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'Major lithium find' boost for Chinese battery makers

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 14:44 -- John Shepherd
'Major lithium find' boost for Chinese battery makers

Chinese scientists have reportedly found in excess of five million tons of lithium at a deposit in the country’s southwest Yunnan Province that could boost self-reliance for a key material needed by China’s battery makers.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Geochemistry found 340,000 tons of lithium oxide in a test site in central Yunnan, according to the state Xinhua News Agency.

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BMW signs ‘transparent’ battery cobalt supply deals

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:35 -- John Shepherd
BMW signs ‘transparent’ battery cobalt supply deals

BMW is to buy cobalt for its electric vehicle (EV) batteries directly from mines in Australia and Morocco to ensure “complete transparency” about the origin of the raw material.

A spokesperson for the German carmaker told BEST Battery Briefing today the move to obtain supplies outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) would “eliminate any residual risks of human rights violations in the mining of cobalt”.

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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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New York challenge to boost EVs and battery storage

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:26 -- Hugh Finzel

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has launched an ‘Innovation Challenge’ to help spur development of a “backbone” grid-linked charging network across the state to expand the use of electric vehicles and energy storage.

The NYPA challenge has been launched in collaboration with the Urban Future Lab (UFL) at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, and will advance Governor Andrew Cuomo’s clean energy and jobs agenda.

NYPA will invest US$250 million up to 2025 in order to install “a robust DC fast charging backbone infrastructure throughout the state”, so as to catalyse widespread EV adoption.  

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SK Innovation ‘in battery venture talks with VW, China’

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 12:54 -- Hugh Finzel

South Korea’s SK Innovation (SKI) is reportedly in talks to establish two separate battery production joint ventures— one with Volkswagen and another with Chinese partners.

SKI confirmed talks with Volkswagen in an interview with Reuters, saying the two companies were discussing building a factory together. SKI also said I was “on the cusp” of agreeing plans to build a plant in China with “undisclosed partners”.

The president of SKI’s batteries business YS Yoon told Reuters: “Our strategy is to keep up with technological advancement by having relationships with some of our key customers. Compared with rivals, we’ve been matching or exceeding investment in the (EV batteries) area since last year.”

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LG Chem’s batteries aid record sales

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

South Korean battery giant LG Chem said the company achieved record battery sales in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Battery sales for the period exceeded KRW2 trillion (US$1.8 billion), helping push overall sales for the whole of 2018 to a total of KRW28.18tn— the highest since the company was created.

LG Chem said while overall sales grew 9.7% year-on-year in 2018, operating profit fell 23.3% year-on-year to KRW2.24tn.

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LG Chem ‘plans second Poland battery plant’

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
LG Chem groundbreaking ceremony in Poland

South Korea’s LG Chem is reportedly set to build a second lithium-ion batteries production plant in Poland as orders outstrip the capacity of its existing facility in the country.

The move comes just a year after production of batteries for electric vehicles started at the group’s existing Kobierzyce production facility in southwestern Poland, with a capacity of around 100,000 batteries annually.

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BMW and Dräxlmaier establish joint battery production in Thailand

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The BMW Group has announced that from 2019 onward it will, in partnership with the Dräxlmaier Group, establish “local high voltage battery production” in Thailand.

Together, BMW and Dräxlmaier plan to invest over 400 million baht (US$12.2 million) in order to realise their ambitions of establishing “a new beacon for e-mobility innovations in Thailand and the region.”

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Webasto and Wanxiang ink Shanghai battery partnership

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Automotive component manufacturers Webasto and Wanxiang A123 are to cooperate on a Shanghai-based battery development partnership targeting commercial vehicles for the Chinese market.

China-based Wanxiang, which also produces lithium-ion batteries, has signed a partnership agreement to produce a battery module that will be integrated in Munich-based Webasto’s modular battery system.

The project is the first under the partnership. The battery modules from Wanxiang contain high-quality NCM battery cells.

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SK Innovation battery project targets US automotive market

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Governor Nathan Deal

SK Innovation plans to invest 1.98 trillion South Korean won (US$1.01 billion) to establish an electric vehicle (EV) batteries production base in Jackson County, Georgia as they look to establish themselves in the US, “the largest battleground of global automakers”.

The plant will be built on a 278-acre site in Commerce City and is expected to have an annual production capacity of 9.8 gigawatt-hours.

The announcement confirms speculation of such a project reported earlier this year.

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