The Tech

GM uses ultrasonic welding to build ELR battery packs

Ultrasonic welding is one of many high-tech manufacturing processes that GM uses to produce its EVs, including the Chevy Volt and the new Cadillac ELR electric luxury coupe. The technique employs a pair of tools called an anvil and horn to apply rapid mechanical vibrations to the battery’s copper and aluminum electrodes. This creates heat… Read more »

Australian researchers announce supercapacitor breakthrough

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University have developed a compact graphene-based supercapacitor device that lasts as long as a conventional battery, an advance with the potential to bring next-generation energy storage a step closer. Professor Dan Li of the Department of Materials Engineering and his team published their work this week in Science. Supercapacitors (SCs) are… Read more »

Tesla’s Li-ion battery supplier to increase production

Panasonic has told the Japan Times that it will increase domestic production of lithium-ion automobile batteries in order to meet robust demand in the US. The giant electronics maker said that it will restart idled production lines at an Osaka factory that produces batteries for Silicon Valley standard-bearer Tesla Motors as early as January, while… Read more »

Peugeot evaluates Nickel-Zinc batteries for stop-start vehicles

PowerGenix, a developer of Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) batteries, announced that it has entered into an innovation contract with PSA Peugeot Citroen Automobiles. Peugeot will conduct an evaluation of NiZn batteries as a replacement for lead-acid in stop-start vehicles. Stop-start technology is one of the most cost-effective and efficient means of optimizing fuel economy. Current estimates put… Read more »

Houston Harbor container cranes to get Li-ion powered hybrid systems

MJ EcoPower Hybrid Systems has awarded a contract to battery manufacturer Saft to supply lithium-ion batteries and battery management systems for four new hybrid rubber tire gantry (RTG) cranes serving Houston Harbor. RTGs are used to transport and stack shipping containers at port facilities and rail yards. Normally, the electric motors for the movement and… Read more »

Ultracap manufacturer raises $15 million in funding

Ioxus, a manufacturer of ultracapacitor technology, has raised $15 million in Series C funding from investors. The Westly Group, a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California, led the financing. The company plans to use the funds to further research and development, expand manufacturing capabilities and increase sales and marketing operations. Ultracapacitors (aka ultracaps… Read more »

Batteries2020 seeks to increase lifespan and energy density of Li-ion batteries

An 8.4-million-euro ($11-million) European research project called Batteries2020 aims to increase the lifespan and energy density of large-format automotive Li-ion batteries. The project is scheduled to run through September 2016, by which time the group’s goal is to have a commercialization-ready product that achieves a 4,000-cycle lifetime at 80% depth of discharge, and an energy… Read more »

South Korean/Chinese joint venture to become China’s biggest maker of EV batteries

South Korea’s SK Innovation Company, China’s state-owned Beijing Automotive Industries Holding Co. and LCD maker Beijing Electronics Holding Co. have agreed to form a joint venture to produce battery packs for EVs, Asian Power reports. The new JV will invest $166.4 million to build a battery plant that will have an annual production capacity of… Read more »

Plug In America study: Tesla Roadster batteries retain 80-85% capacity after 100K miles

Plug In America (PIA) has released a study by its Chief Science Officer (and Charged contributor), Tom Saxton, designed to predict the longevity of Tesla Roadster battery packs, based on user data. The advocacy organization used data voluntarily submitted by Roadster owners, as well as data collected anonymously through the Open Vehicle Monitoring System. 126 vehicles contributed… Read more »

Prototype vehicles use OpEneR to optimize energy management

Bosch and PSA Peugeot Citroën presented two prototype vehicles that use the Optimal Energy Consumption and Recovery (OpEneR) system at the International Environmentally Responsible Car Show (RIVE) in Alès, France. OpEneR is a European research project designed to increase the range of future hybrid and electric vehicles by optimizing energy management. Launched in 2011, OpEneR… Read more »