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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 »

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 »

Sarah Palin flays Fisker (well, okay) and trashes Tesla (what???)

It’s no surprise that the media has been having a field day with the story of Fisker Automotive’s apparently terminal troubles. “Pissing away taxpayer money on useless boondoggles” was one of the more charitable descriptions of the situation to be found over on the rightward side of the dial. Even more neutral observers noted the… Read more »

Plug-in vehicle sales set a new record in March

Please don’t tell any of the mainstream media, but US plug-in vehicle sales reached a new all-time high in March. Interestingly, pure EV sales (4750) outnumbered PHEV sales (3080), which, if its not just a temporary market gyration, would seem to be a reversal of the current conventional wisdom. In first place for March is… Read more »

Its not just EVs that are selling slowly in Europe

Many of us have been puzzled about the fact that plug-in sales are taking off more slowly in Europe than in the US, given the continent’s compact cities, high fuel prices and tradition of greenery. However, looking at 2012’s auto sales figures may provide a simple explanation. While the US auto industry had a spectacular… Read more »

February plug-in sales: Volt back on top, LEAF in short supply

As overall sales continue to be slow, the Chevrolet Volt regained its title of best-selling plug-in vehicle in the US with deliveries of 1,626 units in February. It was no surprise to see a large increase over January’s meager sales of 1,140, which GM attributed to a holiday production pause. Significantly, the latest number handily… 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 »

What’s up with wireless EV charging

Wireless charging is one of the hottest topics in the EV world these days. Several companies have systems on the path to commercial availability. Evatran has plans to sell aftermarket systems that will work with popular plug-in models such as the LEAF and the Volt. Qualcomm is using its London trial as a test bed… Read more »