The Tech

LG Chem says US battery plant will begin production in late 2013

South Korea’s LG Chem plans to start production at its US car battery factory in the second half of this year, two executives told Automotive News. The Holland, Michigan manufacturing plant drew some unpleasant publicity in February, when a DOE investigation found that the production line at the plant was idle, but workers were being… Read more »

VIDEO: GM begins building Spark EV electric motors in Baltimore

GM claims to be the first US-based automaker to manufacture electric motors and drive units in America, as it began producing these components for the new Chevrolet Spark EV at its Baltimore Operations plant in White Marsh, Maryland. The design of the motors was refined at a pilot facility in Michigan. “The era of using… Read more »

Researchers discover memory effect in Li-ion batteries

Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the Toyota Central R&D Labs have reported a memory effect in lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that appears after only one cycle of partial charge and discharge. Memory effects are well known to users of nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydride batteries. If these batteries are recharged repeatedly after being only partially… Read more »

Two new in-wheel electric drive systems unveiled

In-wheel electric drive systems are a hot topic these days. Mounting the electric motor and power electronics within a wheel assembly can improve efficiency, save space and give automakers more flexibility in body design. This week, two leaders in the field introduced new in-wheel offerings. Protean Electric announced the debut of its production in-wheel motor… Read more »

New Sendyne IC greatly increases dynamic range of current measurement

This week brought exciting news for fans of measuring current through resistive shunts. Sendyne Corp. has announced the new SFP100, a high precision current sensing IC that extends the range of accurate current measurements by at least an order of magnitude. With the Sendyne SFP100, ultra-low resistance and low-power consumption shunts can now be used… Read more »

KAIST discovers method to extend Li-air battery life

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have discovered a means to extend the lifetime of lithium-air (Li-air) batteries, a technology that offers the promise of higher energy densities than those achievable with conventional lithium-ion batteries. They report their findings in the February issue of the journal ChemSusChem. Li-air batteries are… Read more »

New report: Solid-state batteries will rule by 2030, driven by consumer electronics

A report from technology advisory firm Lux Research predicts that new battery technologies will become strong competitors with existing lithium-ion technology by 2020, and that solid-state batteries will surpass Li-ion by 2030. However, consumer electronics, not electric vehicles, will be the market driving the advances. “While much of the motivation for next-generation batteries – whether… Read more »

Rolls-Royce to supply Azipull propulsion system for Norway’s electric ferry of the future

Rolls-Royce plc has signed a contract to deliver its Azipull propulsion and control system for the battery-powered “ferry of the future.” The new vessel is being built at the Fjellstrand yard in Norway, and will go into service in 2015 on the route between Lavik and Oppedal, across the Sognefjord, operated by Norwegian transport company… Read more »