batteries Stories August 13

CATL, a major battery manufacturer and one of Tesla’s main battery suppliers, is raising a whopping $9 billion to accelerate its production.

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batteries Stories August 4

Current US battery production falls woefully short in the face of rapidly growing demand for electric vehicle and storage batteries.

The US has only a small number of domestic, large battery manufacturing factories, including Tesla’s Gigafactory that operates in partnership with Japan’s Panasonic. And just last week, KORE Power announced it will build the first lithium-ion battery factory wholly owned by a US company, in Arizona.

Both innovation and domestic battery production needs to scale quickly and efficiently, and the battery skills gap, among other things, need to be tackled in order to do that. Electrek spoke with Dr. Greg Less, technical director at the University of Michigan Battery Lab, about what the US needs to do to meet that demand.

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batteries Stories July 29

During its “Tech Zone” online launch event, global battery maker CATL introduced its first-generation sodium-ion battery, as well as an AB solution that integrates both sodium-ion and lithium-ion cells into one pack. While this first generation of sodium-ion cells is not here to overtake traditional lithium-ion batteries, they do present a number of benefits for charging, maintaining energy, and helping to promote cleaner energy.

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batteries Stories June 18

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Technical delays kept ISS astronauts from fully installing a new pair of solar arrays.
  • Enevate says its next-gen battery tech provides lower carbon footprint during EV manufacturing.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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batteries Stories June 9

The Biden administration is keen to boost battery manufacturing on home soil as soon as possible. But in case you didn’t notice, the Democrats and Republicans are at loggerheads in Congress on Biden’s huge infrastructure plan. So here are four steps the Department of Energy is going to take right now to boost EV and clean energy storage battery production in the US.

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batteries Stories May 20

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Vermont’s Green Mountain Power is the first US utility to offer the Span Smart Panel in a pilot program.
  • Chicago-based Energize Ventures leads its first investment in the battery sector.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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batteries Stories April 30

The Cologne-headquartered German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) in the UK is the latest pair to explore how quantum computing could help create better simulation models for battery development. The DLR is Germany’s research center for aeronautics and space.

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batteries Stories April 20

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The Long Island Rail Road will analyze its trains to see whether they can run on batteries alone.
  • Why US homeowners install – or don’t install – solar panels.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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batteries Stories February 24

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, given their light weight and theoretical high capacities, are a promising alternative to conventional lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for large-scale energy storage systems and electric vehicles. But Li-S batteries currently suffer from poor longevity.

Now, scientists from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea have discovered a new catalyst material’s ability to significantly improve lithium-sulfur battery life, giving them great commercial potential.

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batteries Stories December 15, 2020

Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science have taken another step in the ongoing quest to bring next-generation sodium-ion batteries to market. They have achieved a higher-energy density in sodium-ion batteries than in lithium-ion batteries.

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batteries Stories December 10, 2020

Michael Phillips, the CEO of Sense, a technology company that makes a home energy monitor (pictured above) to track efficiency, cost, and reliability, told us about his predictions for six 2021 home energy trends.

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batteries Stories March 26, 2020

Asia still dominates for EV battery production, with North America holding a solid second place. But Europe is on the rise, where EV sales are growing the fastest. That’s evident from a flurry of news about new and expanded battery plants from Audi, BASF, Tesla, Microvast, and Volvo.

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batteries Stories March 19, 2020

Tesla's newest product "Powerwall" is unveiled on stage in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, April 30, 2015. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to steer his electric car company's battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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Senator Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Battery and Critical Mineral Recycling Act of 2020 this month. The groundbreaking bill aims, as it simply states, “to support the reuse and recycling of batteries and critical minerals, and for other purposes.”

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batteries Stories August 28, 2019

A startup that spun out of Cambridge University claims a battery breakthrough that can charge an electric car in just six minutes.

It’s something we heard before, but the difference here is that they claim that they can commercialize the new battery as soon as next year. expand full story

batteries Stories July 27, 2018

Battery recycling is expected to become an increasingly significant part of the electric vehicle supply chain in the near future.

In order to prepare for it, China is launching an electric car battery recycling standard as old batteries are expected to come back in high numbers as EV adoption ramps up in the country. expand full story

batteries Stories May 22, 2018

Israel-based startup StoreDot has been making waves in the battery world for the past few years with its ‘ultra-fast charging battery’.

As we often point out, It’s hard to gauge the credibility of new battery technologies without hard data, but in the case of StoreDot, It is starting to get some massive backing from giant companies.

Today, British oil company BP announced that it invested $20 million in the startup. expand full story

batteries Stories April 17, 2018

For DIY enthusiasts in the green energy community, homemade lithium-ion battery packs have long been a holy grail. For everything from home solar energy storage to garage-built electric bicycles, go-karts and full-size EVs, lithium-ion batteries were once one of the most limiting factors for hobbyist and makers.

However, the last few years have seen an impressive upswing in availability of parts, tools and knowledge in the DIY lithium-ion battery pack space. This has led to increasing opportunities for creative DIYers to shuck the bonds of traditional suppliers of expensive Li-ion battery packs and instead develop their own custom batteries for a variety of projects and applications. expand full story

batteries Stories February 21, 2018

Apple may buy cobalt direct from mining companies as EV demand soars

Apple is reportedly in talks about buying cobalt direct from miners in a long-term deal set to span five years or more. The report is given weight by the CEO of one mining company confirming Apple has held discussions about cobalt, which is used in the lithium-ion batteries which power Apple devices …

batteries Stories February 5, 2018

Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), China’s largest automotive battery maker, has been making strides in the past few years thanks to the country’s rapid deployment of electric vehicles.

The company is now reportedly aiming to become the world’s largest automotive battery maker with a new factory financed by an initial public offering (IPO) valued at $2 billion. expand full story

batteries Stories January 25, 2018

The two former Tesla executives that broke out on their own to build a battery gigafactory in Europe have just secured backing from Volkswagen through their Scania division.

The two companies will develop and commercialize battery cell technology for heavy commercial vehicles at their facilities. expand full story

batteries Stories January 15, 2018

Samsung SDI has been pushing to carve itself a bigger space in the EV industry and it has been using auto shows to showcase their latest battery products.

They are doing it again at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show this week with new batteries that they claim will increase electric car range and charging capacity. expand full story

batteries Stories December 27, 2017

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) – the group that manages 80% of the electricity used in California – has begun showing utility-scale batteries charging and discharging into the power grid via their website.

By resolution, due to a natural gas emergency, the State of California requested large-scale battery based energy storage projects be attached to the grid at the end of 2016, early 2017. Now we get to watch the systems – some that we covered – do their job.

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batteries Stories December 15, 2017

Bosch is the world’s largest automotive supplier and it is heavily investing in electric vehicle components to support the industry’s transition to electric vehicles.

But there’s one important electric car component that Bosch is not making: battery cells.

The company now says that it is considering a significant investment to start producing batteries. expand full story

batteries Stories December 13, 2017

Battery costs have been falling fast for years now, but commodity prices of several key raw materials have been increasing recently and some predict that the supply won’t be able to keep up with the demand.

Now Hyundai, which is currently trying to build its battery supply chain for upcoming electric vehicles, predicts that battery costs could stop falling starting in 2020. expand full story

batteries Stories December 12, 2017

In the latest battery breakthrough claim of the week, researchers from the University of Waterloo released a new paper claiming a breakthrough involving the use of negative electrodes made of lithium metal.

They claim that it has the potential to “dramatically increase battery storage capacity,” which could triple the range of electric vehicles. expand full story

batteries Stories August 3, 2017

The battery supply chain to support the electric car revolution and energy storage industry is slowly becoming stronger. Tesla has been leading new battery production in America with its Gigafactory and Panasonic, Samsung, and LG have been leading production in Asia, but Europe has been lagging behind.

Now a new massive li-ion battery gigafactory has been announced in Germany. expand full story

batteries Stories April 13, 2017

Global solar PV manufacturing capacity expansion plans rebound in Q1 – First quarter 2017 saw 10GW announced of solar power manufacturing capacity. With global capacity somewhere in the 115-135GW/year this is a big uptick – 7.5-8.5%. A few hours later, I get a Q2 announcement of a 2GW solar factory coming to Taiwan. This tells me that the demand of solar PV is predicted to continue to grow, and that significant investment in new factories, new machines and new technologies will continue. And since newer technologies, at the same price or lower than old technologies, are more efficiency – we will see continued increases in efficiency in the coming years.

Maryland governor has battery tax credit law on desk – The measure provides for a 30 percent tax credit on the installed cost of a storage system, capped at $5,000 for residential and $75,000 for commercial projects. The total credits awarded cannot exceed $750,000 in a year, and the program will run from 2018 through 2022. This is against state taxes – and state tax rates are lower than federal – so its not as strong as the federal incentive for solar, but its pretty close – and it will drive business. A Tesla PowerWall 2, costing $5500 retail plus about $500-2000 to install, will end up costing $4,200-5300 after $1,800-2300 tax credit.

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batteries Stories April 11, 2017

A new project put in motion in South Australia in order to help with the region’s energy problems is likely to become the largest solar plus battery project in the world.

Lyon Group, an energy company backed by Mitsubishi, Blackstone and Magnetar Capital, has announced that it secured land and is in the “advanced stages” of negotiations for a grid connection on a 330 MW solar farm linked to a 100 MW/400 MWh battery installation.

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batteries Stories March 1, 2017

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John Goodenough, who is credited as the co-inventor of the li-ion battery cell, and his team at the Cockrell School of Engineering have released their findings of what is being described as a “breakthrough” for solid-state batteries.

We don’t really like to report on battery “breakthroughs” since most of them are usually just sensationalist statements that don’t really qualify as “breakthroughs” or amount to anything, but it appears that Goodenough’s findings could be good enough to qualify as a breakthrough if you can excuse the bad pun.  expand full story

catl

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), a relatively new Chinese li-ion battery maker, is shaping up to become a major player in the industry in the coming years with plans for several important battery factories comparable in size to Tesla’s Gigafactory.

The company has now signed a supply contract with SAAB successor National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) in order for the electric vehicle maker to deliver on its orders for electric car fleets in China. expand full story

batteries Stories September 27, 2016

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Have you seen an all-electric commercial airplane before? Neither have we or anyone. But Luke Workman, a highly regarded battery designer, thinks that he has an idea that will make that become a reality in the not so distant future. He hopes to accomplish this through optimizing existing battery technology and designing the battery layouts in planes so that they become more efficient and effective for long distance travel.

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batteries Stories September 20, 2016

Massachusetts’ advanced energy leadership = 1600MW Solar & Wind + 600MW Storage

Massachusetts is taking aggressive steps toward cleaning electrical grid and in doing so is joining a select group of regions around the world. Of course Germany and California get all the headlines, but also deserving are Portugal, Scotland, Hawaii, Iceland, Costa Rica, Uruguay throwing down part of $285B worth in 2015. There are also the global giants China and India building massive amounts of infrastructure.

batteries Stories July 15, 2016

tesla powerpack sf maritme plaza

The partnership between Tesla Energy and Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) recently won yet another contract to install energy storage in California. This time, AMS will be developing a system for Morgan Stanley’s One Maritime Plaza skyscraper in San Francisco. expand full story

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Near Melbourne, Australia lies an incredible suburban project underway dubbed YarrabendThis development is currently home to 60 houses and is planned to eventually hit around 2500. What is unique about this venture is not only the art, food or shopping that will be near it, but that all of the houses will come standard with Tesla Powerwalls and solar panels. Via the Heidelberg Leader, Nick Marinakis, sales and marketing manager of the Glenvill development team for Yarrabend, states that the suburb…

will achieve the highest possible ESD rating under the UDIA (Urban Development Institute of Australia) Envirodevelopment scheme, a first for an infill development site in Melbourne.

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batteries Stories July 6, 2016

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, reacts to a reporter's question following the electric automaker’s initial public offering on Nasdaq, Tuesday, June, 29, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The Economic Times released an interesting article with a reaching title ‘How Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors maybe killing flamingos with its electric cars‘ yesterday. The claim is so absurd that it prompted Musk to mock it on Twitter:

While the endangerment of the Flamigos’ environment is not a laughing matter, the publication’s link back to Musk and Tesla certainly looks like one. expand full story

batteries Stories June 28, 2016

lux battery research gigafactory

A new research report from Lux Research looked into the projected growth of the battery sector for electric vehicles (BEVs and PHEVs) and concluded that the market will rise to $10 Billion in 2020 with six large carmakers led by Tesla accounting for 90% of the demand. expand full story

batteries Stories June 23, 2016

tesla gigafactory bird eye

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 full story

irvine powerpacks

Tesla’s energy division has had success in winning contracts for significant energy storage projects at educational institutions in California. Last year, we reported on Tesla installing battery packs at 3 high schools in the San Diego County school districts totalling 32 MWh of capacity. The company also signed a similar deal with the Temecula Valley district and last month, we reported on Tesla installing a 4 MWh project at the College of Marin in Marin County.

Now we learn that Tesla Energy won an important 12 MWh Powerpack contract with Cal State University (CSU). expand full story

batteries Stories June 22, 2016

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Elon Musk surprised the business world with one of the most common sense moves I’ve seen in a while – an offering to merge Tesla and SolarCity into a single company. Musk, this morning on a conference call, stated that he sees these companies coming together to become worth $1 trillion. For that to be a realistic valuation, Tesla and SolarCity are going to have to build more Gigafactories (Solar & Battery) and blow through the 1,000,000 car/year number. With a 10:1 earnings ratio, six Gigafactories each for solar & battery plus a 30% expansion of Fremont beyond 1,000,000 cars will do it. Here’s how…

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batteries Stories June 17, 2016

DCIM100GOPRO

While Tesla has been manufacturing battery packs at the Gigafactory for its energy storage division since last year, new battery cell production is expected to be the real hallmark of the giant battery factory and it has yet to happen.

Panasonic, Tesla’s strategic partner at the plant, is in charge of the cell production inside the facility and it is expected to begin the process by the end of the year. Now we learn that Panasonic is “gearing up for significant growth” at the Gigafactory and it will host a special invitation-only hiring event on location next week to for “positions in advanced manufacturing”. expand full story

batteries Stories June 16, 2016

US_Capitol_Building_Front_New

On May 26, 2016 – “U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley, Calif.)  introduced H.R. 5350, the bipartisan Energy Storage for Grid Resilience and Modernization Act. Honda was joined by Reps. Chris Gibson (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mark Takano (D-CA).” The purpose of the legislation is to clarify that energy storage industry receives a 30% tax credit equivalent in nature to what the Renewable Energy industry gets. The 30% Solar Power Tax Credit, is credited with being one of the major drivers for the solar power installation boom in the United States.

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batteries Stories June 12, 2016

GTM: Solar Growth by Quarter

GreentechMedia did the work to determine “Solar Made Up 64% of New Electric Generating Capacity in the US in Q1 2016.” This first quarter is part a potential 119% growth in the solar industry in 2016 – greater than $30 billion in revenue. And these announcements are on top of many other recent solar proclamations – 1,000,000 rooftops, record low pricing, leadership in jobs count and growth, whole countries running on renewables and more. With the Earth setting record warm months, every single month, its good that solar power is becoming sexy – but can we keep up the pace long enough to win the war?

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batteries Stories June 10, 2016

rome power 4

You might remember Porter Harris from our piece on SpaceX’s battery development ‘Tesla is not Elon Musk’s only company developing high-tech battery packs‘ – and also when covering Faraday Future (FF) since Harris joined the company as ‘Chief Battery Architect’ in November 2014 – and then one more time when he suddenly left the company just before it came out of stealth mode.

Electrek has now learned that he co-founded a new startup to compete with FF and Tesla with new battery pack designs for electric vehicles, and even to compete with ‘Tesla Energy’ in stationary energy storage products. expand full story

batteries Stories June 9, 2016

gigafactory feb 2016

In a lengthy report published yesterday, the Desert Sun described the demise of a young lithium extraction startup and how Tesla tried and failed to buy it for $325 million in TSLA stock back in 2014. It offers an interesting look at Tesla’s acquisition process, something rare for the automaker. The company only made one acquisition: a tool and die company in Michigan.

The article is a long read, but a very interesting one if you have the time. Here’s a much shorter version if you just want the main takeaway points.

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batteries Stories June 8, 2016

tesla battery cells

Last week, we reported on Tesla starting to take delivery of important quantities of battery cells from a new supplier: Samsung SDI. At the time, we contacted Tesla to know what the cells will be used for, the company declined to comment, but we speculated that it could be used for ‘Tesla Energy’ products.

Now prompted by a Reuters report yesterday citing Samsung SDI sources claiming that they are in negotiation with Tesla to supply batteries for its cars, Elon Musk has confirmed that Panasonic will be exclusively supplying cells for the Model 3, S and X. expand full story

batteries Stories June 5, 2016

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Much has been made about the coming SmartHome – it started with the Jetsons and their robots, however the reality has been a bit slow coming. Last week, EnergySage+WiseAir+Schneider launched an offer of $300 cash back if you install solar power and a smart thermostat. Back in February, SolarCity+Nest+Tesla introduced the “Smart Energy Home” that combines solar panels, battery storage, smart electric water heaters and the Nest Learning Thermostat. Vermont utilities are renting PowerWalls. It has become clear the home energy generation & management is on the path into powering the SmartHome.

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batteries Stories June 2, 2016

tesla battery cells

While Panasonic has been Tesla’s longtime partner for battery cell supply, the automaker confirmed last year that for the first time it approved a cell from another manufacturer, LG Chem, but only for a small contract for its Roadster 3.0 upgrade. Now we learn that Tesla started taking delivery of much larger quantities of battery cells from yet another supplier: Samsung SDI. expand full story

DCIM100GOPRO

The pilot plant of Tesla’s ‘Gigafactory 1’ is almost completed and will be officially inaugurated at a special event on July 29.  Pictures of the ambitious facility, which is located east of Reno in Nevada, have been more scarce since two journalists from Gannett’s Reno Gazette Journal (RGJ) were involved in an altercation with two Tesla safety managers on the property while they were trying to take pictures of the factory late last year.

We’ve got an update with some up close pictures when Motor Trend did a photoshoot for the Model 3 at the Gigafactory a month ago, but we are now bringing you the most recent aerial shots of the factory. expand full story

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