UK: Electric Highway to be upgraded by Ecotricity
In the UK, Ecotricity’s network of charging stations that form the ‘Electric Highway’ one of the oldest charging networks in Britain, is to be comprehensively modernised. This will include contactless payment and multiple charging options.
Suncar HK Fusion high voltage open for 3rd parties
Swiss company Suncar HK has just launched its Fusion high-voltage distribution system for electrified machines and vehicles, making the systems that are already in use available to third parties. The system is to be available in two standard versions before the end of the year.
Microsoft EVs in Shiphol now charge intelligently
Microsoft’s Dutch headquarters “The Outlook” in the Schiphol Central Business District is now capable of operating 40 charging stations for electric vehicles with an infrastructure that was originally designed for only 17 charging stations thanks to intelligent energy management.
Japan forms ECLAIR consortium for electric aircrafts
Japan set up a new consortium called ECLAIR for Electrification Challenge for Aircraft – electric planes in other words. Members include the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as well as industrial heavyweights from Mitsubishi over Kawasaki to Subaru.
Mitsubishi and Hitachi planning V2G project
In Japan, the green light has been given for a publicly funded demonstration project about V2G technology. The goal is to set up a vehicle to grid charging network for BEVs and PHEVs at multiple locations in Japan.
Honda + Hitachi, Toyota, BMW, Renault, Hyundai.
Japan joins for e-drives: Honda and Hitachi Automotive plan to form an EV motor joint venture this July. They aim for large volumes as they hope to supply other manufacturers as well. Facilities are planned in Japan, but also USA and China. Honda is to launch the Clarity as EV later this year.
bloomberg.com, reuters.com, greencarcongress.com
Yaris makeover: Toyota gave a face lift to the Yaris that is feasible inside and out. More than 900 components including the bumper have been revised but most importantly, the hybrid is now more quiet. A new engine apparently does the trick but details have to wait until Geneva.
E-scooter subsidy: BMW’s electric scooter C Evolution qualifies for the electric bike incentive in the UK. 1,500 GBP granted by the government lower the rather hefty price of the scooter from 12,230 to 10.730 pounds. Of the 35m GBP programme, 3.75m is earmarked for electric motorcycles and scooters.
Renault takes over PVI: French PVI (Power Vehicle Innovation) now belongs to Renault. The specialist retrofitter for commercial vehicles had worked with the carmaker before on the Renault Master ZE in January. PVI currently offers three electric powertrains and Renault hopes to benefit from their flexibility.
EV first: Hyundai Ioniq Electric is to launch in the States this week. It is a soft approach first, to test the waters while a bigger campaign will start in March. The PHEV version will follow in autumn.
Tesla, Daimler, ElrigKlinger, Hitachi, Nissan.
Profit it is: Tesla reported its first quarterly win for three years as it files a net income of 21.9m dollars, a 145% plus. After 13 consecutive quarterly losses, the EV maker delivered a record 24,821 cars during Q3, over 300 more than estimated. Musk also declared the design of production lines for the Model 3 ready but would not say how many orders have been taken so far.
bbc.co.uk, businessinsider.com, forbes.com, electrek.co (Model 3 production line)
E-mobility capital Bremen: The German town won over another (electric) carmaker as Daimler said it will build the EQ there by the decade’s end. Borgward only yesterday made Bremen its production site of choice but Mercedes already has a facility in Bremen, where it will produce the fuel cell GLC, too.
Electric competence: Supplier ElrigKlinger is to become a strategic shareholder of Hofer AG as it looks to strengthen its drive train capabilities. Hofer offers expertise in hybrid and electric applications which ElrigKlinger hopes to tap into for an undeclared amount in the two-digit million realm.
welt.de (in German)
Motor magnate: Hitachi Metals will invest about 18bn yen (172m USD) in production lines for Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets and ferrite magnets in Japan by 2018. It seeks to satisfy surging demand from the automotive sector that utilises magnets for electric motors for PHEV.
Nissan commits to the UK as it plans to build another two models at the Sunderland plant. Both the next Qashqai and X-Trail will roll off the production lines after the Japanese carmaker was reassured by the British government that fallouts from Brexit would be compensated – in some form or another.
europe.autonews.com, fleetnews.co.uk, newsroom.nissan-global.com
Nissan & Eaton & Enel, PSA & SNAM, Hitachi, Powercell Sweden.
2nd life for Nissan batteries: To give EV batteries a second life, Nissan teams up with Eaton. The power electronics specialist will take care of energy management in stationary energy storage units built from Nissan EV batteries. Another initiative with utility Enel will see electric Nissans serving as mobile energy sources in smart grid applications.
automotiveworld.com (stationary), automotiveworld.com (mobile)
Battery recycling: Peugeot and Citroën batteries are not destined for a second life but for transformation as PSA has charged French SNAM to recycle electric and hybrid car batteries. SNAM is to collect the packs from European dealerships and garages to then single out materials for reuse.
Solid-state advance: Hitachi and the Tohoku University present technology that reduces the internal resistance of solid-state lithium ion batteries through the use of LiBH4-based complex hydrides as solid electrolytes. The research led to thermally durable solid-state Li-ion batteries.
Power-to-Hydrogen pilot: Volvo subsidiary Powercell Sweden looks into the development of a system to store surplus energy from renewable sources as hydrogen to be used for fuel cells to provide electricity. The feasibility study could result in a demonstration project in 2016 and is conducted together with Wallenstam AB, Midroc Automation AB and Hydrogen Sweden.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was Panasonic’s new e-bike dubbed Bibi ELE-432.
NanoFlowcell, Suzuki, Catalyst Research, Hitachi.
Quant city: NanoFlowcell plans to build a R&D centre for flow cell technology in Tenero in the Swiss canton of Ticino. Construction of the centre, named Quant City, will start at the beginning of 2016 with an expected completion date in 2018 and will create up to 200 new jobs. NanoFlowcell says it is currently also working on obtaining approval for the small series production of its Quant F.
Fuel cell motorbike: Suzuki seems to be working on a hydrogen-powered motorcycle as latest design sketches show an off-road machine with a fuel cell, motor, and hydrogen tank. Suzuki had already presented a ‘Burgman’ fuel cell scooter back in 2011.
Catalyst research: A team of European scientists has developed a new method that facilitates research on fuel cell catalysts by correlating their geometric and adsorption properties. The researchers validated their approach by designing a new platinum-based catalyst for fuel cell applications.
Nissan hybrid gets Hitachi batteries: Hitachi Automotive Systems announced that it started delivery of lithium-ion battery packs for Nissan’s new Murano Hybrid. Hitachi’s battery pack comprises a battery module that contains cylindrical cells and a battery management system in a single housing.
Kandi & ZTE, LG Chem, University of Waterloo, Hitachi.
Chinese inductive charging: Kandi has entered a strategic alliance with Chinese ZTE Corporation and Zhejiang ZuoZhongYou Electric Vehicle Service (ZZY), a leasing firm. The JV was set up to research and develop inductive charging technologies while also renting out electric cars.
LG Chem in Tesla range: Bigger battery packs providing a range of up to 300 miles are currently offered to LG Chem partners, the company said. Capacities between 80 and 120 kWh are well within reach and Chevy has already signed up to use the new battery technology for its upcoming Bolt EV.
Sodium-air battery decoded: Chemists at the University of Waterloo have described a key reaction responsible for sodium-oxygen batteries’ efficiency. The key lies in the so-called proton phase transfer catalyst. The discovery might pave the way to develop more powerful Li-air batteries.
Hitachi EV battery: After Chevrolet chose the Japanese power pack for its Malibu Hybrid, Nissan now jumped on the bandwagon as it puts the pack with prismatic cells into its just released X-Trail Hybrid.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the 2016 Nissan Leaf, which might be upgraded with a 30-kWh battery pack.
Siemens & Fjellstrand, Bosch, Hitachi, Intertek.
Ampere floats: The first fully electric ferry for cars and passengers has set sail, or better, batteries in Norway. The Ampere was designed as an e-vessel from the start. Siemens provided the electric propulsion system as well as charging stations and batteries, while shipbuilder Fjellstrand made the ship’s body from aluminium. The batteries are charged by hydro power and help the ferry cross the Sognefjord 34 times a day.
Bosch trials Tesla: The German supplier added two Model S to its fleet, both test vehicles for automated driving. Bosch also retrofitted another 50 new components like a stereo video camera. The company has been working with Tesla since 2011, and hopes to further refine automated driving for all kinds of production cars.
High output cells by Hitachi: The Japanese manufacturer will be supplying General Motors with prismatic lithium-ion battery cells for the new model Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, scheduled for 2016. The new cells are said to deliver 5,000W/kg high output power density and feature heat resistant separators.
1,000 kW engine test cells: Intertek launched the highest-specification test cells at the Transportation Technologies powertrain test laboratory in British Milton Keynes. The company has also invested in test cells for electric and hybrid vehicles. The new 1000kW engine test cells are designed for truck, bus and off-highway industry customers.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the filmed police check of a heavily overloaded minivan in China. Instead of six passengers, 51 hopped off the bus.
EV battery patents.
As it holds 757 EV battery patents, LG Chem is the most innovative battery manufacturer, according to SNE Research. Samsung SDI takes second place with 528 patents followed by Hitachi (349).
Hitachi, Sunswift, Marubeni, EnerG2, Hitachi Automotive Systems.
Li-ion research: Hitachi announced a new development in the field of lithium-ion cells, saying an energy density of 330 Wh/kg at a capacity of 30 Ah are possible, which could translate into doubling the curent range of EVs. The cells are said to go into serial production by 2020.
japan.ahk.de (in German), itmedia.co.jp (in Japanese)
Street legal record holder: The Sunswift team at the University of New South Wales has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the development of a street legal version of its solar-powered car. The eVe had set a new world record, driving an average of 107 km/h on a 500 km route.
pozible.com via electric-vehiclenews.com, gas2.org
Distribution deal for carbon materials: Marubeni Corporation will have the exclusive distribution rights in Asia for EnerG2’s advanced carbon materials which are used for lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries as well as ultracapacitors. Two weeks ago, EnerG2 had partnered with BASF to improve and to scale-up the production of proprietary carbon materials (we reported).
Power electronics for Daimler: Hitachi Automotive Systems has begun to supply Daimler with inverters and DC/DC converters for use in the Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in and S550 Plug-in long version.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was our “Short circuit” showing Vladimir Putin´s new electric car built by the Russian Yo-mobil project.
Highlifter, Hitachi, LG Chem, Berkeley Lab, Argonne National Lab.
All-electric highlifter: The company ‘German E-Cars’ is currently testing its new ‘Highlifter’ at Kassel-Calden airport, Germany. The eleven-metre vehicle was developed with Doll Fahrzeugbau AG, a specialist for airfield vehicles, and is the first fully electric of its kind. It serves the caterer Gategourmet lifting containers. If the test is successful, the Highlifter will go on further trials in Zürich, Amsterdam and Stockholm.
hna.de (in German, many photos)
Building on synergies: Hitachi is integrating its Vehicle Energy’s design and R&D department for lithium-ion batteries into Hitachi Automotive Systems in April. The company thus hopes to strengthen synergies in developing electric and hybrid drivetrains and to increase battery efficiency.
Battery factory in China: LG Chem is reportedly planning to build a battery factory in China to be able to satisfy the future demand of the Chinese car industry. LG Chem, which is currently supplying batteries to carmakers such as GM and Renault, expects to double it customers to 20 in the near future.
New nanocatalysts discovered by researchers at Berkeley and Argonne National Labs are said to make cheaper and more efficient catalysts for fuel cells than the best platinum catalysts used today. The new bimetallic catalysts of platinum and nickel (Pt3Ni) have a tree-dimensional catalytic surface activity.