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LG Chem in batteries joint venture with China’s Geely

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 09:00 -- John Shepherd
LG Chem in batteries joint venture with China’s Geely

South Korea’s LG Chem is setting up a joint electric vehicle batteries business with Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Each company has invested around US$94 million in the 50-50 joint venture, which, by the end of 2021, will produce 10GWh of EV batteries annually for the Chinese market.

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Toyota takes more Asian battery firms along for EV ride

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 12:45 -- John Shepherd
Toyota takes more Asian battery firms along for EV ride

Toyota is teaming up with several Asian battery manufacturers to ensure it has the supplies it needs to ramp up production of electric vehicles, the Japanese car company has confirmed.

Chinese battery and auto makers CATL and BYD are now lined up to work with Toyota—in addition to Japan’s GS Yuasa and Toshiba, Toyota bosses have confirmed.

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Experts warn on ‘raw material cost’ of powering EVs

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 13:07 -- John Shepherd
Experts warn on ‘raw material cost’ of powering EVs

Experts have warned that producing a new generation of electric vehicles— and supplying the electricity to keep their batteries charged— will add up to costly and “huge implications” for the world’s natural resources.

The UK alone would need just under twice the current annual world cobalt production to meet its EV targets for 2050, according to a letter to government climate change advisers co-authored by the head of earth sciences at the UK’s Natural History Museum, Prof Richard Herrington.

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Thai investor backs Enevate’s fast-charge tech

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 16:28 -- John Shepherd
Thai investor backs Enevate’s fast-charge tech

Thailand-based energy company Bangchak has made a “significant” undisclosed investment in US-based advanced lithium-ion battery tech developer Enevate.

CEO of California-based Enevate, Robert Rango, said the deal meant Bangchak becomes “an important partner in our mission to provide advanced battery technology that will help drive the growth of global EV markets with as little as five-minute charging times”.

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Lawmakers push for US battery materials security

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 15:12 -- John Shepherd
Lawmakers push for US battery materials security

US lawmakers are backing draft legislation aimed at cutting the country’s “damaging” dependence on imports of materials, including those “critical”  to expanding battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) technology.

A bipartisan group of senators say the American Mineral Security Act is needed to help reduce reliance on countries such as China. 

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China’s Envision pledges EV battery costs of $50/kWh by 2025

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 12:40 -- John Shepherd
China’s Envision pledges EV battery costs of $50/kWh by 2025

The new Chinese owner of Nissan’s former international lithium-ion business has pledged to slash the cost of manufacturing electric vehicle battery cells to around US$50 per kWh by 2025.

Envision Group CEO Zhang Lei, whose Shanghai-based group recently finalised its acquisition of the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), said: “The EV sector is facing three major challenges: safety, cost and grid integration. Digitalisation is the key to all of these.”

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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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Auto partners commit to battery-tech investments as chief is sacked

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

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has pledged to continue its activities including development of next-generation batteries following the sacking of the alliance’s chief.

Carlos Ghosn (pictured) was removed as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan after his arrest in Japan over allegations of misconduct.

Last month, the alliance’s investment arm said it was stepping up its investment in fast-charge battery technology research.

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Caterpillar invests in Fisker for solid-state battery tech.

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The Caterpillar engineering group’s investment arm, Caterpillar Venture Capital (CVC), has invested an undisclosed sum in Fisker— a Californian electric vehicle start-up that is developing solid-state battery technology.

Fisker told BEST Battery Briefing details of the deal were being kept under wraps. However, a spokesperson said the investment, involving “fundamentally different industries”, demonstrated the “mutually recognised importance that electrification solutions will represent to multiple business segments in the future”.

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Work starts on Mercedes’ Alabama EV battery plant

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Daimler has broken ground for an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Alabama for its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

A ceremony marking the start of construction at Tuscaloosa, just seven miles from Mercedes existing vehicle production site, came just weeks after German auto firms indicated they could pull the plug on new investments in battery manufacturing in the US, if forced to pay increased tariffs under the Trump administration’s “national security” review.

The battery plant is part of a US$1 billion investment in the US that will cover two million square feet— twice the size of Mercedes’ nearby site. The US plant will form part of an eight-strong global battery production network including plants in Germany, China and Thailand.

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