Show review: The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

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Europe’s biggest battery and EV event enjoyed a 50% surge in attendance in its second year.

“There was an overwhelming sense that the people and companies represented there are at the cutting edge, shaping the future of the automotive industry,” said Bentley technical manager Raymond McWilliams – a sentiment echoed by the thousands of attendees who visited this year’s The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo Europe in Hannover, Germany (15-17 May).

Still only in its second year, the event has experienced phenomenal growth, with a more than 50% increase in attendance on last year. The floor space doubled from that of the exhibition’s inaugural year to 20,000m², making room to accommodate high footfall from manufacturers, suppliers, OEMs and stakeholders from a diverse range of markets.

An impressive 6,500 visitors from all corners of the world and representing the entire industry gathered to exchange ideas, discover the latest battery and EV technology, and find innovative solutions with the potential to elevate their business. Visitors commented on the high quality and large number of leads to be tapped.

The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

The show floor was a hive of activity. Here, more than 350 exhibitors took the opportunity to reach an enormous base of potential customers. Popular showcases included Volkswagen’s display of the ID Buzz electric campervan – an update on the iconic original for the digital-age traveler.

At Caresoft’s stand, attendees experienced a virtual reality tour of the sub-assembly of a Tesla Model X and Model 3 and a Chevrolet Bolt, including the battery systems, power management and electronics.

Other interactive demonstrations included Leoni’s showcase of its EVC cables. Attendees had the opportunity to get to grips with the advanced features of these smart charging cables, which utilize visual monitoring to indicate the charging status of an electric car or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The trade fair was well-timed and well-situated in Germany – interest in and production of batteries for electric vehicles is revving up. Such activity is both a cause and result of global rising demand for electric vehicles and green transport solutions, and Germany, with its long history of car manufacturing, is stepping up to the challenge of revolutionizing batteries for vehicles.

The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

Those companies leading the charge in the vehicle revolution did not disappoint in the product showcase – a segment of the trade fair in which companies display and demonstrate their latest concepts and innovations.

Drawing large crowds to their booths with an impressive array of technology were: Voltabox, showcasing its smart modular battery systems; Siemens, sharing future-oriented battery production with an integrated digital value chain; and Elaphe Propulsion Technologies, which bought along its ultimate powertrain platform for the next generation of electric and autonomous mobility solutions. With advanced power electronics and an intelligent and connected vehicle control until, it delivers control features that, up until now, have not been possible. Paraclete Energy proved popular, too, demonstrating the many advantages of its silicon metal-based SM-Silicon, while TE Connectivity unveiled its new high-voltage terminal and connector system, and Henkel showcased its flexible thermal solutions for EV powertrain applications. At Huber+Suhner’s stand, attendees were impressed by the company’s new high-power charging system, which enables the power-throughput of a charging system to be multiplied. It boasts charging times of less than 15 minutes, bringing super-fast charging within reach.

Essential discussions

Running alongside the main trade fair was a three-track conference. Here, hundreds of delegates vied for seating as crowds assembled to hear industry heavyweights tackle the hottest topics of the moment. It was standing-room only as speakers from McLaren F1, Toyota, Daimler and SF Motors took to the stage. Questions were fired as the panels discussed everything from 48V energy storage and powertrains to fast charging and lithium-ion safety.

The conference also offered an opportunity to delve deep into knowledge pools held by some of the industry’s most prolific members. One stand-out interview was with Volkswagen’s CTO, Frank Bekemeier, who outlined plans to revolutionize the company’s car manufacturing business with pioneering electrification strategies.

The interview set the tone for the conference, which hosted lively debates and got crowds contemplating the drivers behind current trends and the pivotal challenges ahead for the region’s EV and battery technology stakeholders.

The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

Porsche’s Thomas Fritz commented that the conference was “one of the best battery conferences,” echoing the opinions of many others. “The conference sessions were excellent,” said HB Fuller’s Stephen Neuman, and speaker Dr Andrea Braun, team leader for HV battery at AVL, noted that, “the conference topics are well chosen and the composition of the sessions spurs fruitful discussions.”

Other testimonials conveyed the quality and reach of the trade fair. “The Battery Show provides a fantastic forum to understand all the latest trends and points of view in this fast-changing and exciting industry,” said Ford’s Jonas Malmqvist. Jaguar Land Rover’s Dr Limhi Somerville agreed, commenting, “This event gives me real access to see some of the challenges that are met at an end-user level and with companies that are really working with the end user in mind.”

The Battery Show Europe is poised to continue on its trajectory of impressive growth, with the 2019 show (due to take place on May 7-9, 2019) set to be the biggest event yet. Register your interest online or take a look at the show’s US sister event – a gateway to the North American battery and electric vehicle markets.

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