Volvo testing new EV batteries with Ricardo
Volvo Cars of Sweden has turned to Britain’s Ricardo for a new partnership. Volvo wants the engineering firm to test and asses battery cells for upcoming electric cars. The project has been described as “large-scale”.
Mercedes, DoE, GM, Volvo, Ricardo.
Mercedes strengthens EV activities at home: After an intense struggle between Daimler’s management and the works council, the Untertürkheim site will become home to Mercedes’ fourth battery production as well as a hotspot for electric drives and components with more than 250 jobs to be generated. Apart from batteries, the agreement includes assemblage of powertrain modules for EVs of the EQ brand and the creation of a “project house eATS” in order to gain additional know-how for the next-gen electric drive systems. Finally, the ‘E-Technikum‘ agreed on in the first stage of negotiations, shall significantly expand to form a competence centre for electric mobility.
greencarcongress.com, europe.autonews.com, media.daimler.com
The DoE raises 19.4m dollars to support 22 research projects, among them activities of Mercedes-Benz and GM. Both look into Li-sulfur batteries. Key topics are advanced battery tech, lightweight materials, engine emission control technologies and energy efficient mobility systems (EEMS).
Hybrid wheel loader by Volvo: Supported by the California Energy Commission, Volvo presented a prototype of its LX1 hybrid wheel loader that shall have 50% better fuel efficiency while doing the work of an even larger wheel loader. The new model couples a much smaller diesel engine (3 litre instead of 13 litre) with electric motors and hydraulics and a battery energy storage system.
Ricardo’s new EV battery control tech: The British supplier draws attention to its new BMS for EVs that is said to be adaptable to a broad range of applications. Partly developed in the frame of a Li-sulfur project, the BMS shall optimise the performance of cell chemistries.
Nikola, Ricardo, FMC, BEI, Rice University.
Nicola has received 8,000 reservations for its hydrogen truck with a 320 kWh battery so far and wants to name the fleets involved in the next two months. In the meantime, the Nicola One is being tweaked to accommodate for wide ranging autonomy once it rolls off the lines by 2020. Weight is also undergoing a diet so to speak, while more storage and two doors shall make the utility FCV fit/ter for service.
Strategic cooperation: Ricardo has agreed to support Chinese Future Mobility Corporation (FMC) in engineering a range of EVs for customers around the world. Led by former BMWi manager Carsten Breitfeld and backed by Foxconn and Tencent, the first concept is due this year allegedly and should be, if the firm wants to deliver by 2020 as planned.
Batteries made Down Under? Boston Energy and Innovation leads a consortium, that is in talks with Townsville in Australia to discuss a financial framework for the construction of a 15 GWh battery plant. If the MoU proves feasible, up to 250,000 EV batteries or about 1m “home battery units” could be made.
Spare the platinum: Scientists at Rice University and colleagues from China have made a durable catalyst for fuel cells by attaching single ruthenium atoms to nitrogen-doped graphene. They shall replace expensive platinum catalysts eventually.
LG Chem, Qualcomm, Siemens, Ricardo.
LG Chem continues to grow: The Korean battery maker has bought the cathode material business from GS Energy – including all patents and production sites. According to LG Chem, the deal is part of its plan to become the leading supplier of EV batteries. The supplier already counts GM and Renault to its clients, and was now able to win the business of Faraday Future.
pulsenews.co.kr (GS EM), fortune.com (FF)
Qualcomm to acquire NXP: The world of semiconductors could see its next big takeover, as chip manufacturer Qualcomm has an eye on Dutch competitor NXP Semiconductors. The deal would be worth more than 30bn dollars. Talks, however, are still in the early stages.
Electrifying Norwegian ferries: Siemens will supply the drivetrains for two new battery-electric vessels that will commute on a 2.4 km long route along Norway’s west coast from January 2018. It will be able to transport 120 cars, 12 trailers and 349 passengers. Siemens will therefore claim the title of leading drivetrain supplier for electric ships.
New partners: Ricardo and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) have signed a MoU in the field of powertrain electrification. The two are also said to jointly develop motors, batteries and power electronics for the automotive industry.
Lünen, Reneseas, Ricardo, Purdu University.
Mega storage online – partially: With 13,000 kWh, the stationary battery in German Lünen is said to be the biggest of its kind. Construction started in 2015 (we reported) and the first power units are already in the grid. The project uses a total of 1,000 batteries from old electric Smart batteries. The remaining units are to be connected by the end of the year.
Reneseas buys opponent: The Japanese chip maker has taken over Intersil for 3.2bn dollars. Rumours about the takeover had previously surfaced. Both companies supply electronics for the automotive industry, a business that Reneseas is looking to grow.
Adapted mild hybrid: Newly developed mild hybrid technology integrated into a Ford Focus led to fuel savings of up to 12 percent. The technology was developed as part of the ADEPT (advanced diesel-electric powertrain) project (we reported), which is led by Ricardo. The results will be presented at the LCV2016 show.
Better cooling: Researchers from the Purdue University and Toyota Research Institute of North America have developed a new cooling technology, using the coolant’s evaporation chill to keep temperatures stable.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the drone surfing video.
Honda, Ricardo, Nissan, UQM Technologies.
Battery recycling network: Honda plans to recycle power packs from its hybrid vehicles in the whole of Japan as it seeks a permit to collect and process industrial waste. A prototype plant is to be build within the next three years together with Tohoku University and Japan Metals & Chemicals, and the partners hope to recover up to 80 percent of the rare metals. Once the system is in working order, battery intake centres will be set up in all prefectures.
Adapted mild hybrid: Ricardo and partners in the ADEPT (advanced diesel-electric powertrain) project said, three years of testing and optimisation have led to a mild hybrid ready to meet ultra low emission standards. The 48V technology that is utilised in a Ford Focus will be shown at the LCV2016.
Fuel cell REx: Nissan plans to utilise its novel SOFC, that produces hydrogen from ethanol on-board as range extender for electric vans. The project is being driven by two UK partners, Ceres Power and M-Solv, and 772,000 GBP funding from Innovate UK and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
Driving partners: UQM Technologies is to be controlled by the Hybrid Kinetic Group (HKG) as the latter invests 48m dollars through its subsidiary American Compass. The deal will give the Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer 58 percent of UQM shares, while UQM hopes to expand its business to China.
Google, Ricardo, Schaeffler, Toshiba.
Google car: Google presented its driverless EV to the press, allowing them to take the backseat. Reviews range from contextual (USA Today), to rather uneventful (Washington Post) and “Disneyland ride” (The Detroit News). All, however, felt that the vehicle is pretty real and rather safe.
usatoday.com, washingtonpost.com, detroitnews.com
Boost to produce: JAC and Ricardo are jointly developing a production version of Ricardo’s HyBoost concept. The 48-volt hybrid is hoped to boost fuel economy by 30 percent without performance losses.
Audi TT with 48-V: Schaeffler is using an Audi TT to further demonstrate the performance capabilities of 48 volt hybridisation system. The “Schaeffler System 48 V” sits at the rear axle and allows for electric “sailing” at low speeds. Precise data will be issued once testing is completed.
Electric go-carts: Toshiba received an order for lithium-ion batteries that will be installed in all 70 electric go-carts running in the “Circuit Challenger” attraction at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. The carts belong to Mobilityland, a subsidiary of Honda.
Apple, Samsung, Ricardo, BASF Toda Battery Materials, Graphene ESD.
Apple vs. Samsung: Not a day goes by without more news or rumours about the iCar-project. Now it seems that Apples was interested in taking over Magna’s battery division, before Samsung SDI got the green light. Moreover, Korea Times reports that Apple continues headhunting Samsung employees, including battery experts.
faz.net (in German), businessinsider.sg, koreatimes.co.kr
New electric motor: British company Ricardo has developed a rare earth element free prototype 85 kW synchronous reluctance motor designed primarily for electric vehicle traction applications. The development was part of the research and development project RapidSR (Rapid Design and Development of a Switched Reluctance Traction Motor).
greencarcongress.com, theengineer.co.uk, electriccarsreport.com
Japanese joint venture: BASF and Toda Kogyo officially established a joint venture, specializing in cathode materials for Li-ion batteries. The cooperation was originally announced back in October. BASF Japan owns 66 percent of the new company BASF Toda Battery Materials.
Supercap cooperation: Graphene ESD and the Research Foundation of Stony Brook University (SBU) will work together on the development of new supercapacitors designs. Target applications are grid-tied inverters, grid-stabilization systems, as well as automotive and locomotive drivetrains.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the Technology Review report on BASF researchers exploring the possibilities of nickel-metal hydride batteries.
Siemens, Ricardo, UC Riverside, UC Davis & CATARC, Virginia Tech.
Living safer for longer: Researchers from Siemens say they made Li-ion batteries safer and more durable through new chemistry. The joint research project Intrinsically Safe Battery (EiSiBatt) found that anodes made of lithium titanate and cathodes from lithium iron phosphate resulted in up to 20,000 charge-discharge cycles, four times that of regular Li-ion cells.
Mild-hybrid Ford: Ricardo will present its converted Ford Focus with a diesel engine that incorporates an 48-Volt architecture at today’s Low Carbon Vehicle Event in Millbrook, UK. The prototype has been developed as part of the Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) research project.
Eco-routing: Researchers at Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering (UCAL) have developed a navigation tool that can cut energy use of an EV by 51%, the researchers say. The system takes into account real-time traffic information and road conditions but only works on routes around Riverside for now.
Shared knowledge: University of California, Davis and the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) have agreed on the establishment of the so-called ZEV Policy Lab. Together, they want to quicken the commercialisation and uptake of battery and fuel cell electric vehicles.
Running on sugar: A Virginia Tech research team has developed a biodegradable battery that takes its energy from sugar. The new cells are said to possess an energy density ten times higher than that of conventional Li-ion batteries while being cheaper and fire-resistant.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the Short Circuit about the world’s fastest mobility scooter with a top speed of 107 mph.