The Tech

Michigan powertrain producer teams with a Chinese company to produce plug-in commercial vehicles

Michigan-based ALTe Powertrain Technologies, developer of a range-extended electric powertrain for light commercial vehicles, has announced this week that it will establish a new commercial vehicle manufacturing joint venture with the Henan Benma Company in the Henan province of China. Benma currently produces 20 models of commercial vehicles for the Chinese market, and has a… Read more »

President Obama pushes research into EVs and other advanced transportation technologies

In a speech at the Argonne National Laboratory, President Obama proposed a new Energy Security Trust Fund to invest in research into post-petroleum transportation technologies, including electric vehicles. The plan sets aside $2 billion over 10 years from royalty revenues paid to the federal government by oil and gas producers. The government collects more than… Read more »

Fisker leaves Fisker

Just when you thought the news couldn’t get any worse for Fisker Automotive, co-founder and executive chairman Henrik Fisker announced today that he is leaving the company, effective immediately. “The main reasons for his resignation are several major disagreements that Henrik Fisker has with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy,” the company… Read more »

Johnson Controls to supply Li-ion batteries for Torqeedo’s electric boat motors

Torqeedo, a German-based maker of electric outboard motors and accessories, will use Johnson Controls’ Li-ion automotive battery packs to power its Deep Blue 80 hp electric boat motor. Johnson modified its PHEV battery, making it waterproof and resistant to salt water, for Torqeedo’s marine application. The battery behemoth will begin production of the new battery… Read more »

Siemens and Semikron increase collaboration on EV power electronics

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division has signed an agreement with Semikron International, under which Siemens will take over Semikron’s VePOINT subsidiary, and the two companies will increase their cooperation in the field of EV power electronics. VePOINT’s technology is meant to complement the Siemens range of products by adding systems with attractive power densities and… Read more »

Korean researchers develop 180 kW wireless charging technology

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) have developed a wireless power transfer technology that can supply 180 kW of power at 60 kHz. KAIST first tested its On-line Electric Vehicle (OLEV) in 2009, and has made substantial improvements in size and charging power since then…. Read more »

ARPA-E’s new RANGE program offers $20m for battery research

If you think you can develop an EV battery that delivers three times the range for a third less cost than current designs, you can claim a slice of $20 million in research funding from the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). The agency has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the… Read more »

Volt battery supplier forced to return $842K in DOE funds

The bad news: a colorful scandal has emerged at another of the companies that received DOE funds to build EV-related components. The good news: this time the feds got wise to the hanky-panky in time, and are forcing the company to make amends. In 2009, Korean battery maker LG Chem received a $150-million federal grant,… Read more »

Ford expands plug-in dealer network, makes smartphone app available for plug-in hybrids

Ford plans to more than quadruple the number of dealers selling its line of plug-in electric vehicles. The Detroit News reported that the company will have 900 certified dealers across the country by this spring, up from the current 200 or so. This means that about a third of US Ford dealers will be able… Read more »