BMW to stop purchasing Congo cobalt in 2020/21
According to Andreas Wendt, the board member responsible for purchasing at BMW, the company will no longer purchase cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo with the introduction of the fifth generation of electric vehicles from 2020/21.
Toyota’s new motor halves use of rare-earth metals
Toyota has developed a new magnet for electric motors, which will cut dependence on rare-earth metals by around 50 percent. It reduces the use of such rare earths as neodymium and replaces others with cheaper alternatives that cost up to 20 times less.
OXIS, Rare-earth metals, MOSI, BMW.
Stationary Li-S battery: The OXIS Solar Centre for Autonomous Research (OSCAR) in the UK has begun a demonstration project in which lithium-sulfur batteries store energy from solar power. Furthermore, these batteries are used to propel an autonomous electric shuttle. OXIS hopes to have the system ready for commercialisation by 2016.
Rare earth prices normalise: Prices for rare-earth metals plunge since China dropped the export tax. It had been raised due to tensions with neighbouring Japan in 2010 but China has lost a case in the World Trade Organisation and had to scrap its quotas. Price are now at levels seen around 2010.
Science made feasible: The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, Florida lets visitors experience new technology first hand as it introduces the Meridian shuttle. It runs electrically and also drives autonomously. Another parts of the experience at MOSI are drones and robots.
Parking prediction is a new system BMW is working on with INRIX. Based on the ConnectedDrive system, the new feature is demonstrated in an i3 and helps to find a parking lot. The Dynamic Parking Prediction uses on-road vehicle movement data to check for parking space availability.
Rare earth metals, BMW i3, Events.
Reading tip: It took researchers from Yale University five years to assess the “criticality” of all 62 metals on the Periodic Table of Elements. Rare earth metals could face supply shortages soon and thus require recycling urgently, the experts recommend.
Read & watch: Hannah Elliot test drove the BMW i3 in Manhattan and was not too pleased with the experience. Not only is she not a fan of deceleration but also grew weary of the seats. The “quirky” looks of the BMW i3 did not help either, no matter how efficient the EV might be.
Events for the upcoming week: New York International Auto Show (Apr 03-12; New York, USA) ++ FIA Formula E, Round 6 (Apr 04; Long Beach, USA)
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar