Automotive segment consumes 10.5% of global advanced battery production

Batteries are big business. According to the latest Advanced Battery Tracker from Navigant Research, more than 6 billion advanced battery cells were sold in 2013, representing 40 gigawatts of power capacity and more than $13.4 billion in sales (a modest increase over 2012’s $12.8 billion). The majority of these batteries were manufactured in China. Most… Read more »

A123 acquires start/stop battery technology from Leyden Energy

A123 Systems is back in the news. The battery-maker, now a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s Wanxiang Group, has acquired Leyden Energy’s intellectual property in battery materials covering lithium titanate (LTO) and non-flammable electrolyte (Li-imide) technology. As part of the deal, some of Leyden’s key technical staff will be joining A123’s R&D organization.    … Read more »

Minnesota mandates special electricity pricing for EVs

Time-of-use electricity pricing is a good deal for all concerned. It allows consumers to save money, and it helps electric utilities to better manage their grids, by encouraging people to shift electrical usage away from peak demand periods. And of course, it provides yet another incentive to drive electric – it’s easy to schedule charging… Read more »

Results of California EV buyer survey now available online

The California Air Resources Board has published the results of a survey of plug-in vehicle buyers who received rebates from the state. The online data is available for researchers, policymakers and the public to learn about who is buying plug-in cars (PEVs) in California, and why. Between March 2010 and March 2014, about 191,000 PEVs… Read more »

Toyota researchers develop all-solid-state Li-ion batteries

As Toyota plans to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market in 2015, its researchers continue to work on next-generation battery technologies. In a presentation at the International Meeting on Lithium Batteries in Como, Italy, Dr. Hideki Iba from Toyota’s Battery Research Division and Dr. Chihiro Yada from Toyota Motor Europe’s Advanced Technology Group noted… Read more »

New simulation software provides a powerful tool for battery developers

In the holy quest for a better battery, engineering simulation software is a key tool, helping battery developers to shorten the time-consuming cycle of prototyping and manufacturing. Software developer ANSYS (NASDAQ: ANSS) has now incorporated battery models in the latest release of its Fluent software, thanks to the efforts of a team that also includes GM… Read more »

BMW Smart Charging App lets drivers automatically schedule cheapest charging times

BMW has launched a new Smart Charging App, which allows drivers to automatically identify the best rates and times for charging their EVs at home. The new app is integrated with the existing BMW i Remote App, and is available for Android and iOS devices.         Through a connection to a national… Read more »

Swedish researchers: Carbon fiber can serve as both body panel and battery

It’s one of the dilemmas of EV design: It’s imperative to keep a vehicle’s weight as low as possible, but the most critical component – the battery – is necessarily quite heavy (and bulky). A little outside-the-box thinking yields an elegant solution – make the box the battery. In other words, design a battery material… Read more »

Lithium iron phosphate electrodes reveal exotic state of matter to MIT researchers

Transmission electron microscopy has allowed MIT researchers to directly observe a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) electrode during charging, and they found that, just as suspected, a solid-solution zone (SSZ) forms at the boundary between lithium-rich and lithium-depleted areas, as lithium ions are pulled out of the electrode. The new findings, which appear in a paper… Read more »