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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.

Tesla signs five-year partnership deal with Li-ion pioneer

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 09:37 -- paul Crompton
Tesla signs five-year partnership deal with Li-ion pioneer

Tesla is set to enter into a five-year research partnership with lithium-ion battery pioneer, Dr. Jeff Dahn from Canada’s Dalhousie University.

The electric vehicle and energy storage system company signed the agreement with the university which focuses on advanced materials and clean technology research.

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Panasonic to send employees to Tesla Gigafactory

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 11:45 -- paul Crompton
Panasonic to send employees to Tesla Gigafactory

Hundreds of staff from Japanese electronics group Panasonic Corp are being drafted into the prepare Tesla’s lithium-ion gigafactory for production.

The employees are heading to Nevada this autumn to get the plant ready to start making lithium-ion batteries next year.

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Tesla and Gaelectric to create 1MW project in Ireland

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 09:37 -- paul Crompton
Tesla and Gaelectric to create 1MW project in Ireland

Fresh from the launch of its domestic lithium-ion energy storage system Tesla is set to pilot the technology in a 1MW application.

Energy storage company Gaelectric and Tesla plan to use Tesla Energy’s batteries for the utility-scale project in Ireland.

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Musk has set the pot boiling

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:58 -- gerry@bestmag.co.uk

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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