Recharge Wrap-up: Tesla Model 3 beta phase? Straubel invests in Axiom

DOE funding fuel, engine co-optimization projects.

Tesla is ordering enough parts to build 300 Model 3 prototypes. While that likely doesn't mean Tesla actually plans to build a fleet of 300 test vehicles, sources within the electric automaker's supply chain tell Electrek that the company is working to expand its stable well beyond the two current working Model 3 prototypes. With Tesla confirming a finished design recently, it is likely that the company is moving into the beta phase of its new electric sedan, which has already garnered hundreds of thousands of reservations from eager customers. Read more at Electrek.

Tesla co-founder and CTO JB Straubel has invested in energy storage startup Axiom Energy. The company's Refrigeration Battery uses excess cooling capacity to "store cooling" by freezing salt water. This allows businesses like grocery stores to shift from electricity to this stored cooling during peak energy demand. "Energy storage is a key technology that is enabling the ongoing deployment of renewables on the grid," says Straubel. " Axiom Exergy has developed a compelling solution that provides unique distributed energy benefits and delivers immediate value to supermarkets and cold storage facilities." See the video above, and read more at Electrek.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will invest $7 million to accelerate the development of clean, efficient engines through the co-optimization of engine and fuel technologies. In a partnership with the DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office and Vehicle Technologies Office, it is seeking proposals for projects that use such optimization for affordable, scalable, sustainable fuels for low-emissions engines through spark-ignition efficiency and advanced compression. Read more from the DOE.

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