Volkswagen’s battery supply may be in trouble
There are concerns at Volkswagen that a supply contract with Samsung SDI worth around 50 billion euros could be called off. The Koreans are said to have originally agreed to supply battery cells with a total capacity of just over 20 GWh to VW.
Welcoming back the Passat GTE plug-in hybrid
Thank you for waiting – the VW Passat GTE is making a comeback. In the run-up to the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen held a technology workshop, in which the Passat got an update that will benefit the plug-in hybrid version GTE as well. By the time of delivery in late summer, more than a year […]
BMW, BASF & Samsung want sustainable cobalt mining
BMW, BASF, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics have launched a cooperative pilot project to support sustainable and fair cobalt mining initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The German development agency GIZ will coordinate the project.
Tesla electric car batteries ahead of the pack
Analysts from UBS teamed up with engineers to figure out which electric vehicle batteries made by established manufacturers offer the best value. They concluded that cells made by Panasonic in Tesla’s Gigafactory are 20 per cent more cost efficient than the next best on offer from LG Chem.
Europe’s battery cell plans in numbers
Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, wants to have about 30% of global battery production in 2030 take place in Europe. What this would entail in terms of factories is described below.
Is JLR banking on Samsung cells?
Jaguar Land Rover will be investing in Samsung battery cells soon, according to insiders. Apparently the Brits are interested in the cylindrical battery cells from Samsung SDI for future models as of 2020. The Korean battery manufacturer will reportedly upgrade their Hungary factory with a new production line for 21700 cells.
CATL & BYD rise to join world’s Top 3 battery makers
Korea’s largest battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI are losing market shares to competitors from China, SNE Research finds. They pin the loss to increased domestic demand in China from electric buses and trucks. CATL appears to have benefitted the most.
Electric motorbike from India claims 500 km range
Indian company Mankame is working on an electric motorcycle with a spec that appears dreamy almost. Their EP-1 got a range of 500 km on paper, while its 40 kW motor manages a top speed of 250 kph. Their base price is 8,500 euros for a less powerful version but even the top trim is […]
Volkswagen teams up with Samsung and LG Chem
Volkswagen is pushing electric mobility and has to find batteries in order to scale up. After joining forces with CATL in China just days ago, the Germans have now turned to Korea, where VW announced a new partnership with LG Chem and Samsung SDI.
Samsung SDI to reduce cobalt in its batteries to zero
Leading EV battery maker Samsung has announced plans to revise its cobalt strategy. Not only will the Koreans reduce the amount of the rare resource by using nickel instead but Samsung is also working on cells that do not require any cobalt. Recycling is another measure.
ZF, Samsung SDI, McKinsey, KS HUAYU AluTech GmbH.
New chassis for EVs: ZF has taken the wraps off its intelligent rolling chassis (IRC), offering a flexible platform for urban electric vehicles. The first EV to build on it, will be Rinspeed’s Oasis (we reported), which was shown at the CES 2017.
Pushing range: Samsung SDI presented its battery pack featuring new cells at the NAIAS in Detroit. The battery is said to allow for up to 600 km of range and can be charged up to 80 percent in just 20 minutes. Serial production start is scheduled for 2021.
Battery price drop: According to the new study “Electrifying insights: how automakers can drive electric vehicle sales and profitability” by McKinsey, the cost for EV batteries dropped around 80 percent between 2010 and 2016. It currently lies by about 230 dollars per kWh. Moreover, 75 percent of German buyers have more confidence in established carmakers as opposed to newcomers when considering buying an electric car.
mckinsey.de (complete study)
Mysterious order: Castings specialist KS HUAYU AluTech GmbH, a member of German Rheinmetall Automotive, will manufacture components for battery boxes made from aluminium diecastings for an unnamed premium supplier. The boxes will be used in an all-electric SUV, as well as in an electric sportscar. The contract is said to be worth 65m euros, with production to kick off mid-2018.
Volkswagen, Samsung SDI, Chevrolet, NOHMs Technologies.
No VW battery plant: VW CEO Matthias Müller snubbed the possibility of setting up a VW battery production plant, telling German Handelsblatt that they would not do something “that foolish.” Cell production is highly automated and would therefore only create few jobs, while costing “an arm and a leg.”
Yes to Samsung battery plant: Samsung SDI meanwhile decided to set up shop in Hungary. It will invest some 358m dollars in a battery plant, said to churn out battery packs for some 50,000 EVs per year. The factory near Budapest is said to open its doors in the second half of 2018.
In the army now: GM is working with the U.S. army on the development of fuel-cell-powered Chevrolet Colorado for military purposes. A first prototype of the H2 pick-up is said to be unveiled in October.
Non-flammable electrolytes: Cornell University spin-out NOHMs Technologies has collected 5m dollars in funds to commercialize its non-flammable electric vehicle (EV) battery electrolyte technology. The NanoLyte Electrolytes contain ionic liquids, making them more resistant without compromising battery power.
LG Chem, Samsung SDI, BAIC BJEV, Skeleton Technologies.
Polish cells: Details are emerging about LG Chem’s plans to be built an EV battery factory in Poland (we reported). It will be LG Chem’s second largest battery facility, and have a production capacity of 229,000 EV batteries per year. The plant should be completed in 18 months.
One trillion won: Samsung’s chemical unit, Samsung SDI, plans to invest nearly 1tr won (875m dollars) in new facilities, including those required for EV batteries. The company has two EV battery plants in South Korea and China, and is eying Europe for a third.
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Baden-Württemberg Pavilion shows success factor e-mobility: During the Hannover Messe / MobiliTec the Baden-Württemberg Pavilion and its 43 exhibitors showcase the diversity of the e-mobility landscape in the southwest of Germany. With “Automated. Connected. Electrified.” as its guiding theme, the whole spectrum – from development and production to road tests of partially automated electric vehicles – will be covered. Visit us in hall 27.
BAIC research: Chinese energy automaker BAIC BJEV has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Dresden University of Technology to research lightweight automotive technologies for new energy automobiles. Academician Hufenbach, known as the “father of light weighting in Europe” at TUD, was named chief scientist in lightweight technology.
Skeleton Tech exclusive: Adgero has signed a 3.5m euro agreement to use Skeleton Technologies’ ultracapacitor in their road freight KERS. SkelMod 160V modules will be sourced exclusively to Adgero for their hybrid system. The Adgero KERS with Skeleton modules will be road tested next month.
Midsummer, BASF, Samsung SDI, Tesla.
Midsummer solar fund: Swedish solar energy company Midsummer has received funding from research foundation Mistra to develop a lightweight solar module for vehicles. Researchers will integrate thin-film solar panels on ultra-light vehicles as part of an effort to develop superefficient electric vehicles. The panels will be tested on a Clean Motion Zbee’s composite roof.
Battery from BASF: BASF has obtained a battery material license from CAMX Power. The CAM-7 Li-ion cathode material uses high-nickel compounds and could increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. The CAM-7 also offers high electrode density, low cost and thermal stability.
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Electromobility powered by Siemens – Siemens is presenting its drivetrain solutions for hybrid and electric cars on the “Vehicle Show Electromobility” in Bad Neustadt a.d.S this weekend (April 16th and 17th). Find Siemens at the fairground of the demo city for electromobility and take a glance on the latest innovations. www.siemens.com/electriccar
No more H2 from Samsung: Korean brand Samsung’s battery affiliate Samsung SDI announced that it will exit the fuel cell business entirely. A company spokesman explained that “the outlook of the market isn’t good.” Samsung is in talks with local company Kolon Industries to sell all related equipment.
Autonomous Tesla: Tesla already has some 70,000 cars equipped with Autopilot hardware on the road and the Autopilot programme has officially driven 47m miles in six months. Google has only racked up 1.5m city miles in six years using their LiDAR technology. Musk expects Tesla’s level-4 fully self-driving technology to be ready in about 2 years.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the specs about the battery and drivetrain of the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt.
LG Chem, Samsung SDI, FEV, China, Kurt.
Suppliers see surge: Battery suppliers gear up for further growth in the EV and hybrid segment at the Smart Energy Week in Japan. LG Chem says it will reach the 100 dollar/kWh by 2022, and already supplied battery cells for about 500,000 hybrid and electric vehicles to date. Samsung forecasts EV demand to quadruple within the decade, resulting in demand for battery cells with a combine capacity of 61.6 GWh by 2020.
48 Volt tech: FEV will present its 48-Volt technology at the 2016 SAE World Congress in Detroit this week. Engineers chose a Mercedes AMG A45 to carry the mild hybrid system for demonstration purposes, also installing a 48V E-Charger. The latter improves transient response and low-end torque.
Low-cost lithium battery: The aluminium-graphite dual-ion battery (AGDIB) developed by researchers at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, offers more energy at a lower cost. The power pack exhibits a capacity of around 100 mAh g-1 and a retention of 88 percent after 200 charge-discharge cycles, while production cost is down by up to 50%.
Meet KURT: It is a modular and scalable electric vehicle for urban applications that was developed by Altreonic. Different modules placed on an alloy super structure transform KURT from a one-seater to a mini transporter and even shuttle train. The Flanders-based company will present KURT at the IDTechEx conference in Berlin at the end of April.
Samsung SDI, LG Chem, Hokkaido, UK, Microvast.
European battery production: Both Samsung SDI and LG Chem plan to secure EV battery cell production facilities in Eastern Europe. While Samsung is to re-utilise an existing facility close to Budapest, Hungary, LG Chem is already negotiating to buy a site in Polish Wroclaw. The Korean companies’ expansion is driven by increasing demand for electric vehicles in Europe.
Extra cool EV: Japanese researchers from eight companies are working on an electric car made for wintry weather on the island of Hokkaido. The first one-person prototype features AWD that kicks in automatically if the EV loses traction as well as extra insulation of the interior.
UK grants for greener cars: The British government set up a 38m pound fund for future vehicle technologies. The money goes to winners of last year’s competition and includes 130 projects ranging from sodium-ion batteries and fuel cells over hybrid technology and light-weight materials.
Non-flammable battery: Chinese Microvast presents an electrolyte designed to better protect Li-ion batteries from catching fire. The technology includes a new separator too as the company says its approach includes the system as well as the material level.
Audi, Samsung SDI, Tesla, Tevva Motors.
Audi fuel cell concept: The h-tron quattro concept on display in Detroit is based on the Q6 and the e-tron concept. The h-tron’s fuel cell stack boasts 110 kW, complemented by a 100 kW battery. Range is estimated at 600 km and Audi aims to launch a production version by 2020.
autocar.co.uk, carscoops.com, theverge.com
Better batteries: A 600 km range is possible, says Samsung SDI, presenting their newly developed battery cells with a 20 to 30 percent higher energy density in Detroit. Currently at prototype stage, the Korean company believes the batteries will be ready for serial production by 2020.
Tesla updates Autopilot: Version 7.1 of Tesla’s on-board software is now available. The update tames self-driving capability in residential areas, limiting maximum speed to 5 mph above posted limits. It also optimises speed adjustments to make turning the corner or exiting highways more comfortable. Parking is also fully automated, meaning owners with a garage can now “summon” their car remotely.
teslamotors.com, carscoops.com, transportevolved.com
Electric truck trial: British Tevva Motors retrofitted a 7.5 tonner by Chinese JAC with its range-extender technology. Using a 120 kW electric drive, electric range is given at 100 miles and increases to 370 miles once the diesel range extender kicks in. The project is supported by the British government.
Samsung SDI, Saroléa, MPS Energy, Nissan.
New battery factory in China: Samsung SDI officially opened its latest battery facility in Xi’an in Shaanxi province. Operation was initiated in September with a planned annual output of power packs for 40,000 EVs. Samsung expects to invest another 600m dollars in the factory until 2020.
Hot Cafe-Racer: Saroléa presents the Manx 7, an electric racer homologated for street use. It hopefully keeps its full carbon bodywork and is expected to deliver around 150 hp. The Manx 7 comes after the SP7, that raced in the TT Zero on the Isle of Man (we reported).
Acer all-terrain EV: MPS Energy, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese computer maker launched a prototype EV. The X Terran uses MPS Energy’s battery management system (BMS) and is a first step into the terrain of connected vehicles, Acer said.
Batteries made in Britain might become a thing of the past as Nissan relocates production of the new 30-kWh Leaf battery to Japan. The British Sunderland facility is thus left with assembly only.
eurekar.co.uk via insideevs.com
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the announcement by BMW CEO Harald Krüger that a new all-electric model will join the ranks of the i-series soon.
handelsblatt.com (in German)
DOE, Brembo, Enevate, Samsung SDI.
Millions for progress in EV technology: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded nearly 55m dollars to 24 projects to develop innovative vehicle technologies. 16 projects are part of the “EV Everywhere Grand Challenge,” aiming to reduce the price and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric vehicles.
greencarcongress.com, ngtnews.com, manufacturing.net, energy.gov
Brembo traction for EVs: Brembo presented their concept for autonomous vehicles at the IAA in Frankfurt. It comes with four in-wheel permanent magnet electric motors and light-weight brakes. The controller will coordinate traction and regeneration, resulting in high efficiency. Brembo participates in the EU-LIVE project (Efficient Urban Light Vehicles).
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Enevate secures funding: California-based company Enevate announced that it raised 30m dollars to bring its next-generation Li-ion batteries into volume production. Enevate claims its silicon-dominant composite anodes for rechargeable Li-ion polymer batteries increase energy density by 25 to 50 percent over conventional graphite anode cells.
Samsung batteries for Bentley: Volkswagen named Samsung SDI as the supplier of batteries for the new Bentley Bentayga, the carmaker’s first plug-in hybrid luxury SUV. Samsung is in competition with LG in this market, but declined to comment on any customers.
Samsung SDI, FASTINCHARGE, catalyst, pervoskite solar cells.
Samsung SDI will buy battery materials maker Samsung Fine Chemicals for 18.7bn won (15.9m dollars). Founded in 2011 by Samsung Group and Toda Kogyo, Samsung SDI will now hold 72 percent in the joint venture and Toda Kogyo 28%. The former also plans to sell its stake in Samsung BP Chemicals for 81.9bn won (69.4m USD) to invest in its EV battery business.
EU goes inductive: The EU-funded project FASTINCHARGE announced it developed an easy to operate inductive charging system that i.e. shows how to position the car to charge. It also provides “guidance” throughout the charging process and exchanges charging data with the car. Test are underway in France until the end of October.
Non-precious-metal catalyst: Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have developed a fuel cell catalyst that is free of non-precious-metals and has the same performance as platinum catalysts. Platinum is the predominant catalyst in fuel cell systems and makes up about 50 percent of the cost.
Perovskite solar cells that can be made into a flexible film could be sufficient to recharge an electric car in the not too distant future, say researchers from Case Western Reserve University. Wiring four of the cells to small lithium-ion batteries, they reached a 7.8 percent efficiency.
Skeleton Technologies, Samsung SDI, BASF, AquaMetals.
Ultracap KERS: Skeleton Technologies and Adgero have developed an ultracapacitor-based Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for truck trailers. The hybrid system is designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 25 percent and is optimized for intermodal road transport solutions.
Samsung batteries for e-bikes: At the Eurobike show in Germany, Samsung SDI unveiled a 500Wh e-bike battery pack that can run for 100 km on a single charge. The company is exhibiting six types of standardized battery packs that can either be built inside or installed on the outside for immediate use.
BASF to show new battery technology: At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, German chemicals firm BASF will showcase advanced cathode materials and electrolytes for batteries of electric and hybrid cars. They are said to offer high power, as well as safety and improved efficiency.
Battery recycling plant: AquaMetals has broken ground on its AquaRefinery battery recycling facility. Although it will be built at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of Reno near Tesla´s Gigafactory, the facility is intended for the recycling of lead batteries, not lithium-ion batteries.
Samsung SDI, LG Chem, Toyota, MBtech.
Samsung battery from Austria: Following the takeover of Magna Steyr´s battery unit, as well as all of its 264 employees and existing contracts, Samsung SDI officially kicked off operations of Samsung SDI Battery System (SDIBS) in Graz, Austria.
Competitor LG Chem meanwhile plans to significantly increase production capacity at its battery plant in Holland, Michigan, to meet demands of the growing electric vehicle market. Already this year, the company plans to increase production from 12,000 units (for the Chevy Volt only) to 40,000 units.
Design a car: Toyota is letting drivers decide what the i-Road should look like, letting them choose the colour and material of components that are then 3-D printed. The one-year testing phase set to start in July in Tokyo will include 100 participants and 10 of the small three-wheeled EVs.
autoblog.com, inside3dprinting.com, newsroom.toyota.co.jp
New centre of competence for electric mobility: Service provider MBtech, part of AKKA Technologies, wants to combine its electric mobility know-how in a new competence center. The goal is to join forces in Sindelfingen, Germany, by the end of the year and add another 80 experts to the team.
Information per email
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was Californian company Atieva, which is said to work on an electric car that will “redefine what a car can be.”