Feature: Getting “Charged Up” at The 2021 Battery Show

The Battery Show Expo and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo is the largest trade show in North America dedicated to battery technology and applications. A team from Avery Dennison Performance Tapes was among the 550 suppliers in attendance at this year's event, held September 12-14 in Novi, Michigan. Our booth, with a theme of "EV Battery Tapes That Go Beyond Bonding," showcased how tapes are used in applications such as flame retardancy, dielectric insulation, and pack construction.

The event was more than an opportunity to show off our capabilities, however. Along with Scott Krusinski, product manager, and Luke Johnson, application engineer, I spent considerable time walking the expo floor to meet with converters, battery manufacturers and OEMs. Our objectives were to strengthen relationships, better understand needs, and identify trends and areas of opportunity where pressure-sensitive tape products could help customers solve engineering challenges and be more profitable.

As EVs are poised to go mainstream, engineers seek solutions

The 2021 Battery Show was very heavily trafficked, with an estimated 10,000-plus attendees. This was the first in-person Battery Show since the pandemic, and there was a definite high degree of engagement. 

I believe there's a real sense EVs are on the fast track to going mainstream, and thus a need to find solutions to some of the thornier engineering challenges as soon as possible. (A relevant side note, in the days following the event, Ford announced it was increasing its investment in EVs to $11.4 billion, which will include a large vehicle assembly plant in Tennessee and a battery manufacturing facility in Kentucky.)

Our key takeaways

  • Challenging engineering issues remain — EV engineers continue to seek answers to flame retardancy, dielectric insulation, and corrosion mitigation challenges. These challenges limit battery life and performance. Overcoming them will help continue to move the EV trend forward to the mainstream. We also had much interest in tape-based thermal interface materials (TIMs).

  • Battery manufacturing is moving in-house for OEMs — The initial rush to electrify relied on battery manufacturers for pack design and integration. Now OEMs are pushing to bring this in-house. This leaves the engineers seeking tapes that can be used in pack design and integration.

  • Battery preheaters may offer another opportunity for tapes — We viewed exhibits by multiple companies selling preheaters for lithium-ion batteries (these batteries need to be preheated to operate effectively in cold temperatures). All use silicone tape in their construction — another potential opportunity for pressure-sensitive tapes.

  • Several battery pack manufacturers exhibited — These included One Aries, which displayed its full vehicle packs featuring a cell-to-pack design that maximizes volumetric efficiency and energy density.

Many of the engineering challenges related to battery packs can be addressed with products from the Avery Dennison Performance Tapes EV Battery Portfolio. It offers a broad selection of pressure-sensitive tape products, many of which are compliant with OEM specs. As the EV market moves further down the road to being mainstream, suppliers can look to Avery Dennison for the solutions they need.

About the author:

Michael VanHaerents is an automotive segment business development manager for Avery Dennison Performance Tapes. He leverages nearly 20 years of adhesive and sealant engineering and program management experience in the automotive industry to help build strategic relationships, create product specifications, and build new technology portfolios for new and existing adhesive and tape applications. Based in the Detroit area, he can be reached at michael.vanhaerents@averydennison.com, and welcomes your connection on LinkedIn.