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Musk hits out at Panasonic over Tesla battery supply

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:10 -- Hugh Finzel

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has blamed “lower-than-expected” battery manufacture from Panasonic for disrupting production of Tesla’s Model 3 electric vehicles (EVs).

Musk said in a post on Twitter that Panasonic’s battery cell lines at the ‘Gigafactory 1’ facility in Nevada amounted to about 24GWh per year— lower than the expected 35GWh— and had “been a constraint on Model 3 output since July (2018)”.

Musk added “Tesla won’t spend money on more capacity until existing lines get closer to 35GWh theoretical”.

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Mitsui invests in bus battery leasing scheme

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 13:49 -- John Shepherd

A US$200 million credit facility to support a battery-leasing programme for electric buses in North America has been launched by Japanese chemicals company Mitsui & Co and automotive firm Proterra.

The companies said the initiative is expected to lower the upfront costs of zero-emission buses and make Proterra’s electric buses “roughly the same price as a diesel bus”.

California-based Proterra said bus operators can purchase a vehicle and lease its battery packs— based on lithium-ion technology co-developed with South Korea’s LG Chem— over the 12-year lifetime of the bus.

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Corvus Energy turns tide for ferries with Li storage

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Norwegian Electric Systems (NES) has selected Corvus Energy to supply lithium-ion energy storage systems (ESS) for five new all-electric ferries.

The ferries— being built in Leirvik, Sogn, by Havyard for Norwegian ferry operator Fjord1— will all be of Havyard 932 design, 67 metres in length, and will carry 50 cars.

Each ferry will be equipped with an “air-cooled Corvus Orca ESS that will supply electrical power to the ferry’s NES all-electric power and propulsion system”.

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‘Lead to power ahead for years to come’, say analysts

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Automotive lead battery demand is in a “state of flux”, but market analysts have warned: “Don’t be too hasty in writing off the humble lead car battery”.

Lead-acid is “increasingly under threat from new battery technologies”, according to metal and materials research consultancy Wood Mackenzie in its 2019 lead outlook.

But the world is yet to see the peak production of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, “and there are new developments in this old technology intended to keep it competitive and relevant for many more years”, the outlook said.

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Anderman cautious on EV ‘expansion’

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Menahem Anderman

Electric vehicle penetration of the global car fleet will be at less than 10% by 2025, industry guru Menahem Anderman has told BEST Battery Briefing.

Anderman, who chairs this week’s Advanced Automotive Battery (AABC Europe) Conference under way in Strasbourg, said: “We are on the edge of expansion, but I am not sure it will be as much as some people project.”

“It might be a bit lower than some, such as European car makers, predict,” Anderman told BBB.

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CATL Geely steers EV batteries joint venture

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Lithium battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) has reached an agreement with Chinese peer Geely Auto, to form a joint venture company that will develop and produce batteries for electric vehicles.

The newly formed company— called CATL Geely Power Battery (CATL Geely)— will “ensure the stable supply of high-performance components for Geely Auto’s next generation of electrified vehicles.”

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Cheaper BESS systems 'to rival fossil-fired peaking plants'

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Cheaper battery storage systems are less than 20 years away from becoming a "competitive" alternative to oil and gas-fired peaking plants, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) study.

The cost of battery storage is projected to “decline fast” by 2040 and global BESS capacity could reach 220 giagwatts by 2040, the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2018 said.

This would see batteries "increasingly compete with gas-fired peaking plants to manage short-run fluctuations in supply and demand"— with the scenario’s projected need for global peaking capacity set to increase by three-quarters compared to 2017.

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Hoppecke and Vivarail deal for battery-powered UK trains

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Hoppecke Industrial Batteries and Vivarail are working together to design and integrate batteries to power passenger trains in the UK.

Vivarail’s Class 230 trains will utilise Hoppecke’s fast-charging lithium-ion battery storage system, which can take on 1 megawatt of power in just eight minutes, or enough for a “robust 65-mile range”.

The move comes as the UK moves toward its stated objective of phasing out diesel trains by 2040.

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Capchem joins Asia’s battery march on EU with Poland plant

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 08:12 -- John Shepherd
Artist's impression of Capchem Poland. Image: Capchem

Chinese lithium-ion group Capchem is set to become the latest Asian battery manufacturer to expand operations to Poland— building a low-cost European base to supply the lucrative electric-vehicle market.

Shenzhen-based Capchem, which produces lithium batteries, capacitor chemicals and semiconductors, has been given the green light to build a battery materials production facility on an 81,000 square metre site.

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BP invests in batteries for China’s ‘new energy’ market

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 09:24 -- John Shepherd

Oil multinational BP is investing US$10 million in a fund aimed at powering the expansion of battery production and R&D for China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) industry.

The oil giant’s investment arm, BP Ventures, is investing in the NIO Capital US Dollar Fund to support work into “new materials including batteries, electric vehicles and related technologies, new energy infrastructure”.

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