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Tesla

Musk has set the pot boiling

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:58 -- Gerry Woolf

It’s funny how us lesser beings can pursue a technical topic till we’re blue in the face and no one seems to take any notice. Electrical Energy Storage is just one such topic.

I feel passionately about this because I was inspired to launch BEST magazine nearly 13 years ago based on what I’d heard from the great and the good from the US Electricity Storage Associations’ meetings at the end of the last century… people like Phil Symonds, Garth Corey, Brad Roberts and others could see the future and it made sense to me as a journalist covering the battery field.

It seems a long time ago and many people have put in huge amounts of effort to achieve… well not as much as we’d hoped for. Then a technology Rock Star like Elon Musk speaks and the world changes. Now every news hack across the globe is writing about energy storage and with luck it won’t go away.

Musk’s announcement is self-serving but it helps all battery makers and all chemistries, including good old lead-acid.

The much-hyped Tesla Giga factory in Nevada needs a rapid ramp up in output if the battery pack cost reductions Musk hopes for in his electric car programme is to happen.

Diversification into domestic electricity storage could help and with a much-mentioned US$800m in orders, well it’s a start.

Of course, it also means a rapid ramp-up for the whole of Tesla’s supply chain— more separator, more electrolyte, more electrode foils— in short, a massive increase in risk for all concerned. It’s what the USA has been good at in the past— in terms of technology— when a goal is set and the resources marshalled accordingly. But lithium-ion is not the only choice. Lead-acid still has a future in this market, if it gets its marketing right and the whole of the supply, installation and finance chain. Musk is doing the battery industry a favour but how many of you will capitalise on it?

We’ll see if that’s happening. I’ll be reporting from the Electricity Storage Association’s event in Dallas this week and more importantly from the Intersolar show in Munich in early June. We’ll be picking up on the best. If you want to tell the world what you’re doing… ESPL is a key route for doing it. Contact me.

Tesla 'secret' Lithium product unveiled

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 12:14 -- Paul Crompton
Tesla 'secret' Lithium product unveiled

Tesla has unveiled its not so secret ‘secret’ new product – wall mounted lithium-ion energy storage devices for home use.

In a much hyped event, Elon Musk’s company unveiled two versions of its Tesla Powerwall, which offer load shifting, backup power and solar power storage.

Both the bigger, $3,500 10kW version for backup applications, and the $3,000 7kWh product designed for daily use applications, can be connected to PVs or to a grid.

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Musk teases with Tesla tweet

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:22 -- Paul Crompton
Musk teases with Tesla tweet

Tesla will unveil a new product later this month said its founder – increasing rumours the EV company is moving into the lithium-ion home energy storage market.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk sparked speculation when he tweeted to his 1.87million followers that the new product due to be launched on April 30th would not be a car. 

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Big implications for Tesla’s low key announcements?

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 14:08 -- Paul Crompton
Big implications for Tesla’s low key announcements?

Its been a week for low-key announcements at Tesla as it emerged the Electric Vehicle pioneer plans to enter the home battery market and bring its lithium-ion gigiwatt factory online a year early.

In a letter to shareholders the firm said it plans to begin installing equipment at the Nevada, US, plant this year and start battery pack production in 2016, in partnership with Panasonic.

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Tesla considers setting up a battery plant in Germany

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 15:02 -- Laura Varriale
Elon Musk

Tesla is to open up a battery production plant in Germany “within five to six years”, according to the carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel Musk called for more effort in the development of batteries in Germany and criticised the German automotive industry for the lack of technological commitment despite “fulfilling all qualifications for it.”

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Tesla: Who dares wins

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 14:21 -- Gerry Woolf
Menahen Anderman

For more than a decade the established auto industry, despite their product launches, had been quietly dismissing the pure electric vehicle — and then along came Elon Musk. Most of BEST’s readers know the story from there, says Gerry Woolf.

Use small 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion cells and it's possible to build a large battery pack that’s safe, with built-in cell failure redundancy - and you get a sexy pure electric car that sells to boot!

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Porsche to rival Tesla with EV model

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 14:20 -- Laura Varriale
Porsche car

Porsche is to develop an electric vehicle to compete with Tesla’s model S, according to German media outlet Manager Magazin.

Details of the German car marker's first-ever series production electric car remain undisclosed. The model will likely feature a lithium-ion battery developed jointly with Audi. The all-electric driving range is aimed to be about 250 miles. The model will be available with a choice of rear- and all-wheel drive.

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Panasonic forms US li-ion company for Tesla’s 'Gigafactory'

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 16:03 -- Laura Varriale
Tesla's planned 'Gigafactory'

Japan’s electronics producer Panasonic has established a company to produce and sell lithium-ion batteries for Tesla’s 'Gigafactory' in the US.

The Panasonic Energy Corporation of North America will be built on-site of Tesla’s $5 billion factory in Nevada, US. The US subsidiary is planned to reduce the cost of long-range battery packs and will expand the production process accordingly to Tesla’s electric vehicle (EV) delivery schedule to meet Tesla’s goal of mass-market EV’s.

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No Tesla-style lithium manufacturing projects in Germany in sight - VDMA

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 15:00 -- Laura Varriale
World of Energy Solutions 2014

There will be no Tesla-style lithium battery manufacturing projects in Germany, according to German mechanical engineering association Verband Deutscher Maschinen- and Anlagenbauer (VDMA).

Peter Haan, spokesperson of VDMA battery production and head of business development OEM industries at Siemens, said at World of Energy Solutions conference in Stuttgart, Germany, that the country is able to manufacture battery cells entirely with production technology “made in Germany”, but lacks big projects.

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Tesla selects Nevada for “gigafactory”

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 16:23 -- Laura Varriale
Tesla's possible Nevada site

Automaker Tesla has chosen US state Nevada as the site for its planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory.

Californian Tesla is to build the factory in partnership with Japan’s Panasonic and expects to produce 35GWh of packs per year by 2020 for Tesla’s upcoming electric vehicle. The plant is aimed to generate more than 6,500 jobs and build 500,000 cars per year.

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