Volkswagen & Northvolt form European Battery Union
The VW Group and Sweden’s Gigafactory mastermind Northvolt want to advance battery cell production in Europe together and are forming a consortium called the European Battery Union (EBU). It includes partners from research and industry from seven EU member states.
Six Consortia want to build battery cells in Germany
Six consortia have so far submitted applications for funding to set up battery cell production in Germany. These include prominent names such as BASF, VW, PSA, BMW and Northvolt. Meanwhile e.Go-Mobile CEO Günther Schuh is leaving the consortium that wants to bring a cell factory to Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region.
Northvolt forges partnership for battery modules
Northvolt of Sweden has agreed with Tesla supplier South Bay Solutions to set up a plant in Poland together. This time they aim to make complete energy storage solutions and want to produce up to 10,000 modules a year beginning in 2019.
Northvolt lowers cost estimate for battery factory
Northvolt has lowered the estimated cost for their planned battery factory in Sweden. The company founded by former Tesla manager Peter Carlsson has stated that they will spend “considerably less” than the initially stated 4 billion euros on the factory.
Northvolt begins construction of R&D center
The Swedish Northvolt has started construction on their research and development center in Västerås. The facility is supposed to start developing, testing and industrializing lithium ion batteries as of 2019. This is a major step towards the planned lithium-ion battery factory in Skellefteå.
European Battery Alliance (EBA) is taking shape
The European Battery Alliance (EBA) has been conjured up by the EU Commission. Their latest action plan outlines a schedule until 2023 and names various players along the entire value chain. The aim is to set up a European cell production in order to break the dependency on Asian suppliers.
Sweden backs Northvolt battery pilot plant with €15m
Northvolt has found a new backer for setting up a battery cell production pilot plant. The Swedish Energy Agency will support the demonstration line, Northvolt Labs, in Västerås with a grant of SEK 146m. The new line precedes a planned Swedish Gigafactory.
Northvolt, WM Motor, Volkswagen, Hyliion.
Skellefteå to host Northvolt Gigafactory: Swedish company Northvolt, led by former Tesla manager Peter Carlsson, has completed its search for a location to build up its battery cell production facility. The so-called Gigafactory will be erected in Skellefteå with construction works starting by the second half of 2018. Two years later, the plant shall open with jobs for 2,000 to 2,500 employees and an initial production volume of 8 GWh per year that is to climb up to 32 GWh by 2023. Besides that, Northvolt’s new research centre is supposed to bring 300 to 400 jobs to Västerås, not far from ABB’s headquarters. Both companies signed a partnership, recently.
Lithium ceramic batteries for WM Motor: Chinese EV start-up WM Motor is about to establish a JV with ProLogium Technology, a Taiwanese manufacturer of battery cells. Both partners seek to develop batteries for WM Motor’s electric vehicles and thus to kick off installation of a production line for lithium ceramic batteries by 2018. First batteries are to roll of the line by the end of 2019. The facilities capacity shall reach a total of 5 GWh per year.
VW to return with EV to Pikes Peak? Next June, Volkswagen intends to participate again at the legendary U.S. hillclimb in Colorado Springs. First teaser pictures of the company’s race car prototype suggest that VW plans to compete with an electric-powered vehicle. The two photos published by the car maker were accompanied by a video underpinning VW’s intent on returning to Pikes Peak. Further details have not yet been provided.
autoexpress.co.uk, autocar.co.uk, carscoops.com
Hybrid upfit system for trucks: Manufacturer Hyliion has developed a variable hybrid system for Class 8 trucks. Once attached to the truck frame, the 6X4HE system shall enable fuel savings of up to 30 percent – 15 percent through electric hybrid, 12 percent through APU and 3 percent through aerodynamics. The company has meanwhile opened its order books and plans to kick off production as early as next month.
Northvolt, ABB, Siemens, Valeo, Volocopter, British Airways.
Northvolt partners with ABB: Swedish company Northvolt and Swiss tech specialist ABB will work together to realise Northvolt’s project to build Europe’s largest lithium ion battery factory in Sweden. Their agreement involves a supply and technology partnership as well as R&D collaboration. ABB intends to supply robotics, automation and electrification solutions and to contribute to innovations in battery technology in areas such as production platform, cell and module design and battery performance. As reported, battery production in the new gigafactory could start in 2020 and ramp up to 32 GWh in 2023.
Does Siemens consider selling JV shares? When Siemens formed a 50:50 joint venture with Valeo in December 2016, it allegedly insisted on an exit clause, the Handelsblatt has learnt. Thus, Siemens has a put option from December 2021 and Valeo simultaneously a call option on Siemens’ shares. Their JV is focussing on high-voltage powertrains for all forms of electrified cars, including hybrids.
handelsblatt.com (in German, with paywall)
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Maiden flight of electric air taxi in Dubai: The autonomous air taxi concept by German manufacturer Volocopter has successfully completed its first unmanned test flight at a location close to Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Park. Currently, the prototype manages to stay in the air for approximately 30 minutes. As reported, also Daimler is among the investors of the aviation company.
zdnet.com, newatlas.com, mediaoffice.ae
British Airways to replace diesel tugs: The airline has inaugurated five new remote-controlled EVs capable to push back aircrafts from gates at London-Heathrow. The so-called “Mototoks” replace diesel tugs and are in operation at Terminal 5 where they allegedly manage to park up to 40 percent more airlines in the same amount of parking space.
NorthVolt, Mahle, Formulino E, Autopilot.
Financing for the Gigafactory in Sweden that Northvolt plans may come from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The company seeks to raise 4bn euros to complete its battery production facility by 2023. New plans outline construction in three phases with the first stage costing about 1.5bn euros to go on-line around December 2020 and to produce 8 GWh of batteries annually. Northvolt also said it looked at 18 locations in Sweden and 2 in Finland and will require at least 500,000 square metres of land for the plant with access to significant power supplies and transport lines.
Mahle strengthens e-mobility: The supplier plans to take over Spanish Nagares, that makes electronics for the automotive industry, including power converters for electric vehicles. The purchase price will not be disclosed and the deal still awaits approval by the antitrust authorities.
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Electric Formula 3 racer: The Formulino E for racy juniors is a converted Formula 3 race car by Dallara, with Punch Powertrain signing responsible for the new electric drive. With its 600 kilo and 120 kW is reaches 100 kph in less than 4 seconds and got a top speed of 200 kph. 20 units of the little racers may form a feeder series for the Formula E or Electric GT from next year.
Better insurance with Autopilot: Startup insurance company Root wants to offer discounts to Tesla drivers using Autopilot. The insurer said it tracks its clients driving habits with a mobile app and set prices based on performance. In reality though, it is unclear, how they would measure Autosteer, instead “Autosteer eligible highway miles” are counted.