Australia, Mercedes-AMG, Ruhr-Uni Bochum, Renesas.
News of Gigafactories accumulate with Australia joining Germany and Thailand. Plans by Boston Energy and Innovation are definite as they lead a global consortium, which already agreed with the city of Townsville to build a battery plant with a capacity of 15 GWh per annum. This translates to 200,000 car batteries, or one million home storage units, or 300 microgrids. Location scouting is on and once found, a feasibility study will start. Meanwhile, the same partners, which also include Australian graphite producer Magnis Resources and U.S. battery specialists, want to erect a similar sized facility in the state of New York at the IBM HQ on Huron campus.
The ultimate hyper car: Mercedes-AMG released spare data on its Project One, destined to put F1 technology on the road. The 1,000 hp hybrid combines the F1-based 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 with four electric motors. As the edition is limited to 275 units, demand has already overtaken supply.
Self-healing catalyst: Chemists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a catalyst with self-repairing properties when “hurt” during water electrolysis for hydrogen production. The healing works as long as the required nanoparticle powder is present in the electrolyte solution.
Japan-China alliance for autonomous EV: Japanese Chipmaker Renesas is to work with China’s Great Wall Motor to develop technology for self-driving and electric cars for the latter’s home market. Renesas will send engineers but ultimately hopes to expand its own semi-conductor sales in China.
APC, Quebec, Renesas, AVX.
62m GBP for low-carbon tech: The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has granted 62m pounds in funding to projects overseen by the likes of BMW Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Advanced Engineering, or Ford. The seven collaborative research initiatives revolve around more powerful (BMW) or cheaper batteries (Williams) and a hybrid drive train for niche vehicles like pods.
4.4m dollars for Quebec’s EV landscape: The Canadian province announced to spend 4.4m dollars to promote research and development as well as design and production of electric cars in Quebec over five years. Behind this is the intention to propose a law by 2018 that would force car companies in the province to make, produce and sell more electric cars – California or China-style. At the same time, the ministers confirmed that EV incentives would continue and are confident that by 2020 about 100,000 Quebecers will have made their move to drive electrically.
100kW-class inverter: Renesas Electronics launched a new inverter solution for 100kW-class motors as used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and more compact electric vehicles. Offered as a kit with optimisation software, Renesas hopes to reduce development time with its development.
Power film capacitors for HEV: AVX Corporation has released the new FHC1 and FHC2 Series power film capacitors, which were received with hybrid and electric vehicles in mind. The firm said the capacitors are “ideal for use in conjunction with IGBT modules, as well as medium-sized motor drives.”
Tesla, Mercedes, Vanderbilt University, Renesas, Intersil.
Three more Gigafactories? Tesla says it will make decision this year, where to build Gigafactories 3,4, and 5. The first two battery mega facilities are in Nevada and Buffalo (New York). The latter is mainly for SolarCity but now dubbed Gigafactory 2. For the rest, let the bidding begin.
EQ Power+ is Mercedes’ new label for any performance plug-in hybrid by AMG. The strongest of the pack is surely the Formula 1 racer, that has just been presented. This season’s F1 W08 EQ Power+ has a new styling and stronger hybrid drive.
Battery based on sugar: Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, have developed a room-temperature sodium sulphur battery based on a microporous template made from sugar. Over 98% Coulombic efficiency and durabilty make it competitive with Li-ion batteries.
Renesas-Intersil merger approved: American chip maker Intersil has been acquired by its Japanese competitor Renesas. The deal was initiated last autumn and has now been approved by the CFIUS in the States. Both manufacturers have components for electric and hybrid vehicles in their portfolio.
Renesas, Volvo, University of South Florida.
Japan coming for the U.S.? American chip maker Intersil is about to be acquired by its Japanese competitor Renesas, Nikkei reports. Three billion dollars are allegedly on the table. Both manufacturers include components for electric and hybrid vehicles in their portfolio.
Volvo to take electric pole position? The Formula E might see a decision on a Sino-Swedish involvement as early as this autumn for season three. Volvo considers sending its performance arm Polestar to compete in the electric races in some capacity.
Functional fungi: A team at University of South Florida is using naturally occurring fungi to to extract cobalt and lithium from waste batteries’ cathodes. The researchers are currently creating an environment for the fungi to get to work their so-called fungal bioleaching.