Features

A closer look at Li-ion cell balancing

Battery technology is an ever-changing, ever-improving field that has gained a great deal of momentum in recent years. With improved energy density, power density, and cost comes a huge variety of new and exciting applications in a wide range of industries. The future looks bright. But the future won’t be enabled solely by advances in chemistry… Read more »

Driving drivetrain development: Schaeffler North America’s VP and CTO on the future of electric drive

  Jeff Hemphill talks eAxles, two-speed transmissions, in-wheel motors and more.  For multinational companies with thousands of employees, collaborating can be a challenge. In 2011, the Schaeffler Group found that divisions from their three product brands – INA, LuK and FAG – were working on different electrification and renewable topics without really talking to each… Read more »

Stuck in the MUD: Multi-unit dwellings present major obstacles to EV ownership

The San Francisco Bay Area is widely considered ripe with potential for early and widespread adoption of EVs. Area residents are generally progressive, environmentally concerned, and technologically literate. The area was an epicenter of electric vehicle deployment during California’s earlier EV Mandate era, and nearly 50 years ago the Electric Auto Association was founded by… Read more »

A closer look at switched reluctance motors

The electronically-switched reluctance motor – often shortened to the switched reluctance motor, or SRM – has been gaining in popularity over the last decade because it is simple, robust, and arguably the least expensive of all motor types to manufacture. The reasons for the relatively late blooming of the SRM – the first reluctance motor… 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 »

A closer look at regenerative braking

Regenerative braking (usually called regen for short) is simply the act of turning a motor into a generator, so that it slows down the load it was previously driving. Instead of converting momentum into heat with friction brakes, regen puts some of that energy back into the traction pack, not only saving wear on the… Read more »