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lithium-ion batteries

US trade probe into Korean battery secrets theft claims

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 16:06 -- John Shepherd
US trade probe into Korean battery secrets theft claims

The US’ international trade watchdog is investigating allegations that Korean battery maker SK Innovation was involved in the theft of trade secrets from manufacturing rival LG Chem.

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) probe follows a lawsuit filed in the US by LG Chem and its US manufacturing subsidiary, LGCMI, whose pouch-type lithium-ion battery tech underpins what the company said is a “significant share” of the American electric vehicle market.

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Audi unveils second-life BESS in Berlin

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 11:32 -- John Shepherd
Audi unveils second-life BESS in Berlin

German car giant Audi has opened a 1.9MWh second-life battery energy storage system (BESS) in Berlin as part of a research project.

Audi said the facility on the EUREF campus— a “climate-neutral-powered” centre for start-ups and innovation— uses lithium-ion batteries from development vehicles to test “interaction scenarios between electric cars and the power grid”. 

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SK Innovation to expand battery production in China

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 18:02 -- John Shepherd
SK Innovation to expand battery production in China

South Korea’s SK Innovation (SKI) is to build a second battery manufacturing plant in China in response to increasing global demand from the electric vehicle sector.

CEO Kim Jun (pictured) said the company intends to invest 579.9 billion Korean won (US$488 million) in the lithium-ion batteries project, which will be a joint venture with the Beijing Automobile Works Company— a subsidiary of the state-owned BAIC Group. 

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Farasis Energy selects Germany for first European LIB plant

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 15:53 -- John Shepherd
Farasis Energy selects Germany for first European LIB plant

San Francisco-based lithium-ion tech company, Farasis Energy, plans to invest more than €600 million (US$672m) in building a battery cell, module and packaging production facility in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The company’s newly formed subsidiary, Farasis Energy Europe, will operate what will be its first European plant at Bitterfeld-Wolfen— which is expected to start making batteries for pure electric vehicles from around the end of 2022. 

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Northvolt set for €400m Swedish gigafactory loan

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 17:10 -- John Shepherd
Northvolt set for €400m Swedish gigafactory loan

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to approve a €400 million (US$450m) loan to help start-up Northvolt build a 16GWh capacity lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing plant in Sweden.

The loan to design, build and start operations at the gigafactory, which Northvolt estimates will cost a total of around €1.5 billion, is likely to get the green light when the EIB board meets on 15 May.

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Daimler invests in Sila Nano for next-gen battery tech

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:32 -- John Shepherd
Photo: Sila Nanotechnologies

Daimler is investing in the California-based producer of engineered materials, Sila Nanotechnologies, to boost development of “next generation lithium-ion battery materials”.

Daimler said it was making a “significant investment” in Sila Nano to forge a partnership that would speed up the development and commercialisation of lithium battery tech— to benefit future electric cars produced by its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

In addition to acquiring a minority equity stake in Sila Nano, Daimler also joins the board of the battery material specialist.

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Powin delivers LFP storage system for Texas

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:51 -- Hugh Finzel

US-based battery manufacturer Powin Energy will deliver a 10MW/10MWh energy storage system (ESS) to GlidePath Power Solutions for a distributed energy storage project in Electric Reliability Council Of Texas (ERCOT) territory.

The ESS will use lithium iron phosphate batteries arranged in Powin’s Stack battery architecture, which has been deployed in “the largest battery storage project in Canada, and the largest microgrid storage project in Mexico.”

The system will also utilise Powin’s bp-OS (battery pack operating system), “which offers a common battery management system and energy management system for platform control, regardless of which cell sub-supplier Powin chooses”.

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Navitas to expand production in Michigan

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:09 -- Hugh Finzel
Navitas Starlifter battery

US battery firm Navitas is expanding production of its Starlifter line of lithium-ion forklift batteries from a new manufacturing facility in Michigan.

Navitas has secured a 100,000 sq ft building to boost production by an additional 5,000 systems annually, in line with the company’s reported “almost 200% year-over-year growth in revenues”.  

The new facility is near Navitas’ existing 48,000 sq ft R&D and manufacturing facility in Ann Arbor.

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Australian acquisition looks to close recycling loop

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 15:45 -- Hugh Finzel

Lithium Australia (LA) is to acquire a minority stake in lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling company Envirostream, as part of its mission to “close the loop on the energy-metal cycle”.

The acquisition comes after LA started producing lithium-iron-phosphate battery cathode material from waste batteries at its re-commissioned pilot facility in Brisbane.

LA will invest a total of AUD600,000 (US$429,000) for 560 shares in Victoria-based Envirostream— currently representing 18.9% of the company’s issued capital.

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Sunlight takes a shine to lithium with new ‘smart battery’

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:33 -- John Shepherd
Sunlight Li.On Force batteries

Greek lead-acid battery maker Sunlight is entering the electrical industrial vehicles (eIVs) market with the launch of a “smart lithium batteries” line.

Sunlight said the debut of its ‘Li.On Force’ follows “a multi-year intensive research plan” to produce batteries “that combine the advantages of batteries featuring lithium technology” with applications of Internet of Things technology.

A battery management system relays performance and other data in real time to a Sunlight control centre via the Cloud.

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