GM postpones Velite 6 launch in China
The planned launch of the Buick Velite 6 PHEV and the fully-electric version planned for the start of next year have been postponed because the batteries have failed internal performance and safety tests.
Jaguar, Panasonic, University of Waterloo, A123 Systems, SoelCat 12.
Panasonic and Jaguar hit the track: The British carmaker officially presented its team and electric racer. The I-Type 1 will debut at the Formula E race in Hong Kong, sporting a black-turquoise colour scheme. Panasonic is official sponsor and partner.
Smart vehicle test lab: The University of Waterloo has opened its “cutting edge” GAIA Research Facility for the development and testing of electric vehicle technologies. By integrating batteries and drivetrains and simulating real-world driving, researchers hope to extend the life of batteries, work on bidirectional charging and advanced driver assistance programmes – also to optimise energy consumption.
Safer vehicle batteries are the focus of a cooperation between battery maker A123 Systems and the Argonne National Laboratory. The goal is to develop better cathodes for Li-ion batteries without losing energy density or affecting the lifetime. The project is schedule to last three years.
Sailing with solar power: The SoelCat 12 is the newest development of a Dutch company with the same name and especially aimed at eco-tourism. A solar roof powers the catamaran’s electric drivetrain and supplies battery with energy, so that the vessel can also operate during bad weather and at night. But the fun comes at a hefty price of 562,000 dollars.
General Motors, Tesla, Apple, A123 Systems, Samsung.
Volt battery gets 2nd life: General Motors is employing five used batteries from the Chevy Volt to store energy from solar and wind power to supply its ‘Enterprise Data Center’. The demonstration project is to be the start for a series of tests together with partners, not unlike what Nissan just started doing.
greencarcongress.com, freep.com, detroitnews.com
Tesla seeks expertise: To further decrease costs of its batteries, the Californian carmaker has employed Jeff Dahn as an advisor, media reports. He is recognised as one the leading developers of lithium batteries. In return for his services, Tesla is to sponsor his research activities.
marketwatch.com, wsj.com (after registration)
Expert poaching resolved: Apple and A123 Systems have settled a lawsuit that accused Apple of poaching talents from the battery maker thus violating non-compete clauses. The case had fuelled rumours about Apple working on an EV. For what terms the two parties settled in the end is confidential.
A total of 4,761 automotive-related patents from Apple, Google, Samsung, Tesla and Uber from 1990 to 2014 were counted by Forbes. Surprisingly, 3,094 are held by Samsung that added 632 in 2014 alone, including a very large interest in battery and fuel cell technologies for next-generation vehicles.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday were the pictures of the undisguised 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV captured in Japan.
Google, Advanced Propulsion Centre, Toyota, A123 Systems, Apple.
Google EVs ready by summer: The internet giant wants to bring some of its autonomous vehicles to the streets of Mountain View, California, by summer, says Chris Umson, head of the project. The current versions will still feature steering wheels, as well as acceleration and brake pedals that will become redundant in the future.
Drivetrain funding: The British Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) announced a 60 million pound funding programme for low carbon propulsion technologies. Key areas are i.e. electric machines, power electronics and lightweight powertrain structures. Registration deadline is June 24th.
Toyota gives batteries a second life: 208 decommissioned nickel-metal hydride batteries from Toyota Camry hybrids were installed at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch inside the Yellowstone National Park. With a combined storage capacity of 85 kWh, they will be able to hold enough excess energy produced by local solar panels and micro hydro turbines to power the farm off the grid.
Poaching dispute settled: Apple and battery maker A123 Systems have come to an agreement in a recent dispute, where Apple was accused of poaching A123 employees to set up a battery unit for its upcoming electric car. The financial (or in fact any) details of the deal have not been announced.
HotPowCon, A123 Systems, Johnson Matthey, Wattwagon, BMW i3.
Improved power electronics: Bosch-led HotPowCon research project has developed a new packaging and interconnection technology (PIT). It enables the production of power electronics which can work under high operating temperatures of up to 300° C.
Lithium iron phosphate formulation: Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems LLC now sold its cathode materials manufacturing plant in Changzhou, China, to Johnson Matthey. As A123 uses these cathodes across its portfolio, the two companies have entered into a long term supply agreement at the same time.
Push when pulled: The Wattwagon is an electric bike trailer that offers electric assistance and space for cargo to cyclists. Its inventor, Rich Wolf, is currently looking for backers on Kickstarter to develop its attachable electric assist system further.
i3 body kit: Here comes a kit from Japan that turns the BMW i3 into a racer, at least from the outside. Obviously, the add-on by Garage Eve.ryn is far from the original’s aerodynamics or light-weight which fall victim to this aggressive yet dynamic looking body kit nicknamed BMW EVO i3.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was the announcement of an all-electric camper van based on Nissan’s E-NV200 .
LG Chem, Power Japan Plus, China Dynamics, A123 Systems.
Korean-Chinese battery deal: LG Chem will supply batteries for electric vehicles from SAIC Motors and Qoros. With these latest deals, the South Korean company now serves the four biggest Chinese car makers, including FAW and Changan. Orders from China stand at more than 100,000 batteries and a joint venture for production in China is already on the agenda, according to LG Chem.
Carbon double: Japanese racing Team TAISAN and Power Japan Plus will jointly develop an electric race car. The racer will be powered by the Ryden dual carbon battery by Power Japan Plus (we reported) which will first be tested in a go-cart.
New battery player? China Dynamics, formerly Sinocop Resources, is switching its business from metal trading to EV battery development. The company said its battery technology works exceptionally good in cold climates but did not reveal what kind of battery it actually is. It will, however, be used for Rimac’s Concept_One. China Dynamics says it is even thinking about buying 10% of the Croatian supercar manufacturer.
Micro-hybrid focus: Battery producer A123 Systems acquired Leyden Energy’s intellectual property regarding battery materials like Li-titanate (LTO) and non-flammable electrolyte (Li-imide) – technologies mainly used in start-stop systems. As part of the deal, Leyden Energy’s technical staff will join the R&D section of A123.
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Most clicked Link on Monday was our Short Circuit about a donkey-powered Jaguar.
Sumitomo, PriMa3D, A123, Porsche, Hybrid Tech, Boston-Power.
Putting used EV batteries back into use: Japanese Sumitomo has installed a power storage unit which utilises recycled EV batteries. This commercial scale storage system uses 16 batteries and is placed in Osaka, where it will go live this February. It is operated by 4R Energy, a joint venture Sumitomo created together with Nissan.
How to print an electric motor? The PriMa3D project of Chemnitz University of Technology and Fraunhofer IFAM is looking for an answer to that question. The partners are working on production technologies involving 3D screen printing of electric drivetrains. The project is part of seven collaborative research projects with a total of 49 partners all working on new concepts for electric motor manufacture. The projects are funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research with 20 million euros (27m dollars).
elektroniknet.de (In German), tu-chemnitz.de (PriMa3D – in German)
Porsche powered by A123: The German carmaker just announced that A123 Systems will be its exclusive technology partner for the development of the energy storage system for the 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans prototype. Porsche also revealed that it will partner with Schaeffler and Veltins brewery on its return to the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Bidding alliance for Fisker: Hybrid Tech Holdings has joined forces with battery supplier Boston-Power from Massachusetts. Together, they will compete against Chinese Wanxiang for the winning bid in the Fisker auction set for the 12th of February.