• Jul 22, 2014
*UPDATE: Nissan has released a video of the Leaf in Puerto Rico, so we've embedded it below.

Envia Systems will develop battery technology for United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). The $7.7 million contract, co-funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), involves a 36-month development program focusing on high-energy cathode and anode material for lithium-ion batteries and pouch cells for electric vehicles. The goal, of course, is to create better energy storage for less money in an effort to make commercial EVs more efficient and affordable. For the DOE, this also equates to energy security, energy independence and national security. Read more in the press release at the bottom of the page.

The US and China have agreed to work together more closely on EVs, energy and climate issues. US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz went to Beijing for the sixth US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to meet with leaders. While there, Moniz and Wu Xinxiong of China's National Energy Administration (NEA) signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the DOE and NEA to share information regarding oil reserves. The groups will meet yearly to learn more about how each other manages petroleum stockpiles and policy. Moniz also met with Minister Miao Wei of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and signed an MOU to cooperate on electric vehicles and "related technologies," including the "inter-operability of electric vehicles." Read more at the Energy Department website.

August's BC2BC all-electric vehicle rally, billed as the largest gathering of electric vehicles, has been cancelled. The event, which was to include a drive up the entire coast from Mexico to British Columbia with smaller events along the route, failed to bring in the needed sponsorship to hold the rally for its third year. A Facebook post from organizer Tony Williams also cited loss of venue and lack of support from automakers - "particularly Nissan and Tesla" - as hardships. The event was scheduled to take place August 9 through 17, with only battery electric vehicles invited to take part - no plug-in hybrids or range-extended vehicles. Williams said he'd only try a similar event in the future if sponsorship were provided up front. Read more at Green Car Reports.

The Nissan Leaf will finally go on sale in Puerto Rico. A new law called Act 81 provides a 100-percent excise tax exemption for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, which will save customers $7,070.76 that would otherwise have been added to the car's $33,480 price tag. Nissan has also worked with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to expand the EV charging network on the island. These changes have made it feasible for Nissan and distributor Motorambar to sell the Leaf in Puerto Rico. The car was unveiled on the island at an event on July 15 at the Museum of Transportation in Guaynabo. See the Caribbean Business for more details.

The BMW i3 REx is now included in New Jersey's sales tax exemption for zero-emissions vehicles. Reversing an earlier decision, the range-extended version of the i3 is now included on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's list of qualifying vehicles. The range extender is a $3,850 option for the BMW i3, but with the tax included, the base i3 REx would cost over $7,000 more than the dedicated EV. Now, customers can enjoy holding onto the $3,000+ tax, as well as the peace of mind of having the range extending generator handy if the battery runs low. Read more at Inside EVs.

Show full PR text

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., July 21, 2014 – The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), a collaborative organization operated by Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, today announced the award of a $7.7 million advanced battery technology development contract for electric vehicle applications to Envia Systems of Newark, Calif.

The competitively bid contract award is co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and includes a 50 percent Envia Systems cost-share.

The 36-month lithium ion layered-layered cathode/silicon based anode program will focus on the development of high-energy cathode and anode material appropriate for vehicle applications and the development and scale up of pouch cells that exhibit performance metrics that exceed the minimum USABC targets for electric vehicles.

USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. DOE, USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles. In support of its mission, USABC has developed mid- and long-term goals to guide its projects and measure its progress. For more information, visit the USABC's website at http://www.uscar.org/guest/article_view.php?articles_id=85

"We are pleased to announce the award of this contract to Envia Systems as part of USABC's broad battery technology research and development programs," said Steve Zimmer, executive director of USCAR. "These programs are essential to advance the technology needed to meet both near- and long-term goals that will enable increasingly efficient and affordable vehicle electrification."

The new Envia Systems contract follows research previously conducted with USABC to develop advanced lithium-ion battery technologies for electric vehicle applications.

The U.S. DOE's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States. DOE's Vehicle Technologies Office works with industry, academia and national laboratories to develop advanced transportation technologies that reduce the nation's use of imported oil and increase its energy security. Electrochemical energy storage has been identified as a critical enabling technology for advanced, fuel-efficient, light and heavy-duty vehicles.


Founded in 1992, USCAR is the collaborative automotive technology company for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors. The goal of USCAR is to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research and development. For more information, visit USCAR's website at www.uscar.org

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Day Ago
      Oh . . . that new comment system that you seem to be testing with that Tesla Factory article is really terrible.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @ Spec Funny that they "test" on the regular autoblog... considering they have 10 times more comment traffic than ABG.
      • 1 Day Ago
      BMW USA is based in New Jersey so they can get NJ to eliminate that tax. What I want to know is does the Volt get no sales tax too?
        MTN RANGER
        • 1 Day Ago
        Possibly because the Volt doesn't fit CARB's BEVx category? Then again the i3 REx rated at 72 MPC is below CARB's threshold of 80 miles EV range. I'm wondering on what basis they negotiated.
      • 1 Day Ago
      The first tesla the roadster started down the road from me in Norfolk England, as they used the Lotus chassis and parts etc which is just up the road, in fact their is one for sale at www.electriccar2buy.co.uk, anyway things have moved on and the little assembly plant has closed down, but bring on the model 3 and affordable EV love it.