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Nissan aiming for $65/kWh solid-state lithium-ion battery pack and cobalt free cells by 2028

Thu, 12/16/2021 - 13:26 -- Paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM Nissan is targeting a $75/kWh cobalt-free and solid-state lithium-ion battery for its electric vehicles by the close of the decade.

Nissan aims to develop its lithium-ion battery technologies and introduce cobalt-free technology to reach the figure by fiscal year 2028.

Nissan believes solid-state battery packs could be as cheap as $75/kWh by 2028, and aims to bring the cost down to $65/kWh in a bid to achieve cost parity between EV and gasoline vehicles.

These are high ambitions, as a BNEF report this month noted that real term lithium-ion battery pack prices had reached $132/kWh this year— but rising raw material prices could mean the mythologised $100/kWh price may not materialise until 2026.

Japanese firm Nissan plans to launch an EV fitted with its proprietary all-solid-state batteries and is preparing a pilot plant in Yokohama, Japan as early as 2024. 

Some of the price goal will depend on Nissan’s economy-of-scale, with the vehicle maker working with its partners to increase its global battery production capacity to 52GWh by 2026, and 130GWh four years later.

Nissan also intends to expand its battery refurbishing facilities beyond Japan with new locations in Europe next year, and in the US in 2025 to support its circular economy in energy management.

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DOE launches $209M fund to develop lithium-ion batteries and fast charging technologies

Thu, 11/18/2021 - 14:33 -- Paul Crompton

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $209 million in funding for 26 laboratory projects focusing on electric vehicles, advanced batteries and connected vehicles. 

The laboratory projects aim to address four critical goals in the US’ goal of becoming a “global leader” in electric vehicle and battery innovation under president Joe Biden’s administration.

Those goals are: reducing costs and size of next generation battery technology; advance 15-minute fast charging technologies; mitigate potential grid impacts of electric vehicles and streamline cooperative vehicle-to-vehicle communications and controls that reduce energy use and emissions. 

The laboratories, including Pacific North West National Laboratory, ORNL, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, mainly focus on solid-state batteries.

To review the full list of the selected projects, click here

Additionally, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory has launched the Li-Bridge public-private partnership to bridge gaps in the domestic lithium battery supply chain. 

The US relies heavily on importing advanced battery components from abroad, which leaves the country exposed to supply chain vulnerabilities that could disrupt the availability and cost of electric vehicles technologies, including batteries. 

The Li-Bridge will work with the entire National Laboratory complex to accelerate the development of a “robust and secure” domestic supply chain for lithium-based batteries. 

Argonne will engage with the federal sector through the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB), which was established by DOE to put the U.S. on a path to long-term competitiveness in the global battery value chain.

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UL and National Fire Service College partner in Indian lithium-ion fire safety project

Mon, 09/06/2021 - 12:31 -- Paul Crompton

A partnership to advance lithium-ion fire safety and standardisation in India begins this month with a training and knowledge-sharing virtual seminar on electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

The event will bring together key fire safety stakeholders, including those in fire services, academia, associations, standards organisations and research institutes, among others.

The seminar is the first event following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by safety science leader Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Service College (NFSC).

NFSC is an Institute of Excellence for training fire and emergency service professionals in Nagpur, India. 

UL and NFSC will explore collaborative opportunities with other regulatory organisations relating to battery fires in electric mobility (e-mobility) and grid energy storage systems.

The two organisations signed the MoU on 30 July as part of the ongoing fire research study ‘Battery Fires: Study of Response Strategy of Indian Fire Services’. 

Dr. Judy Jeevarajan, director of the Underwriters Laboratories Electrochemical Safety Research Institute, said: “Given India’s accelerated use of lithium-ion batteries, it is critical for the nation’s fire services to be prepared with the right knowledge, equipment and infrastructure to handle any emergency fire situations.

“This collaboration is a major step towards creating battery fire safety awareness.”

The NFSC memorandum builds upon an ongoing partnership between UL and the government of India that include a MoU with the Bureau of Indian Standards to strengthen India’s standardisation system. 

UL battery safety experts will lead a training workshop in November on the various safety aspects of lithium-ion batteries and discussions will begin on the development of a battery fire safety NFSC course curriculum.

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LG Chem lithium-ion batteries force GM into fourth EV recall notice

Mon, 08/23/2021 - 11:40 -- Paul Crompton
fire damahged Chevrolet Bolt car

General Motors has issued a fourth recall notice for its electric vehicles following two fires in cars “ remedied” as part of the initial safety recall last November.

The recall is for a defect relating to motor vehicle safety in around 68,000 Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles built between 2017-2019— to the battery packs posing “a risk of fire when charged to full, or very close to full, capacity”.

A number of those vehicles were built with high voltage batteries produced at LG Chem’s Ochang, Korea, facility.

A GM recall notice stated that if the batteries in these cars are charged to full capacity, or very close to full capacity, the batteries may pose a risk of fire.

Dealers are due to install diagnostic software, reduce battery state-of-charge to 90% capacity, inspect and if necessary, replace defective battery packs that fail current diagnostic procedures.

This is an interim repair until a final remedy is available under this recall notice, said the firm.

The recall notice stated: “General Motors has been notified of two recent Chevrolet Bolt EV fire incidents in vehicles that were remedied as part of the safety recall announced in November 2020. 

“We are asking owners of 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs who were part of the recall population to park their vehicles outdoors immediately after charging and not leave their vehicles charging overnight while we investigate these incidents. 

“Customers who have not had the remedy completed should still visit their dealer for the recall remedy while our investigation continues.”

GM spokesman Dan Flores told the Detroit Free Press: "A battery pack is made up of many individual components including the case, some electronics, wiring, battery modules among other things. We will be replacing the five lithium-ion battery modules within the battery pack.

"The battery pack case, wiring and other components are not defective and do not need replacing. 

"The recalled vehicles have battery packs that include five lithium-ion modules.

"We are replacing the vehicles' lithium ion battery modules with new lithium-ion battery modules."

Second safety recall

The latest recall is in addition to a similar notice issued in July regarding 2017-2019 model year Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles. 

That notice stated that experts from GM and LG have identified the root cause of the fires, and GM was commencing a new recall to replace defective battery modules in the recall population.

The repair description stated that, until the updated recall remedy was performed, customers should take the following steps: 

  • return their vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017-2018 model years) or Target Charge Level (for 2019 model year) mode. 
  • customers to charge their vehicle after each use and avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles (113km) of remaining range, where possible. 
  • continue to park their vehicles outside immediately after charging and not leave their vehicles charging overnight.

Last November, GM recalled 68,667 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles due to fire risks

Concerns the batteries could catch fire led the US federal vehicle safety agency National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recommend charging up to 90% capacity until a software update is completed.

In June, GM issued a second recall on Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles due to fire risks with its lithium-ion batteries.

Image: a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV after it caught fire. picture from VERMONT STATE POLICE/AFP VIA GET

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Lithium-ion battery fires spark global recall of 68,000 EVs amid over charging concerns

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 09:38 -- Paul Crompton

The root cause of fires that pushed General Motors to recall 68,667 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles is unknown but “could be” related to overcharging the high voltage lithium-ion batteries produced in South Korea by LG Chem. 

Concerns the batteries could catch fire when fully charged has led the US federal vehicle safety agency National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recommend charging up to 90% capacity until a software update is completed.

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LoI signals Turkey’s intent to create domestic lithium-ion dependence

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 13:24 -- Paul Crompton

China lithium-ion battery maker Farasis Energy has signed a letter of intent to manufacturer battery modules in Turkey with a consortium aiming to bring domestic electric vehicles to the country.

Farasis will supply lithium-ion cells that will be jointly developed and produced into battery modules for EVs in partnership with Turkey’s automobile joint venture group TOGG. 

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UK’s first e-ferry propelled into service with repurposed lithium-ion batteries

Wed, 10/28/2020 - 11:00 -- Paul Crompton

A ferry using repurposed lithium-ion batteries from Nissan Leaf electric vehicles has been launched in Plymouth, UK.

Rigorous trials of e-Voyagers’ motors, energy storage, control and charging systems are run in a real-world environment in a bid to gain regulatory approval

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VW Group signs $1.4B battery deal with Wanxinag Group to ensure security of supply in China

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 08:29 -- Paul Crompton

China battery maker Wanxinag Group has secured a $1.4 billion deal to supply German vehicle OEM Volkswagen Group (VW) with lithium-ion batteries.

The deal, through the China firm’s subsidary Wanxiang A123 (Wanxiang bought battery maker A123 in 2012), gives VW a second China lithium-ion cell supplier alongside Contempoary Aperex Technology (CATL). 

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CATL and Honda sign agreement to develop new energy vehicle batteries

Thu, 07/16/2020 - 09:24 -- Paul Crompton

Battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is partnering with vehicle OEM Honda to develop new lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles as well as recycling. 

The agreement will strengthen the companies’ strategic partnership and allow both firms to conduct joint development on EV batteries and conduct joint R&D into fundamental technologies. 

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Award winning US Harvard University scientist charged over links with China

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 10:14 -- Paul Crompton

An award winning US Harvard University scientist who reportedly worked on nano-wire-based lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles has been indicted on charges of making false statements to federal authorities regarding his participation in China’s Thousand Talents Program. 

Dr. Charles Lieber has been indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of making false statements and will be arraigned in federal court in Boston, US, at a later date. He was arrested on 28 January.

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