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Leclanché welcomes record sales figures

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 16:43 -- John Shepherd
Leclanché welcomes record sales figures

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has posted its best sales performance for 22 years, although earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) losses fell further.

Consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2018 were CHF 49 million (US$49m), up from CHF 18m in 2017, and more than 2.7 times 2017 revenues.

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Commercial start for vanadium electrolyte using novel tech in Canada

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 12:43 -- Hugh Finzel
Commercial start for vanadium electrolyte using novel tech in Canada

Canada’s Electrochem Technologies & Materials has started commercial production of all-vanadium equimolar electrolyte solutions directly from vanadium pentoxide purchased on the market by using a novel process.

Production of the electrolyte for vanadium redox flow batteries “is now performed on demand” at Electrochem’s facilities in Quebec, using the company’s proprietary VRFBEX unit.

The process uses VEPT (VanadiumCorp-Electrochem processing technology)— which has been jointly developed with Vancouver-based mining and technology firm VanadiumCorp Resource.

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Keppel stakes claim to batteries in deal with Envision

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:17 -- Hugh Finzel
Keppel stakes claim to batteries in deal with Envision

Singaporean conglomerate the Keppel Corporation is buying into the lithium-ion batteries business with a US$50 million minority stake in Shanghai-based energy group Envision.

Keppel, whose businesses include infrastructure, offshore and marine and asset management, said its investment will “deepen our insights into the fast-growing electric vehicle market”.

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German state aid for batteries not enough to replace private investment, says minister

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:48 -- John Shepherd

German state investment to establish a ‘home-grown’ battery cell industry cannot replace the need for “entrepreneurial commitment”, the country’s economy minister has said.

Federal economic affairs and energy minister Peter Altmaier (pictured) said: “We can only subsidise a part of the costs— the lion's share must be raised by the industry itself.”

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East Penn hits back over overtime violations claim

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:05 -- John Shepherd

US lead-acid firm East Penn Manufacturing has pledged to fight allegations that it has violated a federal law relating to overtime payments.

The US Department of Labor has launched legal action against the company, claiming an investigation found overtime and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

But East Penn has said the move is "without merit" and that it would mount a vigorous legal defence.

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VW and Northvolt in driving seat for new battery research group

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 13:22 -- John Shepherd
VW and Northvolt in driving seat for new battery research group

Volkswagen has formed a European batteries research consortium with Swedish lithium-ion start-up Northvolt.

The German carmaker said the newly-formed European Battery Union (EBU) would work with research and industry partners in seven European Union member states to cover “the entire battery value stream – from raw materials through cell technology to recycling”.

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Blackstone Resources bids for German battery investment aid

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 12:54 -- John Shepherd

Swiss battery metals investor Blackstone Resources has submitted a detailed business plan to the German government in a bid to benefit from battery production subsidies.

Blackstone said it was among technology firms invited to submit blueprints for financing to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. 

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Amnesty issues ‘ethical batteries’ challenge for EVs

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 16:17 -- John Shepherd
Amnesty International is calling for “ethical batteries” to be produced for electric vehicles (EVs) within five years— and a crackdown to prevent human rights abuses in raw materials mining.  Amnesty secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said a “drastic overhaul”

Amnesty International is calling for “ethical batteries” to be produced for electric vehicles (EVs) within five years— and for a crackdown to prevent human rights abuses in raw materials mining.

Amnesty secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said a “drastic overhaul” of energy sources was needed “that prioritises protection of human rights and the environment”.

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Bipartisan bid to overhaul US battery storage laws

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 12:17 -- Hugh Finzel
Bipartisan bid to overhaul US battery storage laws

A bipartisan alliance in the US has introduced legislation “to expand clean battery energy storage”, and launch an Advanced Energy Storage Caucus (AESC) to promote better understanding of storage technologies.

The legislative package— launched by Democrat Mark Takano and Republican Chris Collins, who together launched the Battery Energy Storage Caucus in 2015— introduces the Storage Technology for Operational Readiness and Generating Energy (STORAGE) Act, Battery Storage Innovation (BSI) Act, and the Advancing Grid Storage (AGS) Act.

The STORAGE Act would amend 40-year-old laws on utility regulatory policies to include energy storage systems on “the list of strategies statesshould consider when developing energy plans”.

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Panasonic joins solar plus battery microgrids pilot for India

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 11:19 -- Hugh Finzel
Panasonic joins solar plus battery microgrids pilot for India

Indian power distributor BSES Yamuna is to partner Panasonic in rolling out pilot solar power microgrids with battery storage at four separate locations in East Delhi.

Each microgrid will comprise 5-7kW of rooftop solar generation and 7-10kWh of lithium-ion battery storage. 

The pilot plants set up at BSES offices in East Delhi reported that, following installation, locations sourced 92% of their power from the microgrid, and only 8% from the grid itself.

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