Toyota and Microsoft head for the clouds, 2010 the safest year ever on U.S. roads--the technologies behind that, what Lexus has up its green sleeve in New York, and we hit the road in the 2011 Chevy Volt.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 210 SHOW NOTES
When a lithium ion battery reaches the point at which it can no longer be used in an electric car, it still has the potential to be used in other applications. But exactly what are the best uses for them?
The U.S. government is backing a comprehensive study to determine just that, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced Tuesday.
"To date, no one has comprehensively studied the feasibility, durability, and value of Li-ion batteries for second-use applications," NREL said in a statement.
The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) will lead the research project which will … Read more
Flash memory chips and batteries, major components in the iPad 2, appear to face different fates, owing to the location of the manufacturing facilities in different parts of Japan.
Clarity is hard to come by in Japan, especially in the earthquake-stricken areas. But the impact of the continuing crisis on two major technologies used in Apple's latest tablet is pretty clear.
While Toshiba's manufacturing production of flash memory continues to recover, lithium-ion battery production is not faring so well, as it was much closer to ground zero.
Flash memory/Toshiba: The world's largest supplier of flash memory--and … Read more
It's now becoming increasingly clear that the global supply chain for electronics is going to be far more affected by the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear crisis still unfolding in Japan than previously thought.
Take for example the attention today on lithium ion batteries used in notebook PCs. Demand right now is not terribly high--it's a time of the year when consumers are buying fewer PCs--but consider what happens if the crisis persists. As Taiwan's Digitimes observes, a good bit of the world's production ecosystem for lithium ion batteries used in notebooks are not only located in Japan, but many … Read more
When we got our first look at the next generation of the Honda Civic at the 2011 Detroit auto show, we were generally underwhelmed. The Civic Concept resembled the outgoing Civic so closely that it was easily overshadowed by more visually interesting reveals, such as the Hyundai Veloster. Today, with the unveiling of the production versions of what will be the 2012 Civic coupe and sedan, we're unsurprised to find that Honda's bread-and-butter model is just as visually underwhelming as when we last saw it. However, digging into the specs, we find that there are a few revisions … Read more
Lithium ion battery company A123 Systems today said that it will supply a 20-megawatt battery for grid storage in northern Chile, one of the larger projects to use batteries to fortify the grid.
AES Gener, a division of U.S.-based power generation company AES, will install 10 shipping container-size storage systems in northern Chile to work in conjunction with a new 500-megawatt power plant called Angamos.
The batteries will be used for "spinning reserves" to ensure grid reliability by filling gaps in power in that area, which needs a reliable supply of electricity for mining operations. The … Read more
A General Motors patent application addresses one of the downsides of electric vehicles--battery degradation--with a system that would let technicians refurbish a lithium ion car battery.
After several years of driving, the lithium ion batteries would either be refurbished on site or the battery pack would be swapped out. Even if a fresh battery pack is installed, GM's patent application argues that refreshing used batteries without totally dismantling them can save on costs significantly.
"The … Read more
Japanese electronics giant and battery manufacturer Panasonic has invested $30 million in Tesla Motors, the U.S. automaker best-known for its all-electric luxury sports car, both companies announced Thursday.
Per the terms of the deal, Panasonic, which already has a working relationship with Tesla through their battery pack collaboration, purchased Tesla common stock at $21.15 per share, acquiring approximately a 2 percent stake in the company.
Tesla, which also builds power trains for use in electric vehicles in addition to manufacturing cars, has previously used battery components from a variety of companies. But the company announced Thursday that it &… Read more
Owners of the new Ford Focus Electric won't have to worry about going out to warm up the car before driving on a winter's day, the car will warm up its battery pack automatically if left plugged in.
Ford announced Thursday its Focus Electric, due out next year in the U.S., will contain a lithium ion battery pack with a liquid-based thermal management system.
In addition to keeping the car's battery within a preferred temperature range while engaged, the system also kicks in to cool or warm the car's battery pack as needed while it'… Read more
Ford, a company known for big trucks and muscle cars, has ambitious plans for several upcoming zero-emission vehicle fleet launches--including the Transit Connect Electric, in North America in late 2010 and in Europe in 2011, and the Focus Electric passenger car in North America in 2011 and Europe in 2012.
In an effort to make the new electric fleets more efficient, the company today said it is using the Internet and wireless technology to test advanced lithium ion battery systems, collect real-time performance data and make software updates.
Engineers use two monitoring methods to collect data from batteries in the … Read more