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
– Feedback –
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
– Feedback –
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.”
BMW, Samsung SDI, VW, Quantum Scape, Toshiba, LG Chem.
BMW sticks with Samsung: According the BMW board member Klaus Draeger, rumours about BMW partnering with LG Chem for battery deliveries are false. Samsung SDI will remain the only supplier and will also provide the batteries for the new 3-series plug-in hybrid variant as well as the X5 xDrive40e.
New batteries for VW? The German carmaker will decide until July whether to use solid-state batteries from U.S.-based startup Quantum Scape for its electric models. Just a few months ago, VW had bought five percent of shares of the Stanford University spin-off.
Clean H2 production: Toshiba will participate in a four year hydrogen research project in Scotland, providing its energy management system H2 EMS. The so-called “Levenmouth Community Energy Project” will use excess solar and wind energy for the production of hydrogen, which will then be used to fuel hybrid (fuel cell + diesel) commercial vehicles.
Separator deal: China-based Shenzhen Senior Technology has licensed LG Chem’s Safety Reinforced Separator (SRS) technology, which uses a ceramic coating on separator substrates to improve thermal deformation resistance and mechanical strength.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was the 83 dollar per month offer for an electric Fiat 500e in California. Who went to get one?
Samsung SDI, Magna Steyr Battery, ED Design, MILA Plus, BASF.
Samsung SDI takes over Magna’s battery division: The South Korean battery producer said it has acquired the battery pack unit of Austria-based auto parts supplier Magna Steyr Battery Systems. The takeover will be finalised on April 1st. 264 employees, as well as all production and development facilities and current contracts will be singed over to Samsung SDI.
yonhapnews.co.kr, techcrunch.com, businesswire.com
Flat and electric: Italian company ED Design released a teaser image of an all-electric race car, which it will presented in Geneva next week. The Torq is only about one metre high and can drive completely autonomously. Apparently reason enough for the Italians to skip adding any windows to the car.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (in German), quattroruote.it (in Italian)
The MILA Plus is Magna Steyr’s newest lightweight concept vehicle, which the company will unveil at the Auto Show in Geneva. The plug-in hybrid sports car will combine a three cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors and offer an all-electric range of about 75 kilometres. According to the Austrian company, the 1,520 kilo car could be ready for serial production in two to three years.
steiermark.orf.at (in German)
NiMH instead of Li-ion: According to a recent Technology Review report, chemical company BASF researchers have high hopes for nickel-metal hydride batteries. They hope to increase their energy storage capacity tenfold and decrease their costs to only 146 dollars per kWh.
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Most clicked link on Monday was the Bloomberg report on Apple pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020.
Samsung SDI & Tesla, eConnect Germany, BMW.
New battery deal? Tesla Motors and Samsung SDI are in talks over whether to expand their partnership in EV batteries, Korea Times reports quoting inside sources. Currently, Samsung SDI covers about 8 percent of Tesla’s battery demand but this percentage could grow to 40 percent by 2018. The new deal might be linked to two new factories in Europe and Asia, which Tesla “will soon start building.”
eConnect Germany: Seven local utility providers together with 15 industry and academic partners have concluded a three-years project, which is part of the German government´s funding initiative ‘IKT für Elektromobilität II’. With a research focus on e-mobility solutions and their integration into smart grids and connected transport, peak load management and electric car sharing initiatives within the project’s framework are now hoping to receive further funding.
smartlab-gmbh.de, bmwi.de (both in German)
Too connected: German auto club ADAC has uncovered a security flaw in BMW’s ConnectedDrive suit that gave hackers remote access to presumably locked cars like the i3 and i8. BMW has patched its servers immediately and is about to send an update to all 2.2 million affected vehicles shortly.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Monday was the Tesla Model S P85D review by Damon Lavrinc.
EV battery patents.
As it holds 757 EV battery patents, LG Chem is the most innovative battery manufacturer, according to SNE Research. Samsung SDI takes second place with 528 patents followed by Hitachi (349).
Samsung SDI, Local Motors, University of Waterloo, Siemens.
New Samsung SDI batteries: The Koreans show new batteries in Detroit. The 120Ah High Capacity Battery Cell is said to enable EVs to drive over 300 kilometers, while the height of the Compact Design Cell designed for HEVs has been reduced by over 20 mm while maintaining the same level of capacity.
3-D printed EV: Local Motors is printing an updated version of its Strati live at the NAIAS showcasing its micro-factory. Two of them will be built in Knoxville, Tennessee as well as in the area of Washington DC. There, the company hopes to start production of the first fleet of 3D-printed cars his fall.
greencarcongress.com, autoblog.com, autoworldnews.com
Li-S research: A team from Waterloo University is working on an EV battery that is said to have the potential to power electric cars three times further than current lithium-ion batteries for the same weight and at much lower cost. At the heart of the lithium-sulfur invention is an ultra-thin nanomaterial.
eHighway monitoring: Siemens is developing an automatic monitoring system for pantographs. The system, made for electric and hybrid trucks on the company’s eHighways, uses cameras and sensors to check the condition of pantographs in order to prevent damage to the contact wire.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Tuesday was the Chevy Bolt EV unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
LG Chem & Audi, Samsung SDI, POSCO, ORNL.
German-Korean battery deal: LG Chem will start to supply batteries for Audi’s plug-in and micro hybrid vehicles, says the battery maker. No further details have been released, except that the deal is “worth hundreds of millions of dollars”. LG Chem now supplies batteries to 20 customers worldwide.
New Samsung SDI facility: The battery maker has started building its new production facility in China where cells for EVs will be made. An investment of 600 million dollars shall return 40,000 batteries annually for Samsung with production set to start this October.
Lithium extraction facility: POSCO is building a large demo plant in Argentina to showcase its latest lithium extraction technology. The facility is being shipped in parts from Chile. The mining company mentioned growing demand from electric carmakers as one reason for expanding its operations.
A 100-mile range is enough: The Oak Ridge National Laboratory tells drivers and makers of EVs in its latest study, to not expect more than a 100-mile range to keep costs at an affordable level. At least until battery prices have fallen to less than 100 dollars per kWh.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Tuesday was the news about the electric revival of Spanish Loryc and its Electric Speedster.
TaxiBot, Samsung SDI, Envia Systems, CALEB & CalBattery.
A hybrid towtruck for plane taxiing is currently being tested by Lufthansa at Frankfurt Airport. The airline believes the diesel-electric TaxiBot could be approved in about two months as it already has passed the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) test. Once certified, the semi-electric taxiing could save up to 1.9 million euros (2.57m dollars) a year at the airport alone, Lufthansa said.
Samsung future-safe: On its website, the Korean manufacturer is giving an outlook on energy density. According to that, Samsung SDI will increase the energy of its nickel-cobalt-manganese cells from 130 to 250 Wh/kg by 2019. At the turn of the decade, it plans to have lithium-air batteries ready.
samsungsdi.com via insideevs.com
7.7-million dollar contract: The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), jointly operated by Chrysler, Ford and GM, awarded a 7.7-million dollar contract to Envia Systems. The company will use the money for developing high-energy cathode and anode material in the next three years.
Californian battery JV: CALEB Technology and California Lithium Battery (CalBattery) plan to form a joint venture to produce Li-ion batteries for consumer electronic devices and power tools. Batteries for EVs are planned for the second generation with the first gen expected to arrive by 2016.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Tuesday was the most detailed Green Car Congress report on Volkswagen’s E-Golf strategy and production process, as well on the car itself.
BMW & Samsung SDI, Tesla, Audi, Mercedes, Smart.
Billions for batteries: BMW has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Samsung SDI to extend its supply of battery cells for BMW’s i-series and hybrids. As demand grows, the Korean company is to increase quantities as well as further the development of new, stronger cells. The deal is believed to be worth multiple billion euros. Meanwhile, BMW board member Klaus Draeger said BMW would be happy to share battery technology, i.e. with rival Mercedes.
greencarcongress.com, automotive-business-review.com, hybridcars.com (sharing)
Model III: Tesla has just confirmed that its upcoming car for the masses, formerly known as the Model E, will be called Model III. Tesla had to drop the ‘E’ because of claims from Ford (we reported). The new EV will be available from 2017 and rival cars such as the BMW 3-Series.
Audi e-tron TDI: The carmaker plans to introduce a new plug-in hybrid by 2015, combining electric power with a V6 diesel engine. The so-called e-tron TDI system is said to deliver 275 kW and 700 Nm torque with an all-electric range of at least 50 kilometres and could first be implemented in the new Q7.
automobilwoche.de (in German)
Spy shots C-Class Convertible: The Mercedes Cabriolet has been spotted with heavy camouflage but is confirmed to make it to market by the end of 2015. The new C-Class will also be offered as plug-in hybrid with an electric range of 50 kilometres (31 miles).
motorauthority.com, auto-motor-und-sport.de (in German)
Smart sneak peak: Take a look at the new Smart ahead of its premiere in Berlin, Germany, tonight. Sketches of the new Fortwo have been released by Smart. While the exterior remains indeed sketchy, the interior image seem to resemble the inside design of the production car.
Mercedes launches B-Class ED: The Tesla-powered electric B-Class has officially entered the U.S. market this Tuesday – at least in some states. It is also its world premiere, since Damler has chosen the U.S. as the first market for the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive, which starts at 41,450 dollars and has a range of up to 104 miles.
Nissan, Hyundai, Ford & Samsung SDI, Isle of Man.
Nissan Leaf hits Mexican roads: Sales of the all-electric Nissan have just started at certified dealers in Mexico City, making it the first EV available in the country. Moreover, Nissan is cooperating with the Mexican government is setting up an electric corridor between Mexico City and Cuernavaca.
Compliance car: Hyundai admitted that it is only offering its Tucson fuel cell vehicle in California, because it earns the carmaker zero emission vehicle (ZEV) credits. For every unit leased for the next 36 months, the Korean will earn 26 points, allowing it to sell more cars with combustion engines there.
Joint battery research: Ford and Samsung SDI work together to develop next-generation Li-on batteries to be used in Ford’s hybrid cars and vehicles with start-stop technology. The research includes systems combining Li-ion with lead-acid batteries, with the aim to eventually replace the 12-V lead-acid with Li-ion batteries completely.
John McGuiness sets new record: He finished the 37.7-mile course at the TT Zero on the Isle of Man in 19:17 minutes, driving an average speed of 117.366 mph. He is also the first to complete a full electric lap in less than 20 minutes. Needless to say, he was also crowned the winner of the alternative-drive motorcycle race.
Samsung SDI, IHS Automotive, Shimano, Renault.
New battery factory: Samsung SDI has signed an agreement with Shannxi Province and Anqing Ring to build a car battery factory in Shaanxi, China. The joint venture will be set up by April with Samsung investing about 600 million dollars over the next five years. Production is set to start as early as next year.
EVs on the rise: According to IHS Automotive, worldwide production of plug-in electric vehicles will increase by 67% this year, mounting to 403,000 electric and hybrid vehicles. Driven by tighter emission standards in Europe, this will also lead to more choices for consumers and eventually result in 1.1 million charging stations worldwide by the end of 2014.
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Get closer to Steps: Shimano introduced its new e-bike system Steps in Bremen, Germany. While being exclusive to the German market in its first year, Dutch Jan Willem van Schaik gave the system a go. He finds it “working smoothly,” especially as all components – mechanical or electric – come from one supplier. First test pedelecs are expected at German dealerships next month.
Self-experiment: Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn himself tested the autonomous Zoe called Next Two. The busy manager particularly enjoyed the opportunity to relax and let someone else take care of the steering. The technology is expected to be fully developed in 2020 but the Next Two prototype can already “navigate” through stop-and-go traffic or motorways safely today.
youtube.com (Video) via thegreencarwebsite.co.uk