Feature: More Electric Than Ever - The Battery Show North America 2023

Record crowds charge ahead in their quest for EV engineering solutions

Only two weeks into my new role as business development manager (BDM), E-Mobility and Automotive for Avery Dennison Performance Tapes, I found myself on the floor of North America’s largest battery and electric vehicle (EV) industry event.  

Joining me at The Battery Show North America (September 12-14 in Novi, Michigan) was a large Avery Dennison team that included Scott Krusinski, market manager, Energy Storage - Automotive; and my fellow BDM, Max VanRaaphorst. Our booth featured functional tape solutions for some of the most pressing EV battery engineering challenges, in addition to label material, RFID inlay, and product cloud service EV battery solutions offered by Avery Dennison.

With an official count of 15,000 attendees and almost 900 exhibitors, the 2023 Battery Show was the biggest ever. It’s grown so much in recent years that the 2024 show will be in a larger venue in downtown Detroit. 

It was easy to sense the excitement about EVs. Some analysts expect EV sales in the U.S. to surpass the 1 million mark in 2023. That's a huge milestone, underscoring a tremendous opportunity for engineering solutions integrating pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes.

Four key takeaways
From my time spent in our booth and walking the floor, here are my main takeaways.

1. New year, same engineering challenges
As EV sales continue to accelerate, engineers are still facing the challenges they’ve worked to tackle over the last few years. These include issues such as flammability, electrical arcing, and assembly efficiency. There was an intense interest in PSA tape solutions for these challenges — and we had much to offer in our booth. 

The show provided an opportunity to introduce our new Volt Tough™ Portfolio of dielectric tapes 
for EV batteries. These single-coated tapes incorporate dielectric films and are tested for breakdown voltage and dielectric strength requirements using GB/T 1408.1-2016 and ASTM D3755 test methods. Using these tapes instead of a traditional spray coating solution allows for higher pack energy density and faster production. Some are even engineered for conformability to prevent tearing around sharp edges and to promote overall durability.

2. Suppliers are narrowing their focus
Stepping out of our booth and walking the floor gave us a good sense of what’s happening in the EV supply chain. And make no mistake about it: the entire chain was at the show, from lithium miners to battery recyclers and every link in between.

Our team agreed many suppliers seem to be narrowing their focus within the EV segment. So instead of trying to be “all things to all people,” as they have in earlier stages of the EV revolution, they’re discovering niches where they can succeed. They’re pivoting their businesses and solutions to address opportunities in those niches. Many, no doubt, can benefit from incorporating PSA tapes into their solutions.

3. Digital battery passport (DBP) is coming
A DBP is a “digital twin” of a battery. In other words, it’s a cache of information, including details of a battery's raw materials, assembly, chain of ownership, service details, and more. Information is stored on the cloud and accessed by scanning a QR code or reading an NFC tag embedded in the battery. This information can be read and acted upon throughout a battery’s lifetime, from initial assembly through recycling. 

New regulations in the EU will require each EV battery sold there to have a DBP (and in coming years, many types of products in the EU will carry digital passports). While there’s no regulatory movement yet in the U.S., there’s a sense among many in the EV battery industry it will eventually happen.

So, there's much interest in DBP solutions, including the Avery Dennison RFID portfolio and atma.io connected-product cloud platform.

4. It’s not just about on-road vehicles
Passenger cars and trucks are just the tip of the electrification iceberg. Other industries, including marine, construction, mining, agriculture, aerospace, and energy storage, were all represented at the show. If you want to grow your business in any of these industries, EV battery solutions featuring PSA tapes could be your ticket. 

This is the time to grow your business with EV batteries
EVs are revolutionizing the automotive industry. There’s a clear need for EV battery solutions featuring PSA tapes integrated with functional materials and die-cut to specs. If you’re interested in learning how to grow your business by producing these solutions, please reach out to your Avery Dennison representative or contact me directly.

Steve DeMaagd is a business development manager, E-Mobility and Automotive, Avery Dennison Performance Tapes. Based in Michigan, Steve works with companies across the Automotive value chain to generate and execute opportunities featuring PSA tapes. Contact Steve at steve.demaagd@averydennison.com or through LinkedIn.