Vello Bike+, 3M, Elegus, SF-Breeze.
Staying charged: Austrian start-up Vello Bike says it built the world’s first self-charging electric folding bike. The Vello Bike+ uses energy generated during cycling to keep the battery full. The company started a Kickstarter campaign and has long surpassed its initial goal of collecting 80,000 euros.
geeky-gadgets.com, kickstarter.com (Crowdfunding)
Keeping cool: 3M has developed the cooling liquid Novec, designed to cool batteries of electric cars more effectively and increase performance. It will also enable the future use of battery cells with a higher energy density.
emobilserver.de, 3mdeutschland.de (in German)
Joining forces: XALT Energy and Energy Power Systems are forming a joint venture with Elegus. The University of Michigan start-up has developed a separator, which is said to help increase the energy density of li-ion cells.
H2-ferry for the San Francisco Bay: Researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories have completed a feasibility study in San Francisco. They found that the so-called SF-Breeze (San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions), a larger hydrogen-powered vessel that meets maritime regulations, is an economically viable possibility.
Penn State University, Kia, Tesla, 3M.
Preheated battery: Researchers from Penn State University have developed the all-climate battery (ACB), a Li-ion battery that warms itself in cold environments to keep performance steady. When temperatures drop below zero, an integrated temperature sensor reroutes current through nickel foil, warming the battery through resistance heating. Once it reaches non-freezing temperatures, the heating switches off. The amount of energy used for the warm-up is said to be very small.
nature.com, gizmag.com, greencarcongress.com
Ahead of its Chicago debut, Kia revealed new details about its dedicated Niro PHEV. The on sale date is set for late 2016. It will be powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline engine coupled with a 32 kW electric motor. A plug-in hybrid variant will follow at a later stage.
Inconclusive: A recent fire of a Tesla Model S in Norway was not caused by the Supercharger it was connected to, an investigation concludes. Yet, what exactly has sparked the EV to go up in flame remains unclear, as the car burnt to the ground.
Tape a magnet: 3M introduced a new magnet bonding adhesive system designed to provide electric motor designers and engineers with a less sticky tool for attaching magnets to rotors and stators in permanent magnet electric motors. The new adhesive is a tape rather than liquid glue.
Huawai, fool's gold battery, Vanderbilt University, Plug Power + 3M.
Faster charger: Huawei presented a new Li-ion battery at the Battery Symposium in Japan, said to charge ten times faster than current variants, reaching 68% capacity in two minutes. According to Huawei, this is made possible by bonding heteroatoms to graphite anodes, saying the technology could revolutionize the EV market.
Fool’s gold battery: Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have developed a battery made from iron, sulfur, sodium and magnesium, a combination also referred to as “fool’s gold.” The elements are more abundant and cheaper than lithium and especially fit for stationary batteries. So far, however, they are not powerful enough for electric cars.
Ultrasmall nanoparticles: Unlike using bulk iron pyrite, researchers at Vanderbilt University found that using iron pyrite dots in sodium and lithium works, because the iron can move close to the surface. Moreover, the sodium and lithium reacts with the sulphur in the iron pyrite, changing its form to store energy.
Plug Power and 3M sign supply agreement: The latter will deliver membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for Plug Power’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks. These will be built in the facilities in Latham, NY and Spokane, WA, and will be ready for delivery before the end of the year.