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SVOLT unveils cobalt-free battery, claiming first company to reach ‘series production’

Cobalt free battery

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.

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CATL introduces first-gen sodium-ion battery and AB lithium-sodium pack

sodium-ion battery

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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GM battery chief trumpets capabilities of its flexible EV pouch cells

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.



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Pandemic threatens EV battery supply, giving power to South Korean battery-makers

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.



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You can get a Tesla Model S for $35,000 with only ‘minor dents and dings’ [Gallery]

damaged Model S for sale

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.

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Tesla will add new section (5th) to the Gigafactory by December, Battery cell manufacturing equipment by July 20th

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.

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Tesla is secretly adding over 50 hp to the Model S P90D Ludicrous based on 3rd party testing, what does it mean?

home_hero_models

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…

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Tesla Model S battery pack data shows very little capacity loss over high mileage

tesla model s battery pack platform

‘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.

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2017 Chevy Volt Diary, Day 1: Delivery and setup

2017 Electric Blue Chevrolet Volt

2017 Electric Blue Chevrolet Volt

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

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Tesla is only manufacturing 75 and 90 kWh battery packs, but will offer 70 as software-limited 75 kWh

Model S

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.

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The new 2017 BMW i3 will have ~120 miles of range and start production in the summer

Verschiffung BMW i3 in Bremerhaven 11-2015

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.

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Tesla confirms base Model 3 will have less than 60 kWh battery pack option, cost is below $190/kWh and falling

Tesla battery cells

tesla battery cells

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.

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Tesla opens direct orders of up to 54 Powerpacks and reveals pricing

powerpack design order

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. 

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SolarCity doubled its battery pack business with Tesla in 2015

solarcity powerwall

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.

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Tesla officially discontinues the Model S’ 85 KWh battery pack

tesla battery tear down

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.

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Tear down of 85 kWh Tesla battery pack shows it could actually only be a 81 kWh pack [Updated]

tesla battery tear down

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.

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New BMW i3 could get a significantly bigger range boost than anticipated

BMW i3 black

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%.

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Australia’s largest electric utility starts selling the Tesla Powerwall

models-powerwallAustralia 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.

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