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Replacing more exotic engineering plastics reduces weight and helps to extend range of electric vehicles.

Stephen Moore

March 24, 2022

2 Min Read
exploded view of battery housing
Image courtesy of Borealis

German battery expert Ansmann AG has joined forces with materials supplier Borealis to develop an exchangeable battery housed in a polypropylene (PP) enclosure. The hot-swappable GreenPack battery will be deployable in e-fleets for car sharing and delivery services as well as in commercial transport. It can also be used to power lawn mowers, snow blowers, and weed trimmers.

The aim of the collaboration is to design a next-generation lithium-ion battery leveraging the advantages of PP. The new generation of GreenPack battery systems will be enclosed in a PP housing and also feature PP cell holders. As opposed to engineering plastics and metals, PP features considerably lower material density and, therefore, has a weight advantage that contributes to an extended driving range for e-vehicles.

Additional advantages are the insulation properties of PP and energy savings during processing because of PP’s lower melting point. In addition, CO2 emissions associated with the polymerization of PP are generally just less than half the footprint of conventional plastic alternatives. The Borealis material also passes battery drop tests and boasts good processability.

Thilo Hack, board member responsible for R&D at Ansmann AG, commented: "In comparison to conventional materials, the new material developed by Borealis for our upcoming GreenPack generation will come without plasticizers. It will be lighter and more flexible than other typically used plastics, yet it will meet all chemical and mechanical safety criteria and will have a significantly lower CO2 footprint. We are very pleased — we can make our GreenPack even greener supported by Borealis."

Borealis has a wealth of experience in the development of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions for the entire value chain of lithium-ion battery systems, as well as in the simulation and modeling of different components, such as cell holders or battery housings. “We are excited about this opportunity to jointly develop a novel, swappable GreenPack battery with our partner Ansmann,” said Martyna Matelska-Jucha, Head of Borealis New Business Development. “This is another proof point for how Borealis re-invents products for new and technical challenging applications like mobile battery solutions for a more sustainable lifestyle. Those we can only achieve by working together as partners throughout the whole value chain.”

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking is bike on overseas business trips, and proud dachshund owner.

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