Pillar 5:

Safe storage and transportation of the batteries

The Recirculate will create smarter and more cost-efficient logistics solutions for batteries.

How are batteries transported?

Electric vehicle (EV) batteries are transported using specialized methods, with precautions taken to ensure their safety and integrity throughout the transportation process. The procedures vary depending on the type of battery, the mode of transportation, and the regulatory requirements in different regions. However, the main challenge is that batteries are considered as dangerous goods, leading to heavily regulated and expensive storage and transport.

What are the main challenges in battery transportation?

  • Fire and Thermal Runaway: During storage and transportation, physical damage, overcharging, or exposure to high temperatures can trigger thermal runaway of the lithium-ion batteries.
  • Chemical Hazards: The chemicals used in lithium-ion batteries can be hazardous if they leak or come into contact with the environment. A breach in the battery’s protective casing during transportation or storage can lead to the release of toxic or flammable materials, posing risks to personnel and the environment.
  • Weight and Size: Some batteries can be heavy and bulky. Specialized equipment and handling procedures are required to safely lift and move these heavy battery packs.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The transportation of lithium-ion batteries is subject to strict regulations and guidelines due to their potential to cause fires and explosions. Compliance with international, national, and local regulations is crucial to ensure the safe transport of EV batteries.
  • Packaging Standards: Developing appropriate packaging standards that protect against mechanical damage and thermal events is a challenge. The packaging should be able to withstand various conditions, such as impacts, vibrations, and temperature fluctuations.
  • High costs: EV battery transportation is complex and highly regulated and thus is associated with increased costs.

What will the Recirculate project change?

The Recirculate project will develop an intelligent safe transport and storage system for battery packs, modules and cells. This system will measure temperature, as well as interface with existing visual monitoring systems and CAN-bus control systems as a part of the DHL Digi-truck system. In addition, analysis of existing sensors and capabilities for early detection of thermal runaway risk will be carried out to develop mitigation strategies and improve battery storage and transport safety.

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