The US installed more battery storage in 2020 than between 2013 and 2019, says a new study.
Representative Deb Haaland’s nomination for US Secretary of the Interior heads to the full Senate.
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EV startup Ample today announced the rollout of its new modular battery swapping technology. A fully autonomous station deploys robots to remove and replace modules from an electric vehicle containing Ample’s modular battery architecture. These swapping stations are currently operational in California’s Bay Area.
Sonnen has released sonnenCore, a cost-effective, all-in-one home battery solution. Germany-headquartered sonnen, a subsidiary of Shell, is a global market leader in smart residential energy storage and virtual power plants.
With the rise and fall of battery-swap company Better Place in 2013, the prospect of mass-scale swappable EV battery packs in the US fell by the wayside. Tesla abandoned the idea a few years later. The big problem (among many) was a lack of common battery standards across multiple automakers. Battery packs need to be the same size and shape. That’s an issue that could be solved in China, where strong state control can dictate standards.
Profitable production of electric vehicles is highly important. Our capitalist society revolves around profitability and therefore, if electric vehicles are to prevail over gas-powered cars, they need to be profitable to manufacture in mass.
A new study published this month by McKinsey & Company and embedded below looks into how automakers can move past producing EVs as compliance cars and “drive electrified vehicle sales and profitability”. Unsurprisingly, it describes battery economics as an important barrier to profitability and though the research firm sees a path to automakers making a profit selling electric vehicles as battery costs fall, it doesn’t see that happening for “the next two to three product cycles” – or between 2025 and 2030. Expand Expanding Close
Back in May, we shared a report from German newspaper Handelsblatt, which has often produced reliable insider reports on the German auto industry, citing insider sources saying that Volkswagen was about to present to its board of directors a plan to build a ‘multi-billion euro battery factory’.
In a new interview with the same newspaper this week, VW CEO Matthias Müller denies plans for the giant electric vehicle battery factory. Expand Expanding Close
As always, a healthy dose of skepticism is important when it comes to an alleged “battery breakthrough”. Those announcements are being made every 2-3 months over the last decade and rarely anything comes to it, but at least we can always rely on the 5-8% annual incremental improvements in li-ion battery capacity. It’s not a “breakthrough” or doubling of capacity, but it adds up.
Now it’s time for another MIT spinout, after the defunct A123 Systems, to claim to have created the next battery breakthrough with an anode-free li-metal battery that could achieve an energy density of up to 500 Wh/kg – about twice the capacity of the current cells found in Tesla’s vehicles for example. Expand Expanding Close
The Tesla Model 3’s $35,000 price tag will be enabled in part due to a significant reduction in battery cost through the automaker’s partnership with Panasonic on the Gigafactory in Nevada. While Tesla owns and operates the giant battery factory, Panasonic is still in charge of battery cell production at the plant, which Tesla then uses to make battery packs for its vehicles.
With the strong demand for Tesla’s vehicles, Panasonic now says that it expects its battery sales to double within the next 3 years – or after the first full planned year of Model 3 production. 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
During the 2016 Shareholders Meeting today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company could triple the total planned battery output of the Gigafactory to ~105 GWh of cells and ~150 GWh of battery packs – or over 3 times the current total li-ion battery production worldwide.
The new potential total capacity would be based on the current planned factory of 13 million sq-ft – with no expansion needed. Musk revealed a few other tidbits of information about the plant during the meeting. Expand Expanding Close
During the recent conference call with analysts for Tesla’s first quarter 2016, co-founder and CTO JB Straubel said that we shouldn’t focus too much on Tesla’s previously stated goal of 35 GWh of battery cell production at the Gigafactory, and 50 GWh of battery pack output.
Straubel said that Tesla was prepared to adjust the battery factory output according to the higher than anticipated demand for the Model 3 after the company received over 373,000 pre-orders. Tesla’s battery output at the factory depends significantly on Panasonic and now the Japanese battery maker says that it would move up its investment schedule if asked by Tesla. Expand Expanding Close
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
Now only the P90D and 90D, both equipped with a 90 kWh battery pack, are shown as options on the Model X reservation page. The 70 kWh option is still available on the Model S’ online design studio. Expand Expanding Close
Daimler announced today an important €500 million ($543.5 million) investment in a new battery factory in Kamenz, Germany, through its ACCUmotive subsidiary. The company already has a relatively small battery plant at the location, but it purchased 20 hectares of land adjacent to the existing plant and plans to build a new factory to produce li-ion batteries for the electric vehicles of its Mercedes and Smart brands.
To be clear, two years ago, ACCUmotive invested about €100 million to expand the current plant, which now has 20,000 square meters (~215,000 sq-ft) of production aera, but this new investment is for an entirely new factory of 40,000 square meters (~430,500 sq-ft) of production space. Expand Expanding Close
SK Innovation, a battery cell maker part of the South Korea-based chemical and energy conglomerate SK, confirmed (via GreenCarCongress) that it has been selected as the supplier of battery cells for Mercedes’ upcoming line of electric vehicles.
Tesla and Panasonic have undoubtedly the biggest and most widely publicized li-ion battery production project in the Gigafactory in Nevada, but it’s far from the only project aiming to increase global supply of this important component for many industries, including the EV industry.
Amnesty International and Afrewatch published a new investigative report (embedded below) explaining in details the global supply chain of cobalt and the use of child labor to source the mineral in Congo.
The report highlights the failure of certain electronics and electric car companies to ensure that the cobalt used in their batteries is not sourced using child labor. It names several automakers like Mercedes, VW and BYD, as well as several battery manufacturers known to supply automakers, like LG Chem (GM and Nissan). The report also goes after electronic giants Apple, Samsung and others. Expand Expanding Close
Samsung SDI unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this week a new battery cell prototype, which the company claims has the “world’s top high energy density” and could allow electric vehicles to travel 373 miles (600 km) on a single charge. Expand Expanding Close
VW head of electronic development Volkmar Tanneberger was at CES last week and revealed that the next generation all-electric e-Golf will see a roughly 30% increase in range, which should bring it to about 108 miles on a single charge. Expand Expanding Close