Kickstart: It's getting hard to keep up with all the auto battery projects

The advanced automotive battery business is booming. (Not literally. That would be bad.) In just the past few weeks there have been announcements of new battery production plants by in Kentucky and an expansion of battery operations in Michigan by and its partners.And on just one day — Oct. 18 — said it will invest more than $3 billion in U.S. battery manufacturing, said it is working with supplier LG Energy on a $35 billion electrification project that includes batteries and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined as it said it will invest more than $7 million to triple the size of its base in Michigan.also said earlier this year it expects its suppliers to locate near their operations.It’s that kind of continuous buzz that is prompting materials suppliers and molders to present their best products for all those batteries. Just consider the number of times electric vehicles came up in news coverage from last week — at least seven by my count.For just two examples, look at competitors DuPont Co. and BASF SE. At Fakuma, both companies highlighted how their materials will be suited for EVs.”The key is safety — how to make a battery pack safe,” said , DuPont’s global marketing director for automotive electrification.”We’re preparing for new trends in e-mobility,” added senior vice president of performance materials Europe at BASF. “We’re developing new safety concepts for our materials in powertrains and components.” The last time we checked in with Belgian polyurethane building products company , it was trying to hold off a takeover attempt by Austria-based Greiner AG.Now it has business, but to a new company, Richmond, Va.-based Carpenter Co.The binding offer from privately held Carpenter values this part of the business at about $761 million, writes our sister paper Urethanes Technology International.Rather than selling the complete company, Recticel is selling off just the foams business, allowing it to concentrate on insulation. Greiner, however, is , saying it offers a better payoff than Carpenter.Meanwhile, Carpenter says the acquisition will create the world’s largest vertically integrated manufacturer of polyurethane foams.Not every winner finishes first. Or at least that was the case for the students from Central Connecticut State University whose entry won in the Society of Plastics Engineers’ thermoforming division student radio-controlled car design and racing competition.The Blue Devil Racing team of Timothy McGough and Avery Tolboe took third place in the race run on a track at the thermoforming division conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., in September, but was named Best Design and People’s Choice off the track. The pair took home $1,500 for their work.First place in the race went to a team from Purdue Polytechnic Richmond, with a $1,000 prize, while the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design took second place in the race and a $750 prize, along with second place for Best Design.This is the third radio-controlled car competition for the division. Students are provided with a chassis but have to create a body made with clear Plastic, produced using thermoforming.”Each year, the RC car race becomes more exciting and more competitive,” Dan Sproles, SPE thermoforming division student activities chair, said in a news release. “The enthusiasm demonstrated by the faculty advisors and the students made this a particularly fun competition. The designs were also really impressive, and we hope that even more schools will participate in the 2023 event.” Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Please enter a valid email address.Please enter your email address.Please verify captcha.Please select at least one newsletter to subscribe. Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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