Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Munich. With the presentation of the MINI Vision Urbanaut virtual vision vehicle in November 2020, the MINI brand revealed an all-new interpretation of mobility through an innovative vision of space. And now the BMW Group is set to unveil a physical model of the vehicle which will allow audiences to engage more extensively with the spatial […]
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LEVC debuts first impressions of its e-Camper, a new electric campervan New leisure vehicle uses LEVC’s e-City range extender technology Electric drive, zero anxiety – more than 60 miles pure ev, total range of over 300 miles Zero carbon footprint on the campsite with integrated electric kitchenette Sleeps four and features include pop-up roof and […]
EV Connect Launches Charging Network Operations Center to Deliver Advanced Station Performance Monitoring
To further simplify EV charging station management, EV Connect today announced the launch of its new machine learning-powered network operations center. Through real-time performance data and charging station alerts, EV Connect’s Charging Network Operations Center (C-NOC) empowers EV charging network operators with actionable data and insights to resolve station issues faster. With the C-NOC, network operators, charging […]
Volvo Group’s subsidiary Mack Trucks announced today that the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) plans to purchase seven Mack® LR Electric refuse models, which will operate in each of the city’s boroughs. Mack made the announcement during WasteExpo 2021, June 28-30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. DSNY took delivery of its first fully […]
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Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are designed to increase vehicle safety and support autonomous driving by acting as extra sets of eyes. These sophisticated electronics help drivers spot obstacles and risks, maneuver and park more easily, take action to avoid or mitigate a collision, and perform many other functions.
To fulfill their critical role, sensors in camera, LiDAR and radar systems must provide high performance and accuracy. Ensuring ADAS sensor reliability and consistent performance begins during assembly and continues on the road, where these electronics face harsh conditions that can interfere with their operation. Protecting ADAS sensor systems from the effects of high heat, vibration, chemicals, moisture and electromagnetic interference (EMI) is fundamental to optimizing their performance and lifespan.
Dow’s advanced silicone-based gels, encapsulants, conformal coatings, sealants and adhesives, including thermally and electrically conductive products, offer numerous benefits for ADAS sensor assembly and for ongoing protection during vehicle operation.
Dow is developing leading-edge silicone technologies to reduce vehicle weight, improve battery performance and enhance driver safety.
Why Dow Silicones?
Because of their unique properties, silicones can be engineered to perform a wide range of critical functions. They can act as adhesives, encapsulants, sealants and coatings. Specialized silicones can dissipate heat, conduct electricity and protect against EMI and moisture. Silicone formulations can be adapted for hardness, modulus (flexibility), and cure chemistry and speed.
Dow’s expertise in silicone chemistry and application development is helping to propel the growth and diversification of ADAS technology. To enable rapid advancements in ADAS designs, the company is developing targeted silicone solutions that are backed by strong technical support and assistance throughout the application development lifecycle.
Dow offers a broad and growing portfolio of innovative silicone technologies for ADAS applications developed by its world-class global research and development (R&D) team. Its silicone solutions are based on decades of experience in automotive electronics and are used by the world’s leading automotive OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers. To stay ahead of the rapid changes in ADAS technology, Dow is strategically focused on proactively addressing market trends and the upcoming requirements of ADAS customers.
Silicone Solutions for Camera, Radar and LiDAR Systems
Silicone materials for ADAS can facilitate assembly and integration. They also help sensors perform reliably in the day-to-day operation of the vehicle. A range of innovative Dow silicone solutions are used throughout camera, radar and LiDAR systems.
Assembly of ADAS modules typically requires bonding of dissimilar materials, such as lightweight plastics and metal. Dow’s family of silicone adhesives can provide high adhesion to plastic substrates while avoiding potential damage from high temperatures via heat dissipation properties and room-temperature curing.
Silicones can also improve production cycle times. Dow’s specialized fast-assembly adhesives that cure rapidly at room temperature can accelerate the sealing and assembly of ADAS modules for higher productivity. One example is new DOWSIL EA-4700 CV Adhesive, a two-part, fast room temperature cure adhesive enabling increased throughput for efficient mass production with less use of energy.
The following are key ADAS assembly applications where silicones can play a role:
- Silicone encapsulants and gels protect electronic units and sensors from moisture, contaminants and abrasion.
- Thermally conductive silicones dissipate the heat generated by the PCB.
- Silicone adhesives and foams are used to assemble and seal ADAS modules.
- Electrically conductive silicone sealants shield sensitive electronics against EMI.
- Silicone conformal coatings protect sensitive components from abrasion.
Many ADAS components, such as LiDAR sensors, require an unimpeded line of sight and are mounted on the vehicle exterior where they are exposed to ambient weather and temperature conditions. Silicones help ensure the high performance and accuracy of ADAS sensors in the most challenging environments. The following are important benefits of silicone solutions to the day-to-day operation of ADAS components:
- Weather resistance: Silicones are known for their long-term resistance to rain, sleet, snow, ozone, acid rain and the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Stability under challenging conditions: Silicones are highly resistant to damage and degradation from extreme temperatures, thermal shock, chemicals and oxidation.
- Resistance to aging: Silicones do not harden, crack, peel, crumble, dry out, rot or become brittle with age the way carbon-based organic materials do.
- Water repellency: Silicone materials are naturally hydrophobic, making them excellent candidates for virtually all types of waterproofing applications.
Featured Solutions for ADAS
Safer mobility is the promise of autonomous driving. Enable the future of autonomous driving and vehicle design with silicone solutions from Dow.
- Electrically conductive silicones. As automakers add more and more safety features to their vehicles, the risk of EMI increases. This interference can affect the performance, reliability and accuracy of ADAS sensors. Instead of structural protection that adds weight, complexity and cost, ADAS sensor makers can achieve success with Dow electrically conductive silicones to provide various levels of EMI shielding. Silicone materials enhanced with specialty additives can create a barrier that blocks the electromagnetic field in a space.
Dow’s DOWSIL EC-6601 Electrically Conductive Adhesive improves shielding effectiveness and stability in high mechanical stress environments with improved flexibility. Its unique chemistry allows engineers to use it as either a formed-in-place gasket (FIPG) or cured-in-place gasket (CIPG).
- Thermally conductive silicones. Greater functionality in ever-smaller spaces can increase the heat generated by an ADAS sensor. If not managed properly, this heat can affect the performance and shorten the lifespan of the sensor. Thermally conductive silicone gap fillers and encapsulants dissipate heat from printed circuit boards and other components. Their softness and compressibility help relieve stress and increase the protection of delicate electronics.
New DOWSIL TC-4551 CV Thermally Conductive Gap Filler is a soft and compressible material. Once cured, it demonstrates long-term stability during temperature cycling up to 150° C and holds a vertical position in the assembly after curing.
Imagine Designs for the Future Today
To review Dow’s e-mobility silicone materials selection guide, click here.
Driving Toward Low-carbon Mobility
In addition to promoting design innovation, optimized performance, and greater durability and sustainability in ADAS sensors, silicone materials from Dow are proven, effective solutions for a diverse range of applications in other vehicle systems. The company’s extensive expertise in silicone elastomers, adhesives, sealants and more helps to meet customers’ most challenging automotive design needs.
bp ventures has invested $7 million in smart charging specialist IoTecha, leading a $13.2-million investment round. This investment is aligned with bp’s stated aim to provide over 70,000 public EV charging points worldwide by 2030.
IoTecha will use the new investment to scale its operations through bp’s electrification network. Shaun Healey, bp ventures Principal, will join IoTecha’s Board of Directors.
IoTecha’s technology connects EV chargers with the electricity grid using the Internet of Things (IoT), and is designed to optimize the charging process by automating payments and delivering cost savings to customers.
IoTecha’s Intelligent Power Platform, IoT.ON, allows private and fleet vehicles from any manufacturer to communicate seamlessly with charging stations to signal when they need recharging. The platform gathers information over time, identifying patterns and the energy requirements of each user across all forms of EV charging.
The technology also enables EV owners to sell electricity back to the grid using Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology.
“The transportation and electrification industries have developed for the last hundred years without substantial interactions with each other,” said Oleg Logvinov, President and CEO of IoTecha. “The rising tide of transportation electrification is rapidly fusing them together. Smart and interoperable charging will make it possible.”
In-Charge Energy, a provider of turnkey commercial fleet EV infrastructure solutions, has announced its latest hardware offerings for fleet EV charging.
“A well-designed charging infrastructure can optimize an entire fleet, reducing the total cost of ownership for fleet managers while increasing reliability,” said Paul Glenney, Executive Director of Customer Success. “User-friendly charging options are critical for a smooth transition to electrified fleets, and we’re excited to produce pioneering hardware products.”
In-Charge Energy’s suite of hardware products is designed to create safer, tidier and more accessible charging areas for drivers in all types of conditions.
The DC Wall Box Pedestal is designed exclusively for the 24 kW ABB Terra DC wall box, and is aimed at fleet applications where wall mounting is not practical. It’s built to withstand extreme temperatures, provides ample nighttime lighting, operated by solar-powered batteries, and offers a choice of either CCS or CHAdeMO charging. Two cable retractors lift charging connectors off the pavement.
Th High-Powered DC Pedestal, designed exclusively for the ABB high-powered depot box, provides the same temperature resistance and nighttime lighting as the DC Wall Box Pedestal, plus a single cable retractor.
The Mobile Charge Cart is aimed at fleets with vehicles that move around often, such as dealerships that need to charge vehicles on lots and in service bays. In-Charge offers two versions, one that can hold a transformer and charging unit and one that holds only a transformer. The larger cart can also accommodate a 24 kW DC wall box or a 19.2 kW AC Level 2 charger.
In-Charge’s Cable Retractor Kit, designed exclusively for the ABB Terra 53 and Terra 54/94/124/184 families of DC fast chargers, is designed to clean up the appearance of charging hardware while making it easier for users to handle, especially in extreme weather conditions. The system, which can easily be bolted onto the Terra charger, includes one or two cable retractors to protect the charging connectors.
In-Charge Energy also has agreements to resell compatible hardware from manufacturers including ABB, Juicebar, Flo, ChargePoint, Delta and Infy.
In-Charge recently purchased a new 21,000-square-foot facility in Richmond, Virginia, which will serve as the company’s inventory warehouse and R&D hub. The large building will enable the In-Charge team to conduct integration testing with large vehicles, including semi and box trucks, as well as testing DC fast chargers and other associated hardware.
Source: In-Charge Energy
Tesla’s ambition is to build a “decentralized global electric utility.” The potential is enormous—CEO Elon Musk has said that Tesla Energy, the company’s energy generation and storage division, could someday outgrow its automotive business.
The idea is that Solar Roofs generate renewable electricity, and Powerwalls provide storage and interface with the electric grid. The Powerwall and the Solar Roof are now a package deal—Tesla no longer sells one without the other.
The Tesla Energy Plan and Tesla Virtual Power Plant are two more pieces of the puzzle, tying the various hardware components into a system designed to provide low-cost renewable energy for consumers, and dispatchable generation assets for utilities. Now the company has taken another step towards making this system a reality with a new software update for Powerwall.
The latest Powerwall software version 21.13.2 adds a number of new features, and deepens the device’s integration with the Tesla Energy Plan and Virtual Power Plant.
“The Tesla Energy Plan is an energy tariff specifically designed for homes with solar and Powerwall installed, offering 100% clean electricity and savings of up to 75% compared to Big 6 tariffs, based on electricity consumption of 8,000 kWh/year,” says Tesla.
Recently, Tesla also updated the Powerwall 2, now called Powerwall 2+, giving it a higher power capacity. Meanwhile, the company says it now has 200,000 Powerwalls installed around the world. Tesla installed as many Powerwalls over the last year as it did in the previous five.
Innovative Pro Fit by E-Ducato Technology Allows Businesses to Imagine their Current ICE fleet as an All-Electric Fleet
Based on tracking data from a business’ own fleet, Pro Fit by E-Ducato tells customers how much they could save on their fleet if they were to go electric with E-Ducato Innovative tool aims to boost knowledge of electrified vehicles and make clear their advantages to various bespoke business needs New feature enables fleet […]
Most U.S. Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicle Battery Cells & Packs Produced Domestically from 2018 to 2020
Over the last three years, most of the battery cells and packs used in new U.S. light-duty plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) were produced in the United States. Each plug-in electric vehicle has a battery pack made up of individual battery cells, and the cell manufacturer may differ from the manufacturer that combines the cells to […]
Monday, June 28, 2021
Vauxhall is supporting ‘Round Britain Climate Challenge’ electric paramotor record attempt The challenge will see biologist and UN Ambassador for the Convention on Migratory Species, Sacha Dench, attempt to fly around Britain in an electric paramotor Two 100% electric Vauxhall Mokka-e cars and two Vivaro-e vans will support the journey Vauxhall is providing four 100% […]
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Rent “Spoot” Scotland’s only all-electric Campervan with PaulCamper Book an Eco-friendly and sustainable Nomadic holiday Guilt-free travelling With nearly all overseas holiday destinations on either the amber or red travel list, there’s never been a better time to rent a Campervan to explore some of the UK’s most beautiful areas, and Orkney is no exception. […]
Researchers, startups and corporate developers are adopting the NVIDIA cuQuantum SDK to advance groundbreaking work. Quantum computing promises scientific leaps — simulating molecules of atoms for drug discovery, for instance — in the near future. Handling exponentially more information than today’s computers, quantum computers harness the physics that govern subatomic particles to make parallel calculations. […]
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Courtesy of SOO GREEN HVDC LINK PROJECT $900M SOO GREEN HVDC LINK PROJECT, A KEY MILESTONE IN BUILDING A US CLEAN ENERGY GRID Partnership brings new HVDC transmission cable manufacturing capacity & jobs to the US June 21, 2021 (Minneapolis – Milan) – SOO Green HVDC Link today announced the selection of Prysmian Group – […]
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Sunday, June 27, 2021
ITECH Electronics has introduced the IT7900 regenerative grid simulator, a programmable grid simulator and 4-quadrant AC source.
The IT7900, which is designed to test grid-tied inverters, includes a built-in RLC anti-islanding load, a grid simulator and a power meter in one unit. Users can configure parameters such as RLC, active power and reactive power of each phase to simulate linear and non-linear grid loading. The built-in power meter can measure harmonics, power factor, crest factor and more.
The unit features power outputs from 5 kVA to 960 kVA. The company says the IT7900 is power-regenerative—about 90% of the power generated by DUTs can be fed back to the AC grid.
Ford & Ford Fund To Support, Promote Responsible Mineral Sourcing Pilot Program To Empower, Assist Women
Ford and its philanthropic arm, Ford Fund, working with international partners to support and promote program that’s empowering women working in copper and cobalt supply chains in Democratic Republic of Congo Demand is increasing for these critical metals as the automotive industry electrifies more vehicles; region is a key supply site Program sets up education, […]
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Palo Alto, CA — June 24, 2021 — Today, Luminar Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAZR) announced it will be standard on Volvo Cars’ forthcoming fully electric flagship vehicle, helping the automaker to save even more lives as it sets a new benchmark for automotive safety. The fully electric successor to Volvo Cars’ XC90, to be unveiled […]
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Article courtesy of NASA By Brandie Jefferson Washington University in St. Louis Early in the pandemic, it was expected that satellite imagery around the world would show cleaner air as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns. But not all pollutants were taken out of circulation. For tiny airborne-particle pollution, known as PM 2.5, researchers using NASA data […]
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BYD UK and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) jointly confirmed today that their electric vehicle partnership, the UK’s leading electric bus producer, will deliver the UK’s largest ever electric bus order. The order has been placed by RATP Dev London, one of Transport for London (TfL)’s principal bus operators, for a total of 195 single and […]
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Saturday, June 26, 2021
Renault Group selects STMicroelectronics as key innovation partner, securing the supply of electric and hybrid vehicle advanced power semiconductors to be produced from 2026. STMicroelectronics will develop custom-made products and solutions to further improve the efficiency of Renault Group’s electric and hybrid vehicles. This strategic cooperation is a further step forward in the gradual decarbonization […]
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This is part of a series on wildfires, heat waves, and power outages in Colorado that walks through the role of climate change, how to stay safe, and what policymakers can do. Read more about Colorado Heat Waves here and Power Outages in Colorado here. Originally published on NRDC Expert Blog. By Ariana Gonzalez Sam Gilchrist Vijay Limaye More frequent and intense […]
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Courtesy of Union of Concerned Scientists, The Equation By Kristina Dahl, Senior Climate Scientist Oregon and Washington are bracing for record-breaking heat this weekend. While extreme heat presents dangers no matter where it occurs, early season heat waves (like this one) occurring in places historically unaccustomed to heat (like the Pacific Northwest) are particularly dangerous for […]
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Friday, June 25, 2021
EDF Announces Two Million Dollar Ad Campaign to Support an American Jobs Plan with Bold Clean Energy Provisions
Ads show job-creating potential of clean air and pro-climate investments This week Environmental Defense Fund announced a two million dollar ad campaign calling on Congress to “Go Bold” by passing an American Jobs Plan that boosts the economy, promotes American industry, cleans the air and water and addresses the threat of climate change. New ads launched […]
With travel rebounding as pandemic restrictions ease, more people are looking forward to a summer road trip – and that includes electric vehicle owners. As the new Volkswagen ID.4 offers an EPA estimated range of 250 miles for the 1st Edition and Pro S trims (and an EPA estimated 260 miles for the ID.4 Pro […]
Five years ago, Alexander Dennis (ADL), a subsidiary of global bus manufacturer NFI Group, formed a partnership with BYD UK to build electric buses, using BYD’s battery-electric driveline technology and ADL’s British-built, customizable bodies. There are now over 400 BYD ADL electric buses operating in London alone, and another 300 vehicles are on order.
Now RATP Dev London, one of Transport for London (TfL)’s principal bus operators, has placed a new order for 195 single- and double-deck vehicles. TfL, which contracts with a number of operators to provide bus service in the capital, plans to make all its vehicles emissions-free by 2037.
Deliveries of the newly-ordered buses will begin in the summer, and RATP Dev London says that almost 25% of its London United and London Sovereign fleet will be fully electric by the beginning of 2022. Some 68 BYD ADL Enviro200EV single-deckers, and 127 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double-deckers will be based at RATP Dev London’s Fulwell, Harrow and Shepherd’s Bush depots.
Catherine Chardon, Managing Director of RATP Dev London, said, “We launched our two first 100% electric routes less than two years ago. By the beginning of 2022, we will operate 15 zero-emission routes, and have 5 of our garages converted to electric.”
“Public transport in the capital often provides the blueprint for other towns and cities, and the fact that a major operator like RATP Dev is making such a substantial commitment to e-mobility will, I believe, resonate with local authorities across the UK,” said BYD UK Managing Director Frank Thorpe. “The increasing electrification of routes by TfL operators is delivering long-term productivity to their fleets and real environmental benefits for Londoners.”
Thursday, June 24, 2021
SK has invested an additional $35.9 million in SES (formerly SolidEnergy Systems), a developer of lithium-metal batteries. Coupled with its original $26.7 million investment in 2018, SK now becomes the third-largest shareholder of the battery company.
SES, which launched in 2012 as an MIT research lab startup, is headquartered in Singapore, and operates labs and pilot production facilities in Boston and Shanghai. In March, SES and GM—another investor in SES—signed a joint development agreement to establish a lithium-metal battery test production plant near Boston by 2023, targeting commercialization in 2025.
SES says it has addressed the dendrite safety problem associated with Li-metal batteries by treating lithium metal with a polymer coating and using a high-concentration electrolyte that suppresses dendrite formation.
SES has developed a hybrid method that combines a liquid electrolyte and a solid coating, which the company says is easier to implement than an all-solid solution.
Source: Green Car Congress
Tesla has its corporate fingers in quite a lot of cutting-edge technological pies. Its cars, solar panels and stationary storage systems are widely discussed, but it’s less well-known that the company is also a pioneer in the field of supercomputers. Tesla recently unveiled a new supercomputer, which it says is the fifth most powerful in the world, and says it hopes to have an even more bad-ass machine, to be called Dojo, ready by the end of this year.
Tesla uses supercomputers to train the neural nets that enable its Autopilot system. Autopilot depends on a powerful computer within each vehicle, each of which sends a stream of real-time data to Tesla’s data centers. Clusters of supercomputers use this data to train the AI behind Autopilot’s self-driving software, steadily improving its capabilities.
Driving a vehicle, which most of us do every day without thinking much about it, is in fact an incredibly complex task, as demonstrated by the awesome amount of computing power Tesla has deployed in order to automate the task—which it still has not fully mastered.
Tesla says its upcoming Dojo supercomputer, which it has been working on for the past few years, will be capable of performing an exaflop—one quintillion floating-point operations per second, or 1,000 petaFLOPS—making it one of the most powerful computers in the world.
Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s Head of AI, described Tesla’s third supercomputer cluster during a presentation at the 2021 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, and gave a shout-out to the team that developed it.
“We have a neural net architecture network, and we have a 1.5-petabyte data set that requires a huge amount of computing,” said Karpathy. “For us, computer vision is the bread and butter of what we do, and what enables Autopilot. And for that to work really well, we need to master the data from the fleet, and train massive neural nets and experiment a lot, so we invested a lot into the computer. This is a massive supercomputer—I actually think that in terms of flops, it’s roughly the number-five supercomputer in the world.”
After weeks of back-and-forth on the infrastructure bill, President Joe Biden announced, “We have a deal,” standing with a group of Republicans and Democrats after a meeting in the Oval Office. “I think it’s really important we’ve all agreed that none of us got all that we wanted.”
EV advocates certainly aren’t going to get all we wanted, but we’re likely to get something substantial from the $1.2-trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, if it becomes law. According to a White House fact sheet, the proposal would provide $7.5 billion for “a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers along highways and in rural and disadvantaged communities,” and $7.5 billion “to electrify thousands of school and transit buses across the country.”
It’s far less than half of the generous loaf President Biden originally had in mind. In March, the Administration proposed $15 billion for infrastructure, $45 billion for school and transit buses, and $100 billion in new consumer rebates.
However, politics is the art of the possible, and there’s plenty to like in this sausage, which also includes $66 billion for rail, $49 billion for public transit, and $73 billion for upgrades to the electrical grid. The White House is sticking with its announced goal of building 500,000 charging stations, even though the funding amount will be half the amount originally envisioned.
Perhaps the most welcome news is that the idea of a federal EV tax appears to have been scrapped. A preliminary version of the infrastructure proposal included an “annual surcharge on electric vehicles” as one of the financing sources for the new investments. This new tax does not appear on the White House’s fact sheet, nor does a separate proposal to increase the federal gas tax. The New York Times reported that both ideas ran afoul of Biden’s pledge not to increase taxes on the middle class.
The bipartisan legislation is expected to move through Congress alongside a separate bill that would direct trillions more to other “infrastructure” initiatives that the GOP opposes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said earlier that her chamber won’t consider the bipartisan deal without the broader package of legislation, which Democrats will attempt to pass using the budget reconciliation procedure in order to bypass a Republican filibuster in the Senate. Biden said he would only sign the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework if it is accompanied by the reconciliation bill. The process of getting both bills passed is expected to take months.
High-nickel-content cathodes have captured the imagination of scientists, as they could enable much higher energy density. However, the high nickel content causes these cathode materials to degrade more quickly, creating cracks and stability issues as the battery cycles.
A team of researchers at the DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory investigated the valence gradient of cathode materials in order to understand its effect on battery performance. Their findings, published in Nature Communications, demonstrate that the valence gradient can serve as a new approach for stabilizing the structure of high-nickel-content cathodes against degradation and safety issues.
Scientists have synthesized materials made with a nickel concentration gradient—that is, the concentration of nickel gradually changes from the surface of the material to its center, or bulk. These materials have exhibited greatly enhanced stability, but scientists have not been able to determine if the concentration gradient alone was responsible for the improvements. The concentration gradient has traditionally been inseparable from another effect called the valence gradient, or a gradual change in the nickel’s oxidation state from the surface of the material to the bulk.
In the new study, chemists synthesized a novel material that isolated the valence gradient from the concentration gradient.
“We used a unique material that included a nickel valence gradient without a nickel concentration gradient,” said Brookhaven chemist Ruoqian Lin, first author of the study. “The concentration of all three transition metals in the cathode material was the same from the surface to the bulk, but the oxidation state of nickel changed. We obtained these properties by controlling the material’s atmosphere and calcination time during synthesis. With sufficient calcination time, the stronger bond strength between manganese and oxygen promotes the movement of oxygen into the material’s core while maintaining a Ni2+ oxidation state for nickel at the surface, forming the valence gradient.”
The Brookhaven researchers studied the new material’s performance using two cutting-edge experimental tools: the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe (HXN) beamline and the Full Field X-ray Imaging (FXI) beamline. By combining the capabilities of both beamlines, they were able to visualize the atomic-scale structure and chemical makeup of their sample in 3D after the battery operated over multiple cycles.
“Both beamlines have world-leading capabilities. You can’t do this research anywhere else,” said Yong Chu, leader of the imaging and microscopy program at NSLS-II and lead beamline scientist at HXN. “FXI is the fastest nanoscale beamline in the world; it’s about ten times faster than any other competitor. HXN is much slower, but it’s much more sensitive—it’s the highest resolution X-ray imaging beamline in the world.”
HXN beamline scientist Xiaojing Huang added, “At HXN, we routinely run measurements in multimodality mode, which means we collect multiple signals simultaneously. In this study, we used a fluorescence signal and a phytography signal to reconstruct a 3D model of the sample at the nanoscale. The florescence channel provided the elemental distribution, confirming the sample’s composition and uniformity. The phytography channel provided high-resolution structural information, revealing any microcracks in the sample.”
Meanwhile at FXI, “the beamline showed how the valence gradient existed in this material. And because we conducted full-frame imaging at a very high data acquisition rate, we were able to study many regions and increase the statistical reliability of the study,” Lin said.
At the CFN Electron Microscopy Facility, the researchers also used an advanced transmission electron microscope (TEM) to visualize the sample with ultra-high resolution. By combining the data collected across all of the different facilities, the researchers were able to confirm that the valence gradient played a critical role in battery performance. The valence gradient “hid” the more capacitive but less stable nickel regions in the center of the material, exposing only the more structurally sound nickel at the surface. This arrangement suppressed the formation of cracks.
“These findings give us very important guidance for future novel material synthesis and design of cathode materials, which we will apply in our studies going forward,” Lin said.
Johnson Matthey (JM) has teamed up with CPI and Thomas Swan to explore how to best optimize battery technology. The ICE-Batt project, which receives funding support from the Faraday Battery Challenge, will investigate how carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) can improve battery performance. Ultimately this could lead to improvements in energy density, power density and low-temperature performance of lithium-ion batteries. The project will also explore ways to improve the green credentials of battery processing.
ICE-Batt will combine Thomas Swan’s GNP technology, CPI’s formulation expertise and JM’s battery materials.
ICE-Batt will fine-tune these new carbon structures, which are produced at an industrial scale by Thomas Swan, and demonstrate how they can enhance the overall performance of traditional lithium-ion and next generation batteries such as JM’s family of nickel-rich cathode materials eLNO and LIFE POWER LFP.
JM Principal Scientist and ICE-Batt Project Leader Dr. Ross Gordon said, “Innovative carbons are widely reported to enhance the performance of batteries. The ICE-Batt collaboration brings together leaders in their fields to optimize the innovative carbons and understand how best to integrate these with JM battery materials.”
Source: Johnson Matthey
Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group and ANRA Technologies Launch Partnership to Develop Advanced Air Mobility Air Traffic Operating Environment The Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group announced today a new partnership with ANRA Technologies – a leading international provider of end-to-end drone operations and traffic management solutions for unmanned system […]
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ŠKODA’s first all-electric model will be available to blue-light customers from July Zero-emission Enyaq iV will help emergency services achieve sustainability targets without compromising on performance or ability WLTP range of up to 333 miles and 5-80% charging time in just 38 minutes are achievable Available through ŠKODA’s unique ‘One-stop Shop’ service, offering the peace […]
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Unifrax, a manufacturer of specialty materials, has announced plans to build its first large-scale SiFAB (silicon fiber anode material) manufacturing line at its north-central Indiana facility.
SiFAB is a proprietary silicon anode battery technology designed to enable greater energy density in lithium-ion batteries. The company also expects SiFAB to provide faster charging and longer battery life. Unifrax says SiFAB is currently in advanced testing, has shown promising performance in multiple battery systems, and has successfully been tested with incremental Si loadings of greater than 40%.
“We designed SiFAB from its inception to be manufactured at large scale, so that we could supply all market segments, utilize our existing global manufacturing footprint and deliver a product that has a high degree of quality and consistency,” said VP of R&D Chad Cannan.
As the world’s automakers prepare for an electric future, what do the world’s auto dealers have to say about what’s going on? As regular readers of Charged know, dealers have long been considered a major roadblock for EV adoption. (Advocacy group Plug in America, believing that the problem is one of education rather than will, established the PlugStar Program to educate consumers and dealers about EVs.)
The wind may just be shifting. CNBC recently spoke with a number of US auto dealers about the changes coming to the industry, and reports that “salespeople are getting ready to put you in an EV today.”
“EVs are the big issue right now,” said Mark Paladino, General Manager of Colonial Ford in Danbury, Connecticut. He says he’s excited about the debut of Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric pickup. If the early reaction proves to be a fair indication of the model’s future, he should be—Ford says it racked up 70,000 reservations for the Lightning within the first week of its launch event. Ford’s Mustang Mach-E has already seen strong sales, and Ford says 70% of buyers were new to the brand.
Colonial is one of 2,300 Ford dealers, among a total of roughly 3,000 in the US, that have volunteered to become EV-certified, a process that requires investing around $50,000 to train sales and service personnel, purchase special equipment, parts and tools, and upgrade charging stations. The remaining US dealers have thus far opted out of applying for the certification.
“We were all in right away,” Paladino said. “We see EVs as a part of our business that will only get larger, and we want to be in that world.”
Will electrification lead to a thinning of the ranks of auto dealerships? When GM announced plans to make Cadillac an electric-only brand, it offered to buy out dealers that chose not to make the required investment (estimated at around $200,000) to go electric. Obviously, dealers, for whatever brands, that choose to invest the cash to get charged will have an incentive to make EV sales a success.
Mike Stanton, President of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), dismissed reports of lackluster dealer interest in EVs, according to CNBC. “We can’t wait for EV products to get here,” he said. “Dealers are in the business of selling cars and making customers happy, so why wouldn’t they want to sell EVs?”
What about the worry that EVs, which are expected to require fewer repairs and less scheduled maintenance than ICEs, will take a bite out of dealership revenues? Service accounts for around 50% of dealers’ gross profits, according to a 2019 report from AlixPartners.
“Service is critical to what our dealers do today and will be in the future,” said Travis Hester, GM’s Chief Electric Vehicle Officer. “EV service will definitely evolve and won’t be exactly the same.” Noting that some EV parts may last 10 to 15 years, he added, “No one is panicking about it, but we know it’s going to change over time, so we’re working with our dealers on that.”
Rita Case, CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group, which operates several multi-brand dealerships in Florida and Georgia, doesn’t sound panicked. “EVs need tires, brakes, batteries, lights and some steering and drivetrain maintenance,” she told CNBC. “Within the last six months we’ve ramped up EV training for our salespeople and technicians and purchased new charging equipment.”
Case told CNBC she’s “super positive” about the future. “I’m in the business of selling cars, and one thing I know for sure is people are going to want cars.”
FTEX, a maker of motor controllers for small EVs, has introduced the GaNRunner, the company’s first programmable motor controller featuring gallium nitride (GaN) technology.
Built to control brushless DC motors, the GaNRunner works with standard electric motor architectures and includes standard HIGO connectors. It’s available in 750 W (GNRR-750) and 1500 W (GNRR-1500) single- and dual-motor variants, making it suitable for electric bikes, scooters, mopeds, golf carts and more.
The GNRR-750 weighs 150 grams, and delivers up to 750 W at voltages between 24 V and 96 V. The GNRR-1500 delivers twice as much power, and weighs 250 grams. The controller can operate at temperatures between -20o C and +60o C, and features fail-safe modes to prevent overheating and thermal shutdowns under high power demand.
FTEX says its GaN transistors offer higher efficiency, reliability and energy density, delivering more range in a smaller solution compared to MOSFET inverters. The unit’s form factor allows interior and exterior mounting in both OEM and retrofit applications.
GaNRunner features include Smart Power Boost, regenerative braking and Bluetooth, which allows riders to track their performance through an upcoming mobile app and allows over-the-air system updates.
Charging management for commercial fleets is one of the hottest topics in the EV world today. So, as Ford stakes out a position in the commercial EV market with its new Ford Pro business unit, it’s only logical that it is seeking to deepen its infrastructure expertise by acquiring Electriphi, a provider of charging management and fleet monitoring software for EVs. Electriphi’s team and services will be integrated into Ford Pro.
Silicon Valley-based Electriphi, which has around 30 employees, has developed a purpose-built EV fleet and charging management platform designed to simplify fleet electrification, save energy costs, and track key operational metrics like real-time status of vehicles, chargers and maintenance services.
“As commercial customers add electric vehicles to their fleets, they are looking for depot charging options to make sure they’re powered up and ready to go to work every day,” said Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis. “By adding Electriphi’s existing advanced technology IP to the Ford Pro electric vehicles and services offering, we can enhance the commercial customer experience and become a single-source solution for fleet depot charging challenges.”
Ford sees infrastructure as a major source of future revenue. The company estimates that the depot charging industry will grow to serve some 600,000 full-size trucks and vans by 2030, and hopes to earn $1 billion from charging by that date.
The Electriphi acquisition will come just in time for the launch of electric versions of two of the world’s highest-volume commercial vehicles—the Transit van and F-150 pickup. Ford will start shipping the E-Transit to customers later this year, and plans to make the F-150 Lightning Pro available in spring 2022.
“Customers have been clear—electrification of their fleets is inevitable, with significant economic and sustainability benefits. They now need solutions that enable a seamless transition to electric vehicles,” said Electriphi CEO and co-founder Muffi Ghadiali. “Our synergies with Ford Pro will supercharge this transition. We’ll delight customers by helping them reap the benefits of electrification, so they can focus on what matters most—running their businesses effectively.”