11 December 2020 - By Dr Alistair Davidson

Looking ahead to 2021

Looking ahead to 2021

With 2020 drawing to a close, CBI takes a look back at the year that was and ahead to 2021. With the difficulties faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year turned out a lot differently for CBI and its membership than expected.

As the world adapted to a new normal and businesses reopened throughout the year, CBI in collaboration with its global membership and partner organisations, launched eight high-impact research projects which are critical to meeting CBI targets for lead battery enhancements as set out in our Technical Roadmap.

From a European project with Ford and leading universities to a first-time partnership with UCLA in California, this year’s technical program has featured a diverse range of research topics and organizations from the entire battery value chain. They all work towards the common goal of delivering vital insights into improving lead battery performance in fundamental ways such as DCA and cycle life and ensuring the KPIs set by CBI are met. 

CBI's latest video from our Research and Innovation Series features a European automotive lead battery project in collaboration with Ford Research and Innovation Center, Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), MOLL Batterien and Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC with its R&D Center Electromobility FZEB.

The focus on lead battery energy storage took a new turn this year with CBI’s 2020 Request for Proposals, highlighting this area as one of keen interest for the industry involved in research and innovation. We’re excited to launch our new technical program early next year to ensure lead batteries remain a crucial provider of energy storage worldwide. This also tied in with the launch of the Energy Storage Grand Challenge in the US, organized by the Department of Energy (DoE), where CBI is working with the US battery industry and associations to ensure lead batteries continue to be recognized as a vital technology to achieve a clean energy future.

Across the globe, demand for utility and renewable energy storage is booming and batteries play a principal role in delivering that demand. CBI Battery Match was launched in August to put energy storage end-users such as utility companies and systems specifiers directly in touch with the best lead battery option for their system. This robust, technical tool is available on CBI’s website to showcase the role of lead batteries in this sector and highlight their competitiveness with regards to reliability, safety, economics and sustainability.

CBI Battery Match is matching the energy storage sector with the best lead battery for their system

Sharing messages of innovation in lead batteries is crucial to communicating the benefits of the technology and strengthening its perception as a future energy storage solution, vital for global electrification and decarbonisation targets. Digital content has been even more essential during 2020 and we’ve successfully launched a number of videos and blogs covering research and innovation by our members, plus a new educational Battery 101 series featuring all topics lead batteries. 

Our Battery 101 series features all the science behind how a lead battery works plus covering some of the common terms when discussing lead batteries such as DCA

2020 was the year of virtual events and CBI organized, attended and exhibited at a number of highly successful meetings ranging from the Energy Storage Association’s annual conference where we launched CBI Battery Match with a Special Learning Lab, to the highly anticipated 17ELBC, co-organized by CBI with the International Lead Association. ELBC was extremely well-attended and provided the lead battery industry with the latest scientific, technical and market updates combined with insight into how CBI’s pioneering research is changing the shape of modern lead batteries

We also held a number of CBI Technical Workshops throughout the year and hosted two interactive DCA & Heat Workshops bringing together industry, researchers and end-users in the automotive sector.

2021 will be a busy year for CBI as we launch a new suite of research projects focusing on energy storage systems. This will be accompanied by an updated Technical Roadmap to reflect the changing landscape for lead batteries and the evolving performance targets for the technology. 

As lead batteries continue to innovate and advance to a higher plane of performance for different applications, the industry will continue its work in communicating the benefits of the technology. CBI is supporting the work of our members and partner associations across the globe in sharing the innovation story of lead batteries and ensuring that our research is a cornerstone for communicating the essential role they will play in the global transition to a low carbon future.

By Dr Alistair Davidson

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