AutoStack-Industrie, BASF, Freudenberg, TerraTrike.
German fuel cell consortium: AutoStack-Industrie is a 60m euro consortium made of BMW, Daimler, Ford, and VW to investigate high-volume production of fuel cell stacks. The private project receives public funds, with 21.3m euros coming from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in the first year. Apart from carmakers, the BMW-led consortium also includes suppliers such as Umicore, ZSW or Powercell Sweden and together they aim to show results by 2020 in form of a prototype stack. The ultimate goal is automated assembly and a scalable production with a target capacity of 30,000 fuel cell stacks per year.
greencarcongress.com, electrive.net (in German)
No more electrolyte for BASF as the firm sells its Suzhou facility to Capchem. BASF will shift its focus on cathodes and already announced to establish their production in Europe.
Profile-to-Gasket: Small scale producers may rejoice with Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ novel seal for traction-battery housings. The patented ‘Profiles-to-Gasket’ or P2G concept was designed for annual production runs of up to 5,000 batteries of any geometry, the company said.
Electric rambler: TerraTrike launches its electric-assist recumbent trike. The Rambler E.V.O. (short for Electric Vehicle Option) uses a 750-watt rear-wheel motor made by Falco eMotors and is said to cover 60 miles on a charge. The e-bike will be available from next months for 2,999 dollars.
BASF, Munich, Continental, Lion Smart.
BASF to produce cathodes in Europe: The German company wants to invest 400m euros to build production plants for cathode materials in Europe. The material for those parts will come from Russia and Finland however, where BASF has signed an MoU with Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) to provide nickel and cobalt. BASF already supplies cathodes in Asia as well as the States but will then be able to include the European market as well.
The future of energy found a new home in Munich, where the Technical University (TM) inaugurated its Research Center for Energy and Information (ZEI). It houses various disciplines, including engineering and with the focus on energy transition (Energiewende), electric transport as well as smart grids are areas the up to 100 residing scientists will look into. Electric cars and charging equipment are regulars on campus too and batteries will be another area of research.
Efficient hose and lines: Continental will bring a range of hose and lines designed to make EV batteries last longer to the IAA. The weight of oil hoses for battery tempering was reduced by 25 percent and acoustically optimised fluid solutions ensure quiet inside the passenger compartment.
Kreisel Electric secured its supply of battery management systems from Lion E-Mobility. Its German branch Lion Smart will deliver the BMS for Kreisel’s stationery storage unit Mavero on a global scale exclusively until 2021 with an option to continue the contract.
Global Power Synergy, Tesla, DOE, BASF, VW.
Petrol dollars for battery factory: Thai oil company PTT sends his subsidiary Global Power Synergy (GPSC) to erect a plant for battery production in Thailand by next year. A technology has been found already as GPSC signed a license agreement with 24M, an A123 spin-off, for their semi-solid electrolyte technology. GPSC thus has the copyright to produce Li-ion batteries in Thailand and Asean countries and hopes to utilise them as back up storage for energy from renewables. However, talks have been held with both Tesla and GM regarding battery back up for their vehicles allegedly.
Tesla delivers details for its solar tiles and says one square foot (0.09 sqm) cost about 22 dollars on average – less than conventional PV systems and including battery backup. Installations are lined up this summer in the States, but clients overseas will have to wait until next year.
bloomberg.com, tesla.com (cost calculator)
Nanoparticles improve fuel cells: Researchers at the DOE’s Ames Laboratory started to make smaller, more efficient intermetallic nanoparticles which also use less platinum for fuel cells. The trick lies in the surface-to-volume ratio and some added zinc.
Applications are open for the ‘Science Award Electrochemistry’ from BASF and VW. The award is worth 100,000 euros in total with 40,000 for the winner alone. Researchers may apply until August 18.
Apply via basf.com
Zee.Aero, NECOBAUT, BASF, Umicore, Suzuki.
Google founder takes off: Start-up Zee.Aero announced its plans for the creation of an electric powered aircraft about a year ago. Backed by Google founder Larry Page and based in the Silicon Valley, the company now published footage of its prototype vertically taking off and cruising over a lake. The Kitty Hawk Flyer resembles a flying motorcycle that can carry one person without a pilot licence. It is equipped with eight electric motors and supposed to enter production still this year.
theverge.com, futurism.com, electrek.co
8 x higher capacity: Researchers of the EU project NECOBAUT (New concept of metal-air battery for automotive application based on advanced nanomaterials) developed a new way to enlarge the storage capacity of EV batteries. Based on a reaction of iron and air, the technology is said to store eight times more energy than conventional batteries and could thus provide a low cost alternative to Li-ion packs.
Patent disputes settled: BASF sued Umicore in the States for patent infringement two years ago (we reported). A resolution has now been reached, that sees BASF licensing Umicore to make, use, sell, distribute and import the disputed nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathodes for Li-ion batteries.
Hybrid AWD scooter by Suzuki: A new patent of the Japanese company shows an AWD scooter equipped with a petrol engine as well as a hub-mounted electric motor in the front. As it is with all patents, this is no prove, that this hybrid vehicle will really reach production.
Airbus, BASF, supercaps, Tesla.
Autonomous Vahana taxi takes flight: Airbus has forged a partnership with MTSI and SOAR in Oregon. The will help getting the self-flying electric cab (we reported) off the ground. First prototypes could prepare for take-off as early as next year, while market launch is intended for 2020.
Distinguished battery researchers: BASF and Volkswagen honoured William Chueh from Stanford and Martin Ebner from ETH Zürich for their research results in the areas of energy storage and conversion and of fast charging of lithium-ion batteries. Chueh was awarded the “Science Award Electrochemistry 2016,” while Ebner received a special prize for applied research.
Flexible supercaps for cars? Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a new process for creating flexible supercapacitors with a higher energy storage capacity and that can be charged more than 30,000 times without capacity loss. If they go into series production, it could mean shorter charging times and longer lifespans for EV battery packs.
Tesla coming to Kärnten? The California EV maker is looking for a production location in Europe and the federal state Kärnten in southern Austria is looking to offer a spot. The city of Villach is throwing its hat into the ring, saying a 40-hectare large industry park would be the perfect site for Tesla.
kaernten.orf.at (in German)
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BASF, Nissan, TU Delft, Uni Michigan.
Closer connections: BASF and Toda Kogyo are to collaborate in cathode active materials (CAM) and its respective precursors in the USA. The deal would entail a broad range of CAM for Li-ion batteries for use in the automotive and other markets. The two firms already entertain a similar partnership in Japan.
Nissan fuel cell research: Vanderbilt University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are working with Nissan North America on low-platinum-metal-group electrocatalysts with a proton-conducting binder. The project is funded by the Doe with 4.5m dollars and aims for improved FCV.
The Forze VII has become what its design specc promised as students of the TU Delft presented the hydrogen-powered racer to the public. Two electric motors give the car a peak power of 320 kW, accelerating it from 0 -100 kph in less than 4 seconds. A 100 kW fuel cell stack provides the energy.
Solar car wins for 6th time: The Uni Michigan team has won the American Solar Challenge for the sixth consecutive time. It led the field of 23 college competitors with its solar-powered car that carried the team for 1,975 miles over eight days. Sponsors include Siemens and GM.
Midsummer, BASF, Samsung SDI, Tesla.
Midsummer solar fund: Swedish solar energy company Midsummer has received funding from research foundation Mistra to develop a lightweight solar module for vehicles. Researchers will integrate thin-film solar panels on ultra-light vehicles as part of an effort to develop superefficient electric vehicles. The panels will be tested on a Clean Motion Zbee’s composite roof.
Battery from BASF: BASF has obtained a battery material license from CAMX Power. The CAM-7 Li-ion cathode material uses high-nickel compounds and could increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. The CAM-7 also offers high electrode density, low cost and thermal stability.
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No more H2 from Samsung: Korean brand Samsung’s battery affiliate Samsung SDI announced that it will exit the fuel cell business entirely. A company spokesman explained that “the outlook of the market isn’t good.” Samsung is in talks with local company Kolon Industries to sell all related equipment.
Autonomous Tesla: Tesla already has some 70,000 cars equipped with Autopilot hardware on the road and the Autopilot programme has officially driven 47m miles in six months. Google has only racked up 1.5m city miles in six years using their LiDAR technology. Musk expects Tesla’s level-4 fully self-driving technology to be ready in about 2 years.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the specs about the battery and drivetrain of the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt.
Audi, BASF, Lohr, Tesla.
New LMP1 racer: Audi presented its redesigned R18 e-tron quattro racer for the 2016 season. It features a modified hybrid system with Li-ion batteries, as well as an efficiency-optimized TDI engine. Moreover, the LMP1 race car is more lightweight and aerodynamic than its predecessor, ready to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
greencarcongress.com, electric-vehiclenews.com, audi-mediacenter.com
BASF bets on battery materials: The chemical company wants to increase revenue from the automotive industry by five percent per year. BASF has high hopes for its business with battery materials for electric cars in which the company believes annual revenue to reach at least 500m euros by 2020.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
Smart electric shuttles unveiled: French manufacturer Lohr has presented the prototype of a small bimodal electric bus during the COP21. The Cristal can be used for individual transport, as well as part of a multi-unit configuration for public transportation. First trial runs are expected to kick off in early 2017.
Tesla heating technology: Keeping the inside of an EV cozy on a cold day can quickly drain the battery. Tesla holds the patent for technology that uses waste heat from electronics and the traction motor, making the system much more efficient.
insideevs.com, google.com (Patent)
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Most clicked link on Monday was about the electric trucks (one with fuel cell technology) Renault will present on the occasion of the COP21.
BASF, OXIS Energy, nanosheets.
Fitted for EVs: BASF expands its range of engineering plastics for hybrid and electric vehicles. The new Ultramid and Ultradur materials are bound to hug high-voltage connectors tight, thus saving manufacturers weight and installation space.
Super-chilled Li-S battery: Hyperdrive Innovation and Li-sulphur battery developer OXIS Energy are exploring the feasibility of an Ultra-Low Temperature Battery (ULTB), capable of operating in the Antarctic. The project is supported by Innovate UK.
Hybrid cellular nanosheets: South Korean researchers found a way to produce carbon-based hybrid cellular nanosheets, made up of close-packed cubic cavity cells divided by carbon walls. These could be an effective solution to shortcomings of anode materials, as they exhibit high electrochemical performance in many key aspects of the LIB anode.
Skeleton Technologies, Samsung SDI, BASF, AquaMetals.
Ultracap KERS: Skeleton Technologies and Adgero have developed an ultracapacitor-based Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for truck trailers. The hybrid system is designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 25 percent and is optimized for intermodal road transport solutions.
Samsung batteries for e-bikes: At the Eurobike show in Germany, Samsung SDI unveiled a 500Wh e-bike battery pack that can run for 100 km on a single charge. The company is exhibiting six types of standardized battery packs that can either be built inside or installed on the outside for immediate use.
BASF to show new battery technology: At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, German chemicals firm BASF will showcase advanced cathode materials and electrolytes for batteries of electric and hybrid cars. They are said to offer high power, as well as safety and improved efficiency.
Battery recycling plant: AquaMetals has broken ground on its AquaRefinery battery recycling facility. Although it will be built at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of Reno near Tesla´s Gigafactory, the facility is intended for the recycling of lead batteries, not lithium-ion batteries.
Google, BASF, Volkswagen
Click tip: Do you want a glimpse of the first self-driving electric vehicles by Google? The picture was taken on a public road in California. However, the small cars still have to be equipped with driving devices such as a removable steering wheel and (human) “safety drivers.”
Get on board: BASF and VW are now taking applications for the 4th ‘Science Award for Electrocchemistry’ that offers a prize money of 100,000 euros. Applications have to be handed in until July 24th, with the award ceremony taking place at October 28th in Tokyo.
science-award.com (application), greencarcongress.com
BASF, Foxconn & BAIC, Bora Bora, Boca Raton, Cornwall College.
BASF’s electric fleet will grow by 100 cars this year. Ten Renault Zoe now joined 38 Kangoo and Zoe already used at the BASF site in Ludwigshafen. This development is in line with the company’s effort to become the leading supplier of functional materials and solutions for battery manufacturers.
mrn-news.de (in German)
Hon Hai car rental: The electric hiring service run by Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) and BAIC, currently operational throughout Beijing with 1,000 electric cars (we reported) will expand its services in ten more Chinese cities. Guiyang is next and will start operations with 100 EVs in July.
Twizy in the sun: Tourists on Bora Bora can now rent one of twelve Renault Twizy. At a rate of about 33 euros/hour, this is certainly one of the most exclusive EV offers between Australia and America. But at least no one on this small island will mind the missing windows or worry about range.
insideevs.com, avis-borabora.com (offer)
Florida town offers free electric rides: Since early May, visitors and residents can catch a ride in one of the six electric shuttles from Downtowner in Boca Raton. CEO Stephen Murray says he wanted to help free up parking spaces in the beach town. City officials loved the idea, especially because they do not pay a cent. Drivers earn their money through tips only.
Cornwall College installed four rapid-chargers at its campuses in Camborne, St Austell, Newquay and Saltash. Working together with the Cornwall Council and SSE Enterprise Utilities, these are the first of 22 public chargers planned in the area to enable students and teachers to go electric.
University College London, MIRA & Samsung Techwin, BASF, JCAP.
Realtime overheating: What really happens inside an overheated lithium battery before it explodes has been filmed by researchers at the University College of London. Using a combination of high-frequency X-ray imaging and thermal imaging, the team was able to record what was going on both inside and outside the Li-Ion battery when heated up to a few hundred degrees.
fusion.net, youtube.com (video)
Battery pact: British MIRA and Korean Samsung Techwin have forged an alliance to jointly work on cost-efficient battery and drive systems for electrified commercial, defence and niche vehicles. The partners promise to deliver state of the art cells and customised solutions for OEMs.
BASF puts NiMH back on track: BASF says it has granted ARTS Energy a license to use its nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) patents in the manufacture and sale of batteries. In the meantime, BASF will continue R&D in NiMH technology through the Ovonic battery materials business it acquired in 2012.
75 million dollars will go to the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). Granted by the DoE, the money is to be used to continue research on producing liquid transportation fuels like hydrogen from a combination of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide through artificial photosynthesis.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was the first spy shots of the Borgward compact SUV scheduled for launch at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota, Mitsubishi, BASF, Umicore.
Mercedes presents GLE hybrid in New York: The overhauled M-series is Mercedes’ first hybrid in the form of an SUV and will offer an all-electric range of 30 kilometres. Meanwhile, German paper Bild confirms that Daimler’s GLC will also be available as a coupé variant with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
autoblog.com, autoexpress.co.uk (GLE), bild.de (GLC Coupé; in German)
Electric Bulli in the works? Volkswagen may be thinking about offering a retro-inspired version of its famous camper van with an electric powertrain. Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, development boss on VW’s board of management, made it clear, however, that an electric version of the Bulli is so far just a concept.
Toyota reveals 8th hybrid: The RAV 4 Hybrid will be equipped with essentially the same powertrain as the Lexus NX 300h featuring a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor in both the front and the back.
autotrends.org, hybridcars.com, autoblog.com
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Mitsubishi takes wraps off new Outlander: The 2016 model of the seven-passenger crossover was unveiled in New York. It features a number of engineering and design improvements. Moreover, first images of the Pajero have emerged on the web. The car will most likely also be available as a hybrid version, using the same plug-in hybrid system as the Outlander PHEV.
hybridcars.com, puregreencars.com (Outlander), worldcarfans.com (Pajero)
Hybrid bug: VW presented its new hybrid Beetle concept in New York. It employs a drivetrain previously used in the VW Jetta hybrid, featuring a 20 kW electric engine. The hybridised Beetle could be launched in the coming three years.
kfz-betrieb.vogel.de (in German), autoexpress.co.uk
BASF goes to court: German chemicals firm BASF has sued Belgian specialty materials group Umicore in the United States for infringing two patents related to components for lithium-ion batteries. Umicore is accused of selling battery technology, certain lithium metal oxide cathode materials, that was developed by the University of Chicago Argonne and then licensed to BASF in 2009.
London Taxi Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, BASF & Floatility.
Coventry electrified: More details on London Taxi Company’s planned facility for building black cabs have surfaced. Chinese Geely will invest 250 million pounds to be able to produce 36,000 electric cabs annually. The electric taxis will first hit the market in 2017 and might even be exported a year later.
businessgreen.com, theguardian.com, standard.co.uk
JLR to expand R&D: Jaguar Land Rover says it will double the size of its current engineering and design centre in Whitley, Coventry. The company claims the expansion is due to increased development of “ultra-low-emission technologies” so expect (partly) electric Jaguars in the future.
Toyota heading for the title: Toyota Racing is ready to defeat its two WEC titles and has thus presented its new TS040 Hybrid. The update comes with revised aerodynamics, a new front-end design and changes to the suspension to improve tyre wear. Weight-saving measures have also been introduced.
Solar scooter: Together, BASF and Floatility are developing the ‘e-floater.’ Weighing less than 12 kilograms, this solar-powered electric scooter aims at commuters wanting to float on the last mile. BASF will provide various composite and plastic materials which will be used for 80 percent of all components.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was the Chinese 3D-printed EV which is said to cost just 1,770 dollars.
Samsung SDI, Magna Steyr Battery, ED Design, MILA Plus, BASF.
Samsung SDI takes over Magna’s battery division: The South Korean battery producer said it has acquired the battery pack unit of Austria-based auto parts supplier Magna Steyr Battery Systems. The takeover will be finalised on April 1st. 264 employees, as well as all production and development facilities and current contracts will be singed over to Samsung SDI.
yonhapnews.co.kr, techcrunch.com, businesswire.com
Flat and electric: Italian company ED Design released a teaser image of an all-electric race car, which it will presented in Geneva next week. The Torq is only about one metre high and can drive completely autonomously. Apparently reason enough for the Italians to skip adding any windows to the car.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (in German), quattroruote.it (in Italian)
The MILA Plus is Magna Steyr’s newest lightweight concept vehicle, which the company will unveil at the Auto Show in Geneva. The plug-in hybrid sports car will combine a three cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors and offer an all-electric range of about 75 kilometres. According to the Austrian company, the 1,520 kilo car could be ready for serial production in two to three years.
steiermark.orf.at (in German)
NiMH instead of Li-ion: According to a recent Technology Review report, chemical company BASF researchers have high hopes for nickel-metal hydride batteries. They hope to increase their energy storage capacity tenfold and decrease their costs to only 146 dollars per kWh.
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Most clicked link on Monday was the Bloomberg report on Apple pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020.
TÜV SÜD, Tesla, BASF, EnerG2, Electrovaya.
TÜV goes Japan: TÜV SÜD has entered a business alliance with the Japanese ESPEC Corporation. Together the two testing institutes plan to expand ESPEC’s existing battery testing facility to accommodate for bigger battery packs. By 2015, TÜV and ESPEC will thus be able to offer testing in accordance with UN Regulation ECE-R100, Series 2, Part II, which will become mandatory in July 2016.
Accelerated production: Tesla has issued more information on its upgraded Fremont facility. Ten of the world largest robots that can lift and manoeuver entire cars will soon be installing one million battery cells a day instead of 800,000. Furthermore, new welding machines have been installed on a revamped floor.
Strategic supercap partnership: BASF is now cooperating with Seattle-based EnerG2 to improve and to scale-up the production of proprietary carbon materials. Those can be used in supercapacitor electrodes and in start-stop lead-acid batteries.
Electrovaya to buy plant: The Canadian Li-ion battery manufacturer plans to acquire a production facility with an annual capacity of about 0.5 GWh. Electrovaya that claims to use a non-toxic production process calculates with a revenue capacity of up to 250 to 550 million dollars.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the ‘Impossible Electric Bike’ on Kickstarter, a folding e-bike that is said to weigh only 5 kilos and to fit in a backpack.
Rescar 2.0, BASF & Toda Kogyo, LG Chem, Reevolt.
For the project Rescar 2.0, Infineon, Audi, Bosch, Elmos and the FZI Research Centre for Information Technology wanted to find a way to make electric components for electric cars more robust. The result is a cross-industry solution that enables more efficient upgrading of electronic control units (ECU).
BASF sets up joint venture in Japan: Together with Japan’s Toda Kogyo Corp., the chemical group wants to research and develop a range of Li-ion cathode materials that will also be used in electric vehicles. Called “BASF Toda Battery Materials,” the joint venture is ready to kick off in February.
LG Chem production site in China: Building of the new factory in Nanjing has begun. There, the battery manufacturer from South Korea hopes to produce enough batteries for 100,000 electric vehicles per year, once the site begins operating at the end of 2015.
Reevolt retrofit transformer kit: German energy supplier Wemag offers standardised kits to electrify vehicles that can be installed by any garage. And according to the company, the 13,000 euro investment will have paid off after 50,000 km driven.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the “Vega”, Sri Lanka’s first electric super car, that will be unveiled in December by Code Gen International .
Via Motors, Toyota, Denso, Chalmers University of Technology, BASF.
Intensified cooperation: EV manufacturer Via Motors has bought Prodigy Engineering, its former contractor. The purchase gives Via Motors an exclusive license to an advanced cooling technology for Li-ion batteries. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.
Fuel saving semiconductor: Together with in-house partner Denso, Toyota is developing a new power semiconductor said to save up to ten percent of fuel in its hybrid vehicles. The semiconductor sits in the power control unit (PCU) of the hybrid system and uses silicon carbide (SiC). Road trials in Japan are set to start within a year.
Hybrid with a memory: Researchers at Chalmers Uni of Technology, Sweden, developed a method to identify recurrent routes from logged driving data and make optimal use of the hybrid powertrain. This strategy is said to save up to ten percent of fuel in hybrid vehicles and has already been verified in Volvo’s V60 plug-in.
Domestic battery production: German BASF has just launched its commercial production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode materials in Weimar, Germany. The LFP cathodes will be used for lithium-ion batteries.
Continental/Zytek, BASF/Toda Kogyo, Volkswagen, DoE.
Continental take over: German company fully acquired its British joint venture partner Zytek Automotive. The two companies have been working together on electric and hybrid drivetrains and will continue to do so with Zytek now operating as part of the Continental Engineering Services (CES) in the UK.
New battery joint venture: Currently, BASF is in negotiations to join forces with Toda Kogyo, a specialist for cathode materials. The focus is on production, marketing and sales of active cathode materials (CAM) used in li-ion batteries in Japan.
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VW’s modular platform: Most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles of Volkswagen are based on the same modular toolkit called MQB. Now technical details emerged and have been avidly summarised by our colleagues over at Green Car Congress.
16 million dollars are left as loans in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) programme of the U.S. DoE. The scheme which has already supported company’s such as Fisker and Tesla has now been improved to include part makers and has received a simplified application processes.
Magna, University of Vermont, BASF.
– Research + Technology –
Mila Blue by Magna: The automotive supplier will present a lightweight vehicle concept powered by natural gas at the Geneva Auto Show. The Mila Blue is said to weigh only 670 kilos. A 12 V motor allows for electric cruising at low speed of up to 30 km/h.
Packetised charging: Researchers from the University of Vermont have applied for a patent for their new charging concept based on smart meters. With their method charging times of electric vehicles would be broken down into chunks. Charging would be interrupted if local demand (e.g. in one neighbourhood) was high and continued as soon as demand decreases.
Battery sales to soar: Chemical company BASF aims to make 500 million euros (684m dollars) from selling battery materials by the end of the decade. This is five times more than today as turnover stands at about 100m euros. While EV sales are currently not as strong as predicted by many, BASF said it will stay “committed” to its long-term strategy.
BASF, Fuel Cell Tuk-Tuk, Hydrogen Smart, Prius Roadster.
BASF facility in Japan: The chemical company opened its ‘R & D Lab and Application Technology Center for Battery Materials’ in Amagasaki. Its focus is on electrolytes and electrode materials for high-performance lithium ion batteries and is BASF’s first operation of this kind in South-East Asia.
Millennium Tuk-Tuk: The result of a joint effort by Birmingham University, UK and DYPDC centre for automotive research in Pune will be presented at Auto Expo this week. The researchers claim to have designed a four-wheeled hydrogen Rikscha. The “fuel” is generated through solar cells, powering a thermal compressor that splits water into H2 and O2.
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Hydrogen Smart: H2-mobil is a project run by South Westphalia University. Their work on converting a Smart into a fuel cell vehicle has been going on for some years and is now bearing fruit. The first so-called H2toDrive is almost ready to enter service in the city of Sundern. To fund the project, operator ProNet Energy is currently looking for 30 sponsors wanting to see their logo on the sides of the fuel cell Smart. In 2014, 30 units will be built for 60,000 euros (81,000 dollars) each, though the price is said to come down at the end of this year.
derwesten.de (In German)
Prius Roadster: Toyota engineers developed the TE-Spyder800 in their spare time, using parts mainly from the Prius and put them on a MR2 base. The resulting plug-in hybrid roadster is working but production is not scheduled – yet.
technologicvehicles.com via earthtechling.com