Shanghai, December 12, 2014. Current trends towards to e-mobility and greener modes of transport, especially electric vehicles, are driving the development of some exciting new solutions. In the context of the global environmental debate, e-mobility has staked a strong claim for itself in recent years. However, the technology has constantly suffered from a central flaw: the fire risk that is an inherent feature of lithium batteries. To solve this challenge, the Freudenberg Group has developed a unique solution: an innovative battery separator made from nonwoven material. This unique product allows ions to flow more freely and is highly fire resistant.
"Our new separator material came out of a challenge we set ourselves to identify the root causes of safety issues with lithium batteries and to eliminate them at source", explained Dr. Weber, Business Segment Manager Li-Ion Battery Separators at Freudenberg Nonwovens. "A specially developed paste of inorganic particles is applied to the surface of the separator material. This gives it great resistance to mechanical pressure and heat. It neither shrinks nor melts if the battery heats up, greatly reducing the risk of battery fires and significantly improving e-mobility safety."
In addition to their investment in research, Freudenberg made great efforts to transform the technology into a commercial product as fast as possible, and at a price that made it commercially viable for the Group's customers. "We enjoy very close working relationships with our customers. We knew from them that they needed this solution. That's what drove us to perfect it and bring it to market at the right price as quickly as we could", Weber explained.
Huge market potential and stricter environmental controls in China convinced the Freudenberg Group of the long-term future of investing in e-mobility in the region. The Chinese government has already published a plan for the development of an energy saving and neo-energy automobile industry by 2020. The aim is to be producing half a million electric vehicles per year by 2015.
The support of Chinese central and local government for e-mobility is already well established and includes tax exemptions on neo-energy automobiles. All these measures have served to underline the value of the new battery separator technology to the e-mobility industry. Not just in China but in every of the 60 global and local markets that Freudenberg serves.