Body-panel batteries from Volvo: Carbon fibres, nano structured batteries & super capacitors
Batteries

Body-panel batteries from Volvo: Carbon fibres, nano structured batteries & super capacitors


Volvo Car Group has developed a concept for lightweight structural energy storage components that could improve the energy usage of future electrified vehicles.

The material, consisting of carbon fibres, nano structured batteries and super capacitors, offers lighter energy storage that requires less space in the car, cost effective structure options and is eco-friendly.

The EU-funded research project, including nine other major participants, identified a feasible solution to the heavy weight, large size and high costs associated with the batteries seen in hybrids and electric cars today, whilst maintaining the efficient capacity of power and performance. The research project took place over 3.5 years and is now realised in the form of car panels within a Volvo S80 experimental car.

The breakthrough

The answer was found in the combination of carbon fibres and a polymer resin, creating a very advanced nanomaterial, and structural super capacitors. The reinforced carbon fibres sandwich the new battery and are moulded and formed to fit around the car’s frame, such as the door panels, the boot lid and wheel bowl, substantially saving on space. The carbon fibre laminate is first layered, shaped and then cured in an oven to set and (more…)

USA: University of Michigan open battery lab with funding from Ford
Academic organisations

USA: University of Michigan open battery lab with funding from Ford


A unique $8 million battery lab at the University of Michigan will enable industry and university researchers to collaborate on developing cheaper and longer lasting energy-storage devices in the heart of the U.S. auto industry.

Initial support for the lab includes $5 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., $2.1 million from Ford Motor Co. and roughly $900,000 from the College of Engineering. It will be housed at the U-M Energy Institute within the newly renovated Phoenix Memorial Laboratory — a project completed with $18 million in U-M funding.

From left, U-M Energy Institute Director Mark Barteau, Regent Katherine White, President Mary Sue Coleman, Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest, and Ed Krause, global manager of external alliances at Ford Motor Co, cut the ceremonial ribbon to reopen the Phoenix Memorial Laboratory on Monday. (Photo by Jospeh Xu, College of Engineering)

“This kind of collaboration is essential to addressing complex challenges like sustainable energy and efficient transportation. I want to thank our campus leaders, MEDC and Ford for having such a singular focus on developing solutions to such challenging energy issues,” said President Mary Sue Coleman, who announced the lab at the dedication celebrating the renovation of the Phoenix Memorial Laboratory.

The (more…)

Recyclers must be able to identify battery chemistry through labelling
Batteries

Recyclers must be able to identify battery chemistry through labelling


“Recyclers must be able to identify battery chemistry through labelling,” as reported by Recycling International from the fifth joint annual workshop on lithium-ion recycling, hosted by the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) and the Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP).

“Although primary design considerations for e-mobility batteries are robustness, reliability, safety and cost, it is of great importance to understand all aspects of design that ‘will likely pose particular challenges’ to the recycling industry when batteries inevitably enter the waste stream, the USABC and VRP contended. This would ease operations for vehicle and metal recyclers as well as battery dismantlers.”

According to Recycling International, Japan is hailed as a forerunner of battery labelling progress: the Battery Association of Japan enforced a colour-based labelling standard for small rechargeable batteries earlier this year which distinguishes lead-acid (grey), lithium-ion (blue), nickel-cadmium (green) and nickel-metal hydride (orange) batteries. The recent SAE Recommended Practice adhered to this colour scheme, and ‘added additional chemistry-specific information’ for the lithium-ion family of batteries because of ‘cathode choice variations’, it was noted.

Meanwhile, a possible long-term option is the use of colour-coded plastic housings to ‘add visual differentiation’ to Li-ion batteries. Ideally, the colour scheme would be (more…)

Tesla stock recovers after a Jefferies analyst visits the factory & takes a test drive
Batteries

Tesla stock recovers after a Jefferies analyst visits the factory & takes a test drive


Keeping jittery investors happy is clearly a priority for Tesla after the Model S fire last week, and Elon Musk knows a thing or two about managing investors… well respected Jefferies analyst Elaine Kwei took a tour of the factory, test drove a model S and spoke to investors, after which she voiced her support loud and clear:

“Based on our discussions with investors and opinions expressed by current/prospective owners, it appears the Model S is still considered safer than conventional vehicles, in contrast to media headlines questioning electric-vehicle safety. Risk of a vehicle fire is still far lower in a Tesla”

“…demand remains strong for the Model S and is confident the stock price will quickly rebound from last week´s decline. The company´s track record of innovation and ground-breaking products give us confidence in the execution of future vehicles”

She also boosted her price target on the company’s stock to $210.

Both Elaine Kwei and Elon Musk are mirroring their message on the safety of the car, and referenced “the incredible safety of the company’s vehicles”.

On the Tesla blog, Elon has this to say about the saftey of the Model S vs ICE cars…

“Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the (more…)

Tesla in talks with Samsung SDI for Model X batteries
Batteries

Tesla in talks with Samsung SDI for Model X batteries

While they deal with some press hype about the recent battery fire in a Model-S, Tesla are also busily trying to find more suppliers for batteries – Samsung SDI and Tesla are in discussions about supplying batters for the upcoming Model X.

Tesla currently use batteries supplied by Panasonic in the Model S. In fact Tesla drives more of Panasonic’s battery revenues in the U.S. than the world’s largest automakers, despite the fact that Panasonic are the also the biggest supplier of batteries for Hybrid vehicles in the US.

As outlined in a recent article about Panasonic’s battery sales upturn: “Tesla’s battery demand now outweighs all other OEMs in the U.S., taking 49% of the market share for battery capacity shipped in the U.S. plug-in and hybrid market in Q2 2013. Others are taking notice of Tesla’s increased clout: Samsung SDI, BYD, and LG Chem have reportedly been in talks with the automaker, seeking to supplement or displace Panasonic. However, they may have to wait for Tesla’s next model, because Tesla could find it difficult to mix cells from different suppliers, due to battery management system considerations, and because the Panasonic-Tesla contract stipulates supplying 80,000 vehicles by 2015.”

Acording to Reuters (more…)

Tesla Battery Fire update
Batteries

Tesla Battery Fire update



Latest update [8th October]: “Tesla Motors had regained most of the value it lost in the wake of the accident” after Jefferies analyst Elaine Kwei boosted her price target on the company’s stock to $210 after visiting Tesla and test driving a Model S.

Key points:

  • Tesla shares fall 6% 24 hours after the news broke
  • Drop is shares may also have been caused by an analyst downgrade
  • Incident report suggested the fire was started in the battery
  • Driver is said to have hit a large piece of metal debris that caused the crash
  • firefighters said to have struggled to contain the flames
  • [8th October]Tesla’s stock value recovers almost to the pre-fire value

Statement from Tesla:

“The vehicle performed as it was designed to do…

…On Tuesday, a Model S collided with a large metallic object in the middle of the road, causing significant damage to the vehicle, the car’s alert system signalled a problem and instructed the driver to pull over safely, which he did. No one was injured, and the sole occupant had sufficient time to exit the vehicle safely and call the authorities.

The fire occurred after one of the 12 batteries used to power the vehicle was ruptured, and ignited. Each of (more…)