California-headquartered green power solutions company Jackery is officially releasing the Explorer 1500 on April 5 – its largest solar generator yet. The company asked Electrek if we’d like to try it out, so Jackery sent me a review unit, and I happily put it to the test. Here’s what I found.
Tim Grewe, GM’s director of battery cell engineering and electrification strategy, held a virtual media conference today about the company’s EV battery strategy. It was a wide-ranging info session explaining the General Motors approach to chemistry, cell, and module design, and how EV batteries will be manufactured in high volume. “Categorically, we think that the pouch cell is the winner,” said Grewe.
The Korea Herald reports that pre-pandemic shortages of battery supply, which caused delays for European automakers, have been made worse by the global crisis. The situation became urgent enough for the Polish government to waive travel restrictions, allowing 200 LG Chem technicians to resume expansion of its battery gigafactory in Wroclaw.
Any legitimate EV development program starts with the batteries that make electric vehicles go. So when General Motors (GM) yesterday laid out its multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy — for getting to 1 million EV sales per year asap — it presented the company’s flexible Ultium battery system as the key.
The adaptive charging method offered by software maker Qnovo ensures battery health for tens of millions of smartphones. Now the company wants to bring the same algorithms to EVs. Should we stop waiting for pie-in-the-sky breakthroughs in cell chemistry or solid-state EV batteries?
Too good to be true? Yes, probably, but that’s what a Tesla Model S owner on Craiglist is claiming. While we will have to disagree with the owner’s definition of “minor dents and dings”, it’s not impossible to imagine how this Model S would still be able to drive – though its salvage status is evidently still well-deserved. Expand Expanding Close
For the most part, Tesla’s Gigafactory has looked the same from the outside since the beginning of the year. The first phase consists of 4 sections of about 475,000 square feet for a total of 1.9 million square feet. The final version of the building, which should be completed by the end of the decade, is expected to have 13 million square feet of manufacturing and work space. It should be enough to become the biggest building on earth by footprint and Tesla plans for the factory to produce at least as much battery capacity as the entire world production of li-ion cells.
Now we learn that Tesla is planning to add a new section to the plant with an estimated completion date by the end of the year, according a building permit recently issued to Tesla. Expand Expanding Close
The issues mostly revolved around defining electric power in terms of horsepower and the power output being dependent on the state of charge of the battery pack feeding the car’s two electric motors. The issues have been mostly resolved after Tesla updated its advertised numbers, but since the introduction of the Model X and the ‘Ludicrous mode’, things have been more complicated again… Expand Expanding Close
‘Lithium’ battery capacity degradation is one of the main concerns of electric vehicle buyers and potential buyers. Since the resurgence of electric cars is relatively recent, meaningful long-term data on large battery packs is fairly rare. Only Tesla has battery packs with a capacity higher than 30 kWh on the road in any significant number and they only have been in operation for a few years (Roadster aside).
But a few Tesla owners have accumulated impressive mileage on their vehicles and the data provides an interesting look into potential battery capacity degradation. Expand Expanding Close
The fine folks at GM have given us a shiny new (OK, 500 miles) electric blue 2017 Chevy Volt to test drive for the next week. I’m keeping a diary of my experiences every day here and will wrap up the week with my conclusions. (Day 2, Day 3-4, Conclusion/Wrapup)
BMW has been talking about introducing a higher capacity battery pack for a while now. At first, we were talking about a roughly 25% improvement on the EPA-rated range of 81 miles, which would have increased the range to about 100 miles.
Tesla doesn’t like to talk about its battery cost as it complicates an already complex supply chain with several suppliers, including long-time partner Panasonic, and new ones like LG and Samsung. But the company felt the need to comment this week following a new analysis of the Model 3’s cost by Jon Bereisa, CEO of Auto Lectrification and former chief engineer of the Chevy Volt program.
Colin Langan, a UBS analyst covering Tesla for the firm, hosted a call with Bereisa to gain some insights for its financial model of the company. Expand Expanding Close
Today Tesla updated its ‘Tesla Energy’ website to include a lot more information about its commercial and utility-scale products, and even added a ‘Design Your Powerpack System‘ page with pricing information and an option to directly order a system of up to 54 Powerpacks (5.4 MWh).
The smallest order you can place for the stationary energy storage system is for 2 Powerpacks costing $47,000 each or $470/kWh. Expand Expanding Close
SolarCity published its earnings for the fourth quarter and full year 2015 yesterday. The company’s stock price fell 25% following the results, mainly because of lower than expected guidance for the first quarter 2016 and a miss in installed solar capacity following its exit from Nevada, as well as difficulties completing a few commercial projects on the east coast.
On a more positive note, we learn from the company’s SEC filing that it more than doubled its battery pack business with Tesla Energy in 2015 versus the previous year, despite the market for home energy storage only being in its infancy. Expand Expanding Close
At the time, we suggested that the decision to remove the 85 kWh battery pack from the Canadian design studio likely indicates that Tesla will discontinue the option entirely. This weekend we learned that Tesla is indeed discontinuing it. Expand Expanding Close
Tesla quietly updated its Canadian online design studio and appears to have discontinued several major options for the Model S in the country, namely all 85 kWh battery pack options. Expand Expanding Close
A few months back, reports came out of BMW looking to introduce a new battery pack for the i3. The new pack was believed to enable up to 124 NEDC-rated miles of range on a single charge, which would represent a ~25% increase in range over the current battery pack offered by BMW.
At the 2016 Detroit Auto Show today, GM published all the specs of its upcoming Bolt EV (see below). The company finally confirmed that the vehicle will be equipped with a 60 kWh battery pack and that DC fast-charging will be available, but as an option. Expand Expanding Close
Australia has the world’s highest per capita penetration of rooftop solar technology with 15% of households using solar for a total of 1.5 million households across the country. Electricity prices, which are among the highest in the world, and abundant sunlight contribute to making Australia an excellent market for solar energy and emerging home energy storage products.
Now those households will be able to combine their solar installations with Tesla’s home battery pack: the Powerwall. Origin, the largest electric utility in Australia, announced that it started to officially offer the Powerwall to its customers today. Expand Expanding Close
Last month we reported on comments made by BMW CEO Harald Krüger about the BMW i3 getting a new battery pack with more range in 2016. Now we learn through an article coming out of Autocar yesterday that sources close to BMW are saying that the new battery pack should enable “up to 124 miles of range on a single charge” and be available as a retrofit to current i3 owners – something Krüger hinted could be possible.
Autocar’s Greg Kable didn’t say on what he is basing his “124 miles” figure, but he compared it to the current range of the i3 which he said is “just under 100 miles”. This means he is working with the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) which is not very accurate in predicting real world range. Expand Expanding Close
Acciona, a Spanish conglomerate in renewable energy and infrastructure, created last year the first team to compete at the Dakar rally with an electric vehicle. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long, but they are coming back for Dakar 2016 and they feel more confident than ever after coming out of the Morocco Rally last month as the first team to finish it with an electric vehicle.
The company seriously upgraded the vehicle this year with a focus on efficiency and a brand new battery pack. At Dakar 2015, Acciona’s car could achieve 125 miles (200 km) on a single charge with a 140 kWh battery pack under the race’s difficult road conditions. The upgraded car has a 150 kWh pack, which is only a 7% increase, but the team says it can now travel 217 miles (350 km) on a single charge under the same racing conditions, which is a 75% increase. Expand Expanding Close
Today Nissan released its October US sales report, which confirmed lagging LEAF sales, now down 52% over October 2014. Nissan delivered 1,238 LEAFs in the US in October versus 2,589 during the same period last year. Expand Expanding Close