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EnerDel CEO resigns, interim head appointed

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 10:31 -- Tildy Bayar
EnerDel CEO resigns, interim head appointed

David Roberts, CEO of US lithium-ion battery manufacturing firm EnerDel, has resigned, the company has announced.


Roberts will be replaced on an interim basis by chief operating officer Michael Canada, a former Altairnano vice president and general manager.

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Tesla hints at Panasonic partnership for ‘Gigafactory’

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 09:35 -- Tildy Bayar
Tesla hints at Panasonic partnership for ‘Gigafactory’

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has said he expects Panasonic to partner with his company in its proposed ‘Gigafactory’ battery production facility in the US, according to reports.


Details will be released in two to three months, Musk said at the Chinese launch of Tesla’s Model S electric car in Beijing.


The company has been seeking “strategic battery manufacturing partners” for a planned production push, with the aim of producing a mass-market EV within three years.


“I would be surprised if Panasonic is not our partner,” Musk said, while Panasonic said in a statement that although no decision has been made at this stage, the company will “look into a variety of options to strengthen” its relationship with Tesla.


The planned $5 billion, 10m square foot (0.9m m2) battery production facility will manufacture lithium-ion batteries for Tesla’s vehicles. Although no site has been chosen yet, Tesla has narrowed the choice to four US states: Nevada (the financial analysts’ favourite due to its rich lithium deposits and a strategically placed rail line), Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Groundbreaking is planned for two locations in order to minimize delays, Musk said.


According to Tesla, the Gigafactory could produce more lithium-ion batteries per year in 2020 than were produced worldwide in 2013. By the end of the company’s first year of volume production of its mass market EV, the Gigafactory could drive down the cost of its battery pack by over 30% per kWh, the company said.


The factory would enable sales of up to 500,000 cars per year, according to Musk.


 

Motor giants collaborate on fuel cells

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Daimler, Ford and Nissan have signed a three-way agreement to collaboratively develop fuel cell electric vehicles to accelerate getting the technology onto the road. The deal will see each company developing its own vehicle but with a common fuel cell system, sharing development and investment costs.

sealing the deal

The companies hope to have affordable fuel cell EVs ready by 2017 with common components to standardise and define global specifications for the technology and encourage faster commercialisation.

(L - R: Raj Nair of Ford, Thomas Weber of Daimler and Mitsuhiko Yamashita of Nissan)

“Working together will significantly help speed this technology to market at a more affordable cost to our customers,” said Raj Nair, group Vice President, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. “We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone.”

Each company will invest equally to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that each company can use in their individual FCEVs. This work will be done at several sites around the world to speed up engineering development.

A similar agreement was made by Toyota and BMW in June 2012, and extended in January 2013, to develop a fuel cell system for a lightweight sports vehicle.

Samsung and Bosch end partnership

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 18:02 -- Ruth Williams

South Korea's Samsung SDI and German auto-parts maker Bosch will be ending their four-year old joint venture of SB LiMotive, an electric car battery manufacturing unit due to . Samsung will acquire the 50% stake in the venture held by Bosch, but both firms will continue to maintain close business relations.

Samsung will take full ownership of the lithium-ion battery unit while maintaining a collaborative working relationship with Bosch.  Samsung and Bosch had jointly established SB LiMotive in July 2008 under an equal ownership arrangement, where each partner held 38 million shares. SB LiMotive currently operates a battery cell production line in Ulsan, South Korea with a monthly capacity of 200,000 battery cell packs. Production at the plant will be raised to 400,000 packs per month by 2013 and 1.5 million packs per month by 2015.

From the outset of the partnership, Samsung was in control of the research & development and production, while Bosch took care of the battery management system and sales.  Bosch has recently shown an interest in running its own battery cell production line.

Bosch is working with German chemicals firm BASF to build a pilot line for lithium-ion battery cells. Test production will start this year, and the plant will produce up to 200,000 cells by 2015.

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