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Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicle batteries’

JCI Invests $445 Mil to Meet Power Needs of Electrified Cars

Start-stop, other technologies driving need for better batteries.

by on Jun.14, 2016

Johnson Controls is investing $245 million into its battery operations in North America.

Johnson Controls plans to plow almost $500 million into its automotive battery operations in North America and China to increase the output in both places to meet growing demand.

The company plans to invest $245 million to expand its plant in Mexico to produce more absorbent glass mat batteries and drop $200 million to build a new facility in China to do the same. Once complete, it’ll be JCI’s fourth plant in China.

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Absorbent glass mat batteries are technologically advanced car batteries that are more expensive than conventional lead acid batteries. However, they handle the strain of frequent engine restarts and the ever-increasing electrical load placed on car batteries better. They’re frequently used on start-stop-equipped vehicles. (more…)

GM, Nissan Find New Life for Old Batteries

Makers developing commercial, consumer applications.

by on Jun.16, 2015

GM is using recycled Volt batteries as a backup power generator for its facility in Milford, Michigan.

What do you do with the used batteries when a vehicle like the Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf are ready to be scrapped? The traditional answers might have been to dump them in a landfill or break them apart for their raw materials, but Nissan and Chevy have come up with some useful alternatives.

In reality, the lithium-ion batteries used by the auto industry usually have quite a bit of life left, even if they no longer store enough energy to propel a vehicle. So, both Nissan and Chevrolet want to put old batteries back to work as stationary backup power sources.

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“Even after the battery has reached the end of its useful life in a Chevrolet Volt, up to 80% of its storage capacity remains,” noted Pablo Valencia, senior manager of battery lifecycle management for General Motors. “This secondary use application extends its life, while delivering waste reduction and economic benefits on an industrial scale.” (more…)

Biden Boasts Recovery Act Spurs Innovation

Four major science and technology breakthroughs promised.

by on Aug.25, 2010

The perfect campaign speech with promises that can't be checked for years.

Vice President Joe Biden has unveiled a new report that claims last year’s politically unpopular – and, gulp, $787 billion — Recovery Act contains $100 billion in investment in innovation that is not only “transforming the economy and creating new jobs,” but helping “accelerate advances” in science and technology.

More than the usual political folderol is involved here, in my opinion, as the Democrats turn up their rhetoric in defense of their management of a sputtering economy in the face of what appears to be an upcoming huge political backlash directed at tax and spend incumbents in the mid-term elections this fall. Biden’s assertions could also be the forerunner of a new move to propose another gigantic stimulus package if the Democrats remain in Congressional power after November.

The claims in the report, “The Recovery Act: Transforming the American Economy through Innovation,” are dubious in my view given the current state of the technologies involved, but ideal from a campaign perspective since they cannot be verified until years after the election – if anyone bothers or remembers.

And of course, there is no taxpayer “money back guarantee” offered from the Administration if the promises vanish into the ether and the companies and universities receiving the funding don’t deliver the innovations.

Following Your Money!

Remember the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, which channeled millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars into national labs and the Detroit Three automakers in search of an 80 mpg car? Not one has been built to this day.

Worse, the real outcome was that Toyota, which was excluded from the pork festival for political reasons, went on its own innovation tear and with the help of the Japanese government developed its world leading hybrid technology while Detroit went back to investing in and building gas guzzlers and issuing press releases about a green future car that never arrived.