Toyota speeds up battery-electric cars with CATL & BYD
Toyota has now announced that it will enter into a number of collaborations in China to accelerate the development of its electric cars by 5 years and to ensure the supply of key components such as batteries. The new partners include CATL and BYD, among others.
USA: Hyliion buying battery unit of Gentherm
Hyliion, a maker of retrofit hybrid systems for class 8 trucks, enters the battery business. They acquire the battery arm of Gentherm with which they had been working already. For cell supply they struck a deal with Toshiba.
Elon Musk, Toshiba.
Reading tip I: A 5-minute delivery is Elon Musk’s latest idea for disruption and one that may be needed for Tesla to manage the expected delivery volume of Model 3s. In-car video tutorials and less paperwork shall do the trick.
Reading tip II: Toshiba concluded a one year test with electric buses and managed to cut CO2 emissions by up to 60% for a medium-sized bus and by up to 42% for a small bus compared to diesel.
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.
Loop Energy, Toshiba, Saint Jean Carbon, Tesla.
Three times the range: Canadian company Loop Energy presented their new fuel cell range extender, said to more than triple the range of heavy-duty electric trucks. The 56 kW system offers a power density of 213 W/L and will apparently be used by an unnamed manufacturer starting next year.
Fuel cells set sail: Toshiba has fitted the 14-metre ship “Raincho N” with a fuel system and began testing it in October. Working with the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, researchers hope to learn more about use of fuel cell systems in ship operations, as Toshiba wants to launch a fuel-cell powered vessel by 2020.
New batteries from old ones: Carbon science company Saint Jean Carbon is working with a battery manufacturer to build a Li-ion battery made from re-used materials from an old EV battery, as well as upcycled anode material. The goal is to show that battery parts can be used over and over again to make new systems with comparable performance, all while reducing the need for mining.
Stealing a Tesla: IT experts in Norway have shown how it could be done. They offered free Wi-Fi at a Supercharger location, named after a fast-food restaurant there. Said restaurant supposedly offers a free meal if the driver installs an app, which hackers then used to gain control of the Tesla app. Conclusion: bring a sandwich.
softpedia.com, promon.co, youtube.com (video)
Toshiba, OCPI, Hydrogen Fuelling Standards, Intersil.
Toshiba testing detailed: Toshiba is reportedly field testing wirelessly charging an electric bus. The inductive charger utilises a novel magnetic resonance system installed in the testing ground. The 45-seater EV runs between All Nippon Airways facilities and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
OCPI standard updated: An updated version of the Open Charging Point Interface, an independent roaming protocol for providers of charging infrastructure, has been released. Version 2.1 enables remote commands with mobile devices without the need for a subscription to a service provider.
Hydrogen Fuelling standards: ISO has published the standards for minimum design characteristics for safety and performance at hydrogen fuelling stations. The standard is applicable for light duty hydrogen land vehicles but could also be applied to other applications. It can be purchased on the ISO website.
greencarcongress.com, iso.org (standard)
Battery monitoring: Power management company Intersil has introduced their new ISL78610, a 12-cell Li-ion pack monitor for hybrid and electric battery systems. The device offers voltage readings and diagnostics and enables manufacturers to achieve an ASIL-D compliant battery management system.
Aston Martin, Red Bull, Toshiba, Zero, Apple.
Truly desired: The hybrid sport car by Aston Martin and Red Bull has been sold out – even though production will not start until 2018 (we reported). All 100 planed units found a new owner during the Formula One race in Monaco. Apparently, there were even twice as many potential buyers as cars.
Wireless charger put to the test: Toshiba will test its inductive charging system under real life conditions in Japan from now until December. It will be used to charge an electric bus that services an 11 km route. Engineers estimate charging to take about 15 minutes for each direction.
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Electric climb to the top: The MIT’s Electric Vehicle Team is working with Zero Motorcycles and other partners to take part in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb at the end of June. Named KOMMIT-EV, the team further developed the Zero FXS’ drivetrain and aerodynamics.
Apple patents smartphone key: The company applied for a patent for its “Accessing Vehicles Using Portable Devices” technology. It would allow cars to be locked and unlocked using a smartphone, while access can be granted to others by sending an access code. Is this yet another clue in the iCar puzzle?
Mazda, Brilliance & Bosch, Akasol, Toshiba.
Rotary hybrid in the works? Mazda issued a teaser picture showing a new sports car concept which will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show. No official details have been released on the concept yet, but according to media reports, the study expected to be called RX-9 will feature a rotary engine with a two-stage electric turbocharger, mated to a hybrid system with a total power output of around 450 hp.
worldcarfans.com, autoblog.com, motoring.com.au
Brilliance teams up with Bosch: BMW’s Chinese joint venture partner Brilliance has agreed to enter into a strategic R&D partnership with Bosch. The cooperation between the two companies also includes the joint development of alternative energy automobiles.
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Akasol batteries for e-buses in Cologne: Akasol is supplying the Li-ion battery systems for eight all-electric articulated 18-meter buses, manufactured by VDL Bus & Coach. The e-buses will be operated by the public transport company Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe in the German city of Cologne.
IC for electrified vehicles: Toshiba announced the mass production start of “TB9042FTG”, a system regulator IC for the motor control system of electric and hybrid vehicles. The new IC features a strengthened monitoring function to reduce potential risks that threaten the security of the system.
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.
Philippines, Toshiba, Tesla, Black Zombie.
Electric trikes: BEMAC Electric Transportation Philippines, a subsidiary of Japanese Uzushio Electric, has begun serial production of electric tricycles in the Philippines. The 68VM costs 450,000 pesos (10,100 USD) and carries a driver and six passengers while travelling at speeds of up to 50 kph.
Toshiba has opened its new Hydrogen Energy Research & Development Center (HRDC) in Tokyo, where the electronics giant is looking at hydrogen-related energy technologies. Toshiba Group wants to increase the sales of business related to H2 to 100 billion yen (840 million dollars) by 2020.
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Speedy service: Tesla now employs Kenny Handkammer, formerly the Red Bull F1 team’s chief mechanic, as global director of service training. Elon Musk expects him to “apply Formula 1 techniques to revolutionize servicing mainstream cars”, ehm, EVs.
Record-breaking EV: The Black Zombie is a converted Mustang EV that is powerful (2,000 hp) and faster than the Model S P85D. It is also, somewhat surprisingly, street legal and has now become the fastest street legal car in the history of the Texas Mile drag race, clocking a top speed of 174.2 mph.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was BYD releasing the first official images of its upcoming plug-in hybrids, the Song and Yuan.
Bolloré, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Ireland, Toshiba.
Twizy for Lyon: The all-electric two-seater by Renault is now being offered as part of Bolloré Bluely carsharing scheme in the French city. A total of 30 are ready for use. Until the end of the year, Bolloré wants to have a total of 110 Twizy to join its Lyon fleet and Bluecub Carsharing scheme in Bordeaux.
Massachusetts pushes EV sales: The U.S. state has earmarked an additional two million dollars for its Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) program. It offers a discount of up to 2,500 dollars to those who buy or lease an electric vehicle.
How much could you save? Hawaiian electric companies have launched an online tool that estimates, how much money a person could save by driving electric. The EV Bill Savings Estimator also takes into account off-peak charging rates.
Apartment solution: Irish companies Carra, EC Charging, Electro Automation and Smartcharge have all received 25,000 euros in funding to bring EV charging infrastructure to apartment blocks. A viable solution could receive another 200,000 euros to develop a prototype.
Toshiba bus hits the road: The company’s first electric bus has begun operating in the city of Kawasaki in Japan, along the Kawasaki Municipal Hospital route. The bus is equipped with vehicle-to-grid technology and can be used as a power source in the event of an emergency.
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.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the 83 dollar per month offer for an electric Fiat 500e in California. Who went to get one?
Toyota & Hino Motors, ARPA-E, Johnson Controls & Toshiba.
Mirai-based H2 bus: Toyota and Hino Motors have built a new version of their fuel cell bus equipped with the Toyota fuel cell system developed for the Mirai. It will be tested in Toyota City starting today. The new bus comes with eight hydrogen tanks, two fuel cell stacks and two electric motors. Its NiMH battery is able to supply electric power to buildings.
125 million dollars will be invested by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to foster innovations in all areas of energy research and development, i.e. for fuel cells, electric drive systems, batteries, and power electronics.
Commonwealth e-racer: Birmingham City University announced its plan to develop an electric race car for the Formula 1 together with three Indian universities. The agreement is to be signed today.
Supplier cooperation: Together, Johnson Controls and Toshiba have developed a new Li-Ion battery for start-stop applications to debut in a 2018 model production vehicle in Europe. The new battery will be showcased at the NAIAS in Detroit next week.
autonews.com, jsonline.com, greencarcongress.com
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the report from Kevin Bullis revealing how Tesla manages to boost its Roadster’s range by 50 percent
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.
Meet Ms Aiko Shihara, Toshiba’s robot receptionist which (or is it “who”?) comes with 15 actuators inside its head to make it look more lively. Aiko speaks and signs Japanese. Toshiba plans to show it American sign language soon too. Maybe motels would be interested in the never-tiring android.
ELEVATE, Proterra & Toshiba, Gazelle & Panasonic, Kobe Steel.
British research funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grants two new low carbon research projects six million pounds. ELEVATE (ELEctrochemical Vehicle Advanced Technology) is funded to develop new materials for batteries and supercapacitors as well as fuel cell diagnostics.
Proterra powered by Toshiba: The American manufacturer will use Toshiba’s SCiB cells in its electric buses in the future. The Li-ion batteries are said to have a high-rate performance and high durability. The density of the prismatic SCiB cell is at 90 Wh/kg and 177 Wh/L.
Gazelle and Panasonic have developed a front-wheel drive for pedelecs. It will be employed in both the Orange and Chamonix models. The Dutch manufacturer believes that the front hub drive is “often the best choice for flat terrain.” The Panasonic driven bikes will be available this month.
New composite materials for FCVs: Japanese Kobe Steel is working on lightweight materials that are mixed from steel, aluminium, carbon fibre and composite resins for hydrogen tanks. The steel maker has created a new segment within the firm and hopes to bring the products to market by 2025.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the overview of electric car milestones since the year 1828.
Modular design for battery packs, Hydrogen Town.
Research tip: “Optimizing battery sizes of plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles for different user types” is the name of the latest study by the Institute of Vehicle Concepts, German Aerospace Center (DLR). Instead of taking the “one size fits all” approach, manufacturers should offer customers a range of different battery capacities to cater for specific needs.
greencarcongress.com (summary), sciencedirect.com (study subject to a charge)
Video tip: Toshiba’s video showcases the company’s ‘Hydrogen Town’ project in Japanese Kitakyushu. The model town is supplied with hydrogen via pipelines that are fed by the surrounding steel industry for which H2 is only a by-product.
Audi, Solvay, Toshiba, Turkey.
Audi hopes to win the race with an electrified quattro four-wheel drive, which will be featured in the 2014 R18 e-tron racecar. The power distribution to the wheels of Audi’s diesel-hybrid is controlled purely electronically, with the front-wheel drive components integrated in the vehicles monocoque. Recuperated energy is stored in the new flywheel energy storage system. Audi will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with two R18.
Greener energy storage: Chemical firm Solvay wants to replace organic solvents with water during the production of cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. A pilot production facility is set to open its doors next year. The research is part of LIFE+GLEE project and in part funded by the EU.
solvayplastics.com (project website)
Vroom goes the EV: Toshiba’s TB2909FNG chip imitates the sounds of a conventional combustion engine to make quiet electric cars louder. The company refers to a 2011 EU resolution amendment that would require EVs to be equipped with ‘acoustic vehicle alerting systems’ (AVAS).
Turkey wants to build own EVs: According to the national newspaper ‘Sabah,’ plans to form a brand that specialises in electric mobility are becoming more concrete. Ten technological concepts for the first Turkish-produced electric vehicles are being considered, but only one will be able to receive the 33 million euros (45.8 million dollars) in government funding.
emobilitaetonline.de (in German), sabah.com.tr (in Turkish)