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elon musk

Musk wins battery bet

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:10 -- News Editor
Musk wins battery bet

So Elon Musk has won his bet to build a 100MW storage battery for South Australia in 100 days and he doesn’t have to give it away free. Switch-on was due last Friday. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, who was due to visit the installation, said the battery storage system will help support South Australia during the upcoming summer season, and reduce its reliance on other states for additional energy.

The editor reflects: In 2002, I was one of a number of guests of SAFT and ABB to celebrate the commissioning of a 40MW battery in Fairbanks, Alaska.

 

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Musk has set the pot boiling

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:58 -- Gerry Woolf

It’s funny how us lesser beings can pursue a technical topic till we’re blue in the face and no one seems to take any notice. Electrical Energy Storage is just one such topic.

I feel passionately about this because I was inspired to launch BEST magazine nearly 13 years ago based on what I’d heard from the great and the good from the US Electricity Storage Associations’ meetings at the end of the last century… people like Phil Symonds, Garth Corey, Brad Roberts and others could see the future and it made sense to me as a journalist covering the battery field.

It seems a long time ago and many people have put in huge amounts of effort to achieve… well not as much as we’d hoped for. Then a technology Rock Star like Elon Musk speaks and the world changes. Now every news hack across the globe is writing about energy storage and with luck it won’t go away.

Musk’s announcement is self-serving but it helps all battery makers and all chemistries, including good old lead-acid.

The much-hyped Tesla Giga factory in Nevada needs a rapid ramp up in output if the battery pack cost reductions Musk hopes for in his electric car programme is to happen.

Diversification into domestic electricity storage could help and with a much-mentioned US$800m in orders, well it’s a start.

Of course, it also means a rapid ramp-up for the whole of Tesla’s supply chain— more separator, more electrolyte, more electrode foils— in short, a massive increase in risk for all concerned. It’s what the USA has been good at in the past— in terms of technology— when a goal is set and the resources marshalled accordingly. But lithium-ion is not the only choice. Lead-acid still has a future in this market, if it gets its marketing right and the whole of the supply, installation and finance chain. Musk is doing the battery industry a favour but how many of you will capitalise on it?

We’ll see if that’s happening. I’ll be reporting from the Electricity Storage Association’s event in Dallas this week and more importantly from the Intersolar show in Munich in early June. We’ll be picking up on the best. If you want to tell the world what you’re doing… ESPL is a key route for doing it. Contact me.

Tesla considers setting up a battery plant in Germany

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 15:02 -- Laura Varriale
Elon Musk

Tesla is to open up a battery production plant in Germany “within five to six years”, according to the carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel Musk called for more effort in the development of batteries in Germany and criticised the German automotive industry for the lack of technological commitment despite “fulfilling all qualifications for it.”

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Tesla: Who dares wins

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 14:21 -- Gerry Woolf
Menahen Anderman

For more than a decade the established auto industry, despite their product launches, had been quietly dismissing the pure electric vehicle — and then along came Elon Musk. Most of BEST’s readers know the story from there, says Gerry Woolf.

Use small 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion cells and it's possible to build a large battery pack that’s safe, with built-in cell failure redundancy - and you get a sexy pure electric car that sells to boot!

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Three fires could spell recall for Tesla as Musk considers building own batteries

Wed, 11/13/2013 - 16:54 -- Ruth Williams
A fire officer extinguishes flames after a Model S hit a large piece of metal in the Road, Louisiana

Tesla may be set to face a costly recall after three fires on its Model S in five weeks called into question the safety of the battery. Despite Elon Musk’s protestations to the contrary, the decision will be down to US regulators who may decide to investigate the fires as a defect.

Musk is adamant a recall will not be required. This could be the case if the regulators view the fires as isolated incidences rather than an inherent problem with the car’s design.

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