Making batteries live longer – "BattLife", initial project of the BITC, is launched at the Erfurter Kreuz

Press release / October 07, 2020

With "BattLife", the initial project of the newly founded Battery Innovation and Technology Center BITC at Erfurter Kreuz has been launched. Within the scope of the project, a digital test center for batteries and battery components will be established at BITC in the coming years. The industry partner of the project is Contemporary Amperex Technology Thuringia GmbH (CATT), a subsidiary of the Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL). It is the world market leader in the development of Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage and will set up its first European plant in Arnstadt which will create up to 2000 jobs in the future. CATT works closely with the researchers at BITC. The state of Thuringia will support the project with 5 million euros.

© Fraunhofer IKTS
Thuringia's Minister of Economics and Research Wolfgang Tiefensee (left) symbolically hands over the funds to Dr. Roland Weidl, Head of BITC, and Jason Chen, CATT Plant Manager.

"BattLife" or "Big Data Test Environment for Battery Life Modeling" captures high-quality data from battery cells. This is an important prerequisite for developing new approaches for life cycle analysis and for initiating further innovation processes that will extend the life of batteries.

"Extending battery life is crucial for the further development and acceptance of e-mobility. We are now setting up a test center that will analyze battery cells in industry-relevant quantities. By cooperating with CATT, our results can once again flow directly into the production process," says Dr. Roland Weidl, head of BITC.

"In addition to a good charging infrastructure, the service life of batteries is one of the most important prerequisites for making electromobility fit for the future," emphasizes Economy and Science Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee. "BattLife" thus makes an important contribution to the sustainable development of car batteries. The project also represents the beginning of an exemplary symbiosis of research and industry, for which the state has made enormous efforts in the last three years. "Our goal was not only to bring CATL to Thuringia, but also to contribute to research right from the start in order to expand activities in the field of battery and energy storage technology and thus develop Thuringia into a leading battery hub." said Tiefensee.  

The BITC, which is supported by the state of Thuringia with over 13.5 million euros, started work in the Erfurter Kreuz industrial park in July of this year. As a branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS – one of the largest battery research institutes in Germany – it develops system solutions for the networked, digitally supported production and quality assurance of battery cells and modules. Over the next five years, the state will support the development of the center into a Europe-wide beacon for energy-efficient and resource-saving battery production.

BITC's mission is to engage in development-related cooperations with Thuringia-based companies and research institutions in order to pool know-how directly at the site of battery cell production. The industrial partner of the first "BattLife" project is CATT, a local subsidiary of the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL.