SK Innovation to get bigger US battery cell factory
The first U.S. battery cell factory of the South Korean manufacturer SK Innovation, which was announced in November, could prove far more extensive than originally planned. SK Innovation is considering investing up to an additional 5 billion dollars in the factory in the U.S. state of Georgia.
SK Innovation plans massive increase in battery cell production
The battery cell manufacturer SK Innovation plan to increase their global battery cell manufacturing capacity more than ten-fold over the next four years. The news broke only days after SK-customer Daimler announced that they plan to procure battery cells in a volume worth 20 billion euros by 2030.
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.
VW to gear up Emden factory for electric car production
Volkswagen is thinking to transform their Emden plant in Germany into an electric vehicle only factory. The next board meeting will decide about the next decade’s investments and large scale electrification is on top of the agenda. The option to build a battery cell factory there as well is on the table too.
SK Innovation delaying pouch battery cells
SK Innovation of Korea is delaying the introduction of their expected new EV battery cells. The pouch NCM batteries of type 811 had been planned since a year but so far, they are only being utilised in energy storage systems and larger EVs.
Bosch, OPERA4FEV, SK Innovation, UQM, CNHTC.
Bosch wants to grow together with the EV market and hopes for its “all in one” drive concept e-Axle to become a “major coup” according to board member Dr. Rolf Bulander. On display at the IAA this year, the powertrains will roll off the production lines from 2019.
Montage of a rack: Efficiency may be gained in a number of ways and so the EU looked into the racks that carry EV batteries. Project OPERA4FEV (Operating rack for full-electric vehicle) managed to repackage cells in a robust plastic envelope and thus got rid of intermediate housing, while integrating electrical and hydraulic connections as well as components in the new solution. The 11-member consortium’s work resulted in cheaper, safer and more environmentally-friendly racks.
NCM batteries reloaded: SK Innovation will commence commercial production of pouch-type batteries made from nickel, cobalt and manganese that would allow a range of up to 500 kilometers for electric vehicles. Starting in December this year, the so-called NCM811 will first be supplied for energy storage systems, while EV makers may get their hands on the batteries from Q3 2018.
koreaherald.com, koreajoongangdaily.joins.com, businesstimes.com.sg
Electric CV joint venture: UQM and CNHTC plan to to manufacture and sell electric propulsion systems for commercial and other vehicles through a JV in China. CNHTC’s subsidiary Sinotruk is expected to be the first and largest client, once the two-stage agreement has gone through.
AllCharge, Samsung, SK Innovation, Infineon.
Universal charging tech: At the Continental Tech Show in June and the IAA in September, the supplier will introduce its system AllCharge, which turns the electric powertrain into a charger able to draw from all types of charging standards. It is said to use the maximum output rate of up to 800V and perspectively up to 350 kW. As the system is bidirectional, it is not only a way in but also a way out for the energy stored inside the EV batteries.
Hungary has got its battery plant: Samsung completed construction of its battery plant as planned in Hungary, where the company wants to start large scale production. However, the lines won’t move before the second quarter of 2018. Only then the output shall accumulate to 50,000 EV batteries a year. The Goed facility close to Budapest is the European leg of what Samsung considers its global production tripod with Ulsan, South Korea and Xian, China closing the triangle.
10 x more batteries: More news from Korea hummed on the wire as SK Innovation intends to extend its li-ion battery production facilities tenfold, from 1.1 GWh in the past year to 10 GWh by 2020. Latest by then, energy density of SK cells will reportedly have been upgraded in order to enable EVs to reach 500 to 700 kilometres on a single charge.
eRamp project completed: Led by Infineon, 26 research partners from six countries have explored innovative electronics components for efficient energy use over 3 years. They looked at the entire power electronics value chain. Now eRamp reached its end and leaves the members convinced that the project has indeed “strengthened Germany and Europe as centres of expertise for power electronics.”
Skeleton Technologies, SK Innovation, Airbus, Asahi Kasei.
Ultracap cells made in Germany: Skeleton Technologies has opened a large factory in Saxonia, close to Dresden, where the firm plans to make 4m ultracapacitor cells a year. Skeleton’s supercaps base on graphene and provide over 1m charge/discharge cycles according to the company. For the facility, 6.2m euro investment was made by the young firm, supplemented by federal and state funds from a programme to improve the regional economic structure (GRW).
Battery business shut down: Korean SK Innovation has halted the lines at its battery facility in Beijing due to China’s protective measures. The policies that exclude batteries from subsidies if they use nickel-manganese-cobalt (NCM) or parts from non-Chinese makers like most Korean producers do, has led to a rapid decline in orders. SK Innovation is now looking to “build a joint venture to produce battery cells with Chinese partner companies,” a SK official said.
Crushed dreams: Airbus has faltered at the challenge to fly all-electrically and says it will switch its small E-Fan electric plane to hybrid propulsion instead. The new development project is titled E-Fan X and promises more range – obviously – but way less fancy. Initially, the plane maker wanted to build 100 small electric aircrafts for training purposes and had already sent the E-Fan across the English channel.
aero.de (in German), lefigaro.fr (in French)
Demand has increased for separators used in Li-ion batteries made by Asahi Kasei in Japan. The chemical company said it will grow production capacity by 30 percent with an investment of 11m yen until 2019. Asahi Kasei claims rising sales of electric and hybrid vehicles to be responsible for its growth.
North Volt, Dendrobium, SK Innovation, ECO COM'BAT.
Swedish Gigafactory: Former Tesla executives and their new business North Volt have brought forward their plan to build a large battery factory in Sweden themselves rather than waiting for their former boss. They target a battery price below $100/kWh with the facility that will either be in Finland or Sweden. North Volt reckons construction will cost 40bn kroner (about 4bn euros) but found early backers in Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency and Vattenfall is now on board as well. The next two years will be dedicated to look for location and financing in order to start construction in 2019. Production could then start in 2020 and ramp up to 32 GWh in 2023.
businessgreen.com, electrek.co, vattenfall.com
Super car from Singapore: Vanda Electrics present the Dendrobium in Geneva, an electric racer developed together with Williams Advanced Engineering. Four electric motors make for 320 kph tops. Depending on reactions at the Salon, this hyper car could see the light of day in a mini-series by 2020.
SK to double EV battery production: Korean SK Innovation will build two EV battery production lines to make EV cells with a combined 2 GWh. In fact, this doubles its total capacity as the existing facility churns out 1.9 GWh a year. The new production lines will go online in the second half of 2018.
ECO COM’BAT is the latest EU funded project that combines forces of ten partners under the lead of Fraunhofer ISC to develop better, lighter, and more durable Li-ion packs – in short: high-voltage batteries. Another requirement is sustainability and so the team will look to reduce rare or even critical materials in their “Ecological Composites for High-Efficient Li-Ion Batteries” (ECO COM’BAT). One surrogate is low-cobalt NMC, carbon nanotubes another promising strand to look at. The project reaches from research over to upscaling and recycling methods.
SK Innovation, Siemens, Toshiba, Canadian Electric Boat Company.
Regulatory uncertainty is keeping SK Innovation from building a new battery facility in China as Beijing moves on with new rules it suggested before. The draft raised the minimum annual production capacity to 8 gigawatt hours to be eligible for subsidies. Both SK Innovation and Samsung do not meet the targets – effectively only China’s BYD Co and Amperex Technology do.
eHighway in California: Siemens plans its next electric highway as it will fit its overhead contact system for hybrid electric trucks above a motorway in California by January next year. The first such eHighway has reportedly been set up in Sweden, where it charges trucks from Scania.
eurotransport.de (in German)
Hydrogen Application Centre: Toshiba started construction of a new Hydrogen Application Center in Tokyo. The facility will be built around a H2One hydrogen power system that will use renewable energy to produce hydrogen and supply it to H2 forklifts operating in Fuchu Complex from April 2017.
Fast electric boat: The Canadian Electric Boat Company took inspiration and battery cells from Tesla to build a really fast electric boat. The Bruce 22E has a 100 kW motor and is equipped with a 48.66 kW battery and hits 41 knots. Deliveries are to begin early next year with a piece starting at 100,000 euros.
SK Innovation, Tesla, California, Electrovaya.
SK ramps up production: SK Innovation wants to open its second EV battery plant directly next to the first one in Seosan, South Korea. It will cost around 190m euros and will open its doors in the first half of 2018. The yearly production capacity is estimated at 1.8 GWh, and therefore less than the originally planned 3 GWh, but will still suffice for cells for 70,000 EV batteries per year. Mercedes will also go with SK batteries starting next year.
Tesla improves battery: CTO JB Straubel revealed that the batteries for the Model 3 will have a 30 percent higher energy density. That would automatically reduce costs, as weight per kWh is a factor, he said. Moreover, considering the current pace of development, Straubel does not believe that the market needs a new disruptive technology.
EV vs. FCV: Stanford University and the Technical University Munich looked at the development of emission-free mobility in California until 2035. They found that pure battery-electric are more economical, also because their cost is lower, while the technology is more energy efficient than fuel cells.
New Li-ion batteries for forklifts: Electrovaya presented “ELivate,” its new battery production line for forklifts. It uses ceramic separator technology and is said have double the lifespan of other Li-ion and even six times the lifespan of lead-acid batteries.
SK Innovation, Google, Auro Robotics, Carla Cargo.
SK innovates: Korean energy solution company SK Innovation intends to increase production of lithium-ion battery separators, a core EV battery component, by 30 percent before 2020. After expanding two production lines next month, SK hopes to become the worldwide leading LiBS manufacturer.
Google tech: Fiat Chrysler is reportedly in late-stage talks with Google over a technology partnership and the deployment of Google’s driverless car technology. The deal would start with Chrysler’s Pacifica minivans. An announcement could come as early as this Friday, but details are still under wraps.
Campus shuttles: Autonomous campus shuttle service Auro Robotics secured 2m dollars in a funding round led by Motus Ventures. The money will allow Auro Robotics to roll out a shuttle service using multi-sensor clad electric vehicles at an unnamed American university later this year.
Bike haul: The German-designed Carla Cargo electric bicycle trailer prepares bikes for 150 kg loads. It can be powered to trail behind a bike or unhitch and operate as a powered hand truck. The motor generates 250 watts of power and can go up to 23kph. The Carla Cargo starts at 4,000 euros before tax and shipping.
SK Innovation, 2getthere, Zaptec, TransEnergy.
SK Innovation eyes China: The Korean company is pondering a production facility for EV batteries in China. A decision will be made this year. SK Innovation is currently only involved in a battery factory thorough its joint venture with Beijing Automotive and Beijing Electronics.
Autonomous shuttle in Singapore: Transport company SMRT and 2getthere are planning to launch a local transportation system with self-driving pods before the end of the year. The small shuttle busses can fit 24 passengers. Initially, the service is reserved as a first and last mile solution on private or fenced off grounds.
Charing partnership: The International Transportation Innovation Centre (ITIC) has teamed up with Zaptec to develop and test intelligent charging solutions for electric vehicles. That includes bi-directional and inductive technologies. That way, Norwegian Zaptec hopes to get its foot in the door on the North American market.
E-mobility at the station: The project TransEnergy, let by the University of Sheffield, is looking at the integration of electric vehicles into the railway’s energy system. EVs parked at the station could provide trains with energy during peak times, helping to reduce overall costs. In return, electric cars could park free of charge.
SK Innovation, Techrules, Google, Sea Bubbles.
Mercedes with SK cells: Korean SK Innovation says it secured a contract to supply battery cells for Mercedes plug-in models from 2017. Other than it being a “large-scale project” involving multiple models, no more details have been revealed yet. Kia and BAIC are also customers of SK.
reuters.com, greencarcongress.com, koreatimes.co.kr
Turbine EV: Over 1,000 miles on one charge sounds impossible, but China-based Techrules claims that its electric racer can do just that. Power is given at 768 kW, reached with a turbine recharging system, whose inner workings are yet to be revealed. The super car concept is scheduled to debut in Geneva this spring.
Google search: The company hunts for a location for its new R&D centre. The facility will concentrate on autonomous driving technology, so it makes sense the internet firm is scouting Detroit, Michigan, rather than its native California. Google is looking for at least 30,000 sq feet for its lab.
Hover boats: Paris is to trial autonomous electric boats hovering above the Seine. The Sea Bubbles derive their name from their encapsulated nature. Only four “marine wings” touch the water, while the boats float above much like a catamaran. With a speed of up to 18 kph they will take passengers, eventually without a captain on board. If testing is successful this summer, the water cabs could be launched by 2017.
Fraunhofer IISB, SK Innovation, Leclanché, hybrids.
E-Racer rollout: Fraunhofer IISB in the German city of Erlangen has presented its electric sports car IISB-One. It is road ready as well as road legal and will be used to test various power electronics designed by the institute. Components like the drive system or on-board charger have all been developed by IISB.
Doubled production: SK Innovation has increased its annual Li-ion battery production in its Seosan facility from 300 MWh to 700 MWh – enough to power around 30,000 EVs according to the Korean company. Customers include Kia and BAIC.
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Battery makers merge: Swiss-German Leclanché has acquired Belgian battery-maker Trineuron. The latter offers multiple chemistries and system designs. Leclanché hopes to broaden its offering, especially with regards to BMS and larger transport applications such as buses or ferries.
Hybrid parity: Hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles could reach price equality as early as 2015, a new technical paper suggests. It states technological advances, especially in production, and further learnings as reasons, using the Toyota Prius as an example.
SK Innovation, France, Gregis, CambYoCar, SAIC, ItalDesign Giugiaro.
SK Innovation quits Continental: South Korean SK Innovation now officially ended its battery joint venture with Continental after two years. The reason given is low demand for EVs in Europe, however, SK Innovation said it will continue its R&D for electric vehicle batteries.
The end of the diesel era? Next year, the French government will launch a car identification system that will rank vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit. This will make it possible for local authorities to limit city access for the dirtiest cars. Meanwhile, Rotterdam plans to invest 12 million euros (about 15m dollars) to install eV charging facilities, renew the Dutch city’s fleet and to phase out old vehicles with a scrapping scheme and by denying parking permits.
reuters.com (France), dutchnews.nl (Rotterdam)
Electric roadster made in Italy: Gianluca Gregis plans to build roadsters in Italy under his new brand Gregis Automobili. Talks with partners on an electric Leggera are already under way. The electric version is said to have a range between 300 and 500 kilometres at half the price of a Tesla Roadster.
motor-talk.de (in German), autosblog.com.ar
EV from Costa Rica: CambYoCar is invented in Costa Rica and also made there using mainly balsa wood and aluminum. The small electric four-seater comes with a top speed of 100 kph and a range of 200 km. The CambYoCar is set to launch by early 2015 for 22,000 dollars.
insidecostarica.com, cambyocar.com (in Spanish)
“Eco-car” facility: The Chinese-Thai joint venture SAIC Motor-CP plans to build a second factory in Thailand where so-called eco-cars will be manufactured under the MG brand. Construction of the plant with an annual capacity of 200,000 units is set to start late next year.
Electric Clipper: ItalDesign Giugiaro, a design house owned by VW, presented its electric concept car at the Essen Motor. The Clipper which was first shown in Geneva, is still said to do up to 335 miles on a single charge. Two electric motors power each axle with 110 kW.