China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

open pit lithium mine
An open pit lithium mine. Picture courtesy of The Future of Energy

The market for electric cars in China is huge already and it’s growing at almost an exponential rate annually. 

Commentators in the country include electric cars in the category called “new energy vehicles”, which also refers to hybrid energy vehicles, and are saying the market will be further accelerated as a result of government backing.

Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng management consultancy, says: “With the issuance in April 2017 of the Automotive Industry Mid to Long Term Development Plan, the Ministry for Industry and Information Technology provides guiding principles for the development of China’s auto industry for the next decade.  Continue reading China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

Akasol wins ‘major contract’ to supply lithium-ion battery systems for new e-buses

akasol kvb e-bus
Sustainable passenger transportation without environmentally damaging emissions: one of eight battery-powered articulated buses with Akasol battery systems operating as part of Cologne’s public transportation network. (Photo: Koelner Verkehrsbetriebe)

Akasol says it has agreed a deal with “an internationally operating commercial vehicle manufacturer based in northern Europe” for the serial production of lithium-ion battery systems for its entire fleet of e-buses. 

Akasol claims the contract with the original equipment manufacturer is worth “hundreds of millions of euros” and lasts until 2023, and outlines a close, long-term partnership between both companies and involves the supply of up to 4,500 battery systems.

Sven Schulz, CEO of Akasol, says: “Thanks to our technological expertise and nearly 30 years of experience in the field of traction battery systems for the automotive industry, we made an impressive bid and were able to set ourselves apart from the competition.”  Continue reading Akasol wins ‘major contract’ to supply lithium-ion battery systems for new e-buses

Tesla begins production at its Gigafactory – said to be the largest battery manufacturing plant in the world

tesla gigafactory
Tesla’s Gigafactory has almost 5 million square feet of operational space and when it’s completed, it will be the largest building in the world

lockTesla has started making lithium-ion battery cells at its brand new “Gigafactory” in Nevada, US. 

At almost 2 million square feet, the facility is said to be the largest battery manufacturing plant in the world – and that’s just for starters.

In a statement, Tesla says: “The current structure has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet, which houses 4.9 million square feet of operational space across several floors. And we are still less than 30 percent done. Once complete, we expect the Gigafactory to be the biggest building in the world.”  Continue reading Tesla begins production at its Gigafactory – said to be the largest battery manufacturing plant in the world

Consortium of car companies to build massive power network for electric vehicles

A consortium of companies which includes some of the leading automakers has agreed to build what they say will be an “ultra-fast, high-power” charging network along major highways in Europe. 

The joint venture includes BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen, which owns the Audi and Porsche brands.

The group says it will build a direct current network of approximately 400 charging points for battery electric vehicles.

In a joint statement, the consortium says this is an “important step” towards facilitating mass-market battery electric vehicle adoption.

The network itself will be based on the Combined Charging System standard technology, and will expand the existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Europe.

Individual charging points will enable motorists to use DC current to fast-charge their vehicles with 350 kW of power, say the companies.

At the moment, the country with the highest number of charging points is the United States, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.

This is according to OpenChargeMap.org, which says there are approximately 80,000 charging stations across more than 40,000 locations around the world.

Akasol launches ‘pioneering’ new customisable battery technology for large vehicles

akasol unternehmen-ueber-akasol

Engineering company Akasol says it has developed a pioneering lithium-ion battery systems for series production commercial vehicles

High-performance, customisable batteries for demanding applications in commercial vehicles have traditionally been very costly, but Akasol is presenting the world premiere of a promising new solution at this year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles (Hanover 22–29 September 2016): the AkaSystem OEM.

The compact, modular lithium-ion battery system is particularly well-suited for use in commercial vehicles such as buses, lorries, construction vehicles or other specialised vehicles.

Experts at the German “pioneer of e-mobility battery storage solutions” claim they have succeeded in integrating standardised PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) modules from large battery manufacturers like those used in passenger car production to enable them to meet the demanding requirements of commercial vehicle drives.  Continue reading Akasol launches ‘pioneering’ new customisable battery technology for large vehicles