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.
It seems every time the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV makes the news the information concerns a delay, and the reason always centers on its batteries. Four months ago the culprit was restricted battery supply from Lithium Energy Japan, pushing the arrival to 2015. This time it's no different, with Automotive News reporting that a battery-related request made by California state regulators will push the Outlander PHEV arrival back to "late 2015 or early 2016."
When the 2015 VW e-Golf was introduced at the LA Auto Show last year, VW said it would come with a water-cooled battery. During the Detroit Auto Show, when the car was trotted out again, VW released a new press release that stripped out the "water-cooled" language, but this change went unnoticed. During a recent VW event in Germany, a friend from Green Car Reports realized that the battery on display did not seem to have any water-cooling mechanisms. That set us off on a bit of a sleuthing and w
Just about the entire US southwest is ready to jump into the financial bed with Tesla Motors as the electric-vehicle maker looks for a place to put its massive "gigafactory." But lithium-ion battery maker Panasonic? Not so much, says Bloomberg News.
Next week is Tesla Gigafactory week. The California automaker has a major announcement planned, and it's all about its intention to build a battery factory so large, the company is pulling out the giga prefix. At some point in the next seven days, we expect to hear where Tesla will build the plant, who it will partner with, how it will pay for it and lots of other details.
There's a growing hubbub in the plug-in vehicle community over what looks like some ridiculously cheap replacement batteries for the Chevrolet Volt going up for sale. GM Parts Online, for example, is selling a replacement Volt battery with an MSRP of $2,994.64 but, with an online discount, the price comes down to $2,305.88. For the 16-kWh pack in the 2012 Volt, that comes to a very low $144.11 per kilowatt hour (kWH). But is it a real deal? How can it be, when a Chevy dealer may quote you a pric
Tesla Motors is on the move today, announcing an expanded deal with Panasonic for more and better lithium-ion automotive batteries as well as progress on the US Supercharger network. To go along with the Supercharger news – which is all about the West Coast – Tesla is taking a specially marked #DriveFree Model S (complete with social media campaign angle) along the route offering, yes, free drives. The opening of the West Coast Supercharger Corridor along US Highway 101 and Interstat
We finally have some shots from the show floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show of the Volkswagen e-Up!, one of two new electric vehicles from the German automaker. The e-Up! comes equipped with a 18.7 kWh lithium ion battery and 60 kW electric motor (81 hp) with 155 lb-ft of torque, a combination that gives the little five-door hatchback a range of 99 miles.
Mention the term "alkaline battery" and folks of a certain generation will remember the old Eveready battery commercials with actor Robert Conrad daring the viewer to knock the battery off his shoulder. Very macho. Now, alkaline has moved from manliness to money-saving, as the fine folks at Princeton University have been granted almost $1 million from the US Department of Energy to develop alkaline batteries suitable for electric-vehicle use, Princeton Patch reports.
Tesla Motors has, over its short life, sourced its batteries pretty much exclusively from Panasonic. Now that sales of the Model S are blowing up – expected to be in excess of 21,000 units this year, with production ability increasing to potentially double that – and the company's future product path is becoming more clear, it seems time to diversify its battery supply lines.
Back in March, production of both the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid and the all-electric i-MiEV ground to a halt over a pair of incidents where overheated lithium-ion batteries caused vehicle fires. Following the rocky start, The Japan Times is reporting that production of the Outlander PHEV has recommenced following the five-month stoppage.
Sometimes, you have to go across the border to get the skinny on what's happening in the US. For example, did you know GM might be testing electric cars with batteries that have about three times the energy density of today's EV?
Stop-start battery systems continue to gain traction with automakers. The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) has now awarded a $2.28 million stop-start development contract to Leyden Energy Inc. of Fremont, CA. USABC is a consortium group made up of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors – and this award was also funded in part by the US Department of Energy (DOE).
It's official: A123 Systems Inc. is passing through its final phase. The bankrupt lithium ion battery maker, now going by the name B456 Systems Inc., has won court approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy that pays off creditors from proceeds gained by selling off virtually all of its assets.
If the US would like to stop importing 80 percent of its lithium, mainly from China, and if Bolivian sources don't come through, it looks like there is a big domestic opportunity: Wyoming. Having an ample domestic supply would bring down the price of lithium, which could mean electric vehicles would become more cost competitive.
The mystery of potentially dangerous lithium ion batteries continues to hang over sales of vehicles using this technology. Experts who recently testifyied before the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that failure of the technology has slowed development of electric cars and other applications of the batteries.
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.
The bankruptcy proceedings for A123 Systems are moving relatively smoothly toward completion, and it looks like Wanxiang America Corp. and Navitas Systems LLC should complete the transactions within the guidelines of the court-ordered asset purchase agreements by February 1, 2013.