DE: Battery experts forge path from science to production
Battery specialists BMZ Group, Custom Cells Itzehoe, EAS Batteries, Leclanché and Liacon are participating in an initiative by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) called “Forschungsfabrik Batterie” (FFB), that is German for the research battery factory.
Leclanche & Exide form JV to make batteries for India
India’s largest battery maker, Exide Industries set up a joint venture with Leclanché of Switzerland to make batteries for electric vehicles and stationery energy storage in India. The partnership will focus on electric buses and e-rickshaws first and marks Exide’s transition to Li-ion technology.
Leclanché, Taiwan, Volocopter, Oslo.
Leclanché supplies batteries to Škoda Electric: In the framework of a 5 year development cooperation, Swiss manufacturer Leclanché will deliver its battery solutions for electric buses to Škoda Electric. Besides that, the partnership involves also battery systems for cars and off-road vehicles.
Printed mini EV made in Taiwan: The Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium has introduced a small EV with elements from a 3D printer. With its lightweight construction, the two-seater is designed for city life requirements – that’s also why it just provides 60 kph and not more than a 6.6 battery pack for 100 km. Further information that would indicate commercial use have not yet been released.
Volocopter to take off in 2017 in Dubai: State-owned traffic authority RTA entered into a deal with German company Volocopter in order to trial its autonomous electric air-taxi in the Emirate. The project covers 5 years and shall begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
Autonomous electric buses in Oslo: From March 2018, the Norwegian capital will see autonomous mini buses users can order via app. In the long term, Oslo’s Roads and City Authority even considers to deploy 10 to 20 of those self-driving buses.
Leclanché, nuTonomy, Penn State University, Plug Power.
Leclanché forges alliance in China: Partnering with Narada Power, the battery maker wants to develop and produce new Li-ion technology for the automate sector. Leclanché will provide the necessary know-how about its fast-charging lithium titanate (LTO) and high energy density graphite nickel manganese cobalt (G-NMC) solutions, which Narada will manufacture in a new 25 GWh factory from 2017.
New frontiers: Following tests with self-driving shuttles in Singapore (we reported), start-up nuTonomy wants to conquer the streets of Boston. There, it will begin testing an autonomous Renault Zoe on public roads (but in an industrial park) before the end of the year.
Battery protection: The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded 1.1m dollars to Pennsylvania State University for the development of a new protective coating for Li-ion batteries used in i.e. electric cars. The so-called nanostructured hybrids are said to prevent the formation of dendrites by separating the anode from the electrolyte.
New deal: Plug Power has signed a declaration of intent with Zhangjiagang Furui Special Equipment and an unnamed Chinese carmaker (supposedly one of the top three in the country). The goal is to develop fuel cell and hydrogen solutions for the automotive sector in China.
Bosch, iBot, Prieto Battery, Leclanché.
Electric kart by Bosch and FIA: A prototype of a purely electric kart has been presented by Bosch together with FIA and the German Motorsport Association. The e-cart accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in under 5 seconds. Two starter-generators deliver 20 kW output powered by a 48 V lithium battery.
Toyota to aid mobility: The stair-climbing wheelchair iBot has found a potent investor in the Japanese carmaker. First launched in 2009 by inventor Dean Kamen’s DEKA, the helpful device’s price of 25,000 dollars was too high for market penetration. The next-gen iBot is now in development.
Another comeback: Prieto Battery that commercialises 3D-structured Li-ion battery technology gains an investment from Stanley Ventures of Stanley Black & Decker. Prieto batteries use non-toxic materials like copper foam. Shapes can be customised and the packs come at a competitive price.
Electric ferry flows on air: An Air Supported Vessel (ASV) powered by Leclanché Li-ion batteries launched in Latvia. The BB Green is the outcome of a five-year EU-project. At a speed of 30 knots (56kph), it can ship up to 70 passengers and will be used to demonstrate the technology across Europe.
Van Hool, Bombardier, Leclanché, ZF, Verd2Go, Sakor.
Joint e-bus innovation: Van Hool, Bombardier and battery maker Leclanché introduced a new electric bus in Belgium. It is charged wirelessly at the bus depot via Bombardier’s charging system. Three buses were handed over to the Flanders public transport company De Lijn to undergo real world testing. The project was part of the ‘living lab for electric vehicles programme’ by the Flemish ministry for innovation.
leclanche.eu, hln.be (in Dutch)
More efficient: ZF presents the EcoLife automatic transmission with start/stop function at the Busworld show. The company also improved the AVE 130 electric low-floor axle as it increased power of the two electric motors from 120 to 125 kW each. By losing the conventional drive and propeller shaft in the rear, more space for passengers was created.
Swap, stack, and plug: Start-up Verd2Go from Kansas City tries to find backers to warm up the battery swap idea once more. Different from Better Place however, Verd2Go batteries can be requested in smaller stacks so they can be used in anything from a mobile to a PEV.
High voltage testing: Sakor presents testing technologies for electric and hybrid vehicles and batteries at the Automotive Testing Expo in the USA. Testing covers standards as well as simulations.
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Most clicked link on Monday was Volkswagen’s quite humorous full page advertisement in major Dutch newspapers to apologize for equipping its diesel cars with cheating software.
Fraunhofer IISB, SK Innovation, Leclanché, hybrids.
E-Racer rollout: Fraunhofer IISB in the German city of Erlangen has presented its electric sports car IISB-One. It is road ready as well as road legal and will be used to test various power electronics designed by the institute. Components like the drive system or on-board charger have all been developed by IISB.
Doubled production: SK Innovation has increased its annual Li-ion battery production in its Seosan facility from 300 MWh to 700 MWh – enough to power around 30,000 EVs according to the Korean company. Customers include Kia and BAIC.
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Battery makers merge: Swiss-German Leclanché has acquired Belgian battery-maker Trineuron. The latter offers multiple chemistries and system designs. Leclanché hopes to broaden its offering, especially with regards to BMS and larger transport applications such as buses or ferries.
Hybrid parity: Hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles could reach price equality as early as 2015, a new technical paper suggests. It states technological advances, especially in production, and further learnings as reasons, using the Toyota Prius as an example.
Infineon, Leclanché, Alstom, FEV.
Infineon heads EV research: The EU initiative ECSEL (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership) includes three research projects – 3Ccar, OSEM-EV and SilverStream, designed to develop more compact and lighter electrical systems for EVs. 120 researchers from 70 partners and 15 countries are working on reliability issues as well as the development of an inexpensive compact electric car.
Battery electric ferry: Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been chosen as battery system supplier to the world’s largest electric ferry to be built within the Horizon 2020 scheme (we reported). The ferry will be equipped with a 4.2 MWh battery and charged with up to 4 MW during short port stays. The ferry will run between the island Ærø and mainland Denmark from 2017.
Super strong charge: Alstom presents its new catenary-free ground-based static charging system called SRS at the UITP 2015 in Milan. The system is able to supply electric buses and street cars with up to 1.1 MW of power in a 20-second charging cycle during station stops.
Virtual motor engineering: German FEV has launched a new release of its ‘FEV Virtual Engine’ simulation software for advanced powertrain dynamics analysis. It enables engineers to design various motors, including start-stop systems and complete hybrid drives.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday were the leaked pictures of the 2016 BMW 7-series, along with the confirmation that the PHEV variant will also become available in October.
BMW, University of South Wales, MW Motors, Leclanché & Litarion.
BMW plug-in 2.0: The Bavarian carmaker outlined its future platform “Power eDrive” for plug-in vehicles at the Vienna Motor Symposium. The Power eDrive system features an electric drive on both the front and rear axle and a combustion engine. According to BMW, some 80 percent of the average annual mileage of a typical commuter could be covered in all-electric mode.
Australian sun-powered EV: The record-holding solar-powered car eVe, developed by the University of South Wales, could be ready to become street legal as early as July. Students are currently working to further develop the car and promise a range of up to 800 kilometres.
Cute electric roadster for your buck: As part of an open source project, MW Motors is working on a street legal roadster with hub motors, called the Luka EV. The vintage-looking EV is said to have a range of up to 300 kilometres and will sell for less than 20,000 dollars.
Li-ion alliance: Litarion, which was recently acquired by Electrovaya, and Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché have signed a supply agreement for the manufacturing and commercialization of Lithium-ion storage systems incorporating electrodes from Litarion.
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Most clicked link on Monday was the Yebbujana R by Power Plaza which is said to offer a range of 355 miles at a speed of 37 mph.
Leclanché & Visedo, Wrightspeed, TU Eindhoven, Lithium-sulphur.
Swiss-Finnish electric bus bonding: Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché and Finnish Visedo Oy have agreed to develop and distribute electric drive systems for electric buses together. An undisclosed European city is said to have pre-ordered 30 to 50 electric drives and batteries to be delivered from 2016.
Range extender for commercial EVs: Wrightspeed introduced a new range extender for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Fulcrum turbine generator delivers 80 kWh and is said to be 30% more efficient. It is used to recharge the battery pack and Wrightspeed’s geared traction drive.
Formic acid to hydrogen: For his PhD thesis, a student from the TU Eindhoven developed a catalyst in which hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) can form formic acid quicker than usual and reverse it to hydrogen just as fast. The discovery could make hydrogen tanks for FCVs much safer. However, researchers have to increase energy density first.
New Li-S cathode material: Researchers from Berkeley report to have found a high-rate, long-life lithium-sulphur battery. The cathode consists of lithium sulfide and graphene oxide, which is then covered in a shell of carbon layer.
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Most clicked link on Monday was the news that Aston Martin’s electric concept DBX is scheduled for 2019.
SchmiRmaL, Leclanché, Drive EO, Momentum Dynamics.
Conductive lubricants: The Bosch-led project “SchmiRmaL,” is working on innovative lubricants for ball bearings in electric motors. The addition of ionized liquids, researchers say, could reduce friction some ten million times. Enough to counter unwanted discharging of electricity.
Researching ceramic separator: Swiss battery-maker Leclanché and French company Saint-Gobain want to develop a new ceramic separator for lithium-ion cells. If successful, Leclanché will use it in its stationary product range; Saint-Gobain will be in charge of marketing.
Tesla with new peak power: The Lithuanian engineering company Drive EO will compete in this year’s Pikes Peak using an electric racer based on the Tesla Roadster. It features a 360 kW modified drivetrain and 40 kWh battery pack.
gas2.org, technologicvehicles.com, youtube.com (Video)
New inductive player? Momentum Dynamics is working on an inductive charging system for EVs that, in terms of price, could compete with plug-in systems. According to the company, it currently delivers as much as 50 kW at a 90% efficiency rate.