The electric energy storage is the key technology for electrification. Energy and/or power density of the storage system define the fuel reduction potential as well as the customer acceptance. To make it a success story, care has to be taken to fulfill the present and future customer expectations, in particular with regard to safety and reliability, performance and costs. One of the major factors for a high market penetration of electric vehicles is the ratio between driving range and costs. More than 90% of the world wide vehicle market falls in the price range below 50.000$; on the other hand, a driving range above 400 km is needed. That requires energy density targets above 250 Wh/kg or 400 Wh/l for a battery pack, with costs as low as 150 $/kWh.
Different strategies are nowadays considered which enable a considerable increase in the electric range. These include the optimization of cell and electrode design. But the largest impact on the energy density is the introduction of novel cathode and anode materials for Li-ion cells. There are a number of materials in development which may give an improvement in energy density. But only a few seem to have the potential to meet automotive requirements in particular regarding lifetime and safety. For most of the material developments considerable improvements are needed before a possible industrialization of the new generations of batteries for automotive application can be envisaged.
This presentation will outline the potential and limits of present material concepts from a car manufacturer point of view. In particular it will address open issues to be solved in the future development of electric energy storage technologies for automotive applications.