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.
Hyperloop, Urban Rush, Rice University, CMI.
Hyperloop update: The project appears to move forward, as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signed agreements with Cologne-based Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and global engineering design firm Aecom. It exchange for their engineering know-how, the latter companies will have the option of purchasing stock options.
In a rush: Together with bike manufacturer Canyon, industry designer Florian Mayer has thought up a design study of an e-bike concept for urban cyclists called ‘Urban Rush.’ Its ‘e-boost technology’ is said to allow for more acceleration at traffic lights, minimizing the difference in speed between bike and cars during the acceleration phase.
Platinum alternative: Researchers at Rice University have improved a cost-effective approach to create metal oxide-induced graphene (MO-LIG). They are using direct laser scribing to embed various typed of metallic nanoparticles in graphene, which could therefore be an alternative to costly platinum in catalysts for i.e. fuel cells.
Rare earth recycling: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) has developed a recycling technology for rare earth materials. It is said to be able to extract more than 90 percent of neodymium, dysprosium and praseodymium from permanent magnets. U.S. Rare Earth is the first who will apply the technology.
Fuell cells vs. batteries, Rice University, Teijin, Toshiba.
Hydrogen passé? Advances in battery technology might come very soon, Marcus Fendt of The Mobility House, Ian Robertson of BMW and Renault-Nissan-CEO Carlos Ghosn recently said independently of each other. Fendt believes that energy density could double in 2015 already, while Ghosn confirmed that more than 400 kilometers of range will be possible soon (we reported). According to recent reports, BMW is even rethinking its FCV strategy due to the latest advances in battery technology.
automobil-produktion.de (Fendt in German), autocar.co.uk (Robertson), dailykanban.com (Ghosn)
Supercap research: Researchers from Rice University have created flexible sheets of multilayer Graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled laser. The laser-induced graphene (LIG) could be used to make high-performance supercapacitators.
Increased separator production: Teijin will open a second production line for LIELSORT, a separator for Li-ion batteries, to meet increasing demand. Operations are set to start next week and will double production capacities.
Battery traction for trains: Toshiba has delivered its Li-ion battery traction energy storage system (TESS) to Tobu Railway. TESS stores traction energy from decelerating trains as they enter a station and releases it when trains leave the station. The system is planned to go into operation later this December.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the making of Nissan Leaf batteries in the British Sunderland plant, brought to us by Inside EVs.
Nissan, Open Vehicle-Grid Integration, HexHog, Rice University.
V2Home: Nissan started testing its ‘Leaf to Home’ system, designed to help grids manage peaks in demand. The tests are being conducted by ENERES together with selected Nissan dealerships in Japan. There, the Leaf battery powers lighting systems during opening hours.
Open Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI): Live demonstration of the software system, developed by EPRI and Sumitomo Electric Industries, has begun. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), several auto manufacturers, utilities, and regional transmission organisations are taking part. The software integrates plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) with smart grid technologies.
Off-road wheel chair: The HexHog resembles a cart but has six wheels. The electric wheel chair can turn on the spot, while its flexible chassis enables easy access and ensures all six wheels to touch ground, no matter the terrain.
Platinum substitute: Researchers from Rice University created a hybrid material in the form of flakes containing graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and graphene platelets. Used as a catalyst in fuel cells, the new formulation can outperform platinum in both current density and value.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the news that Sparta hast sold more than 1,000 speed pedelecs in the Netherlands already.
Fisker, Tesla, Rice University.
Spare parts for Fisker Karma: Owners of the 2012 luxury EV can soon get their cars fixed again if needed, Frank Qi, Coordinator at Wanxiang America, announced. The latter bought out Fisker in a bankruptcy auction in February. It also looks as though Wanxiang is moving closer to resuming production of the Karma.
Tesla developing a graphene enhanced battery? Nothing has been confirmed, but a report from Chinese news agency Xinhua claims the carmaker is working on just that. A graphene-enhanced Li-ion battery could extend the range of i.e. the Model S to 500 miles and could allow for even faster charging.
New cathode material for Lithium-sulphur batteries: Scientist at Rice University in Texas, USA, developed a hierarchical nanocomposite material of graphene nanoribbons and polyaniline and sulphur. The material could reduce capacity decay in the batteries.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the CNBC report on how Amsterdam is promoting the use of electric vehicles and its 2,000 public charge points.
Toyota Prius, Battery anode characterization.
Buyers of the upcoming Prius IV will have the choice between a low-cost nickel-metal hydride or Li-ion battery for improved electric-only driving range. Furthermore, Toyota ponders to offer its hybrid flagship with AWD. The launch only recently was pushed back to December 2015.
Characterised battery anodes: Scientists at Rice University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory created a theoretical model able to predict the performance of carbon based anodes. The model is based on intrinsic characteristics of anode materials and how minor changes in the structure, chemistry and shape of an anode can influence the battery’s capacity, voltage and energy density.
news.rice.edu via greencarcongress.com
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Most clicked link on Monday was the bad news of the unfortunate death of the Tesla thief who crashed the stolen Model S on July 4th.