CATL to start Gigafactory: The Chinese supplier wants to enter the battery market as early as January 2018 when a new facility in Liyang will take up its work. The first phase already aims at an annual capacity of 10 GWh. This shall increase gradually until output reaches 36 GWh, just like Tesla’s Gigafactory. The cells will be assembled by cooperation partner SAIC that could soon supply enough packs for up to 300,000 EVs a year. CATL, that also delivers cells for the BMW i3, was the world’s third largest battery maker in 2016 with an output of 6.8 GWh.
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Electric drive: GKN Driveline is about to construct a new manufacturing facility in Tokoname City, Japan. It will replace an older plant, and has become necessary to meet increasing demand for AWD and eDrive systems. GKN will break ground this month and targets completion by mid-2018.
Another e-drive from Japan is presented by Nidec that has developed a lightweight motor system for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. It combines a gearbox, an inverter and a motor with a proprietary cooling system and has an output of 40 to 150 kW to cater for various vehicles.
Lonesome ranger: 400,000 miles driven with almost no battery degradation. What sounds like one of those Tesla milestones has actually been hit by a single Chevy Volt driven by a GM employee. Note though that the electric miles count 141,795 only.