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.
Audi, MIT & Lomonossow University Moscow, Lithium-sulphur.
Audi Q7 e-tron unplugged: Audi’s head of development Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed to Car and Driver that the upcoming Audi SUV will be available with an optional inductive charging system. The initial charging capacity of 3.6 kW could at a later date be increased to 7.2 kW. The Audi Q7 e-tron will be available starting early 2016.
U.S.-Russian battery research: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is working together with the Russian state-owned Lomonossow University in Moscow on the development of higher capacity batteries such as lithium-ion and multivalent ion batteries as well as rechargeable metal-air batteries.
Lithium-sulphur 1: A team of researchers in South Korea and Italy has demonstrated a highly reliable lithium-sulfur battery showing cycle performance comparable to that of commercially available lithium-ion batteries while offering more than double the energy density.
Lithium-sulphur 2: Scientists at Beihang University in China meanwhile synthesised cathode materials for Li-sulphur batteries that consist of vertically aligned sulphur-graphene nanowalls on electrically conductive substrates, delivering high capacity and rate performance.
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Most clicked link on Monday was Google working on improved battery technologies, which could also be used in its own EVs in the future.
Daimler, Graphene, Magnomatics, Lithium-Sulphur.
Daimler to modernise main plant: The Mercedes motor plant in Untertürkheim, Germany, will be converted into a competence centre for CO2-efficient technologies like hybrid drivetrains and the production of fuel cell systems. The modernisation is expected to take a few years and will cost multiple billion euros, but will bring down production costs by 2020.
daimler.com (in German), just-auto.com
Fuel cells function better with flaws: U.S. researchers found that naturally occurring defects in graphene allow protons travel through it more easily. The discovery could help develop more efficient fuel cells with graphene membranes more quickly.
Investment round: Magnomatics, a spin-out from the University of Sheffield, UK, has received a total of 2 million pounds from two investors. The money will be used to commercialise the company’s Magsplit transmission for hybrid electric vehicle manufacturers.
Li-S findings: Researchers from Drexel University and Aix-Marseille University have found a two-dimensional carbon/sulphur (C/S) nanolaminate material. The mix is said to make a promising material for cathodes of Lithium-Sulphur batteries.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was Nissan’s announcement that it will delay the BladeGlider sports car project indefinitely.
KIT & Helmholtz, Sakti3, Osram & TU Braunschweig, Lithium-sulphur.
Increased energy density: Researchers at KIT and Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) developed a new cathode material based on a new storage principle for Li-ion batteries. The new system is said to deliver higher energy storage density.
Battery start-up recharged: Hoover millionaire Sir James Dyson will invest 15 million dollars in the solid state battery company Sakti3, spun out of the University of Michigan. Another 5 million dollars will come from the latest round of investment, which included GM. The money is to be used for the commercialisation of the Sakti3 solid state battery (we reported).
electric-vehiclenews.com, technologyreview.com, freep.com
Semiconductor competence: Osram Opto Semiconductors and the TU Braunschweig have developed a competence centre for semiconductors. The ‘epitaxy competence center ec²’ is to foster the use of Gallium-Nitride technology in Germany.
elektroniknet.de (in German)
Lithium-sulphur research: Researchers from Korean Hanyang University and University of Maryland developed a sulphur-carbon nanotube that promises high sulphur utilisation, high Coulombic efficiency, and long cycle life in Li-sulphur batteries.
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Most clicked link on Monday was the Short Circuit and one Australian’s nifty approach on turning a Toyota Prius into a mobile home.