Mitsubishi Electric Europe and Novali: new partnership agreement helps to move Europe closer to large-scale battery cell production

Belgium based battery company Novali and industrial automation solution supplier Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. have signed a memorandum of understanding.

Novali was set-up to finance and deliver multiple ‘giga factories’ across Europe, with production scheduled to start in 2025. In order to meet these deadlines Novali has signed a technology partnership agreement with Mitsubishi Electric Europe.

The relationship will encompass fast deployment of existing automation
solutions for battery cell production, and then collaboration to build the
value chain for the next generation of batteries manufactured in Europe.’
states Klaus Petersen, Director Lithium Battery Industry EMEA, Mitsubishi
Electric Europe BV.

Mitsubishi Electric has long term experience in supplying automation solutions in the lithium cell manufacturing industry in Asia, and a wellestablished customer base of machine builders in Europe. While the value chain in Europe still needs to be built up, the partners aim atcreating a network of local machine builders capable of delivering acomplete cell manufacturing line at gigawatt hour (GWh) scale. The focus will be on building best in class cells while avoiding wastage
within the process, something that has so far been a challenge in the sector.

Lithium battery cell manufacturing is a relatively new field in Europe that is being built-up quickly. Any lessons already learned by our partners that we can take advantage of can help us to reach start of production (SOP) quicker. Scaling-up a factory to GWh capacity is ambitious and Novali sees this as an opportunity to build up a local value chain. That is why this project is so important in our opinion as the whole European electrification initiative will profit from that.’ states Thomas De Clippeleer, Cofounder at Novali.

The company also believes that its mission goes beyond commercial necessities and extends to the general challenge of sustainability. The target is to achieve CO2 neutral manufacture of batteries. One of the key aspects is reducing consumption of energy and raw materials, which is also why a high-level of factory automation is required. The cell manufacturing process itself is challenging and Mitsubishi Electric’s automation solutions have already proven how well they can manage this task, setting high production quality standards while still prioritizing energy efficiency.

Novali provides a platform for scaling up manufacturing of next generation battery technology. On the one hand we partner up with technology companies that are frontrunners in their respective field, and on the other hand we work together with automotive and industrial partners like Mitsubishi Electric for developing the supply chain and bringing the batteries into mass production.
As a startup, we are agile and able to quickly set up collaborations with technology companies. This allows us to jointly offer automotive vehicle
OEMs flexibility and a future-proof mix of different technologies. We plan to manufacture four generations of battery cells. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO) or (LFP) cells for low-cost market segments, stateof-the-art nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cells transitioning to high voltage cathodes and silicon anodes for mid-market segments. Solid state or lithium metal batteries we predict will enter the market at a premium. Another important aspect is that the batteries should be available at a high volume. This requires record investments in cell manufacturing and the downstream supply chain. We are working together with global investment funds and industrial partners setting up joint ventures with
automotive companies to achieve this“, states Roald De Meyer, Co-Founder at Novali. 

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