The Process of Manufacturing Electric Car Batteries

Carl Garcia, Product Manager - Electric Vehicles, Nissan

The Process of Manufacturing Electric Car Batteries  Carl Garcia, Product Manager - Electric Vehicles, Nissan

Manufacturing of EV battery needs materials and processes of entirely different scale, and each part is intentional. 

An EV's battery is a power pack, and it vastly differs from a typical sealed lead-acid car battery. This type of battery is made with materials and processes on an entirely different scale, and every detail is deliberate.

Electric cars are still more expensive than gasoline-powered cars. It's for various reasons, including EV transportation's uniqueness and the cabin's premium manufacturing materials. 

However, the expense of developing and manufacturing battery packs is the main reason for an EV's high comparative price. 

Methods of Manufacturing EV batteries

EV Batteries have a standard structure that includes battery cells, battery modules, and a battery pack, even though each manufacturer has its proprietary design. Battery cells resemble AA or AAA batteries that are commonly used in electronics. There are a cathode and anode on each design, along with an electrolyte and a separator. Individually, these battery cells have minimal capacity.

As a result, battery cells are connected in series to form a battery module. It successfully integrates all the cells' capacities to act as a single unit. A module's ability can range from 2 to 10 kWh, based on how many cells are in it.

Materials in EV batteries

Currently, all EV batteries in production are lithium-ion. It is, however, far from the only material used in the construction of batteries.

Lithium is a mined mineral that is used in all existing EV batteries. It is a highly precious resource, which has a low melting point and a high heat capacity. It is mainly mined in Australia and Chile. An EVs anode, or negatively charged post, contains lithium.

Nickel is mined almost everywhere and is used in a variety of industries, including batteries. It makes up 33 to 80 percent of the cathode, or positively charged pole, of an electric vehicle battery. Nickel has a greater energy density, which helps to increase range.

Cobalt is a critical component in the production of electric vehicle batteries. Almost two-thirds of the world's cobalt is produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In several batteries, it's mixed with nickel to form the cathode.

Instead of cobalt, manganese can also be used in batteries. It is the fourth most used metal in manufacturing and is relatively inexpensive. Manganese may be one of the keys to reducing the cost of electric vehicle batteries.

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