Published on December 26th, 2011 | by Nicholas Brown1
World’s Largest Li-ion Battery Plant Opened in Russia
A manufacturing facility titled Liotech was opened in Novobirsk, Russia as a joint venture between the Chinese firm Thunder Sky and RUSNANO (a reorganized and state-run corporation).
The Liotech facility has an area exceeding 40,000 square feet in size and has the capacity to produce up to 500,000 batteries (of all sizes) per year.
The plant is expected to produce not only big automotive and bus batteries, but also batteries for mobile power spots, energy storage, and emergency power supplies.
The company has already signed numerous contracts to supply the batteries. 500 people are to be hired to work at the facility.
EVWorld mentioned that even after the batteries have been used for electric vehicles, they can be used for another 10-15 years to back up power plants. This is due to the fact that electric vehicle batteries have to be replaced before they completely die, because when their capacity is too low, their driving range is too short for them to be feasible, but power plants can use these batteries until they are completely dead for backup.
This is an environmentally and economically sound idea. Due to the normally high cost of li-ion batteries, they should be put to use, and, of course, recycled in the end.
“The new factory is an outstanding example of the local impact of transferring the foreign high technology. It has led to construction of modern production facilities. When plant capacity has been met, more than 500 individuals will be employed. In realizing a program to replace imports, we are creating an entire cluster of new high-tech production for materials and components related to the batteries and also an engineering center which is an excellent synergy,” RUSNANO Managing Director Sergey Polikarpov said.
When “plant capacity is met” means when the facility has ramped battery production up to the 500,000 battery per year figure I mentioned above.
“Implementation of public electric transport equipped with our lithium-ion batteries will significantly improve the environment in large cities in Russia. Use of the batteries in combination with alternative sources of energy will promote the development of ‘green technology’ and increase the energy efficiency of the Russian economy. We are already seeing interest in our storage batteries from Russian Railways, the Moscow Metro, electric power networks and power generating companies, businesses in the military industrial complex, the public utilities sector, and telecommunications companies,” noted Liotech CEO Alexander Erokhin.
Some of the advantages mentioned of Liotech batteries:
- A reasonable driving range of up to 300 km (186 miles) per charge for electric buses.
- The ability to charge the battery to 70% of it’s capacity after 20 minutes.
- A service life that exceeds 600,000 km (372,822 miles), or seven to eight years of operation (this implies that the vehicle driven very heavily used, such as a bus).
- A cost several times less than that of other batteries.
- A large operating temperature range of -45 °C to 65 °C.
RUSNANO was founded in March of 2011 as a joint stock company through the reorganization of the state-run corporation: Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.