Battery systems manufacturer SVOLT has unveiled a cobalt-free battery pack at the Chengdu Motor Show in China. The company now claims to be the first to create a cobalt-free battery that has reached series production, although other battery manufacturers have claimed similar production achievements.
Battery pack Stories August 30
Battery pack 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.
Battery pack Stories March 29
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.
Battery pack Stories May 19, 2020
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.
Battery pack Stories April 28, 2020
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.
Battery pack Stories March 5, 2020
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.
Battery pack Stories November 6, 2019
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?
Battery pack Stories July 4, 2016
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 full story
Battery pack Stories June 23, 2016
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
Battery pack Stories June 20, 2016
Last year, Tesla had some troubles with the way it calculated the power output of its electric vehicles. The company had to go in mediation with over hundred of its customers in Norway and eventually changed the advertised horsepowers of the Model S P85D from 691 hp to 463 hp.
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 full story
Battery pack Stories June 6, 2016
‘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 full story
Battery pack Stories May 25, 2016
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)
Day 1, Delivery and Setup expand full story
Battery pack Stories May 5, 2016
Earlier this week, Tesla confirmed that it is introducing its new 75 kWh battery pack to the Model S, like it did for the Model X last month. Now Tesla confirmed that while the option is not available now, it will be by the end of the week, and every updated Model S 70 produced since the ‘facelift’ was equipped with the new 75 kWh battery, but software-limited to 70 kWh. expand full story
Battery pack Stories April 29, 2016
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.
Later, the increase was then said to be closer to about a 50% increase based on comments by BMW AG board member Ian Robertson. It looks like BMW is now sticking to that number and even used it to advertise the next generation, which should be made available this summer. expand full story
Battery pack Stories April 26, 2016
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 full story
Battery pack Stories April 22, 2016
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 full story
Battery pack Stories February 10, 2016
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 full story
Battery pack Stories February 7, 2016
Tesla has been updating the drivetrain options for the Model S since the beginning of the year. The company removed the rear-wheel-drive option for the 90 kWh Model S across all its markets last month and just two weeks ago, it removed the 85 kWh battery pack option in Canada.
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 full story
Battery pack Stories February 3, 2016
Tesla Model S owner and battery tinkerer Jason Hughes published this week some of his findings following his tear down of several Tesla battery packs. Hughes is best known among the Tesla community for salvaging two Tesla Model S battery packs in order to create a massive energy storage system for his off-grid residential solar installation even before Tesla introduced its own line of stationary energy storage products.
Now Hughes’ new findings raises a few questions about the actual capacity of Tesla’s battery packs. expand full story
Battery pack Stories January 27, 2016
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 full story
Battery pack Stories January 20, 2016
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.
Now we learn from a BMW official that the increase could be closer to 50%. expand full story
Battery pack Stories January 11, 2016
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 full story
Battery pack Stories December 10, 2015
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 full story
Battery pack Stories November 24, 2015
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 full story
Battery pack Stories November 19, 2015
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 full story
Battery pack Stories November 3, 2015
Nissan LEAF sales are down 52% in the US as buyers are still waiting for 2016 models
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.
Battery pack Stories October 27, 2015
Tesla builds its own battery packs, but imports the several thousands battery cells needed per pack from suppliers, mainly Panasonic. The automaker is heavily investing to change that by building the Gigafactory, in partnership with Panasonic, to manufacture both the cells and battery packs in the Nevada desert east of Reno.
But the planned output of the factory is 35 GWh in battery cells and 50 GWh in battery packs, meaning the Gigafactory will need to import 15 GWh of battery cells. Tesla already confirmed its intention to source the cells from more than one suppliers “potentially including Panasonic”, and today we learn through a new report from Asia Nikkei that the company is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations with LG Chem. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 26, 2015
The so-called “poaching war” for top automotive engineering talent between Tesla and Apple gathered quite a few headlines in the past months, especially after Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the Cupertino company the “Tesla Graveyard” for hiring people he claimed were “fired” by the company. But after looking closer into the recent hires between the two companies, it looks like Tesla has little to fear from Apple’s recruiting effort, at least if we compare it to Faraday Future’s.
Faraday Future took a small step out of ‘stealth mode’ earlier this summer to announce that it is looking for a location for a manufacturing facility to build an electric vehicle. In the months since, the 1-year old startup ramped up its hiring effort and now has over 400 employees with an impressive percentage coming from Tesla. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 20, 2015
General Motors held a press conference today to update the media on its partnership with LG and their supply relationship for the upcoming Chevy Bolt. GM confirmed that the Korea-based electronic giant will make most of the components that make the Bolt an electric vehicle including the battery pack, the electric motor and the power electronics. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 18, 2015
Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity – three companies influenced by Elon Musk – are currently on a massive hiring spree around the US. They already have a combined headcount of over 32,000 employees and the total is set to increase significantly in the coming months. We learned that Musk’s companies are holding joined private recruiting events, the latest of which held last weekend at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
Recruiters from each company select students recommended through university programs and invite them to the relatively secretive events to interview with SolarCity, SpaceX or Tesla. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 14, 2015
Toyota revealed details on some of the new technologies it will introduce in its fourth generation Prius. Most notably, the Japan-based automaker will offer two choices of battery packs with higher energy density for the 2016 Prius: lithium-ion or nickel-metal hybrid. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 12, 2015
This year electronics and auto parts giant Bosch has been heavily investing the auto industry’s transition to electric powertrain. Earlier this summer, Bosch bought the solid-state battery start-up Seeo Inc. and has since been sparsely revealing details about its plan to bring new battery technologies to market by 2020.
During the company’s recent inauguration of its Renningen research campus, head of battery technology R&D Dr. Thorsten Ochs revealed more information about the company’s goals for Seeo’s solid-state battery. The Germany-based part maker is aiming for a 50 kWh pack to weight only 190 kg. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 8, 2015
Mitsubishi announced today that it will unveil a new electric vehicle concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, which starts on October 29. The new vehicle is called the eX concept and the company hopes to bring it to market in 2020. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 7, 2015
As we recently mentioned, there’s been some confusion in the media about the price of the Tesla Model X. The confusion even spread to Wall Street where analysts have been reducing their target price on Tesla’s stock because of the expensive $132,000 price tag circulating in the media.
To be clear, $132,000 is the starting price of the Signature Model X which is already sold out. The Signature comes standard with the performance package (P90D) and several options which increase the price. For example, a maxed out Tesla Model S cost $138,000, but the base version starts at $70,000. Yesterday Elon Musk confirmed at a Vanity Fair conference that the Model X will have a similar price structure starting next year (when Tesla can actually catch up to demand). expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 6, 2015
SolarCity announced today a new project with the Temecula Valley Unified School District to install 6 MW of solar energy capacity and 2.6 MWh of energy storage at a total of 19 schools in the district. The solar installations will mainly consist of carports using the company’s ZS Beam system (see picture above). expand full story
Charging is still the primary concern of any new potential electric vehicle buyer. They want to know where they can charge the car and how long it takes. Now with the numerous charging standards and the difference between car models and battery pack sizes, it can be a difficult landscape to navigate. The bigger the battery pack, the longer it takes to charge, but at the same time, you can get an higher charging rate.
Netherlands-based charging station start-up Fastned is making the (safe) bet that battery packs will soon get bigger and, more importantly, they will be able to take higher charge rates. expand full story
Battery pack Stories October 5, 2015
LG Chem to build a new battery factory for electric cars in Europe
South Korean news outlets are reporting that the electronic giant LG Chem will build a new factory to produce batteries for electric cars in Europe. The new plant will reportedly have an annual production capacity of 50,000 battery packs, making it of similar size as the company’s Holland, Michigan plant where the company produces battery packs for the Chevy Volt and eventually the Bolt.
Battery pack Stories October 1, 2015
Nissan LEAF sales down 56% again ahead of 2016 launch
Last month we reported that Nissan’s LEAF US sales were down 56% in August. Today the Japan-based automaker released its September US sales report and sales are still down 56% from September last year.
The company delivered 1,247 LEAFs last month versus 2,881 during the same period last year.
Battery pack Stories September 16, 2015
Casey Spencer, a Tesla Model S owner, set a new record for the longest distance traveled on a single charge in a Model S by driving 550.3 miles in 26 hours. Spencer surpassed Bjorn Nyland’s record of 452.8 miles set just last month. Although Nyland used a Model S P85D, while Spencer used his Model S 85D.
Battery pack Stories September 10, 2015
Ecocruise releases a new bug-like off-road electric vehicle
Ecocruise is a startup manufacturing Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), often known as golf cart, but Ecocruise’s lineup is more interesting than just golf carts, especially its new off-road vehicle; the Cruser Sport.
Battery pack Stories September 8, 2015
A video posted to Youtube today gives us the most recent look at Tesla’s battery factory under-construction in the Nevada desert. For the first time we see the walls of what could become the biggest building on earth. In the latest drone fly-by video, we could only see the barebone steel structure.
The company plans to significantly reduce the cost of batteries through economy of scale by producing 50 GWh of battery packs at the ‘Gigafactory’. Tesla expects to produce the first battery packs at the factory during the first quarter of 2016. expand full story
Possible Nissan LEAF 2016 spotted at Nissan HQ in Franklin TN
Nissan has been careful not to release too much information about the 2016 update of its flagship electric vehicle, the LEAF, most probably not to hurt the sales of its current model. Though we learned through information leaked from dealerships that Nissan should offer a bigger battery pack option for more range in the 2016 version. The new model is expected to arrive at the end of month like most 2016 cars, but we have yet to get an official launch date or see one in the flesh, until now…
Battery pack Stories September 1, 2015
Tesla Motors released more information about the Roadster battery upgrade in an email sent to owners today. The new battery pack will have 40% more energy than the previous version, but it will be heavier therefore allowing a 35% increase in range. The pack will be hand-built at low volume and Tesla doesn’t aim at making a profit on the upgrade, which will cost $29,000 including labor. expand full story
Nissan LEAF US sales down 56% ahead of next generation release
Nissan released its monthly US sale reports today and the company reported a 56% decrease in LEAF sales versus August last year. The decrease is a clear example of the Osborne effect, which refers to the unintended consequences of the release of information about an upcoming product can have on a current product. In this case, the release of information on the 2016 LEAF is having a significant effect on the sales of the 2015 LEAF.
Battery pack Stories August 14, 2015
Crane knocks down power line at Tesla’s Fremont Factory – production temporarily shutdown due to the power outage
According to NBC Bay Area, a crane knocked down a power line at Tesla’s Fremont factory Friday morning, creating a power outage and forcing Tesla to temporarily close the factory. PG&E, the local electric utility, is already on site according to a Tesla representative and the company is evaluating the situation.
Any shutdown of the Fremont factory is a big deal for Tesla since the location is the only manufacturing facility of the company’s only product, the Model S.
Battery pack Stories August 8, 2015
New Zealand’s Vector to giveaway 130 solar installations with Tesla Powerwalls
In an effort to promote renewable energies, Vector launched a new campaign this week to offer 130 free 3 KW solar installations each equipped with Tesla’s new stationary energy storage battery pack, the Powerwall.
Soon after Tesla unveiled its series of energy storage products in April, Vector announced a partnership with the Silicon Valley car manufacturer to make the new products available in New Zealand.
Battery pack Stories July 7, 2015
During a presentation about the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, Dean Haymore, from Story County Commission, said that Tesla purchased an additional 1,200 acres of land adjacent to their battery factory under-construction near Reno. According to Haymore, the new purchase made last week more than doubles Tesla’s land at the site and the company is looking to purchase another 350 acres. expand full story
Battery pack Stories May 23, 2015
There has been a lot of uninformed banker-speak in the media about Tesla’s battery including by Bloomberg here. The problem is these folks don’t understand the new market that Tesla is opening up.
The complaints have been that the battery wall doesn’t make economic sense – that for the average household to go off the grid with these combined with solar (or wind), it would be incredibly expensive.
That’s correct… expand full story