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Lithium battery makers Leclanché and Electrovaya subsidiary scale up supply agreements

Younicos has ordered just under US$10 million worth of batteries and related equipment for its project on Graciosa. Image: Younicos.
Battery manufacturer Leclanché and a maker of ceramic separators and electrodes owned by Electrovaya have signed a deal to scale up their respective efforts in the lithium-ion battery space.

The deal appears to mark the first public efforts by other manufacturers to ramp up production, following Tesla’s long-trailed battery systems announcement last week. Switzerland-headquartered Leclanché has signed a supply agreement with Litarion, which was only acquired by Electrovaya, the Canadian lithium-ion battery specialist, last month.

Under the terms of the agreement, Litarion will supply electrodes to Leclanche’s manufacturing lines, for their mass production and commercialisation. Litarion has been manufacturing and researching its nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) electrodes for over 10 years, according to its parent company. Having been originally focused on the automotive sector, Litarion is now focusing on energy storage systems and their industrial applications.

Litarion claims to have an annual production capacity of 500MWh for its anodes, cathodes and separators, including SEPARION, a ceramic separator technology, mostly NMC cathodes and graphite anodes.

There has not yet been any indication from either company on cost reductions that could be enabled by the new deal but it appears that following Tesla’s recently quoted prices and expected scale of production from its still under-construction Gigafactory, other companies are already looking at strategies to take on the EV-maker turned battery energy company at its own game, or have been for some time behind the scenes, much as predicted by several analysts and commentators.

Today, Leclanché reportedly also said that it has registered over €8 million in orders from Younicos, the energy storage and integration specialist. The two companies are working together at an off-grid project which will enable the population of a small Portugese island, Graciosa, to go 65% renewable energy-powered. Reuters news agency reported that Leclanché has made public orders worth €8.5 million (US$9.54 million) from Younicos.

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