Varta announced its ntention to introduce on the market new lithium-ion battery cells for electromobility. The company is working on the "2170" cylindrical format used by Tesla, but whether it has anything to do with Tesla?
According to the brief press release, Varta will launch a pilot production line at the group's headquarters in Ellwangen (Baden-Württemberg) in Germany, by the end of 2021.
Varta's V4Drive "2170" cylindrical cells are expected to be used in the automotive industry, as well as in other segments, like power tools.
Varta CEO Herbert Schein said:
"The development of the new lithium-ion cells is going extremely well. The results exceed our expectations."
According to Wirtschaftswoche, the battery cells under development by Varta will not be in direct competition with EV batteries produced by companies like CATL or LG Chem's LG Energy Solution.
That's because they will not have high-energy-density. The target is high-power density - the cells will be rechargeable in just six minutes! That's a 10C current rate.
The type of cells might be actually similar to the LTO type (lithium titanate). They were usually noticeably below 100 Wh/kg but offered outstanding charge/discharge performance. The chemistry used by Varta remains unknown.
Varta CEO explains that the cell's characteristic will be unique and possibly well-positioned for specific applications: small battery packs (low range, ultra-fast charging rate) for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids, 48 V hybrids and battery electric vehicles from the premium/performance segment that needs more power for acceleration.
In other words, as of today, it does not look to have anything to do with Tesla and mainstream electric cars. The company is in talks with undisclosed German manufacturers.
Series production of the V4Drive is planned for 2024 with a goal of 100-200 million cells (of undisclosed capacity) per year. In the automotive industry, it's a noticeable, but not high scale. Anyway, great news is that another company is joining the market with an additional solution.