Bolloré has strong ambitions in the construction of solid electric batteries, presented as the future of the electric car. This is revealed by Echoes, Fabricio Protti, deputy director of the group. Currently, the group, through its subsidiary Blue Solutions, is developing solid lithium metal polymer (LMP) batteries that compete with the most commonly used lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. These batteries, which currently equip buses, must be suitable for the operation of a particular car and be able to function at ambient temperature.
A recruitment of 70 engineers
To remedy this technical pitfall, new R&D resources have been unlocked “, clarifies the manager, who adds that the group is in the process of recruiting 70 engineers, especially electrochemists.
The group thus intends to allocate a budget of 145 million euros over the next three years, allocated to R&D in batteries and aims to start mass production in 2026, to move to large volumes in 2028, at tranches of 8 to 10 GWh obliged according to the contracts entered into with the builders.
Bolloré also focuses on the design of electrical terminals
Bolloré has experienced some setbacks in electric mobility. It was weakened by the gradual abandonment of the various car-sharing schemes (Autolib in Paris, BlueLy in Lyon, BlueCub in Bordeaux), by the sale to Total in September 2020 of the London network Source London (1,600 charging points) and by the termination of the BlueLib contract in October 2020 of the metropolitan area of Lille.
The activity with charging stations for electric cars now focuses on the technical design of the stations. It is now completely disconnected from any internal car sharing service.
Within BlueSystems, it is the IER Électromobilité unit, whose production site is located in Besançon, that designs, manufactures and markets these terminals (hardware and cards) for operators, local authorities and public networks, companies or condominiums. The group has a total of more than 10,000 charging stations distributed, since 2011, in several countries, in France (Paris, Lyon etc.) but also in London, Singapore, Los Angeles and Indianapolis.
ZOOM – Get autonomy with solid batteries
Solid-state batteries are probably the future of the electric car. They are called solid because the electrolyte that ensures the transmission between the anode and the cathode becomes solid (using the ceramics) and no longer a liquid chemical solution. This technology should make it possible to reduce the weight of the batteries considerably, but also their lifetime. Better, automakers promise they’ll support significantly higher electric charging powers without damage. In short, solid-state batteries will make it possible to achieve autonomy, charging speed and long life.
Furthermore, according to studies, solid-state batteries benefit from a significantly reduced carbon footprint thanks to the materials used. The difference reaches 39% in CO2 emissions between current conventional batteries and a battery made from sustainable materials. However, to achieve such a score, it is necessary that the manufacturing conditions incorporate durable materials, otherwise the difference is only 24%. Automakers hope to introduce the solid-state battery in the second half of the decade… But this technology is still subject to significant research and development efforts, and no one is yet able to confirm a precise timetable.