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