Could Sakti3 build GM’s 200-mile battery?

After years of operating in secrecy, battery startup Sakti3 has been much in the news lately, the subject of feature articles in Scientific American and Fortune (via Green Car Reports). The Ann Arbor company, founded in 2008 by Ann Marie Sastry, has developed a solid-state electrolyte, which could eliminate some of the drawbacks of liquid electrolytes, including… Read more »

New X-ray technique sheds light on why Li-ion batteries degrade

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are using a new imaging technique to learn more about the process that causes lithium-ion batteries to degrade over time. Using coherent X-ray diffractive imaging at the DOE’s Advanced Photon Source facility, a team of researchers mapped the three-dimensional strain in individual nanoparticles within the electrodes of operating batteries. In… Read more »

ORNL study: The best use of natural gas for cars is production of electricity for EVs

What’s more efficient, using natural gas to power an ICE vehicle, or using it to generate electricity to power an EV? A well-to-wheels (WTW) analysis by a team of researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has found that, with a high PTW (pump-to-wheels) efficiency and the potential for high generation efficiency with NGCC… Read more »

French consortium aims to develop EV charging ecosystem for commercial buildings

It’s becoming apparent that EV charging should be considered as part of an “ecosystem” that also includes renewable energy generation and stationary storage.  France’s Eco2charge consortium, coordinated by Bouygues Energie, has launched an R&D program to study the deployment of solutions of this kind, especially for commercial buildings. Eco2charge notes that an average EV consumes… Read more »

California enacts a new round of pro-plug-in measures

In honor of National Drive Electric Week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law half a dozen bills to further strengthen California’s EV market. In 2012, Governor Brown set a target of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California by 2025. California accounts for 40% of US plug-in sales, and recently surpassed the… Read more »

What happens when the EV tax credit is phased out? (Don’t ask the IRS.)

How important is the $7,500 federal tax credit for EV buyers, and what will happen to the market when it is eventually phased out? Vehicles from a particular automaker are eligible for the tax credit until it has sold 200,000 EVs in the US. After that, buyers of the company’s vehicles will get 50 percent… Read more »

Ultracapacitors supercharge stop/start systems

Electrification is quietly sneaking into “conventional” vehicles, as more models incorporate stop/start technology. Navigant Research predicts that 54% of new vehicles worldwide will have stop/start capability by 2022. Different automakers are applying stop/start in very different ways. For energy storage, a stop/start system may use Li-ion batteries, advanced-glass-mat (AGM) lead-acid batteries, ultracapacitors (UCs), or some… Read more »

Efacec’s new light and compact DC charger

DC chargers are getting smaller and lighter, with commensurate cost savings. Portuguese electrical manufacturer Efacec has introduced its new QC24S, which provides fast charging for CCS-compatible EVs (VW, BMW, Daimler, GM). A CHAdeMO version is scheduled for launch by the end of this year. “This new product is a breakthrough and will be a huge… Read more »

iPhone contract manufacturer Foxconn invests $811 million in EV factory

The rumors have been flying since the Foxconn Technology Group’s June announcement that it plans to build an EV with a price tag of less than $15,000. The Taiwanese company builds iPhones for Apple and the touchscreen for the Tesla Model S. [Correction 1:00pm EDT 9/26/14: Despite widespread internet reports that Foxconn produces the Model… Read more »

BYD chief: Electric buses and PHEV consumer cars will lead the Chinese boom

The head of Chinese automaker BYD sees a major plug-in boom on the horizon, but has some definite ideas about the proper roles of PHEVs vis a vis pure EVs. Some would say the party has already started – BYD’s share price has nearly doubled this year, as the company delivered 6,600 units of its… Read more »