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Audi battery fire risk prompts E-Tron recall in US

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 09:45 -- John Shepherd
Audi battery fire risk prompts E-Tron recall in US

German car manufacturer Audi is recalling its first all-electric vehicle rolled out in the US— the ‘E-Tron’— due to the risk of battery fires.

A spokesperson for the company, which is owned by Volkswagen, told BEST Battery Briefing “moisture could, in very rare cases, enter the high-voltage battery through the low-voltage wiring via the charging-socket grommet, due to production tolerances in the manufacturing of wiring harnesses”.

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Audi unveils second-life BESS in Berlin

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 11:32 -- John Shepherd
Audi unveils second-life BESS in Berlin

German car giant Audi has opened a 1.9MWh second-life battery energy storage system (BESS) in Berlin as part of a research project.

Audi said the facility on the EUREF campus— a “climate-neutral-powered” centre for start-ups and innovation— uses lithium-ion batteries from development vehicles to test “interaction scenarios between electric cars and the power grid”. 

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CATL and LG Chem sign Volvo battery supply deals

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 14:10 -- John Shepherd
CATL and LG Chem sign Volvo battery supply deals

Chinese and Korean battery makers have signed deals to secure the “multi-billon-dollar” long-term supply of electric vehicle batteries for Swedish car firm Volvo.

Volvo said today the agreements with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and LG Chem would ensure supplies of lithium-ion batteries over the coming decade for its next-generation Volvo and Polestar models.

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Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 10:54 -- Hugh Finzel
Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Finnish companies Fortum and Crisolteq have teamed up to launch a materials recovery process claimed to make more than 80% of electric vehicle (EV) batteries recyclable.

Power company Fortum said the technology uses “a low-CO2 hydrometallurgical process”, developed by metal recycling services firm Crisolteq, to recover scarce battery metals such as cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium.

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Work starts on Mercedes’ Alabama EV battery plant

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Daimler has broken ground for an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Alabama for its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

A ceremony marking the start of construction at Tuscaloosa, just seven miles from Mercedes existing vehicle production site, came just weeks after German auto firms indicated they could pull the plug on new investments in battery manufacturing in the US, if forced to pay increased tariffs under the Trump administration’s “national security” review.

The battery plant is part of a US$1 billion investment in the US that will cover two million square feet— twice the size of Mercedes’ nearby site. The US plant will form part of an eight-strong global battery production network including plants in Germany, China and Thailand.

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Mercedes’ billion euro pledge on batteries

Mon, 09/10/2018 - 13:54 -- Hugh Finzel
Dieter Zetsche

Mercedes-Benz has announced investments of more than €1 billion (US$1.1bn) in “global battery production” in concert with the launch of its first fully-electric vehicle— the ‘EQC’.

The auto firm’s chief Dieter Zetsche gave the batteries pledge as the company said it would also invest more than €10bn in the expansion of its EQ model portfolio.

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Cobalt surplus sparks price plunge

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 16:02 -- News Editor
Cobalt ore

A surplus of cobalt chemicals used to make high-power lithium batteries has seen Chinese refiners switch to producing metal, sending prices down 30% in recent months.

The electric-vehicle revolution is expected to boost demand and prices for cobalt, which is critical to the current generation of lithium-ion technologies. However, such a shift is unlikely to happen until the next decade, when production and sales of electric cars are really seen ramping up significantly.

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VW ups Quantumscape investment for solid-state batteries

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:11 -- John Shepherd
VW ups Quantumscape investment for solid-state batteries

Volkswagen is investing $100 million to increase its stake in US battery start-up Quantumscape and “accelerate” commercialisation of innovative solid-state battery technology.

VW said the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, will make it Quantumscape’s largest automotive shareholder and will give the car giant a seat on the board.

 

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Sion Power readies for Licerion batteries launch

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:00 -- John Shepherd
Sion Power readies for Licerion batteries launch

Arizona-based Sion Power is to launch production of its patented Licerion Ion rechargeable lithium metal batteries by the end of this year from a facility at its base in Tuscson.

The privately-owned firm is targeting the electric vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles market with its “ultra-high energy density” battery tech.

 

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Toyota invests in lithium producer Orocobre

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:47 -- Xuan Zhong
Toyota invests in lithium producer Orocobre

Japanese car giant Toyota has confirmed plans to acquire a 15% stake in Australian-based lithium mining company Orocobre with an estimated investment of AUD292 million ($229m).

The move will help secure stable supplies of a key mineral for future electric vehicle batteries to meet anticipated market demand, Toyota said.

 

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