Tesla Motors may be enlisting more firms to complement Panasonic's efforts to meet lithium-ion battery demand.
It's one thing for the Big 3 to get tires and engine parts from cities along the US Rust Belt. It's another thing altogether, though, for Tesla Motors to source far more esoteric materials like graphite, cobalt and lithium from Canada and the northern US. But that's what the California-based company has in mind, and it's all in the name of environmental friendliness and cost, Bloomberg News says.
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.
Lithium-ion batteries have two big hurdles to climb if they're going to power millions of plug-in vehicles – they're too expensive and their reliability has been called to question. For next-gen li-ion batteries to make it, there had better be a cheap and plentiful component. How about rice husks?
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.
Until another element is preferred or discovered, lithium will be the foundation for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries for the foreseeable future. It is an expensive part of the battery packs being installed and is keeping sticker prices fairly high. The price of lithium, the lightest metal, has jumped 35 percent in the past 18 months, according to Jonathan Lee, an analyst at Byron Capital Markets in Toronto.
It hasn't been easy for many aspiring EV builders to get A123's lithium cells for their projects, but a new deal struck by the battery maker and Mavizen may change that. The TTXGP-affiliated electric motorcycle maker has reached an agreement that will see them distributing their AMP20 prismatic cells, ostensibly for motorsport applications. They will eventually have access to other product as well.
Robert "Bob" Stempel, semi-retired at an energetic 78, is one of the good guys. Armed with a mechanical engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, he joined General Motor's Oldsmobile Division in 1958 as a chassis detailer and 29 years later was GM president and chief operating officer under then-CEO Roger Smith.
A research team at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China is studying the use of an advanced electrolyte material (LiFNFSI) to enhance the thermal stability of lithium-ion batteries. The team has conducted several tests of the material, replacing the more conventional LiPF6 electrolyte with this advanced substance. Hongbo Han, a member of the Chinese research team, points to these keys findings, which highlight the thermal stability of batteries with the LiFNFSI electrolyte s