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Q&A with Lauren Roman, FISITA New Technology Cluster Lead – EV Battery Technology

Lauren Roman discusses the role FISITA can play in helping automotive engineers meet the challenges of electric vehicle battery sustainability.

Based in the US State of Washington, Lauren Roman is Business Director Metals & Minerals Ecosystems at Everledger, engaging key members of the electric vehicle (EV) battery supply and value chains to ensure sustainability in EV batteries.

Lauren Roman, Everledger

In May 2020, Lauren was appointed FISITA New Technology Cluster Lead of the FISITA EV Battery Technology Cluster. 12 companies currently make up the FISITA EV Battery Technology Cluster membership, namely Aioi Nissay, ANSYS, Cummins, DENSO, Faurecia, FEV, IDIADA, NIO, NXP, Renesas, Renault, and Tata Motors. FISITA established the Cluster to identify engineering solutions for the myriad of challenges and opportunities posed by the supply chain and lifecycle management of EV batteries. The Cluster will share its findings with governments and organizations around the world that are developing regulations, schemes, and initiatives to optimize EV battery lifecycles and accelerate e-mobility for a zero-carbon future.

Lauren also serves on the Global Battery Alliance Technology Working Group, chairs the NAATBatt Recycling Committee’s Exchange & Tracking Subcommittee, and is active with the Supplier’s Partnership for the Environment’s Responsible Battery Working Group, as well as a number of other industry organizations.

Here, Lauren outlines her ambitions for the FISITA EV Battery Technology Cluster, the challenges and opportunities for battery technology engineers, and why EV battery stakeholders should get involved in the FISITA Battery Technology Cluster.

How are you approaching your role as a FISITA New Technology Cluster Lead?

I’m working to engage FISITA members in all issues and opportunities relating to battery sustainability, from production to battery lifecycle and onto responsible recycling to ensure a long-term supply of battery resources. My aim is to help FISITA members understand what is happening globally with EV battery lifecycle management initiatives, and determine how the FISITA community can most effectively participate to help drive collaboration and innovative solutions.

What are the trends in mobility of particular interest to the EV Battery Technology Cluster?

Governments around the world are keenly aware of the opportunities and challenges posed by our ambitions for a low carbon future. Batteries play a key role in both sustainable transport and renewable energy storage. China took the first step by requiring automotive manufacturers to take full lifecycle responsibility for electric vehicle batteries, prioritizing the repurposing of electric vehicle batteries (EVBs) for energy storage and ensuring responsible end of use recycling. The European Union (EU) is heading in a similar direction with a proposed Battery Regulation which in addition to producer responsibility requirements includes sustainable sourcing of battery metals and minerals, addressing human rights and child labour, as well as required recycled content in batteries, and much more. Other governments are setting or reducing target dates for EV sales only, when vehicles with internal combustion engines will no longer be available for purchase. Other countries, including Germany, New Zealand, and Rwanda are also leading the pack with EVB initiatives. And the world is watching the US and Canada as they consider options for accelerating the uptake in EV transport.

What does all this mean for engineers developing the technology of mobility?

The opportunities are limitless! Designs can support easier transition from EV to energy storage when a battery is no longer powerful enough for an EV, but can still be repurposed for energy storage for many more years of use. Design for recycling can support safer and more efficient disassembly for recycling, and help to identify easier, safer ways of discharging end of life batteries for handling and storage, and potentially reducing the cost of transportation. For battery lifecycle management, a major challenge today is access to information about the battery such as its state of health, which is generally available via the car computer and the battery management system, or BMS. However, some OEMs consider their BMS data as proprietary. What design changes can be made to make this particular data available to those who encounter the battery without compromising proprietary data? These are just a few of the issues facing engineers working on electrification.

How can FISITA membership help engineers develop these solutions?

FISITA members are uniquely positioned to address these challenges and opportunities. These are engineering challenges in a nascent industry with much room to evolve. Using the work in the Battery Cluster as an example, FISITA informs members of challenges posed by current designs, and exposes members to opportunities for improvements and innovation.

How can companies and individuals participate, and how will they benefit from joining the FISITA EV Battery Technology Cluster?

Joining the FISITA EV Battery Technology Cluster is intended to deliver value in terms of strong industry relations, pre-competitive collaboration, knowledge sharing and thought leadership opportunities. Participating in the Cluster exposes members to information about engineering opportunities in one of the most progressive fields for a sustainable future. Contact my FISITA colleague, Kelly Williams for information about joining FISITA membership to get access to this Cluster.


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