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SDG&E seeks storage plans go-ahead to boost reliability

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 12:21 -- Xuan Zhong
SDG&E seeks storage plans go-ahead to boost reliability

US utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is asking regulators to give the green light to contracts it has signed for five new local lithium-ion battery storage facilities with a combined total of 83.5MW.

If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), two of the five four-hour energy storage facilities will be owned and operated by SDG&E.

 
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Panasonic’s new Li-ion battery factory in China

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 09:48 -- Xuan Zhong
Panasonic’s new Li-ion battery factory in China

Japan’s battery giant Panasonic held an opening ceremony for its new automotive lithium-ion battery factory in Dalian, China last week.

The factory is Panasonic's first automotive battery cell production facility in China and owned by Panasonic Automotive Energy Dalian Co., Ltd., an automotive battery joint venture established between Panasonic and Dalian Levear Electric Co., Ltd. in February 2016.

 

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Mercedes-Benz drive to sell home-storage batteries

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:56 -- Xuan Zhong
Mercedes-Benz drive to sell home-storage batteries

Mercedes-Benz is driving the lithium-ion battery technology used to power thousands of hybrid and fully electric vehicles into homes for a new range of stationary energy storage units.

Up to eight Energy Storage Home wall-mounted or floor-standing battery modules, with an energy content of 2.5kWh each, can be combined to produce an energy storage unit with a capacity of up to 20kWh, the company said.

 

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LG Chem makes home batteries foray in North America

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:53 -- Xuan Zhong
LG Chem makes home batteries foray in North America

South Korea-based LG Chem Ltd has formally launched its residential battery systems line into the North American market.

LG said the debut lithium-ion range, which comprises AC- and DC-coupled solutions with capacities up to 9.8kWh, follows UL certification and marks the company’s “initial foray” into the North American residential market.

 

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New man at TBS

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 09:50 -- Xuan Zhong
New man at TBS

Steve Sharpe has joined TBS, a UK-based battery machines maker, as technical director. He was previously group technical director at Froude, manufacturer of test equipment for the automotive, gas turbine and shipbuilding industries. 

 

Steve is responsible for all engineering design and development, where he will be using his 35 years of engineering expertise to develop and evolve TBS’ fully automatic high speed assembly equipment. Steve replaces Chris Barge, who TBS said had left after 24 years with the firm.

 

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INL’s new equipment boosts EV battery safety

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 09:48 -- Xuan Zhong
INL’s new equipment boosts EV battery safety

The US Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has reportedly bought two fireproof chemical storage containers that allow lithium-ion batteries to be tested under extreme temperature conditions.

Local medial said INL tests experimental batteries including those from Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Electric vehicles (EVs) batteries used in Chevrolet are likely to be tested in new containers in next year, according to reports.

 

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EV business hots up in India

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:52 -- Xuan Zhong
EV business hots up in India

The indications that the electric vehicle (EV) and alterative vehicle markets are hotting up in Asia comes with the announcement that Suzuki Motors has agreed to establish a joint venture with Toshiba and Denso to produce lithium-ion batteries in India.

The new company, which will have an initial capital of JPY 2 billion ($18.3 million), will be 50% owned by Suzuki, 40% by Toshiba and 10% by Denso - Japan's leading automotive components manufacturers.

 

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New nano-tech for Li-ion collectors

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 09:37 -- Xuan Zhong
New nano-tech for Li-ion collectors

Australian battery firm Nano-Nouvelle said it has proven its nanotechnology materials, that can boost lithium-ion batteries’ energy storage capacity by 50%, are ready for plug-and-play production.

In a recent trial, Nano-Nouvelle worked with Portland, Oregon-based Polaris Battery Labs to successfully apply a graphite layer to its copper-coated nanomaterial, Copper Lumafoil.

 

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Cobalt price doubles in 15 months

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 09:40 -- Xuan Zhong
Cobalt price doubles in 15 months

Data from the London Metal Exchange, a global industrial metals trading website, showed cobalt, a main material used in lithium-ion batteries, has doubled in price since January 2016 (see the graph), the fact might put pressure on electric vehicle makers.

The international price of cobalt rose to $55,000 per tonne in early April this year, which is twice as much as the price recorded in the beginning of last year, around $24,000 per tonne.

 

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Clarke buys Ebonex for a song — but why?

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 09:10 -- Xuan Zhong
Clarke buys Ebonex for a song — but why?

Steve Clarke, founder of Aquametals, didn’t buy his father’s old company, Ebonex, out of sentimentality last week.

Aquametals, the recent start up in non-conventional lead-acid battery recycling, acquired UK-based Ebonex IPR Limited for 123,776 shares of Aquametals common stock and $100,000 in cash — or a “song”*, Clarke told BBB.

 

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