On Tuesday 18 September, SAE International hosted a workshop on future battery technologies in Brussels’ European quarter, titled “Electrification: Evolution or Revolution?”

The event brought together technical experts, policy-makers, researchers and industry leaders from Europe, North America and Asia to discuss the state of play of developments regarding batteries across a range of industries.

Robert Galyen, Chief Technical Officer of CATL and Chairman of the SAE International Battery Standard Committee, opened proceedings by contending that electrification has been both an evolution and revolution. He demonstrated that innovations in electrochemistry and the steps that global governments are taking to ban fossil fuels as key examples of an electrification revolution.

The opening panel considered the question, “Can lithium be the new oil?”, examining the strengths and weaknesses of lithium battery technologies and the potential it can offer for future energy needs. Participants heard perspectives from a range of industry experts, including Joanna Szychowska, European Commission; James Frith, Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Dr. Axel Thielmann, Fraunhofer Institute; Claude Chanson, RECHARGE; and Joern Tinnemeyer, EnerSys.

The workshop then moved to consider the period up until 2030 and beyond, looking at future alternatives to lithium batteries. The second panel session, titled, “Beyond Lithium – The Search for a Better Battery,” included contributions from Julija Sakovica, European Commission; Stephan Neugebauer, BMW and Chairman of the European Green Vehicles Initiative; Dennis Gallus, P3 Group; Per Ekdunge, PowerCell; and Jeff Norris, Paraclete Energy.

Mircea Gradu, PhD, SAE International President, closed proceedings by underlining the transition towards electrification and thanking the audience for their participation.

SAE International is a global body of scientists, engineers, and practitioners that advances self-propelled vehicle and system knowledge in a neutral forum for the benefit of society. SAE International is a global association of more than 127,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. Our core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International’s charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.

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