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Sonnen set for Australia battery battle with Tesla

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 11:11 -- John Shepherd
Sonnen set for Australia battery battle with Tesla

German battery storage firm Sonnen is to open a major production plant in South Australia— squaring up to business rival Tesla in the ‘backyard’ of the US titan’s 100MW Powerpack battery project.

Sonnen confirmed to BBB it plans to manufacture 50,000 of its lithium iron phosphate battery storage systems over the next five years in Adelaide. The company will also switch its Australian HQ to Adelaide from Sydney.

 

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South Australia in new Tesla deal for home batteries

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:54 -- John Shepherd
South Australia in new Tesla deal for home batteries

South Australia has done a fresh batteries deal with Tesla— this time to provide the US firm’s Powerwall 2 units free to up to 50,000 homes to create the “world’s largest virtual power plant”.

The state government will provide one of the 13.5kWh lithium-ion batteries to each home as part of the solar-energy storage project.

 

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Mars is a great market for pure EVs

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 14:35 -- Vic

All power to Elon Musk and SpaceX. What an incredible achievement to build the world’s most powerful rocket, make much of it reusable and have a sufficient sense of humour to put one of your other company’s product— a Tesla electric car, atop of it all and send it toward Mars! Tesla is losing a fortune, so what the hell?

This writer didn’t know if any of the Tesla team was at last week’s Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Mainz last week, but maybe Menahem Anderman had a word in his ear. “You’ve got about as much chance of selling fancy electric cars on Mars mate, as you have in the USA or even China for that matter.” So perhaps Musk took him literally at his word?

It’s still all about the battery and Anderman literally laughed out of court the major automotive OEM’s predictions about how many pure EVs they’ll sell by 2025— only seven years away. 20% market penetration?  “Balls” as we say in the UK. Anderman reckoned 5% or probably less. It’s a little different in the People’s Republic of China. If you want a car in Beijing, you have to have an electric. It’s a government order.

But for the rest of the world? Big lithium-ion will still be too damn expensive even that far down the road. No cheap ingredients… nickel cobalt.  Get that into your heads!

Draw your own conclusions; it’s stop start for the rest of us. And that means… yes, lead!

The lead people though were not present in large numbers at AABC— outnumbered 10:1 by the advanced chemistry people.

In their own cosy sessions the lead men concentrated on difficult technical issues but failed to be exuberant on the good things coming their way in years to come— as long as they can keep the damn legislators off their backs. Maybe that’s the problem… they are too old to party! But they need to… lead industry stocks have got to be a better bet than so many new alternative chemistries.

You can read more about what really mattered at AABC in my exclusive report in the Spring issue of BEST. Make sure you’ve subscribed.

Tesla mulls lithium investment in Chile

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:03 -- John Shepherd
Tesla mulls lithium investment in Chile

BBB has confirmed that Tesla is considering proposals to invest in lithium production in Chile— and that the carmaker could also support the launch of a battery cathodes production facility in the country.

The CEO of Chilean Economic Development Agency (Corfo), Eduardo Bitran (pictured), met Tesla bosses in the US recently to discuss a potential initial investment in Chilean lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), the agency told BBB this week.

 

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NZ opts for Tesla as battery battle hots up Down Under

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 10:57 -- Xuan Zhong
NZ opts for Tesla as battery battle hots up Down Under

Tesla is to supply New Zealand with the same battery tech it has installed in South Australia as an antipodean battle of the batteries hots up.

New Zealand’s majority state-owned electricity generator, Mercury NZ, has selected Tesla to provide the battery for what it said will be the country’s “first” national grid connected battery trial.

 

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‘Heat is on for Australian Tesla battery’, expert warns

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 10:21 -- Xuan Zhong
‘Heat is on for Australian Tesla battery’, expert warns

The Tesla battery built to beat power cuts in South Australia could fail to deliver— and instead prompt a backlash against the technology, a prominent energy storage expert warns in the winter issue of Batteries and Energy Storage Technology Magazine.

The 100MW lithium-ion powerpack dubbed the world’s biggest battery could fail to live up to the hype surrounding its installation in the state last month through no fault of its own, because a host of other issues including a fragmented regulatory environment and creaking infrastructure, BEST reports.

 

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Tesla forms battery R&D firm in China

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 09:46 -- Xuan Zhong
Tesla forms battery R&D firm in China

Tesla has formed a new company in China for the research and development of batteries and energy storage devices, according to authorities in Beijing.

The new company has been named Tesla (Beijing) New Energy R&D Co Ltd, with a registered capital of $2 million, according to a document filed with the Chaoyang branch of the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce. The document is listed in China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System index.

 

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Elon, Now do it for Swindon UK!

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:13 -- News Editor
Elon, Now do it for Swindon UK!

Having pulled off 100MW of storage in 100 days. Best Battery Briefing has found the next target for Tesla…

Public Power Solutions (PPS), the wholly-owned company of Swindon Borough Council, the governing body of a small town between London and Bristol, has submitted a planning application to build one of the UK’s largest battery-based electricity storage facilities.

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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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China-owned SF Motors acquires US battery start up

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 09:39 -- Xuan Zhong
China-owned SF Motors acquires US battery start up

Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle (EV) maker, SF Motors, has acquired US EV battery module start-up InEVit— headed by former Tesla CEO Martin Eberhard.

Under the terms of the deal, the financial details of which were not disclosed, Eberhard will move from his post of chairman and chief technical officer at InEVit to become vice-chairman and chief innovation officer of SF Motors— founded last year as a subsidiary of China’s Chongqing Sokon Industry Group Co., Ltd.

 

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