Next-generation lithium-ion batteries can't come soon enough.
Porsche just released its first EV in the Taycan, but it is quickly speeding up its efforts to build the best high-performance electrified cars on the planet. We learned of this in February when Porsche began upgrading the new Taycan's batteries. A couple of months later, the automaker announced that it would develop its own high-performance batteries. Last month, this was reinforced by the announcement of an investment in Customcells, and now the joint venture has added the 156-year-old company BASF to the team as the exclusive development partner for its next-generation lithium-ion batteries. The deal promises high energy density and fast charging times.
BASF will provide the high-energy (HED) NCM cathode active materials that contribute to fast charging and high energy density while Cellforce will produce the battery itself. Things are a still a ways off though, as the battery production plant, based in Tubingen, Germany, is only expected to begin operations in 2024. However, once it gets going, it will become vital to Porsche. It is predicted that initial capacity (which will obviously increase) will be "at least 100 MWh per year, powering 1,000 motorsport and high-performance vehicles." As you'd imagine, part of the reason that Porsche has gone with BASF is its remarkable record for sustainable and reliable raw material sourcing. BASF plans to have the lowest carbon footprint along the supply chain as of 2022.
And more than just sustainable supply, BASF will also recycle production waste incurred at the future Cellforce Group battery plant. Lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese will be recycled in a hydrometallurgical process before being reintroduced into the production process for cathode active materials. Michael Steiner (pictured above), member of the executive board for research and development at Porsche AG, says that the collaboration with BASF "is a win-win situation for all parties involved." BASF's Markus Kamieth went further and said that his company's involvement will help Porsche achieve "an industry-leading CO2 impact". Porsche may be new to the EV game, but it is quickly becoming an expert.