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Dumped batteries blamed for €600,000 recycling blaze

Sat, 06/22/2019 - 12:40 -- John Shepherd
Dumped batteries blamed for €600,000 recycling blaze

Discarded toys containing lithium-ion batteries are believed to have started a blaze at a recycling company in Germany that led to an estimated €600,000 (US$682,000) worth of damage.

Willi Hörger, the owner of the recycling company Hörger in Bächingen, Bavaria, told regional broadcaster BR24 that batteries wrongly discarded along with the toys appeared to have started the blaze, which destroyed a warehouse and at one point was being tackled by around 80 firefighters.

 
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Northvolt’s $1bn battery boost as VW partnership unveiled

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 16:19 -- John Shepherd
Northvolt’s $1bn battery boost as VW partnership unveiled

Battery manufacturing start-up Northvolt has raised US$1 billion for its planned Swedish gigafactory project­­­— and has revealed it will build a second such facility in Germany in partnership with Volkswagen.

Northvolt said the equity capital raise for the lithium-ion battery cells plant at Skellefteå had been led by VW and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, alongside BMW, AMF, Folksam Group and IMAS Foundation.

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Innolith expands team for US, China sales push

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 13:10 -- John Shepherd
Innolith expands team for US, China sales push

Swiss battery technology company Innolith has announced two key appointments as part of its push into the North American and Chinese markets.

Former Younicos executive Stephen Wiley has been appointed VP for US business development. Wiley is also a former senior VP at BrightSource Energy, working on the development of a concentrated solar power facility in the US.

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Study opens path to ‘safer batteries’

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 11:34 -- John Shepherd
Study opens path to ‘safer batteries’

Researchers backed by the US Army say they have demonstrated a “transformative step” in battery technology with the identification of a new cathode chemistry.

According to the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, the Army’s corporate research laboratory known as ARL, and the University of Maryland, soldiers carrying 15-25 pounds of batteries could carry batteries “a fraction of the weight but with the same energy and improved safety”.

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Tesla rolls out battery software ‘update’ after fires

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 11:38 -- John Shepherd
Tesla rolls out battery software ‘update’ after fires

Tesla has confirmed it is releasing a batteries software update to all its Model S and X cars in the wake of recent high-profile fires.

A Tesla spokesperson told BEST Battery Briefing the company was “revising charge and thermal management settings via an over-the-air software update to help further protect the battery and improve battery longevity”.

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Ganfeng Lithium in battery material cash boost for Bacanora

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 17:37 -- John Shepherd
Ganfeng Lithium in battery material cash boost for Bacanora

Ganfeng Lithium, China's largest lithium compounds producer, is tightening its grip on the battery raw materials market by agreeing to buy a 30% stake in Mexico-focused Bacanora Lithium.

London-listed Bacanora has signed a non-binding agreement for Ganfeng to pay £14.4 million (US$18.3m) in cash for the stake— in addition to the Chinese firm taking an initial 22.5% direct interest in northern Mexico’s Sonora Lithium Project for £7,563,649, with an option to increase its stake up to 50%.

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China’s Envision pledges EV battery costs of $50/kWh by 2025

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 12:40 -- John Shepherd
China’s Envision pledges EV battery costs of $50/kWh by 2025

The new Chinese owner of Nissan’s former international lithium-ion business has pledged to slash the cost of manufacturing electric vehicle battery cells to around US$50 per kWh by 2025.

Envision Group CEO Zhang Lei, whose Shanghai-based group recently finalised its acquisition of the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), said: “The EV sector is facing three major challenges: safety, cost and grid integration. Digitalisation is the key to all of these.”

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Japan’s big four launch battery tech consortium for electric motorbikes

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 16:24 -- Hugh Finzel
Japan’s big four launch battery tech consortium for electric motorbikes

Four of the largest Japanese manufacturers are to jointly consider launching standardised replaceable battery tech for electric motorcycles in a potential game-changing move for the industry.

Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha have formed a consortium to consider launching standardised batteries and replacement systems as part of plans to boost the popularity of electric bikes.

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Tribute to ‘exemplary’ battery industry veteran Mike Weighall

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 14:08 -- John Shepherd
Tribute to ‘exemplary’ battery industry veteran Mike Weighall

Tribute has been paid to UK-based battery industry veteran Mike Weighall, who has died.

Weighall (pictured), who died on 7 March, spent most of his working career associated with the battery industry. He was technical manager for Cookson Entek / Entek International until 1998. 

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Envision investment deal for 'advanced' China NCM plant

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Shanghai-based energy group Envision has confirmed plans to build "the world's most advanced" nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM 811) battery production line as part of an investment and cooperation agreement with US-based investment firm Sequoia Capital.

Envision, which agreed a deal to become the majority owner of Nissan’s international lithium-ion batteries business in 2018, said the manufacturing facility in Wuxi, in China's Jiangsu Province, will produce "high-safety, high-energy density and high-endurance power batteries" with an eventual annual production capacity of some 20 gigawatt-hours.

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