Bolivian-German JV tackles world’s largest lithium reserve
For the first time, a German company gains direct access to lithium and literally tons of it. After Bolivia reportedly appointed a German consortium as a strategic partner for the industrialisation of the county’s vast lithium deposits, the contract has been signed and production rates specified.
Bolivia selects Germany to mine huge lithium deposit
Bolivia’s state-owned lithium minier Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) has selected the German company ACI Systems as a strategic partner to industrialise the lithium deposit of Salar de Uyuni, the country’s vast salt lake. This bears its own problems for extraction.
Tesla secures long term lithium hydroxide supply
The Chinese firm Ganfeng Lithium has signed an agreement with Tesla for the delivery of lithium hydroxide. The agreement runs from 2018 until 2020, with an option to extend for another three years. Ganfeng Lithium will deliver one fifth of their total lithium hydroxide stock to Tesla.
Demand for lithium surging – production rate up too
Demand for lithium could double by 2025 due to the expected boom in electric vehicles, a forecast by the management consultancy Stormcrow Capital suggest. At the same time, production of the rare metal will triple over the next four years, GlobalData estimates.
Tesla to get Lithium from Kidman Resources
Australia is growing its lithium mining and Tesla is intent on exploiting that fact. Their latest contract with Kidman Resources will see them supply Tesla with battery material lithium hydroxide for their electric cars for 3 years initially.
Sweden to probe for local cobalt and lithium mining
Sweden is exploring the option to dig for cobalt and lithium on its own territory in an attempt to revive its traditional mining areas. The government in Stockholm has reserved 10 million kronor (1m euros) for the project, with results expected by the first half of 2020.
Navya, Lithium, Paul-Scherrer-Institute, CF Motoring Services.
Navya found its new home in the States in the town of Saline, Michigan. It is the first oversea activity for the French manufacturer of autonomous shuttles and Navya hopes to build 25 Armas there this year.
Lithium offensive in Bolivia: President Evo Morales wants to tap into the world’s largest lithium reserve that rests under the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. After a pilot plant has run for some time, Bolivia now wants to scale up the mining production and processes with 800m dollars to start extraction by 2020. Morales vision goes beyond the raw material though as he sees the landlocked country as a hub for the entire value chain like battery and car factories that promise jobs. For now however, Bolivia faces challenges regarding purity of its lithium but also infrastructure and doubts from investors. Nevertheless, firms from both China and Germany are active in the country already.
Nanomaterial for electrolyser: Researchers from Paul-Scherrer-Institut and Empa have developed a new catalyst material for electrolysers that helps store solar energy efficiently at lower costs in the form of hydrogen.They managed to produce perovskite in the form of miniscule nanoparticles.
EV training scheme: CF Motoring Services wants to deliver electric and hybrid vehicle training to 90 staff. The company teamed up with Gateshead College to secure European Social Fund cash for the project, which will see people learn how to repair and restore EVs and hybrids safely.
Samsung, BMW, FastStorage BW II, Lithium.
Samsung battery for Chinese SUV: The Korean will deliver the battery pack for the JAC Motors iEV6S, which was just unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show. Production start is scheduled for next year and Samsung will deliver 50 million Li-ion batteries in 2016. The SUV is said to have a 250 km range.
greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, carnewschina.com (iEV6S)
i3 gets software update: BMW has released a software update for its all-electric car in the U.S. and Canada. It will i.e. reduce the electric motor speed when the rear axle freewheeling, which could previously cause the left side motor mount to fail. The Low Cost Charging feature also gets an overhaul.
The best of two worlds: The project FastStorage BW II at the German KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) looks to develop hybrid energy storage systems that combine the positive attributes of batteries and capacitors. The goal is to start serial production of powercaps in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg, which funds the project with 25m euros.
New battery plant: Johnson Matthey Battery and Nemaska Lithium have signed an MOU for the collaboration on the latter’s Phase 1 Plant in Shawinigan, Québec. It will have a production capacity of about 500t/y of high purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. The MOU also includes a provision for a long-term supplier contract for lithium salts.
BlueIndy, Lithium, CARB, Utah Valley University.
BlueIndy ready to fly: As reported, the electric carsharing scheme in Indianapolis will kick off on Wednesday. 20 EVs will be stationed at the Indianapolis International Airport, more than at any other station. The Bolloré subsidiary will all airport fees, just as other traditional car hiring services.
More e-cabs for Bangalore: Spurred by the recent success of its all-electric taxi fleet, Indian start-up Lithium wants to increase its number of EVs from 30 to 100 cars. Operating in the city of Bangalore, the company has to unfortunately still limit its services to the corporate sector due to the lack of the necessary charging infrastructure.
A total of 2,000 vouchers for hybrid and electric trucks and buses have already been awarded by the California Air Resources Board, amounting to more than 63m dollars in subsidies. Since the incentive programme was launched in 2010, fleets across California purchased more than 430 all-electric and 1,800 hybrid trucks and buses.
Utah Valley plugs in: The Utah Valley University has purchased two Toyota Prius Plug-Ins and has installed two charging stations on campus. One is reserved for campus vehicles, the other is open to the public and free of charge.
Toyota Mirai, Lithium demand, Events.
Video tip: Toyota’s Fueled by Everything series shows how hydrogen can be extracted from the environment. The second episode is taking the Mirai to “Oil Creek” in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of America’s oil industry. What subtle way to promote a fuel cell vehicle.
Reading tip: By the end of the decade, factories run by Tesla, BYD, LG Chem, Foxconn and Boston Powers could more than triple production capacities of lithium-ion batteries, as shown by the graphic in the article below. Kirill Klip asks: Will there be enough lithium for all of that?
Events for the upcoming week: FIA Formula E, Round 9 (June 6; Moscow, Russia) ++ Webinar “Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2015-2030” (June 9) ++ EES Europe (June 10-12; Munich, Germany)
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar