Climate Confident

Reducing The Carbon Footprint Of Lithium Ion Batteries - A Chat With Nanoramic Laboratories John Cooley

June 15, 2022 Tom Raftery / John Cooley Season 1 Episode 76
Climate Confident
Reducing The Carbon Footprint Of Lithium Ion Batteries - A Chat With Nanoramic Laboratories John Cooley
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Creating lithium-ion batteries is a hugely energy-intensive process and consequently, battery-electric cars take approximately 17,000km to repay their carbon debt.

Nanoramic Laboratories has come up with a way to reduce by over 30% the amount of energy required to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, while at the same time making them more energy-dense, and increasing their expected lifespan.

Sound too good to be true I invited Nanoramics Founder and Chief of Products and Innovation, John Cooley to come on the podcast to tell us more.

We had a fascinating conversation talking about how Nanoramics technology works, how it can be used in virtually any currently operating battery plant, and John's thoughts on using this tech in stationary storage. I learned loads. I hope you do too.

If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message on my SpeakPipe page, head to the Climate 21 Podcast Forum, or send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Sustainability solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/sustainability, and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover the show. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

Music credit - Intro and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper

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Credits
Music credit - Intro and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper


Thanks for listening, and remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

John Cooley:

We reduce the energy consumption in the entire, battery manufacturing process, not just the electric process. We reduce that by 25%. To give you some numbers that's about a half a million metric, tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year

Tom Raftery:

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening wherever you are in the world. This is the Climate 21 podcast, the number one podcast, showcasing best practices in climate emissions reductions, and I'm your host global vice president for SAP, Tom Raftery. Climate 21 is the name of an initiative by SAP to allow our customers calculate, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In this Climate 21 podcast, I will showcase best practices and thought leadership by SAP, by our customers, by our partners and, by our competitors, if they're game, in climate emissions reductions. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast in your podcast app of choice, to be sure you don't miss any episodes. Hi everyone. Welcome to the climate 21 podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SAP and with me on the show today, I have my special guest John, John, welcome to the podcast. Would you like to introduce yourself?

John Cooley:

Thanks a lot, Tom. Thanks for having me. So John Cooley, founder, chief of products at Nanoramic Labs in Boston Mass. We founded the company in 2009 as a spin out of MIT. I'm a double E by training and I've led the initial product commercialization at Nanoramic. And today I oversee commercialization of products from concept, to, manufacturing and, full culmination.

Tom Raftery:

And for people who might be unaware, when you say you are a double E by training, what does that mean?

John Cooley:

Oh, uh, electrical engineer.

Tom Raftery:

okay. Super, super. So, nanoramic is a spin out of MIT back in 2009. I think you said, what is Nanoramic what does it do?

John Cooley:

Yeah. So Nanoramic today we really focus on electric vehicle batteries. And in general, um, we have become an energy storage technology, developer and provider. Um, we started in 2009. like you said, as a spin out of MIT, a co-founder my, and, and, or a lab mate of mine, um, sort of, um, Took a business class. We were both grad schools in the, uh, doing our PhDs in the electrical engineering department there. I was a circuits guy. He was a material science guy, but we ha happened to be in the same lab. And we, we both kind of got a little restless, I think, at the same time and took a business class, called energy ventures. And that turned into a, business plan competition and a clean energy clean energy prize, which we did pretty well in. And then a grant proposal to the DOE. So in 2009, there was a lot of funding coming out of the, stimulus packages coming out of the recession, um, especially for clean tech applications and technologies. And we sort of applied for this, um, DOE grant outta the basement of MIT and we won five and a half million dollars and pretty quickly started the company. The narrative arc of the company has always been to develop energy storage technology for clean tech applications. And that was certainly the focus of that initial award. But it's been a pretty interesting story since then. And I would say, it's been a long road, but today we are squarely in clean tech applications with the technology that we've developed in a market that's really exciting for, climate for CO2 emissions reductions in climate and, and, you know, impacting climate change.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. I'm not gonna let you get away with saying it's been a pretty interesting story without telling me the story. Come on. You that

John Cooley:

Yeah. So, you know, pretty, pretty quickly after winning that award, you know, we set up shop in Boston, downtown Boston Seaport district. but we knew from, from the get go kind of looking around us at cautionary tales, startup companies kind of in the same space and just sort of high profile, you know, examples in the media that it wasn't the time, first of all, to try to just enter clean tech markets, first of all, because they didn't quite exist yet at the time. And also as a small company, we knew that you couldn't easily just sort of expect to penetrate a high volume, low margin business, like for instance automotive. And so we knew we needed at least an alpha market or beach head market. And we started in the opposite market from clean tech, which was oil and gas drilling. So I pretty quickly found myself, you know, out on oil rig floors, deploying. high temperature, super capacitor based power systems that we developed and designed and manufactured, um, you know, out in the desert in Texas and the DJ Basin in Colorado. And, you know, what we had done is we had, re-engineered sort of the niche technology we started with in 2009 was a super, super capacitor or an ultra capacitor. We had re-engineered that to work at high temperatures and also high shock and vibration essentially ruggedized it. And today I, I think we're still the only, company to have invented a high temperature, rechargeable energy storage device. So, we built these systems around these high temperature, super caps that we developed, and these were pretty sophisticated power systems. I'm an electrical engineer. I got a PhD, in electrical engineering, but pretty focused on power electronics at MIT. And so I was leading the development of those applications and designs system designs and, and even the manufacturing. And we had developed these systems that, you know, they were space constrained, high power, sophisticated power systems for oil and gas drilling applications. And we had success with that. We, we, I believe are still the only ones to have demonstrated a certain type of telemetry. They call electromagnetic telemetry. It's really electrostatic, but in, in the industry, they call it electromagnetic telemetry in, the Austin chalk in, in, in be Eagleford basin in Texas and also in the DJ basin in Colorado. So sort of in 20, in the late 2015 timeframe, we had really started to hit our stride with that. We had a number of successful, field demonstrations. I was, I was out in the field training service technicians to run the product. We had completed a well in Colorado. And I remember getting to, to TD, they call it TD is the total depth is when you finish the well. And we had, transmitted data the whole way, and the customer turned to me and like patted me on the back and said, congrats. And I thought we were sort of done with our alpha market at that. Flew home everybody was happy and, but it sort of, within two months, the oil and Mar oil and gas market collapsed went from $120 a barrel to 24. And when that happens in the oil market, your customers don't sort of lose 10% of their sales volume. They actually go bankrupt. Right. And so we had to completely rethink how we were gonna go forward from there. And a lot of the, um, internal thinking had been around, you know, while we're, we're getting pretty vertically integrated. And we're also getting pretty vertically integrated in a market that we don't ultimately want to be in. So let's rethink that. And we ended up pretty quickly focusing down, not on sort of systems and manufacturing and field deployment, but instead on the energy storage devices themselves. So within sort of a, a week of, that realization, we had secured our first purchase orders and also we started to get some engineering contracts, based on that, that new focus and coming into 2016, we had become an ener, really an energy storage device company, selling ultra capacitors, and then starting to broaden our scope. Also during that time, we won a number of additional grants from NASA, DOD and DOE to do even more exotic things like Venus missions and deep space missions and geothermal well drilling, which is even higher temperature than oil and gas drilling. And that taught us that taught us a lot about the ways to design the internal components of energy storage devices to sort of push the bounds of what they could do on a performance cost, sustainability manufacturer ability, sort of multidimensional design space, and, um, as we came into 2017, we started to realize that we had a lot of knowhow and value-add. Not necessarily just on the energy storage device level, but really on the materials that go into the energy storage devices that enable them. And so sort of a year after we focused on down on energy storage, we then re kind of broadened to advanced materials that enable energy storage. And this happened at just about the same time that the electric vehicle Renaissance was beginning. And we realized that we had developed a pretty cool electrode technology for ultra capacitors, and it eliminates one of the Lim, most limiting materials inside of the device. And we had to do that because it different conditions that we had to subject them to. Um, and we had to teach ourselves how to manufacture that and make it work well in a practical situation. And we could transfer that intellectual property, over to lithium ion batteries pretty quickly. And make a huge impact on how lithium ion batteries are are made. And that's Neocarbonics. Neocarbonics is our lithium ion battery technology today. And it's really the most exciting, thing that we're working on. And I think it's a very, very elegant, battery technology.

Tom Raftery:

And what is it? I mean, we know batteries that go into EVs. Well, I guess some of the people who are listening to, they hear lithium ion, we know lithium is involved in it. We know in some cases, cobalt is involved. In some cases it's not I think. I saw a stat that Tesla are now selling 50% of their cars with no cobalt in the battery. Uh, I think they use lithium iron phosphate as the, the chemistry in China. We don't wanna go down to the weeds and that, but what's different about Neocarbonics?

John Cooley:

Yeah. So, um, and I'll get to that point about the different chemistries in a minute, but, through all of that, that I described, and by the way we were into, as I mentioned, Venus missions, these space missions, we got into aerospace and defense. That was our sort of beta market. We're still a little bit active there. Essentially, what we do is we take, in the electrodes, inside of a lithium battery, there's sort of a, dry material it's called the active material, that's coated on the two foils inside of the battery to make the two electrodes, the anode and cathode and to hold that material together and also to hold it to the, to the foils. There's a, there's a binder called PVDF, which is the most common binder is essentially a polymer, or plasticy material that holds everything together. And that's really, its only purpose is to sort of hold everything together. Um, but it comes with a lot of drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is a little bit easier, easier to understand which is. It's an electrically non-conductive material inside of a device that's supposed to be electrically conductive. And so it gets in the way, it reduces the power capability of the device. It generates heat, um, which is a big problem for a number of reasons inside of lithium ion batteries, not the least of which is safety, but also efficiency. and then the thing that's a little more subtle, but in some ways, even more impactful is that, this binder material complicates the manufacturing process makes it expensive. It makes it, it requires the use of sort of toxic and expensive, chemicals to dissolve the, binder in the process. And it also requires quite a lot of energy, to evaporate the solvents that are required to, to dissolve this material. And so it creates a little bit of a plot hole in the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, because you require, the overall societal pressure and goal is to reduce CO2 emissions at large, but you're using quite a lot of energy in the battery manufacturing process itself, and that releases CO2 emissions on its own. And so, you know, one of the advantages of Neocarbonics is that we, eliminate this conventional binder from the electrodes. We eliminate therefore the requirement for this particular special solvent that's used to dissolve that binder. And we can use things that are much easier to evaporate like water or alcohol based solvents or other solvents. And when we do that, we reduce the energy consumption in the battery manufacturing process, the entire, battery manufacturing process, not just the electric process. We reduce that by 25% and that's to give you some numbers that's about a half a million metric, tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year that we re remove from the battery manufacturing process. It also drives costs down if you drive the, uh, energy consumption down. And so our batteries are lower cost, especially on a dollars per energy basis, dollars per kilowat hour of battery capacity basis. And it also improves the range of the electric vehicle. So we get about 30% sort of nominally. It, it varies based on chemistry, but nominally, a 30% increase in energy density, which corresponds to a 30% increase in range. And there are other benefits as well. Right? So there's sort of performance, fast charge we, we enable fast charge that sort of power and recharging paradigm. I mentioned cost and then sustainability on the CO2 emissions reduction side, that's one aspect of sustainability that's really important. And that we get very excited about. It's also a battery technology that's more recyclable. And this is really important in a sustainability aspect for supply chain and also ethical concerns, right? Because you don't have to re-mine the valuable raw materials if you can recycle the battery. Some of these raw materials come from very from underdeveloped regions or they come from places where the, the labor is at risk. And so that's an advantage as well, but to your point about the different chemistries you're right. So there's a, there's a leading chemistry in the industry, which is called NMC stands for nickel, manganese cobalt.

Tom Raftery:

Yep.

John Cooley:

And that that is preferred by a lot of, the early adopters, because it is a very high energy technology. So you get a lot of vehicle range but there are concerns to be had about that. One is cost. The materials are costly and then supply chain. So those materials, especially nickel comes from Russia, mostly, and cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or at least 70% of it does. And, there are reasons not, you know, there are ethical reasons that we don't wanna source materials from those places. And, um, in 2021, the industry has started to realize that we need to look at other chemistries and LFP is really the next leading chemistry. So LFP, lithium iron phosphate, is a lower energy technology. But it has all kinds of benefits in other ways, it's safer, cheaper and the raw materials are widely abundant. You can source them almost anywhere. And you started, it started to see quite a lot of adoption especially for entry and mid-level vehicles for LFP. One of the advantages of Neocarbonics that's very significant among many of them is that it's sort of chemistry agnostic. So this is a platform technology that you can transfer from one chemistry to another. And so based on the way that the industry is shifting. It's focused from an all NMC focus to sort of a mixed focus between NMC and LFP. We started to develop LFP products for customers. And so, you know, I think that's owing to the strength of the, technology. but we're really excited to be able to improve the performance of all, all of those technologies. I think it's really cool. And I get kind of tickled at, you know, the ability to sort of so-called fix the problems with LFP, which are lower range. And we also reduce the cost even further for LFP.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, very good. Very good one issue that comes up time and again, with batteries as well is how long do they last? Modern batteries from what I've seen, have a rated lifetime of around 300,000 kilometers, depending does Neocarbonic s have any impact on that positively or negatively?

John Cooley:

It does. And you really need to compare apples to apples here. And so you'll see some technologies that claim longer life, uh, with some trade offs and some have problems with cycle life and calendar life, uh, on an apples apples basis, Neocarbonics improves cycle life and calendar life. One of the sort of leading technologies today, for sort of taking the next step up in electric vehicle range is a, is Silicon in the anode. Silicon is generally used as an additive in, some anodes to improve energy. Our anode is a Silicon dominant anode, so we, we use more Silicon than other materials in our, anode. So we have a very high energy anode because of that. But one of the challenges with Silicon is that it mechanically expands and contracts when you charge and discharge the battery. And so you can imagine that that disrupts the mechanical structure and, degrades the, battery as it cycles, which is the leading for Silicon anode batteries is one of the leading contributors to, um, cycle fade or lifetime failure. Um, one of the reasons that Neocarbonics helps that is because it's a more mechanically resilient structure. So rather than sort of this plastic that will mechanically yield when you expand and contract it's a 3d carbon mesh that expands and contracts with, the material. So we do, we do improve cycle life. We also improve energy. So if you look at when you charge and discharge a battery. So if you look at sort of the EV use case, right, maybe you, recharge it once, once a week or so, the way that we like to think about this is sort of total miles through, through the battery during its life, right? So if you increase the energy of the battery, you recharge less frequently and if you improve cycle life, you have more of those recharge cycles that you can achieve over the lifetime of the battery. So we improve on both of those metrics, both, um, cycle life, and also the, the energy. So you have to recharge less frequently and you get more recharge cycles, for the life of the battery.

Tom Raftery:

Nice. Nice. And you mentioned earlier as well, one other metric, which was, the charging time of the battery that you helped decrease the charging time. How does that work?

John Cooley:

Yep. That's right. Well, they call it fast charging and you see these, like with the Tesla, I think they call 'em superchargers, right? I'll talk about how the technology actually supports this, but it plays into an interesting discussion about recharging paradigms. I think we're starting to get a little bit more of a sense of how this will play out or what the factors are, but there's a pretty open ended question about how are people actually gonna use these, when they're fully adopted and how are they gonna recharge them? There are a few different options. You can charge them at home overnight, which works really well. it's something you can't do with a gas powered car, but it only really works if you have a single family home, right. It doesn't work so well, or it's, it's it's as yet to be seen how it will work if you're in the city or, or in sort of a condo building, something like that. And so there's a, there's a different paradigm, which is the fast charging paradigm, which sort of mimics the gas station refueling method, right. So you can imagine gas stations might be repurposed to become fast charging stations over time. And, and then there's, there's sort of the mix, right? Maybe you do a little bit of both. So if you primarily recharge at home overnight, well you still need to recharge if you take your car on a long road trip. And so there, there might be a need for that. We're gonna see a mix, and you might even see vehicles that are sort of developed and sold for a particular use case, you know, city living versus a suburban living. Maybe we don't know yet. Um, and a lot of that will depend on how the infrastructure rules and regulations are put in place to enable access to, charging stations and things like that. But, um, for sure, there's an interesting tie into how the battery technology's actually designed to handle these use cases. If you can make a battery, that's kind of good at everything, you know, high energy and fast charging, but not just fast charging, frequent, fast charging, uh, meaning I'm gonna charge it once a week with a supercharger, a fast charger, and it's not gonna impact the overall life of the battery then you have an advantage that can sort of enable, you know, one battery technology for every EV. And that's, that's challenging, you know, there are always trade offs when you sort of improve one dimension. There's usually a trade off in another. Our technology, I would say is elegant in the sense that you, and this is one of the benefits that we've learned about it as we've studied it is that because you eliminate that sort of conventional binding material and you replace it with an electrically conductive, material instead, It's a lot easier for us to, achieve fast charging performance, without trading off in other parameters. So in general, for all of our battery technology, including our baseline cell design, but other chemistries that we implemented on, we see that we get good, fast charging performance, even for very high energy batteries. So you can imagine, you know, you, you replace that plastic. It's an electrical insulator and you're instead, you have an electrically conductive, 3d, carbon mesh in place of it. And that that's what helps with the fast charging performance.

Tom Raftery:

Very good. and where are you in the lifecycle of the battery production, let's say, you're not obviously, well, maybe you are, you tell me my understanding is you're not going into direct production yourself. You're maybe licensing the technology to, existing battery companies, the likes of the, the Panasonics and the CATLs, et cetera, or maybe you're going direct to the OEMs. Where, where where are you on that kind of scale?

John Cooley:

Yeah. So our goal and this, by the way is, uh, sort of a philosophy and a method that we've developed over the last decade or so, just in exploring commercialization of these kinds of technologies. But our goal is to rapidly commercialize. We wanna commercialize as fast as possible. And we wanna get the technology in on the road and we wanna start to impact CO2 emissions as fast as possible. There are two ways that we do this with this technology. One is really Cool because it actually reuses existing manufacturing, infrastructure and equipment. So unlike sort of more exotic technologies, we don't require our, um, manufacturing partners to sort of start over or start from scratch and, and how they're developing or building their manufacturing facilities. In fact, all of the investments that are going into battery manufacturing plants around the world right now, will be relevant and applicable for our technology. So that's one way that we, we hope to rapidly commercialize. And then over time we've developed this and I kind of mentioned at the beginning that we had seen in 2009, in 2010, we had seen sort of cautionary tales of, you know, companies that will design or develop one specific advancement, say in a, in a material or device. And then immediately try to scale that up. And you go from, these are completely, they're not just different skill sets. They're completely different sort of realms of expertise, developing advanced technology and then scaled manufacturing. And we had recognized that, and we started to develop this thinking around sort of a capital light business model. That doesn't mean that we don't manufacture, but we look for opportunities to partner with established manufacturers to accelerate that process. And we've done this successfully with a few different products now. So the idea is like, you know, by default it's sort of called a licensing business model. You know, I don't think we invented that. Um, in fact, uh, Qualcomm is sort of the, the godfather of this business model. You develop a technology and then you kinda move up the value chain as far as you need to go in order to prove it and establish it and take out the risk. So, in Qualcomm's case, they developed an algorithm, but they all, they went all the way to, you know, developing microchips, developing handsets, and then they even bought cell tower infrastructure that they ultimately divested once it was proven and established as a licensing business. So we've kind of seen the same progression where like, if you think back to the story that I told about oil and gas drilling, right we sort of developed this like core materials innovation. We developed an energy storage device manufactured that we developed a power system around it. We manufactured that, then we even deployed it in the field. And we, had a whole team of, almost an army of, field service technicians. And then we backed off of that. You know, it wasn't maybe so as, as glamorous as Qualcomm's story, but we backed off of that. Right. And we became more of an advanced materials, provider going forward. Um, it's a, it's a similar idea. And the goal, the, the advantage of that is that we don't need to, you know, we can service major EV OEMs and we don't need to sort of lock ourselves into one particular, say design for one OEM. We can work with them. We can license. We can customize, we can work with their manufacturing partners that they've already established, or we can work with their manufacturing capabilities that they're creating over time. And what's interesting in the EV industry right now is that you're seeing, a progression of vertical integration with EV OEMs. They know that they don't have battery manufacturing expertise now, and that there are established battery manufacturers. You've seen this already play out with Tesla. Buy batteries from an, established manufacturer, even joint venture with them. You're seeing a lot of factories, even in the US that are, starting to come, come out that are joint ventures with established south Korean battery manufacturer. Um, but we believe that their long term plan is, is not to do that, but it's to build out their own battery manufacturing, expertise and capability and vertically integrate that. And so this gives us the option to sort of do any, anything that makes sense at any at any time. And we will manufacture and we do manufacture, but we'll only manufacture to an extent that we have sort of the maximum advantage for commercializing.

Tom Raftery:

What about other applications? I mean, we use batteries in everything from our cell phones, our wireless headsets, right? The way through to grid, scale storage for, you know, renewable power plants.

John Cooley:

Yeah, for sure. What I would say is we have the advantage of, of simplicity here, which is that the EV market is going to be dominant as a demand for lithium ion batteries over the next 10 years, it's gonna be something like 70 or 80% of the demand. So in a way that kind of simplifies the conversation, right. But I would say yes, it simplifies a conversation. It also complicates the conversation for the, sort of ancillary markets, or if you wanna call 'em that because they're having so much trouble as a result of this even early on. With securing their supply chain for batteries. These are even established businesses and industries that have been using batteries forever. Now, all of a sudden they can't get the batteries that they need. So there's like some subtlety and nuance there. And maybe that's a polite way of saying it, but it, that's a problem. for those industries. You see that in defense, in particular, um, the us is, really trying to focus on securing supply chain for defense applications because of this problem. right. But our focus is on electric vehicles. And then I would say an interesting sort of natural transition is to use the same technology, for, the next, clean energy, uh, application, which is grid, scale, energy storage. And you, you hear a lot in the media right now about electric vehicles and how they're, taking off and how they're gonna change the world, from a climate change standpoint. And, There's truth to that. I would say the flywheel sort of has spun on electric vehicles. I think you're only gonna see that accelerate. And in fact, I think the transition's gonna happen faster than anyone thinks.

Tom Raftery:

Yep.

John Cooley:

But in the background, what's interesting is that sort of quietly, there has been a pretty quick penetration of, energy storage and renewables on the grid. And I think there's a lot of optimism that we can have there because as you're moving a emissions, sort of from internal combustions to the grid and the EV transition. The grid is also becoming cleaner, and lower emission, lower emissions. Now our technology, especially LFP that you mentioned can be transferred over to grid, scale, energy storage. And in fact, a lot of folks believe that LFP will be the dominant technology on the grid in the next 10 years. And the reason for that is because you don't need, LFPs really only drawback is energy density. You don't really need that so much on the grid. You don't care how big or heavy it is. You really just care about cost, right?

Tom Raftery:

Cool, cool, cool. Where to from here?

John Cooley:

Well, what I would say is for the company, we've sort of taken leaps and bounds, I would say in the last four years, first of all, proving our technology and then establishing market traction. We are just we've overcome what I would consider to be fundamental technical risks in the technology. And we are just trying to gain as much access to manufacturing capabilities as we can. We are expanding our, uh, operations. We've moved out of downtown Boston into a suburb and we've expanded our footprint and we're installing a pre-pilot manufacturing line. We are working with the Department of Energy to try to get some funding, to do a larger facility, in the Northeast. And we're working with major EV OEMs to, um, design into their vehicle platform. So I think we've sort of leapfrogged a lot of, sort of more exotic technologies. Mainly because of the advantages that I described in terms of cost, the ability to rapidly commercialize and demonstrate the technology on, in real batteries quickly. And then I would say, you know, at a much higher level or a macro level, I feel very good. And I think that within our company, we feel very good that we're impacting a market that's gonna have a major, effect on climate change. And I think that we are excited about how fast we can make that impact and then sort of stepping back from that. We, you know, there's a lot of conversation that I think maybe should, happen more than it is that, you know, electric vehicles are not really the only source of CO2 emissions that we should maybe be talking about. Right. There's sort of four big rocks in the picture. and, and vehicles is one of, one of those four. In fact, I mentioned this too, you know, as you move from internal combustion engines to EVs, you're really just moving those emissions from the vehicles to the, grid. There are efficiencies in doing that. If you're producing energy centrally, instead of in, um, all these distributed generators, if you want to think of them that way, but, um, overall you're just moving, moving them from one place to another and. There has to be focus on accelerating, clean technologies on the grid. And like I said, we're fortunate and maybe lucky that that's sort of happened regardless today, it's actually cheaper to build a solar plus energy storage plant than it is to build a natural gas power plant in the us. And so you're starting to see this take off. Um, you're starting to see a lot of wind power on the grid. But there are other pieces to the, to the picture as well, that are completely unrelated. Right? So the other two, two big sort of rocks in the picture are agriculture, right? We see a lot of methane emissions from livestock. and there are a lot of interesting solutions out there to that maybe not electrical engineering or energy storage technology solutions, but there are solutions and, and that's a problem that needs to be addressed. There are folks working on that? You don't see it in the media so much as, as you do these other, these other technologies and advancements that impact you more directly. And then, heavy industry, especially certain industries like cement, production. But these really need to be all addressed in parallel, right? If we're gonna achieve our goals for climate change.

Tom Raftery:

How long before I can go to a showroom and get an EV with Nanoramic battery in it?

John Cooley:

Yeah. it's a great question. And there are some electric vehicles that are coming out today that I'm hopeful we'll be in, in the next few years. So automotive design cycles are generally as you know, very long, you know, if you were to take a seatbelt to an auto auto maker 10 years ago, and it was the best seatbelt ever made, it might find its way into a vehicle in five to seven years, something like that with the EV with the EV Renaissance, all of that has compressed a little bit, not completely, not, not as fast as sort of consumer electronics, which are like a one year design cycle, but there's a lot of urgency. Right. And the urgency is the it's not just as obvious as people may think there is definitely a competitive, aspect to this among the different manufacturers. But I also think that there really is a lot of societal pressure to make these changes. That influences the way that. These manufacturers behave. I think that we can all be sort of, we can all feel good about that, that, you know, it's not just a technology and business driven decision. It mostly is, but there really is sort of a greasing of the wheels that's happening because of the societal pressure. And so that automotive design cycle, from what we have observed in our conversations with our customers has compressed from say what? Would've been five to seven years now down to say three. Maybe four years, three years, if they're very urgent from sort of first contact to the planned, you know, startup production for a vehicle with this new technology. So based on the traction that we have today, I, you could see a Nanoramic Neocarbonics lithium ion battery in a vehicle platform as early as, 2025, 2024, maybe if, if we're lucky. And that's very exciting for us.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. Okay, John, we're coming to the end of the podcast. Now, is there any question I haven't asked that you wish I had? Or any aspect of this, we haven't touched on that you think it's important for people to be aware of?

John Cooley:

You know, I think, I think we covered a lot. Let me see.

Tom Raftery:

and no is a perfectly good answer. . Okay.

John Cooley:

well, you know, I like to, I didn't get into this completely. But one thing that I like to point out is that I am very, optimistic about the, availability of electric pickup trucks in the us. If you look at EV adoption, sort of us versus Europe, us is kind of a year behind if you look at the market share progression. But I think that the availability of electric pickup trucks, which has really just started in the last couple of weeks with a Ford F-150 lightning, I think is gonna completely change the trajectory in the us for EV adoption. And the reason for that is because it cuts through the demographics that would maybe otherwise kinda split EV adoption among users. And you're gonna see, and I think we're already seeing that electric pickup trucks, they just work better. Right. They work better on a raw performance standpoint. they have ancillary features that are super value add, like being able to power your house in a power outage, being able to plug in and run different, uh, Tools and things on, on the, on the truck bed. Yeah, for sure. Um, and also, um,

Tom Raftery:

lower center of gravity.

John Cooley:

lower center of gravity. It's well, I, it kind of plays into, it's just a, it's a better design for a vehicle, right? You don't have a sort of this crazy spaghetti of plumbing and electrical and gear boxes and transmissions all over the underside of the vehicle. You have a, essentially two or four motors. And a battery pack and that's gonna make it a lot easier to maintain. It makes the design easier. It makes the design more convenient for the user. And so I think all of those things really are gonna go in, in the favor of, you know, electric pickup trucks, but electric vehicles in, in general as well.

Tom Raftery:

Super super John. That's been really interesting if people want to know more about yourself or about Nanoramic or any of the things we discussed on the podcast today, where would you have me direct them?

John Cooley:

So a couple of places you can go right to Nanoramic.com and you can see our website there. We have a pretty active marketing team, um, that will link you to different things. And you can also go to LinkedIn. So on LinkedIn, you can look me up or you can look up our company, you can follow us, you can follow me. Reach out. I'm happy to, talk to climate enthusiasts, technologists, anybody that's interested.

Tom Raftery:

Fantastic. John that's been great. Thanks a million for coming on the podcast today.

John Cooley:

Thanks a lot, Tom.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about Climate 21, feel free to drop me an email to Tom dot Raftery @ sap.com or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you liked the show, please don't forget to subscribe to it in your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks catch you all next time.

(Cont.) Reducing The Carbon Footprint Of Lithium Ion Batteries - A Chat With Nanoramic Laboratories John Cooley