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lithium-ion batteries

US transport chief to form lithium safety groups

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Elaine Chao

The US government is forming groups of experts to study lithium-ion battery safety issues in manufacturing and transportation.

Transportation secretary Elaine Chao (pictured) is spearheading the formation of two expert committees on the batteries as part of a package of measures included in the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act that was recently signed into law by President Donald Trump.

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Investment boost for Massachusetts battery start-ups

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
24M Technologies manufacturing process

Two battery technology start-ups in Massachusetts have filed paperwork indicating that they have each raised more than US$20 million in new investment.

24M Technologies, a Cambridge-based firm that produces semi-solid lithium-ion cells, filed a Form D with the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that they raised more than $21.8m through an equity release.

Woburn-based SolidEnergy Systems similarly filed a Form D indicating that they raised more than $28.8m, also through an equity release.

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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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Mitsubishi to supply parts for (another) ‘world’s largest energy-storage system’

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Japanese electrical manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric has received an order from the Chiyoda Corporation to provide its BLEnDer RE energy management system to monitor and control a 240 megawatt/720 megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery system at Kita-Toyotomi Substation in Teshio, Hokkaido.

Upper Hokaido, with favourable winds and abundant open land, is well suited to wind turbines, but there are fears that the associated fluctuations in power output will increasingly disrupt the balance of electrical demand and supply.

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China launches ‘first solid state production line’

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

China has reportedly started operations of the country’s first solid-state battery production line in the city of Kunshan, in eastern Jiangsu Province.

Chinese start-up Qing Tao (Kunshan) Energy Development, led by Nan Cewen, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has invested CNY1 billion (US$144m) in the project, China’s state Xinhua News Agency said.

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Tesla adds battery storage to Gannawarra solar farm

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Tesla battery system at Gannawarra Solar Farm

A 25MW/50MWh Tesla lithium-ion battery pack has entered service at the 60MW Gannawarra solar PV farm to create the first integrated solar and storage project in the state of Victoria, and the largest in Australia.

The Gannawarra battery— which was developed by Australian renewables company Edify Energy— is capable of powering more than 16,000 homes through two hours of peak demand. EnergyAustralia will operate the combined solar farm and battery facility.

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Germany’s billion-euro bid to lead EU battery cell production

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Peter Altmeier

Germany has pledged to pump €1 billion (US$1.1bn) into promoting battery cell production by 2021— with the aim of German and European producers “supplying 30% of global demand” by 2030.

The head of the federal economic affairs and energy ministry, Peter Altmaier, also revealed a “new battery cell consortium” could be formed in Germany around the end of this year.

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JCI quits batteries with Power Solutions sale

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Cyrus Madon

Johnson Controls International (JCI) has announced a definitive agreement to sell its battery business Power Solutions to US and Canadian investment firms Brookfield Business Partners and CDPQ in a cash transaction valued at US$13.2 billion.

The deal ends months of feverish speculation about the future of Power Solutions.

New York and Toronto-listed Brookfield is the business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management. Quebec-based CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec) is an institutional investment fund manager.

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Auto alliance invests in Enevate’s advanced LIB tech

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Enevate batteries

International automotive partnership Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Ventures is stepping up its investment in fast-charge battery technology research.

The partners’ investment arm, Alliance Ventures, said it has invested in a round of funding for the Enevate Corporation— a Californian advanced lithium-ion battery tech developer.

Enevate’s “silicon-dominant lithium-ion HD-Energy Technology features extreme fast-charging capabilities with high energy density and improved safety”, Alliance Ventures said.

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Swiss firm eyes EV market traction for new ‘standardised’ battery

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Swiss technology company Ecovolta has unveiled a “standardised” lithium-ion battery, aimed at speeding up the development of electric vehicles.

Ecovolta, which announced the start of operations at a battery pack manufacturing and R&D plant in Switzerland earlier this year, said its ‘evoTraction’ battery “significantly cuts the time and expense needed to bring electric vehicles to the serial production stage”.

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