Posts By: Markkus Rovito

Smith Electric Vehicles: the long haul and the short end of the stick

Smith sees a bright future in electric trucks on the horizon, but must wade through a sea of speculation to get there.  All Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. wanted was a long-term growth strategy that would let the company scale up production of its all-electric, zero-emission medium-duty trucks at the same time that it beefed up… Read more »

Accelerating battery development, part 2: Wildcat Discovery Technologies

Wildcat Discovery Technologies is a venture-backed start-up residing in sunny San Diego. Launched in late 2006, it makes efficient use of just 32 employees. The company has developed proprietary methods for rapidly synthesizing energy-storage materials.  Serial entrepreneurs Prof. Peter Schultz and Robert Downs have worked together for a number of years at the Genomics Novartis… Read more »

Three of a kind: PolyPlus reaches for 1,500 Wh/kg

After decades of patent-protected breakthroughs, PolyPlus stands poised to make its first commercial move from its trio of power-dense battery technologies: lithium-sulfur, lithium-water, and lithium-air. It’s a balmy, 95-degree August day in the nation’s capital, but Steven J. Visco, PhD, the CEO, CTO, and co-founder of PolyPlus, sits in the climate-controlled comfort of the White House… Read more »

The promise of the Prius Plug-in

On the march toward widespread adoption of 100+ MPGe plug-in vehicles, the Prius Plug-in could take the most significant step. “When you think of hybrids, you think of Prius.” So says Geri Yoza, National Manager for Advanced Technology Vehicles, Product Planning Department at Toyota.  Of course, that would be the standard company line at Toyota,… Read more »

Company man: Q&A with Bob Lutz

The automotive legend turned 80 on February 12, but he still looks and sounds vital. Even better, and in contrast to the typical assumption about octogenarians Lutz is still entirely relevant. Bob Lutz tends not to speak in abbreviations. More often than not, it’s “gasoline,” not gas, “General Motors,” not GM. Perhaps it’s indicative of a… Read more »

We need more energy: Envia Systems’ 400 Wh/kg Li-ion cells

Envia Systems crushed the record for energy density of an automotive rechargeable Li-ion battery at 400Wh/kg. Now all the small start-up has to do is partner with everybody, become the industry standard, and change the world.  Most of us know the public library as a place to get some free Wi-Fi, meet up with people for… Read more »

The fleet footed survive: VIA Motors electrifies trucks, vans and SUVs

On the strength of a shrewd business plan and ties to GM, VIA Motors plans to jump-start the electric transition through the back door of America’s service vehicles. Its E-REV pickup trucks and vans prove that you can have your fuel efficiency and costs savings, too.  Everyone should want an EV. They’re more efficient than… Read more »