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Just how intimate would you like to get with the powertrain in a Chevy Volt? If you're anything like YouTube user d55guy, then spending a half hour filming yourself taking apart the battery pack, motor, inverter and more for a look inside sounds like your idea of fun. After all, this way you get to see the cooling system, the heavy safety kill switch and count up the individual cells in the battery modules. Fun!

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The first of perhaps 'hundreds' of gigafactories is now one step closer to reality: Tesla and Panasonic have announced their official agreement to work together on the gigafactory. The two companies have worked together for many years on electric vehicles, but this new deal takes the partnership to a whole new level.

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The Chevrolet Volt isn't changing much for the 2015 model year. According to specifications uncovered by Inside EVs, though, the new Volt's battery does have a slightly larger capacity. According to the spec sheet, this doesn't translate to increased range. Real world driving, though, might tell a different story.

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What's good for the goose is good for the gander. In this case, the goose is BMW and the gander is Samsung. And their five-year plan has worked out well.

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Getting 17 More Miles From 36-kWh Pack Is A $600 Option

There was something unexpected hiding in the new configurator for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: a $600 "Temporary range extender." Since we've never heard of such a thing, we had to click through for more.

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GM Offering Free Fix For Affected Vehicles

The 2012 and 2013 model year Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle may have a battery glitch caused by low coolant levels. No recall has been issued and General Motors is taking care of the issue at no cost to drivers.

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Electric-vehicle maker Zap is ready to make its big US splash. No, really. And the China-based company has some muscle behind it from Tianjin Battery Company Ltd., also known as Lishen.

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Ford must be desperate to get itself ready for the beach this summer because it is really trying to get into shape. Shortly after unveiling the Lightweight Concept that cut the weight of a Fusion down to that of a Fiesta, it's now the rest of the line's turn for improvement. The company is wrapping up a 10-year research project aimed at developing next-gen automotive batteries to improve efficiency.

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Beginning this fall, used hybrid batteries that would otherwise be recycled will get a second life in Yellowstone National Park. 208 nickel-metal hydride batteries are being retired from the Toyota Camry Hybrids they once helped power and will become part of an off-the-grid energy system at Yellowstone's remote Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus. The Lamar campus provides field seminars and other education and research in the northeastern corner of the park.

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Phinergy and Alcoa show off a modified Citroen C1 with two battery types

If the groups behind it are to be believed, this little electric vehicle could travel 1,000 miles on a single charge. Battery developer Phinergy and metal manufacturer Alcoa have teamed up to demonstrate their aluminum-air battery in a small electric vehicle at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, and our friends at Autoblog Québec were there to check it out.

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Tesla Motors Chief Elon Musk has always been a big-picture guy, and the company's chief technology officer appears to be following suit. JB Straubel, who was a keynote speaker at the Joint Venture Silicon Valley symposium near the automaker's Northern California home base recently, says the company is just as much an energy-storage company as a car maker. And he said the rate of battery-technology improvement shows no signs of slowing down, according to Green Tech Media.

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Tesla Motors said earlier this month that the agreement it has with Toyota to supply battery packs for the Toyota RAV4 EV SUV would be finished by the end of the year. The deal is done, but Toyota is now singing its best version of Baby, Please Don't Go.

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Samsung? Who's Samsung? That's what Panasonic is asking as the electronics conglomerate makes it clear it is looking to secure its position in Tesla Motors' plans to build a huge car-battery factory over the next three years.

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The electric vehicles that Renault offers today are having a bit of difficulty attracting customers. Maybe 180 miles of range could make prospective car buyers shed their anxiety. That's what Renault and LG Chem might one day find out, since the two giants signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week to co-develop battery technology for long-range EVs.

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Five-plus years may have been about enough time for Daimler AG to know whether it wanted to be in the battery-pack production business. The Mercedes-Benz parent may stop making electric-vehicle batteries and ultimately sell its Li-Tec battery-cell factory in Germany within two years, according to Bloomberg News which cites Manager Magazin. The beneficiary may be LG Electronics, which would likely take over battery-production duties for models such as Daimler's Smart ED battery-electric vehicle.

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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.

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The future of the Toyota RAV4 EV appears to be in doubt. Tesla supplies the EVs battery packs, and it says that production ends later this year.

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Tesla Motors said in the release of its first-quarter earnings Wednesday that it will boost its quarterly production on its Model S luxury sedan to as many as 9,000 from the approximately 7,500 it made during the first three months of the year. Bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach doesn't believe that's a good thing.

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Since we carry and deal with more and more items that need batteries, we have to figure out better and mobile ways of charging those batteries - at least until John Galt arrives and shows us how to harness electricity from the air. In the meantime, the Jumpr from Juno Power is one of those chargers trying to make our lives easier by being able to both charge your small portable electronic devices as well as your car battery.

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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.

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Gravity taketh away but gravity giveth back, Nissan is trying to teach all of us. The Japanese automaker has posted a two-minute video about Maui resident Neil Wagner using his Nissan Leaf to catch the legendary sunrise over the volcano in Haleakalā National Park. After climbing the more-than-10,000-foot elevation, the Leaf is shown having lost about 84 percent of its usable battery capacity.

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