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Posts Tagged ‘Lithium-Ion’

Global Lithium-Ion Auto Battery Sales Set to Grow 600% by 2015.

New study: Demand could hit $50 billion by decade’s end.

by on Sep.08, 2011

Demand for lithium-ion batteries - for vehicles like the upcoming Toyota RAV4-EV - is expected to jump 600% by 2015, and another 500+% by 2020.

A new study finds reason to be charged up about lithium-ion batteries.  It anticipates sales of the technology will grow by 600% between now and 2015 as more and more makers bring out hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles.

The report, by the Roland Berger consultancy, anticipates sales could then surge from $9 billion to $50 billion worldwide by 2020.

The new study, meanwhile, anticipates that while a growing number of companies are getting into the automotive lithium-ion game, the market will be increasingly dominated by five companies, including American A123.

Until recently, automakers like Toyota – with its popular Prius – have relied on time-tested nickel-metal hydride batteries and that has meant that lithium suppliers were largely focused on consumer electronics markets, such as cellphones and laptop computers and, more recently, devices like the wildly popular Apple iPad.


But automakers are rapidly migrating to more advanced LIon systems in conventional hybrids – the first to market was the lithium-powered Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – to take advantage of more compact packaging, lighter weight and increased energy density.  The ramp-up of automotive demand will only accelerate as new plug-in hybrids, extended-range electric vehicles, and battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, go into production.


First Look: Volvo C30 Battery Car

Volvo testing compact battery-electric commuter car.

by on Jan.07, 2010

Volvo's battery-electric C30 will begin fleet testing this year, but no date has been set for retail sales.

At first glance, you might not pay much attention to the seemingly familiar Volvo C30 as it rolls by.  But the unexpected absence of sound should be a clue that something is not quite as familiar as it first might seem.

That’s because the Swedish import’s conventional gasoline engine has been replaced by a small electric drivetrain.  The C30 battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, is, for now, just one of a small fleet of prototypes, but if the until now secret development program pans out, it could bring Volvo’s entry into the small but fast-growing battery commuter car segment.

“The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power,” explains Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.  “This car’s excellent properties in city traffic and its relatively low weight make it particularly suitable, since electric cars are primarily expected to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting,”

Stay Plugged In!

While the automaker isn’t revealing all the details, yet, it appears the C30 BEV will use about 24 kWh of lithium-ion batteries, enough to give it a range of about 150 kilometers, or 94 miles, per charge.  The relatively light and compact C30 should be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in “less than 11 seconds,” according to a corporate news release.  Top speed is limited to 130 kmh (about 81 mph).


Chevy Won’t Separately Lease Volt Battery

Consumers tell GM they don't want to buy car, lease battery.

by on Dec.01, 2009

Chevrolet will stick to a conventional model when it begins selling the Volt plug-in, next year.

Chevrolet will stick to a conventional model when it begins selling the Volt plug-in, next year.

General Motors has decided that it will charge a set price for its upcoming Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, rather than allowing customers to buy the vehicle and then lease the battery for a set monthly fee.

That alternative approach is the one Nissan appears to be pursuing for its own high-tech car, the Leaf battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, which will charge into U.S. showrooms shortly after GM puts Volt on sale, in late 2010.

Plug Into the Net's Best Auto News Source!

Plug Into the Net's Best Auto News Source!

One of the biggest challenges for the auto industry, in the push towards electrification is keeping costs down to a level that consumers will be willing to spend.    “Most people aren’t willing to pay a premium just because a vehicle is green,” cautions Chance Parker, J.D. Power and Associates group vice president and general manager.


40 Battery Vehicles to Debut by 2012

But battery power not likely to make significant inroads for some time.

by on Oct.20, 2009

The Ford Focus EV will be one of more than 40 battery vehicles planned for launch by 2012.

The Ford Focus EV will be one of more than 40 battery vehicles planned for launch by 2012.

At least 40 battery-based vehicles will make their debut between now and 2012, according to a new study by PriceWaterhouse Coopers.  And the rate of new offerings could increase significantly in the years beyond.

But the report cautions that the technology “is not expected to have a major volume impact in the near to mid-term,” in part “because the price premiums” for the technology “are prohibitive.”

Your High-Voltage News Source!

Your High-Voltage News Source!

The timing of the PWC report coincides with the opening of “The Business of Plugging In,” a conference designed to spur the development of plug-in hybrid technology.  (Click Here for the full story.)  General Motors is planning to launch its much-heralded Chevrolet Volt in about a year, with Toyota, Ford and a number of other makers plnning their own plug-ins, as well.  Ford is one of many manufacturers spreading its bets across a variety of green technologies; the maker plans to bring out pure battery-electric versions of its Transit Connect van and Focus sedan by 2012, as well.


Michigan Lands Four Battery Making Ventures

State hopes to regain central role in tomorrow’s “green” automotive industry.

by on Apr.14, 2009

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signs new legislation authorizing million in tax credits to draw advanced battery production facilities to the state.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, in January, signing new legislation authorizing million of dollars in tax credits to draw advanced battery production facilities to the state.

Four new battery manufacturing ventures, worth an estimated $1.7 billion, will be launched in Michigan, state officials have announced.  The news underscores Michigan’s efforts to transform itself into the center of a new, green auto industry.

A total of 6,683 jobs will be created, Governor Jennifer Granholm revealed, confirming a report that appeared, early today in  That’s a significant development in a state that has been battered by cutbacks at the Big Three and traditional automotive suppliers, though even when fully implemented, it will leave Michigan with one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation.

“Today marks a defining moment for Michigan’s future as we see a new industry begin to take root and grow new jobs,” Granholm declared during a news conference announcing the new ventures – and the awarding of more than $500 million in grants to encourage the battery manufacturing projects.


Will the U.S. Lead or Follow the Asians in Profiting from the New Battery World?

The country is way behind when it comes to battery manufacturing. It's a national security issue.

by on Mar.20, 2009

LG Chem President and CEO Kim Bahn-suk (left) meets with General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner in front of the Chevrolet Volt.

LG Chem President and CEO Kim Bahn-suk (left) meets with GM Chairman Rick Wagoner.

General Motors made headlines, earlier this year, when it announced it had chosen the South Korean manufacturer LG Chem to provide the batteries needed to power the eagerly-awaited Chevrolet Volt. That plug-in hybrid, or extended-range electric vehicle, as GM prefers to call it, could revolutionize the auto industry, since it will allow a typical American to commute without using a drop of gasoline, but still have the ability to drive longer distances without long waits needed to charge Volt’s batteries.

Equally significant, at least at first blush, was the news that GM will set up a new battery plant to put together the T-shaped packs used in the Volt. But that second announcement was misleading — intentionally or otherwise. The facility the automaker is building will not produce the actual battery cells. Those will be made in Korea, a country that severely restricts U.S. imports, and then shipped to the U.S. for final assembly.

In automotive terms, a fair comparison can be made to the classic CKD plants companies like GM, Mercedes-Benz or Toyota have long operated in marginal, third-world markets that require “local” production. Everything of substance is actually made elsewhere, the parts then shipped to a CKD final assembly line for the finishing touches. One CKD scam is to remove the wheels or radio and leave those simple tasks to local labor. Another analogy would compare what GM has in mind to the plastic car models millions of Americans build. Simply pop off the parts and glue them together.

Why does this matter? Because the truly valuable part of battery manufacturing — including the core intellectual property — belongs to off-shore manufacturers, such as LG Chem. Unless this approach is changed, it could be argued, the U.S. would be as vulnerable as it is today, with its dependence on imported oil — perhaps even more vulnerable. There’s at least the potential to produce bio-fuels here in the U.S. and pump petroleum from domestic sources. But no president since Jimmy Carter has devoted, well, any energy to a national energy policy. It remains to be seen if the Obama administration comes up with a viable one.   (more…)