Research shows Tesla years ahead in battery tech
A new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) shows that Tesla will be leading the field for EV batteries for years to come. The reason for this is, among other things, the low costs for the Panasonic batteries due to their low cobalt content. Weiterlesen
Panasonic plans to halve cobalt portion in batteries
The Japanese company plans to change up their battery manufacturing recipe within the next two-to-three years to use only half the current cobalt components. Head of the Panasonic passenger car division, Yoshio Ito, stated there are already working prototypes, but a complex evaluation process will take place before serial production. Weiterlesen
Panasonic to cut all cobalt from EV batteries
Tesla’s Gigafactory partner Panasonic says it is developing cobalt-free batteries to become independent of the rare and expensive material in the near future. Meanwhile, Tesla released their ‘Conflict Minerals Report’ and also aims for further reductions in cobalt use. Weiterlesen
Panasonic onboard with Tesla Gigafactory in China?
The Japanese battery manufacturer says that it thinks about producing cells for Tesla in a new Gigafactory in Shanghai, China in a comparable deal that they have regarding the so-called Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. That is what “Nikkei” learnt on the sidelines of CES. Weiterlesen
Electric Container Ship, Panasonic, Tesla, Proterra.
World’s first electric container ship: Global fertiliser firm Yara and technology group Kongsberg combine their forces to build the first autonomous, electric container feeder ship. Named YARA Birkeland, the vessel will reduce diesel-powered truck journeys by some 40,000 a year. Operation is to start in the second half of 2018 in Norway. The ship will initially be manned, but is to move to autonomy from 2019 until it will self-steer entirely by 2020. The makers call it a “game-changer for global maritime transport” and estimates say one large tanker emits as much CO2 as 50m cars.
reuters.com, greencarcongress.com, video
Panasonic speeds up EV development: Known for its batteries rather than cars, Panasonic has joint Japanese Azapa in its task to develop a software said to halve R&D for EVs by reducing the need for prototypes. The programme’s algorithms are able to model and estimate performance and characteristics like power consumption and range based on the conduct of different parts. By involving itself in the design process at an early stage, Panasonic hopes to open markets for its components beyond batteries. Support for all standards in the U.S., Europe and China is to be incorporated soon.
The Tesla solar roof tiles are ready and on sale with immediate effect, Elon Musk tweeted. At least this is true for the first two versions, with two more types to tile houses from early 2018.
Proterra package: The electric bus maker has launched some additions like the Proterra Diagnostic Tool together with the Proterra Cold Weather Package for improved efficiency of electric buses. Furthermore, Proterra joined the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County to bring about an autonomous driving programme.
prnewswire.com (efficiency), businessinsider.com (autonomy)
Panasonic, Elix, Sendyn, PNNL.
Panasonic to produce battery cells in China: Tesla partner Panasonic has inaugurated its first production facility for EV and PHEV battery cells on Chinese ground, as planned. The new site is a joint project of joint venture between Panasonic and Dalian Levear Electric. Production start is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.
Also Elix targets China: With its inductive charging solutions, the Canadian company Elix Wireless expands also in China. Its model E8K chargers with Magneto-Dynamic Coupling (MDC) technology shall be available there by the first quarter of 2018. Elix just opened a development centre in Shanghai.
Innovative isolation state detector: Battery tech specialist Sendyn has introduced a new device to monitor the electrical isolation state of high-voltage systems. As it is capable to do so during dynamic operation, the SIM100-Modul could be a future device to alert EV and HEV drivers about hazards.
How oxygen creates bubbles: In a video, Researchers of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have documented for the first time how oxygen creates bubbles in a discharging lithium-air battery. The phenomenon is known to potentially damage batteries and the team hopes to contribute with its results to better understand and in the next step improve the performance of lithium-air batteries.
Tesla, Panasonic, Arcola Energy.
Tesla update: The EV maker has started pushing its over-the-air software update for the Autopilot 2.0 to entire fleet of vehicles equipped with the second generation hardware. 1,000 cars received the update for testing earlier this month. The Enhanced Autopilot will remain deactivated for now, but will most likely be activated before the end of the week.
Investing billions in EV batteries: Nikkei reports that Panasonic will invest a total of 1.3 to 1.8bn dollars in its EV batteries business over the next three years. Investments in other business segments like TVs will in return be cut back.
Electric truck: A new project by British Arcola Energy, Haydale Composite Solutions and Commercial Group aims to fit a 3.5-ton truck with an electric drivetrain and fuel cell range extender to get a range of around 200 miles. The undertaking is part of the UK government’s funding round for the electrification of the countries logistics sector, which was announced last week.
Mahindra, BMW, Panasonic, Tesla, Suzuki, BYD.
Mahindra electrifies across the board: The Indian carmaker pledged to offer an electric variant for all its models, but falied to give a timeline. Mahindra is also working on a dedicated luxury EV on Tesla level for Italian Pininfarina, Managing Director Pawan Goenka revealed.
BMW 530e iPerformance specs: BMW will present the new PHEV variant of the 5-series in Detroit this January. Prior to the debut, the company revealed that the eDrive system has an output of 70 kW and enables a top speed of 146 mph. Range is given at 404 miles.
Panasonic and Tesla are getting ever closer, as the deal to supply solar panels is about to be sealed officially this month. It will see the Japanese supply the Californians and tap into SolarCity’s sales network, as previously reported.
Swedish design for Tesla: To improve the interior of its electric cars, Tesla hired Anders Bell, Volvo’s former Head of Interior Engineering, who had worked for the Swedish brand since 1998.
Leaked: The next Suzuki Swift will be offered as a hybrid in Japan from next year, a leaked brochure reveals. There will be six variants in total, including two hybrids.
Hollywood actor for BYD: Leonardo DiCaprio is the new face of the Chinese carmaker’s electric offering. The actor has thus gone from UN ambassador for climate change to brand ambassador in China. Question is, in which role he will have a greater impact.
IKEA, Vienna, Hamburg, ITM Power, Panasonic.
IKEA charges Norway: The furniture company announced that it will equip all of its stores in Norway with fast-chargers, starting with its location in Slependen. IKEA has already launched similar initiatives in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the U.S.
Vienna plans 1,000 chargers: The installation of the first 500 will start mid-2017 in the 2nd and 16th district of the Austrian capital. Over the following two years, the network will then grow step by step to reach 1,000 units. How much it will cost to plug in is still being discussed. But EVs will not have to pay a parking fee while charging.
wien.orf.at, vienna.at (articles in German)
Last mile innovations: With project SMILE (Smart Last Mile Logistics), Hamburg is looking to become a European model region for sustainable and clean package deliveries. Businesses and the city of Hamburg presented a number of intelligent last mile delivery systems, including the use of electric vehicles. The proposals will now be implemented step by step.
verkehrsrundschau.de, hamburg.de (articles in German)
New kind of pump: ITM Power is installing the UK’s first hydrogen fuelling pump at an existing petrol station. The Shell station is located along the M40 in Beaconsfield and will go into service early 2017.
Green fleet: Panasonic says it was able to cut its fleet’s emissions by 37.5 percent in the UK since 2008. The company employs 19 plug-in and ten pure hybrids in the country, which together make up about 20 percent of the fleet. Another three PHEVs have already been ordered.
Renault, Portugal, Panasonic, Supercharger, Green Commuters.
Renault pro combo: The French carmaker will offer CCS Combo charging with 22 kW AC and 100 kW DC on all its models in Europe. This leaves Nissan, Mitsubishi and Kia as sole CHAdeMO supporters on the continent. Despite the partnership, Renault’s EV programme director Eric Feunteun made clear that “the Combo 2 standard, which was imposed in Europe, will be our standard.”
insideevs.com, automobile-propre.com (in French)
60m state aid: Portugal’s plan to fund green buses with 60m euros has found approval with the EU commission. The country plans to replace old buses with low emission models, incl. hybrid, electric, CNG, and H2, and to supply respective infrastructure. The EU cohesion fund will bear 85 percent of cost.
Merger aftermath: Tesla and Panasonic will work ever closer together should Tesla merge with SolarCity. If approved, the battery partnership would include residential storage batteries for which it would make photovoltaic cells and modules in Buffalo, New York.
asia.nikkei.com, forbes.com, tesla.com
Supercharger pit stop: The state of New York saw Superchargers going up at gas stations. Tesla works with QuickChek in Kingston and the cooperation might be expanded to further locations in the area.
EV share funding: Green Commuter receives a 250,000 dollar state tax credit in California to advance its EV sharing with Model X. Also the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) in Tennessee granted the firm 750,000 dollars as it reportedly set up 20 Nissan Leaf to hire.
financial.de (California), chargedevs.com (Tennessee)
Jaguar, Panasonic, University of Waterloo, A123 Systems, SoelCat 12.
Panasonic and Jaguar hit the track: The British carmaker officially presented its team and electric racer. The I-Type 1 will debut at the Formula E race in Hong Kong, sporting a black-turquoise colour scheme. Panasonic is official sponsor and partner.
Smart vehicle test lab: The University of Waterloo has opened its “cutting edge” GAIA Research Facility for the development and testing of electric vehicle technologies. By integrating batteries and drivetrains and simulating real-world driving, researchers hope to extend the life of batteries, work on bidirectional charging and advanced driver assistance programmes – also to optimise energy consumption.
Safer vehicle batteries are the focus of a cooperation between battery maker A123 Systems and the Argonne National Laboratory. The goal is to develop better cathodes for Li-ion batteries without losing energy density or affecting the lifetime. The project is schedule to last three years.
Sailing with solar power: The SoelCat 12 is the newest development of a Dutch company with the same name and especially aimed at eco-tourism. A solar roof powers the catamaran’s electric drivetrain and supplies battery with energy, so that the vessel can also operate during bad weather and at night. But the fun comes at a hefty price of 562,000 dollars.
Tesla, Audi, VW, Oslo, Panasonic, Mahindra.
Masterplan, Part 2 revealed: Elon Musk says the EV maker will also focus on creating solar roofs with integrated storage and that it is working on a Tesla Semi and “high passenger density urban transport,” both of which should be unveiled next year. The carmaker will also further develop its fully autonomous technology. Once in place, drivers can add their EV to a Tesla shared fleet that can be summoned by the touch of a button.
Audi focuses on H2: CEO Rupert Stadler confirmed that Audi will take over the lead in developing fuel cell technology within the VW Group. When Audi will release its first serial FCV remains unclear. The H-tron quattro concept had been previewed in January. Moreover, Rupert reemphasized the company’s goal that EVs should make up 25 percent of sales in ten years’ time.
t-online.de (in German)
New Golf previewed: The eight generation will hit the road 2019 and also be available as a PHEV and electric variant. Two designs are still in the running, one with a more stretched silhouette, the other with a steeper tailgate. It will also serve as basis for the VW NUVe, also scheduled for 2019.
autobild.de (in German)
Car-free step by step: Oslo has started redesigning the city centre, swapping car parks for food courts and theatres. The goal is to be almost entirely car-free by 2019. That also means that incentives for car owners are being scrapped and public transport improved.
tnp.no via carscoops.com
Panasonic job fair: The company is looking to hire a second wave of people for cell manufacturing at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. Panasonic currently lists 42 job openings on its site. The job fair will take place on August 10th in Reno and will be Panasonic’s second hiring event in two months.
Mahindra Scorpio becomes hybrid: So far, the Indian offroader was a mild hybrid at most, but will now be fitted with Intelli-Hybrid technology. Features such as recuperation and an electric motor that provides an extra boost are said to lower fuel consumption by 7 percent.
Panasonic, Local Motors, UCI, Evatran Group.
High battery sale expectations: Panasonic expects sales of their electric vehicle batters to double in the next three years. The increased demand will be generated mostly by the opening of the Tesla Gigafactory and the rising demand for the EV maker’s Model 3 – in both cases, Panasonic will be the exclusive supplier of battery cells.
Olli bus in Berlin: Olli, the autonomous all-electric bus from Local Motors, equipped with IBM’s Watson technology, will be also produced in Berlin once a suitable manufacturing facility has been found. It should hit the streets of the German capital early 2017.
wiwo.de (in German), meetolli.auto
Rechargeable nanowire: Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have developed a nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times. They a gold nanowire in a manganese dioxide shell placed in an electrolyte made of a Plexiglass-like gel. This could mean that EV batteries would never have to be replaced.
Charging station investments: Richmond-based wireless charging station maker Evatran Group has received another 2.3m dollar investment from Zhejiang VIE Science and Technology. Evatran will shift to working with auto manufacturers to sell their charging system under the brand name Plugless.
ZEV credits, South Korea, Panasonic, Facebook, Hoverboards, Geely.
California to go new ways? Due to an excess supply of the so-called ZEV credits, the Golden State is thinking about changing the rules. It could i.e. introduce a cap on the number of credits a carmaker is allowed to sell, especially since many have seen the programme a subsidy for Tesla that only sells EVs. Needless to say, the latter is “not amused.”
EV update from Korea: The South Korean government wants to increase exports of electric vehicles, shipping off 200,000 units per year by 2020. The number of fuel cell exports is to reach 14,000 units per year. Meanwhile, Korea wants to have 250,000 EVs on its roads by then.
Japan dominates U.S. battery market: South Korea’s Samsung SDI and LG Chem are losing ground in the U.S. Their market share dropped from 35 to 23 percent in May, while the number of battery cells from Japan rose. Especially Panasonic, supplier for Tesla, Nissan and Ford, is reporting good business.
Tesla exec heads to Facebook: Rich Heley, Tesla’s former vice president of product technology, has left the EV maker for the social media platform where he will help with the development of Building 8 – a new research lab for innovative hardware developments.
Massive recall for Hoverboards: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling over half a million hoverboards after reports of exploding batteries due to overheating. More than half of the boards concerned come from the company Segway.
Testing the Chinese Volvo: Auto Express took the Geely Emgrand EV for a spin. The verdict: there is a clear potential and the electric car from China could even “shape up to be a worthy Nissan Leaf competitor.” Test drivers only criticised the claimed range of around 250 km, managing to drive only about 200 km. But range is always subject to driving style.
PSA, Dongfeng, Lilium, Panasonic, Siemens, Local Motors.
Shared EV platform: PSA and Dongfeng officially agreed to jointly build a platform for electric cars. The e-CMP, based on the common modular platform, will be the base for compact and subcompact electric cars for the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, and Dongfeng brands.
Electric VTOL: ESA is backing Lilium, a Munich-based start-up intending to launch an electric jet by 2018. The two-seater shall start and land vertically, while flying at speeds of up to 400 kph. In cruising mode, range is given at 500 km and batteries are said to charge via a household socket.
siliconrepublic.com, inverse.com, esa.int
Panasonic increased its investment in the Tesla Gigafactory by 35 percent this last quarter. With 64m dollars, the Japanese paid more in Q1 2016, than they have since the start of the project. It is a good indicator that production of battery cells is about to start very soon.
3D car printing: Siemens partners with Local Motors to advance large scale 3D printing of cars. Siemens’ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, which creates digital twins, will be combined with Local Motors’ experience in a process called Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM).
CrowdCell, China Hybrid Systems, Chrysler, Panasonic.
Better calls with electric mobility: BMW, Peiker and Nash Technologies presented their research project ‘Vehicular CrowdCell’ at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Mobile femtocells improve reception inside the car and can also be used to improve local networks. BMW says the technology could be used in electric carsharing vehicles.
Chinese hybrid alliance: China Hybrid System (CHS), a joint venture by Chang’an Automobile, Geely, Corun and Yunnei Power, is working on a scalable platform for future hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains. Geely’s Emgrand EC7 will be the first to sport a CHS hybrid powertrain, followed by the Chang’an Eado and CS75 as plug-in hybrids.
LG to power Chrysler: According to the Reuters news agency, the battery and battery management system for the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV will come from LG. More details about the multi-million-dollar agreement have not been announced.
Last-mile solution chooses Panasonic: The manufacturer will deliver its 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries to the Workhorse Group, who will use them in its all-electric medium duty utility trucks. The battery can be built in packs sized to meet the customers’ demands i.e. in terms of range.
Vanda Electrics, OmniSteer, Google, Panasonic.
Supercar from Singapore: Vanda Electrics teamed up with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop an electric supercar. Dubbed Dendrobium, the racer is set to launch in Geneva next year. Equipped with a light battery pack, the EV aims to go from 0 – 100 km in under three seconds. The first model alone has a budget of 10m dollars and Vanda Electrics plans to also include an electric truck and e-bike in its line-up.
Autonomy unlimited: The newly launched OmniSteer aims to increase manoeuvrability of electric cars with in-wheel motors. KIT, Schaeffler, Paravan and Hella will jointly look into concepts and prototypes until 2018. The project is funded with 3.4m euros from Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research.
Complete autonomy: Google is testing wireless charging systems for its driverless cars, documents from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal. Inductive charging technology comes from Hevo Power and Momentum Dynamics. Also, the company will include Kirkland, Washington, in its extended test run of its autonomous electric pods.
spectrum.ieee.org (wireless), automotive-business-review.com (Kirkland)
Panasonic production in China: The Japanese firm has entered in a JV with Dalian Levear Electric, as it is looking to set up production of automotive batteries in China. Assemblage will begin by 2017, with power packs are destined for “eco-friendly” vehicles, meaning electric and hybrid cars.
Panasonic, Apple, BMW, Zar.
More money for the Gigafactory: Panasonic announced that it will invest between 1.5 to 1.6bn dollars in Tesla’s Gigafactory. The Japanese had previously promised to give as much as one billion dollars.
teslamag.de, marketwatch.com, valuewalk.com
Apple car domain: Apple has registered the domains apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto, fueling rumours that we will at one point see an iCar. Another plausible reason could be that the sunrise period for these domains started early December and the company wanted to protect its brand.
mactechnews.de, insideevs.com, autoblog.com, mashable.com (Sunrise period)
EV unmasks bumper: BMW premiered another useful feature at the CES. The “Bumper Detect” systems activates a camera when a (parked) car gets hit, filming those responsible and sending the images to the car owner’s smartphone.
Electric scooter for the carry-on: The supposedly smallest and lightest electric scooter worldwide is called Zar and is looking for cash via crowdfunding. The Zar is foldable, weighs four kilos and can go 20 km on one charge. The scooter is now available for 300 dollars and will later sell for 500 dollars.