling battery state calculations to give the battery pack of remaining power. This reduces the cost of the battery and makes the echelon use (or secondary life) of the battery more efficient, such as in storage, recycling or other applications, reducing the overall cost for manufacturers and vehicle owners, and limiting the impact on the environment .
Secondary life of batteries: a self-sufficient electrification ecosystem
The overall energy storage market is expected to grow to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035.
Source: Global Energy Storage Market 2019 Report
While electric vehicles are touted as a green alternative to internal combustion engines and fossil fuels, they have a glaring Achilles’ heel – what to do with a half-ton battery when it can no longer store enough power to power a car?
Recycling is a very common option these days, but the process only recovers some of the raw materials (such as cobalt and lithium), not all. Recycling is costly, unregulated, and lacks a well-defined supply chain. As a result, the Institute for Energy Research projects that by 2025, more than 3.4 million EV batteries will be discarded globally, 55,000 more than the previous year.
Ladder use of batteries, which is an alternative to recycling, or more precisely, a transitional method. After 8 to 10 years of use, when the charging capacity of a car’s lithium-ion battery drops to 70 to 80 percent of its initial capacity, it can no longer power the car and needs to be replaced. The growing number of these batteries that are no longer in use creates a whole new market opportunity, which some refer to as the battery cascade market or the secondary life market for batteries.
Battery secondary life applications may extend battery life by 5 to 10 years, but how much longer ultimately depends on the battery’s first use condition. Wireless battery management system technology (WBMS) continuously collects battery data, transmits it and stores it in the cloud, making it an ideal tool for detailed historical data recording. Due to its wireless nature, WBMS can store battery data in the cells before the battery is put into use.
During the operation of the vehicle, the state of use (SoH) of the battery will be understood through calculations, and it can be continuously updated according to the driving situation and environmental conditions, providing effective data to help users understand the remaining life of the battery pack. This move sets a residual value for the battery pack, helping to reduce overall costs, while also setting the direction for the next phase of the cell’s use.
Wireless BMS is a disruptive technology that simplifies the process of batteries entering second life and propels the entire industry into a sustainable future.
Sellers can use this data to generate a detailed history of health status before a battery goes into echelon use, allowing both buyers and sellers to assess the battery’s value and reach a fair transaction price accordingly.
McKinsey & Company said: “Finding a place for these still-useful (electric vehicle) batteries can create enormous value and ultimately even help reduce the cost of energy storage, thereby further integrating renewable energy into the grid.”3 Even if electric vehicle batteries can no longer meet the performance standards of electric vehicles, they can still be used in the echelon and used in energy storage systems with relaxed battery performance requirements.
As the world rapidly transitions to adopting environmentally sustainable applications, it is important that we consider the impacts and barriers that exist across the electrification ecosystem. Focusing on one area alone will not lead to a greener future. By understanding all aspects of the electrification ecosystem, infrastructure, operations and secondary life, and developing solutions to complement the growth of the entire ecosystem, Analog Devices is uniquely positioned to bring a carbon-neutral future to the world.
A clean and healthy future
Electricity is extremely important to all of our lives. Hospitals, schools, houses, street lights and communications all depend on it to power modern society. Now, more than a century after the first wire ran across the city; the power industry is undergoing a second revolution that will transform not only the mix of energy that powers the grid, but the distribution system itself – from Centralized to decentralized. Only by maintaining balance can we ensure the health of the planet and ourselves.
Particulate air pollution reduces the average life expectancy of all women, men and children globally by almost 2 years.
Air Quality Living Index®, University of Chicago Energy Policy Institute
About half of the pollution that causes global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity or heat4. Secondary recycling of batteries helps reduce resource consumption and ecotoxicity. Energy storage systems can fulfill the promise of an electrified future by storing excess solar and wind energy generated locally and selling it to very power-hungry energy grids. Compared to gas-guzzling cars, electric vehicles are growing faster and could eventually reduce air pollution in urban areas by 50 to 90 percent.
The resulting picture is a bright, renewable, electrified future that gives all people the opportunity to live healthier lives and reach their full potential in a cleaner environment.
Explore the promise of today’s most exciting technological advancements, where retired electric vehicle (EV) batteries are reactivated, repurposed and put into service to power advanced energy storage systems (ESS). Learn how to accurately and efficiently manage new battery chemistries to protect the environment and power electric vehicles. Learn how an advanced wireless battery management system can help unlock and create an environmentally sustainable and economical multi-billion dollar industry. Then learn how surplus electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources is stored for later use, helping solve grid stabilization challenges, saving trillions of dollars, and helping us better protect our planet.
1Rob Picheta. Indians can see the Himalayas for the first time in “decades” as isolation eases air pollution. CNN, April 9, 2020.
2Melissa Locker. Video captures jellyfish swimming in Venice’s canals as Italy remains under quarantine. The Times, April 22, 2020.
3Echelon Use of Electric Vehicle Batteries: The Latest Value Pool in the Energy Storage Market, McKinsey & Company, 30 April 2020.
4David Biello. How to tackle global warming: The key is energy supply. Scientific American, April 14, 2014.
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