Volkswagen and Pivotal set up strategic partnership in Berlin
In Volkswagen’s new Digital Lab in Berlin, the company has entered into a strategic partnership with software development company Pivotal. Experts across the Volkswagen business, from sales to technical IT development, are working with Pivotal to develop new software and mobility solutions for networked customers.
"In our Digital Lab, we are working on developing an ecosystem that creates a new user experience for our customers, new mobility services and services for connected vehicle providers," said Volkswagen Group CIO Dr. Martin Hofmann. "We will provide our customers with completely new offerings, as we transform Volkswagen from a pure car manufacturer to a mobility provider."
Simultaneously, Volkswagen is implementing and developing innovative ways of working internally: "In our Labs in Berlin and Munich, our IT experts are working with a Silicon Valley mindset, brought from The Valley to Volkswagen. Pivotal has also supported our IT team by training more than 20 of our experts in a range of locations from California to Colorado, teaching them about new software development methodologies. We want to firmly anchor these skills and work processes in the Group and in Germany. In our Labs in Berlin, Munich and San Francisco over 600 programmers, data scientists, design thinking experts and cloud architects are working in this manner," said Hofmann.
"From the outset, Volkswagen software engineers working in collaboration with Pivotal were developing innovative software solutions at start-up speeds," said Edward Hieatt, Senior Vice President, Services of Pivotal. "Going forward, the plan is the establishment of a new IT platform."
Volkswagen and Pivotal are utilising innovative software development techniques, based on types of agile programming such as 'Extreme Programming', which have been successfully used by companies in Silicon Valley. In addition, the software developers are consistently pair-programming with daily standup meetings, weekly training sessions and continuous feedback in order to improve team performance. This partnership encourages an exchange of ideas and creativity within teams, reduces errors, shortens the software development processes and enables faster adjustments when customer requirements change rapidly.
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.