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Tesla

Former Tesla employees plans for Europe’s first Gigafactory

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 16:00 -- Paul Crompton

Two former Tesla workers are set to beat their former employee in making lithium-ion cells for electric vehicle and energy storage applications in Europe.

Northvolt AB’s ambitious plans to build Europe's first Gigafactory in Sweden were given a boost when investment firm InnoEnergy, announced a €3.5million (around 35MSEK or $3.7million) investment.

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Gigafactory rolls into production despite being 30% complete

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 09:39 -- Paul Crompton
Gigafactory rolls into production despite being 30% complete

Despite being only 30% finished, Tesla’s lithium-ion Gigafactory has rumbled into life proving the US can go head-to-head with Asia’s battery making industry.

Mass production of 2170 cells for Tesla’s Powerwall range of energy storage systems began last week, with Model 3 cell production set to follow in Q2 of this year.

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SONNEN grabs another Tesla employee as it expands into US

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 14:46 -- Paul Crompton
SONNEN grabs another Tesla employee as it expands into US

Rivalry between firms Sonnen and Tesla seems to extend beyond residential energy storage products to include employees. 

German residential energy storage system firm Sonnen has hired former Tesla Energy’s North American sales manager Blake Richetta.

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Gas spill lands Tesla with 20MW energy storage deal

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 15:25 -- Paul Crompton
Gas spill lands Tesla with 20MW energy storage deal

Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla is moving into the grid-scale energy storage market with two deals to supply lithium-ion systems.

The first is to develop a 20MW/80MWh utility-scale system for electricity company Southern California Edison Co.

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Tesla co-founder invests in Axiom Energy

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 15:33 -- Vic
blocks of ice

Tesla co-founder and CTO, JB Straubel, has announced his company has invested in a new energy storage start-up, Axiom Energy.

Axiom builds energy storage systems for businesses, primarily grocery stores, which have large-scale refrigeration requirements.

Grocery stores have a strong reliance on refrigeration and backup power in case of outages as they have to keep the refrigeration running to protect perishable goods.

Axiom uses a system called ‘The Refrigeration Battery’ a thermal system, which works by using the current refrigeration system’s excess capacity to freeze a tank of salt water at night which can then be used to give six hours of an average grocery store’s refrigeration-based electricity load.

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Hitachi squeezes its way into Indian SLI market through Thailand

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 16:47 -- Vic
Hitachi squeezes its way into Indian SLI market through Thailand

The Japanese SLI battery maker Hitachi Chemical Company Ltd, has pulled off a deal to take 10% of the Indian SLI market in the next  three years— thanks to a free-trade agreement with Thailand.

Hitachi, which launched its commercial vehicle batteries range for the Indian market through a strategic tie-up with Ahmedabad-based Alf technologies, will have a projected turnover of US$231m (Rs 250 crore).

Jackie Chuah, director of the $5.5 billion Hitachi Chemical Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Singapore said that the Indian market is huge for Hitachi to cover alone. "We thus entered into a strategic partnership with Ahmedabad-based Alf Technologies who have considerable experience about automotive batteries marketing and distribution pan-India," he said.

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Tesla looks to Korea for its lithium-ion EV battery supply

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 16:00 -- Paul Crompton
Tesla looks to Korea for its lithium-ion EV battery supply

With 400,000 pre-orders of its model 3, Tesla is looking beyond the Japanese lithium-ion battery maker Panasonic for its supply to ensure it can meet demand, reports the Korea Times.

Some Korean companies are also getting in on the act to supply materials for those batteries.

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Construction worker walkout causes hiccup at Tesla Gigafactory

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 16:02 -- Paul Crompton
Construction worker walkout causes hiccup at Tesla Gigafactory

Work at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory was temporarily halted after around 100 construction workers downed tools in protest of out of state workers being used, reported Bloomberg.

Work on the $5billion pound plant was ahead of schedule before the walk out last Monday— which consisted of third party construction workers (named as Brycon Corp. in reports) staging a walk out.

The Boomberg report quotes Todd Koch, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada, as saying: “It’s a slap in the face to Nevada workers to walk through the parking lot at the job site and see all these license plates from Arizona and New Mexico.”

A Tesla spokesperson told BBB: “Monday's protest at the Gigafactory consisted of third party construction workers, who explained that their sole complaint was with the residency of a single other contractor’s employees.

“The protest ended after a few hours. It has been business as usual at the Gigafactory ever since. Tesla’s employees were not involved in any way and there are no so-called “labor issues,” wage disputes or anything similar at the Gigafactory.

“The protester's issue is not with how Tesla treats its workers. Their issue is that of the many third party contractors that are involved in the construction of the Gigafactory, many are union but the one at issue is not.

“The union is also claiming that this contractor is somehow favoring out of state workers. In reality, more than 50% of the workers used by this contractor and more than 75% of the entire Gigafactory workforce are Nevada residents, demonstrating the project’s strong commitment to Nevada.”

Assembly of batteries began last year at the Gigafactory, including those for the Powerwall, which saw the first installations in Australia, the UK and South Africa in the past two months.

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Australian firm installs country’s first Powerwall

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 12:27 -- Paul Crompton
Australian firm installs country’s first Powerwall

An electricity utility firm has become the first to install a Tesla lithium-ion home energy storage unit at its Australian facility as the country gears itself up for a long-term strategy to manage network demand.

Queensland-based Energex has installed a Powerwall and another storage system from Californian company Sunverge at its Brisbane training facility as it investigates how to integrate solar batteries into the network with financial incentives for customers.

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Korean firms fight for slice of Chinese EV market

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 15:15 -- Paul Crompton
Korean firms fight for slice of Chinese EV market

Just as Korean battery maker Samsung SDI claimed to be the first ‘top’ battery manufacturer to open an EV battery plant in China, competitor LG Chem says it has finished building a plant of its own.

Samsung says it has kicked off operations at its plant in Xi’an, central China, where it aims to produce 40,000 batteries a year. Further east, in Nanjing, LG Chem’s factory will churn out 50,000, the manufacturer claims.

Where LG Chem says it already has 16 local customers, including China’s top three automakers—Shanghai Automotive Group, Dongfeng Motor Group and the FAW Group—Samsung has only confirmed bus manufacturer Yutong and vehicle maker Foton.

In August, undisputed EV battery market leader Panasonic shut down a lithium-ion battery factory in Beijing, saying it wanted to concentrate on EV batteries—but the Japanese company has not reported any plans to do this in China.

The latest forecast by market research firm B3 showed that sales of electric vehicles in China grew more than five times to about 80,000 units in 2014, with the number projected to surge to 240,000 units next year.

The firm says the global market for EVs is forecast to reach 7.7 million vehicles by 2020, compared with 2.1 million in 2014.

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