With pro football season about to begin, we thought it appropriate to use a gridiron metaphor: one research firm is estimating that Tesla Motors will outkick its coverage when it comes to the Gigafactory it's planning for the western US, likely Reno, NV. The electric-vehicle maker has said needs the giant battery plant because its annual sales will reach a half-million by the end of the decade. Lux Research is saying the company's EV sales will be closer to about half that.
Panasonic's standing in the plug-in and hybrid battery production industry has zoomed ahead like a Tesla Model S taking off from a standstill. That's appropriate because the Japanese company's relationship with the California-based automaker has been the primary reason for its growth, which looks like it will continue to be rapid.
There's a near endless list of things in automotive drivetrain technology that have changed since 1930. Oddly, the way scientists think about at how lithium-ion movement affects the performance of batteries is not one of them. Of course, not a lot of people were thinking about battery-electric drivetrains 80 years ago (the original battery-electric car era was long gone and gas-powered vehicles were the standard), but there is a lesson here.
It's been quite a while since we've heard anything from Sakti3, the Ann Arbor-based battery company that has been working on next-generation solid state lithium batteries for many years. Heck, even the company's website doesn't have any news that isn't a year old. Thankfully, our friend Jim Motavalli, who blogs for Car Talk, recently talked to Sakti3's Ann Marie Sastry on the eve of her company being named an affiliate of the US Department of Energy's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JC
While the dark cloud that was the Better Place bankruptcy may have had a silver lining for some in Israel, in the US that cumulonimbus is wrapped with lithium. Or, more precisely, lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) with a sprinkling of lithium nickel oxide (LiNiO2). That's because a boat load of batteries intended for those erstwhile BP swapping stations have found their way across the Atlantic and into the clutches of our friends over at EVTV.
The US Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-e) agency is shooting for some sort of electric-vehicle battery nirvana with a plan/wish/dream to develop safer, cheaper batteries that not only offer a longer single-charge range but that can also double as crumple zones. What's next, peace in the Middle East?
A123 Systems, the lithium-ion battery maker that was acquired out of bankruptcy in January, has promoted Jason Forcier to chief executive officer and said it would attempt to build up its business by attracting more China-based customers, Reuters reports. The company also said its executives would be based at the company's factory in Livonia, MI. Forcier had previously headed A123's auto division.
There are already lithium-ion batteries in some Toyota vehicles (the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the RAV4 EV and the European Prius+, for example), but the company's standard bearer – the non-plug Prius hybrid – still relies on nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells. But, the future belongs to li-ion, and that's why Toyota will soon increase its production of the higher-energy-density batteries sixfold with an eye to putting them into the Prius at an unspecified point in the future, according t
Imagine recharging a Nissan Leaf from a standard 110-volt outlet in, say, oh, about a minute. Far-fetched, sure, but at least one research facility thinks it has a lead on making lithium-ion batteries that can recharge 1,000 times faster than current ones.
Toyota has never been a big fan of lithium ion batteries, and has a plan in place to replace them with solid-state batteries that are three-to-four times more powerful. Toyota will commercialize solid-state batteries around 2020 and lithium air batteries – which offer a fivefold increase for the same weight – could follow several years later, said Shigeki Suzuki, managing officer for material engineering. Suzuki didn't offer details on a rollout plan or vehicle volumes.
After offering to help Boeing with its lithium-ion battery problems, Elon Musk is somewhat raising the stakes. Musk, who heads both Tesla Motors and space exploration company SpaceX, has now called the batteries in the Boeing 787 "inherently unsafe" in an e-mail to trade publication Flightglobal.
Bankrupt lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems may have gained a new owner, but will lose a lot of money in the pending sale to China-based Wanxiang Group, Reuters reports, citing an unidentified US Energy Department official.
The Detroit News reports that China's Wanxiang Group Corporation will acquire almost all of bankrupt A123 Systems Inc. for $256 million. The deal includes all of the American battery manufacturer's grid and commercial business assets as well as the company's facilities in Michigan, Massachusetts and Missouri. Meanwhile, Woodridge, Illinois-based Navitas Systems will purchase all of A123 Systems' government contracts for $2.25 million.
If you've got an older car in your driveway, which experts say is getting to be more typical lately, what happens when the battery poops out? You'll be paying $100 to $200 to pick one up at a retail parts store. But what about hybrid electric vehicles?