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Romeo Power woos investors for storage start-up

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 10:14 -- News Editor
Romeo Power woos investors for storage start-up

California energy storage start-up Romeo Power— which boasts a workforce including “top engineers and designers” from business rivals Tesla— has secured $30 million in seed financing.

Romeo said on 24 August it was now pushing ahead with the installation of a fully-automated 113,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Los Angeles that is set to be ready by the year’s end.

 

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Apple Electric Car? B*ll*cks !

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 10:09 -- Gerry Woolf

Short of a definitive announcement from the company, you can take all the stories about Apple coming up with electric car any time soon as total bollocks and a figment of a flaccid and useless mainstream press adding up one and one and making it 27.

'Poaching' a few execs from the once bright hope of A123 Systems is hardly an indicator:  A company whose existence is now so perilously dependent on batteries would be foolish not to beef up its electrochemical knowledge base and the breakthroughs needed are more likely to come in the area of thin film batteries, which are showing the kind of promise needed for electronic 'wearables'.

A company which is still clearly a 'one man band' in the form of the departed Steve Jobs has not come up with anything more remarkable than size variants on the device which he once envisaged— the iPhone.  And make no mistake, here at ESPL, we’re Apple fans, having got this business off the ground on Apple’s desktop computers which are easy to use, easy to customise and downright reliable.

Jobs was bold, but I don’t think even this far sighted soul would have been audacious enough to take on the extremely difficult task of improving battery energy density, life and cost— even with the US$160 billion cash pile Apple currently has.

And I’ve never seen an Apple delegate on the lists of recent battery events (though I did meet a guy from Google (not that they needed to come)).

The apocryphal tales of how Jobs and friends came up with the iPhone concept are well known, and not difficult to imagine. More than a decade ago, they pulled out their keyboard-driven devices from their pockets and collectively thought 'these are crap' —unwieldy interfaces and little extendable functionality (no apps).

One suspects the deceased Jobs and the effete Sir Jonathon Ive would have remarkable respect for today’s auto engineers and designers.  Any fool watching automobile ads in the USA and elsewhere could identify a key theme— more and more safety, which means more and more sensors, more electronics and a role for firms like Apple, Google and though its painful to say— Microsoft—to pull it all together.

But building a new electric drivetrain? The salutary lessons already being learned by the German auto industry should be enough— working on your own does not bring the performance and productivity gains you need to make affordable and saleable electric vehicles to the masses. And a lot of the problem still lays in the electrochemistry— the fundamentals— not the batteries, which are based on applied understanding. Read our write ups of the European AABC meeting in Mainz and the US Nattbat meeting in Phoenix in the Spring issue of BEST and judge for yourself— click here for a paid subscription, it's very affordable battery knowledge you need.

Lawsuit accuses Apple of poaching A123’s top Li-ion battery engineers

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 14:27 -- Paul Crompton
Lawsuit accuses Apple of poaching A123’s top Li-ion battery engineers

Lithium iron phosphate battery manufacturer A123 Systems is suing Apple Inc. for alledgedly poaching five key members of its staff.

A123 has accused five former employees of violating Invention, Non-Disclosure, Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation agreements in the lawsuit filed in Massachusetts state court on February 13.

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Online, on-digital and on-target— are you?

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:08 -- Gerry Woolf

Phone directories. When was the last time you used one?  I remember the time you could find one in the drawer just under the TV in the Marriott but we threw them out at home years ago— a bit like conference proceedings— remember the days of telephone directory conference proceedings? And the same is true of trade directories.
 
These days we look online— for everything. Plumbers, restaurants and even separator manufacturers and battery machine makers. And that’s why ESPL has created an online battery industry directory.
 
The beauty of it is that it is never out of date… If you’re in it then you have the means to update it, change your phone numbers, sales reps, logos and anything else you can think of. To learn more click on this link which takes you straight through to the directory. It’s all part of the growing digitisation of publishing. Which is why, here at ESPL, we’re investing very heavily in digital.
 
We’re already producing three newsletters: BEST Battery Briefing, Chinese BEST Battery Briefing and Critical Power Briefing. From July the Battery Briefings goes weekly… that’s 20,000 named and opted-in contacts reading our news and information every week (and maybe seeing your advertisement?) straight to your eMail inbox.
 
This month our Chinese readers get an even better deal: they can read Chinese BEST via an App on both Android and Apple devices. No waiting around for the mail to deliver.

If you think tablets are for spoiled kids, think again!
I just bought one from another US giant (other than Apple) that does everything an iPad can do at a fraction of the price. Think how much cheaper it will be next year. Things have come a long way since Compuserve…
 
Gerry Woolf
Publisher

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