Billionaire Somphote Ahunai is manufacturing 42 aluminum-alloy electric vessels as he revamps his Energy Absolute Pcl utility into the Tesla of Southeast Asia. The 200-passenger craft and their lithium-ion packs are designed by the company as part of an ambitious blueprint that includes a $3 billion battery factory and a line of electric cars.
Tesla Inc has entered into a partnership with South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd and China’s CATL for supply of batteries used in its electric cars, the company said on Wednesday. Tesla, which has a long-standing battery supply agreement with Japan’s Panasonic Corp (6752.T), said its pact with LG Chem and CATL was at a smaller scale.
Robert Bosch GmbH expects global car-production to stagnate in coming years after the privately owned engineer firm’s 2019 results showed waning demand in major markets, including China, and the burden of higher investment in new technology. The company on Tuesday confirmed cutbacks in production are planned, without providing details. The industry change will have a “significant impact on employment,” Denner said. “We need 10 associates to manufacture a diesel injection system, three for a gasoline system, and one for an electric motor,” he said.
PSA Group’s will build a battery cell factory in Kaiserslautern, Opel Chief Executive Michael Lohscheller said on Thursday, in a step which creates 2,000 jobs at a site which is heavily dependent on making parts for combustion-engined cars.
Tesla CEO and co-foudner Elon Musk says the company’s energy storage division deployed record amounts of batteries in the fourth quarter of 2019, and the full year – with the new “megapack” driving a surge of interest. The Tesla energy storage division deployed 530MWh in the fourth quarter of 2019, which is nearly three times the size of the expanded big battery at Hornsdale, which remains the biggest lithium-ion battery in the world and is being expanded to provide added service, including inertia, to the grid. Musk says the record fourth quarter took total deployment of battery storage in 2019 to 1.65 gigawatt hours, which is more than the company has deployed in all previous years.
Major utility has announced a big expansion of its big battery plans, with a 15-year deal for a new 100MW/150MWh “giant” battery to be built next to the planned Wandoan solar farm in Queensland which could grow to 1,000MW, the biggest in the country. Queensland energy minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the decision to build the battery showed that “Queensland’s renewable energy revolution is steaming ahead and the next wave is battery storage. Batteries are a game-changer,” Lynham said.
Jim Robo, NextEra Energy’s CEO, told investors last Friday during the company’s year-end earnings call that new near-firm wind projects will boast a levelized cost of energy (LCoE) of between $US20-30/MWh ($A30-45/MWh) within five years, whereas near-firm solar projects will boast an LCoE of between $30-40/MWh ($A45-60/MWh). “At these prices, new near-firm renewables will be cheaper in the operating costs of most existing coal, nuclear, and less-efficient oil and gas-fired generation units,” said Robo.
General Motors is spending $2.2 billion to refurbish an underused Detroit factory so it can build a series of electric and self-driving vehicles, eventually employing 2,200 people. GM said in a statement Monday that the factory will start building the company’s first electric pickup late in 2021, followed by a funky-looking self-driving shuttle for GM’s Cruise autonomous vehicle unit.
The Niti Aayog has sought Cabinet approval for a proposal to build up to 10 large factories that would get subsidies to produce lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. Once it gets the nod, the Aayog will invite bids for setting up these gigafactories, with a total capacity of 50 Gigawatt hours (GWh), over 10 years, a senior government official told ET. The projects would cost as much as $5 billion (Rs 35,500 crore).
Uber has signed an agreement with Nissan to introduce a fleet of 2,000 Leaf hatchbacks for its drivers. The deal is part of a broader push from the company to go all-electric in London from 2025. It comes as Uber appeals a decision from regulators to ban it from operating in London.
Australia’s Wesfarmers Ltd has delayed its final investment decision on the Mt Holland lithium project by a year to the first quarter of 2021, it said on Thursday, as it focuses on cost-cutting amid weakening prices of the metal. Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott in a statement that the deferral would help to optimise project design, leading to a clearer decision-making process next year. “Once completed, the project is expected to play an important role in the global lithium hydroxide market, with a long-term outlook that remains attractive,” he said.
Lithium producer Galaxy Resources has revealed a summer shutdown of its Mt Cattlin mine, as a market rout continues to shrink Australia's new crop of lithium producers. The Mt Cattlin outage adds to the list of idled or largely idled lithium mines in Western Australia: Mineral Resources has shuttered its Wodgina mine, while mining has virtually ceased at Pilbara Minerals' Pilgangoora operation, with customers being supplied with stockpiled ore. The string of mine closures, which the owners insist will be temporary, comes after an expansion of supply through 2017 and 2018 when the number of lithium mines in Western Australia rose from one to seven. Asked when he expected lithium prices to start improving, Mr Hay said he did not expect any immediate improvement given the large amounts of inventory being held by customers.
Altura Mining has set a record 24,500 wet metric tonnes of lithium concentrate for offtake partner Ganfeng Lithium in China. The record cargo beat Altura’s previous record of around 17,500 wet metric tonnes of spodumene concentrate in November last year.
Germany will seek talks with Bolivia’s next government to revive a deal to exploit jointly huge lithium reserves in the Andean country, as it works to secure supplies for production of electric cars in Europe’s largest economy, officials said.
Tesla Inc has overtaken Germany’s Volkswagen as the world’s second most valuable carmaker behind Japan’s Toyota, as the meteoric rise in the U.S. electric vehicle maker’s shares reshuffles the global market. Tesla’s stock has more than doubled in value in the last three months, with its market capitalization piercing $100 billion on Wednesday, a first for a listed U.S. automaker.
The German corporate bosses are throwing one electric model after the other on the market. But they lack the battery cells - and the ability to handle them. When Ola Källenius (50) praises the first electric Mercedes EQC, as he must do as a Daimler boss, it sounds like bitter irony to many of his colleagues. Källenius recently spoke of EQC as hot goods that "customers would have to wait nine to twelve months for". That sounds good, but, as the Daimler man insinuated, is not due to the huge demand. Customers wait because the cars don't get ready. Daimler lacks the batteries.
India’s ambition of becoming a global hub for making electric vehicles faces one major hurdle: its lack of access to lithium. Home to some of the most polluted cities on the planet, the South Asian nation is pivoting toward new-energy vehicles to clean up its toxic air. But with meager resources of lithium, the mineral essential to make batteries for electric vehicles, it is having to scour for resources overseas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration unveiled a slew of measures in 2019 to promote the clean-energy vehicles, including a $1.4 billion plan to make India a manufacturing hub for EVs and cutting taxes to spur purchases.
South Korea will spend 916.3 billion won (US$789 million), a 19-percent rise from last year, on such projects, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Most of the money will be allocated to projects related to South Korea's green energy drive. Last year, Seoul unveiled its initiative to create a hydrogen economy, seeking to utilize the resource as a major source of energy for power generation, vehicles and other daily uses while reducing reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. will jointly make a strategic investment of 100 million euros in U.K. commercial electric vehicle (EV) company Arrival. The two Korean carmakers plan to cooperate with Arrival in developing small commercial EVs for downtown areas of cities and actively respond to the rapidly growing green car market in Europe. Founded in 2015, Arrival specializes in the development of electric vans and buses, and has production plants and R&D bases in the United States, Germany, Israel and Russia. Arrival's strength lies in its modular skateboard platform technology. It produces batteries and driving motors in the form of standardized modules and mounts them on a skateboard-shaped platform.
South Korea's finance and environment ministries said Monday that they have changed a state subsidy scheme for eco-friendly vehicles to allow buyers of efficient cars to get larger subsidies from this year. Under the revised subsidy program, buyers of an electric vehicle with a longer driving range per charge will get more in subsidies, the finance ministry said in a statement. Effective from this year, the one-time purchase subsidy for an electric vehicle will be increased to as much as 18.2 million won ($15,712), according to the statement. A total of 94,000 electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles are expected to benefit from the state subsidy this year, according to the ministry.
Australia's Orocobre Ltd ORE.AX said on Monday that two contracts were signed for the supply of battery grade lithium carbonate to Chinese cathode manufacturers from its flagship Olaroz Lithium project. Orocobre said Toyota Tsusho signed one contract for supply of 7,200 tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate and a second order for 2,880 tonnes of micronised battery grade lithium carbonate. The orders will be delivered over three years with the first shipment expected in the March quarter, the company said in a statement.
China is stepping up efforts to facilitate initiatives that allow swapping electric-vehicle batteries on-the-go, seeking to further spur the adoption of EVs in the world’s biggest car market.
Taiwan's Foxconn might soon join forces with Fiat Chrysler to develop electric cars. Best known for making iPhones for Apple (AAPL), Foxconn said in a statement on Friday that it is working with the Italian-American carmaker to "explore the possibility" of forming a joint venture to produce electric vehicles and develop a platform for cars that can connect to the internet. "If the companies move forward, the plan would be to manufacture electric vehicles in China for China's domestic market with the potential to export to other markets in the future," Foxconn said.
Volkswagen AG is set to take a 20% stake in Chinese electric vehicle battery maker Guoxuan High-tech Co Ltd, two sources told Reuters, as the German firm accelerates its electric push into the world’s largest auto market. The deal would mark Volkswagen’s first direct ownership in a Chinese battery maker and comes as the Wolfsburg-based automaker strives to meet a goal of selling 1.5 million new energy vehicles (NEVs) a year in China by 2025, including plug-in hybrid cars.
Volkswagen needs to accelerate the overhaul of its business to avoid becoming another Nokia, which lost its dominance in the handset market to Apple, the German carmaker’s chief executive said. “The big questions is: Are we fast enough?,” Herbert Diess told VW’s senior managers following a global board meeting on Thursday. “If we continue at our current speed, it is going to be very tough. The era of the classic carmakers is over,” Diess added.
The growth in energy storage is rapidly evolving the power industry and the Southwest Power Pool is the latest entity grappling with how to integrate the new resource. "It's flexible in a lot of ways. It allows us to time shift energy," Dillon said of energy storage resource technology. Energy storage can serve as a substitute for transmission by resolving short-term reliability issues such as voltage support and congestion, which could avoid costly transmission upgrades, according to the SPP white paper. It can also serve as a substitute for generation resources, and it can do all this simultaneously, Dillon said. There were less than 1 GW of electric storage resources in the SPP generation interconnection queue in late 2017. By mid-2019, that number had jumped to nearly 7 GW with expectations to come online in two years, Dillon said.
Equity investors have turned more bullish on lithium miners and processors in 2020 so far, helped by a shift in Chinese electric vehicle (EV) policy. William Adams, head of base metals and battery research at Fastmarkets, said the news was positive for lithium and EV markets. “It suggests the EV market will not have to suffer another subsidy shock before it has got over the 2019 shock.”
Chile’s environmental regulator on Wednesday defended in court its approval of a plan by top lithium miner SQM to remediate damage to the Atacama salt flat, appealing a lower court decision to scrap the agreement and setting the stage for a new and prolonged legal battle.
Hyundai Group's electrified line-up that included 24 models in 2019, will expand to 13 hybrids, six plug-in hybrids, 23 battery electric vehicles and two fuel-cell electric vehicles by 2025, thereby a total up to 44 vehicles by 2025.
China will not make significant cuts to subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEV) this year, signalling that its policy will remain relatively stable, state media quoted the country’s industry ministry as saying on Saturday. Beijing has been slowly rolling back a generous 5-year subsidy programme for NEVs, which began in 2016, saying it plans to phase out subsidies after 2020, amid criticism that some firms have become overly reliant on the funds. China’s monthly NEV sales dropped for the first time in two years in July as the subsidy cuts reached a new level, and have continued falling since.
China's electric-vehicle battery industry slowed in 2019 as the country's automakers remain mired in the doldrums. Automakers turn in-house, while Japan and South Korean rivals rise.
The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday announced a new program to help develop and bring to market the next-generation of energy storage technologies. The Energy Storage Grand Challenge is aimed at ensuring the U.S. is a global leader in storage with a domestic manufacturing supply chain by 2030. This would involve shedding dependence on foreign storage raw materials by addressing research and development, workforce development, valuation and other challenges in the sector. The program has the potential to ramp up a full range of innovative work from the early research stage, according to Arjun Krishnaswami, policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council — but "the devil will be in the details of how they design the program, whether it's sufficiently funded and whether they really follow through on these categories of work," he told Utility Dive.
General Motors Co. is resurrecting the Hummer name on an all-electric pickup truck to be sold under the GMC brand, according to people familiar with the matter, reviving a once-popular yet controversial badge that was phased out a decade ago. Vehicle is expected to go on sale by early 2022.
Asian seaborne battery-grade hydroxide price fell by 50 cents per kg, while the carbonate price held steady. European and US prices fell on competitive offers and slow market activity. Domestic Chinese prices were unmoved with limited transaction heard. Markets are winding down ahead of the Lunar New Year on January 25.
South Korea’s SK Innovation Co Ltd plans to build a second electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the United States and is considering expanding another factory in Hungary to meet soaring demand for EV cells, its chief executive told Reuters. Kim Jun also said he expects more Asian manufacturers to make batteries in the United States instead of importing them to avoid tariffs and meet demand from U.S. automakers locally. The investment comes as automakers race to adapt to increasingly stringent regulatory requirements globally aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction Corp. (GS E&C) is establishing a lithium-ion battery recycling plant in a regulation-free zone on the country’s southeastern coast of Pohang at 100 billion won ($86 million) by 2022. Regulation-free zone is a type of special economic zone where regulations are exempted for development of industries identified as future growth engines. Through the initial investment, the plant will aim to stock and reproduce used Li-ion batteries from electric vehicles and others into 4,500 tons of re-sellable metals like nickel, cobalt, lithium, and manganese annually. It will make additional investment to ramp up the reproduction capacity to 10,000 tons.
For the first time, Tesla Inc's stock market value has eclipsed the combined values of General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co. The Silicon Valley electric car maker's stock jumped nearly 5% on Wednesday, closing at a record $492.14 per share and elevating its market capitalization to almost $89 billion, or $2 billion larger than the sum of General Motors' and Ford's respective market caps of $50 billion and $37 billion.
Scientists at Monash University in Australia have developed a new battery that the team says is the world’s most efficient lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery. The Li-S battery promises enough power to run a smartphone for five days. Monash is on the brink of commercializing the battery and says that it would outperform the current market leaders by more than four times. While performing better than current batteries, the Li-S battery has less of an environmental impact that lithium-ion batteries used today. An approved, filed patent covers the manufacturing process, and the team notes that prototype cells have been successfully fabricated by German R&D partners Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology. Some of the largest makers of lithium batteries in China and Europe have reportedly expressed interest in upscaling production of the battery. The first testing will take place in Australia early this year.
U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc and South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor have teamed up to develop electric air taxis, joining the global race to make small self-flying cars to ease urban congestion.
The German state of Brandenburg has received a flurry of inquiries from German carmakers after electric car start-up Tesla opted to build its European factory there, Brandenburg’s Economy Minister Joerg Steinbach told Reuters.
@batt_li: Musk on Q4 earnings call: "how do you get from here to...I don't know...a couple of thousand gigawatt hours per year?"
@signumbox: Orocobre: Q4 average FOB price for lithium carbonate was US$ 5,419/ton.
@JamesTFrith: Samsung SDI's Gen 5 battery will have a 20% energy density increase and will also be 20% cheaper than the current generation of cells. This cost reduction is inline with @BloombergNEF's cell forecast of $84/kWh (average) in 2021. Also more nickel, less cobalt
@batt_li: “It’s hard to think of a similar product...with $US20 billion of revenue with zero advertising spend. It’s quite remarkable.”
@amiller_bmi: Lithium oversupply in 2019 was ~25kt, but much of this held as spod rather than chemicals. Backlog will need to be addressed before we see an uptick but already positive signs for 2020. See the @benchmarkmin Lithium Forecast for our long-term outlook.
@amiller_bmi: Interesting rumours on Daimler's battery cell sourcing issues - shows the dependence of western OEMs on a small group of #battery majors. A big issue when you're working in the tens of '000's, a critical issue as you move towards hundreds of '000s
@amiller_bmi: Spodumene cutbacks needed in the short-term with big backlog carrying into 2020. Continued low lithium prices will see more mine or converter expansions stall, increasing chances of future volatility - post-Chinese NY demand response critical in shaping outlook for next 2-3 yrs
@JoseLazuen: Tesla deliveries in 2019 = 370,000 cars. Volkswagen AG deliveries in 2019 = 10,900,000 cars. Tesla market cap = US$ 105 Bn. Volkswagen AG market cap = US$ 98 Bn. There is no doubt where investors are pushing the auto industry = electric
@colinmckerrache: Betting against further battery cost declines is betting against human ingenuity. So far, that's been a really bad bet.
@colinmckerrache: A car company is buying a stake in a battery company. More of this coming.
@lithiumforum: VW group stating again that they are convinced e-mobility is the "right thing" - not because of regulation, but of vision! @VW wants to sell directly to consumers - tough times for car dealers coming up. Car makers need the direct contact, such as @Tesla to collect data!
@robertbaylis: @UmicoreGroup forecast NMC cathode costs will remain at ~US$35/kWh (at cathode level) medium-term, but any nickel price spike could push this over US$50/kWh. Higher cost influence at cell/pack level means raw material costs limit LIB pack cost reduction for EVs
@robertbaylis: With 500GWh of contracted orders, SK looks to quadruple lithium-ion manufacturing capacity to 80GWh by 2020 across its US, European and Chinese plants.
@robertbaylis: Given the weak performance of H2 NEV sales in China after the July subsidy cut, continuing the current level rather than abolishing it doesn’t seem like it’ll improve the NEV market, however on the plus side something is better than nothing which would have been the alternative.
@colinmckerrache: Big news. In case you're just joining us: China really wants electric vehicles to succeed. Its push will reshape auto and energy markets.
@CDMRawles: Positive news for the EV industry in China - NEV subsidies will not be cut in July 2020. Big boost for the industry which faltered in H2 2019. Will help see sales surge well beyond the 1.2m recorded last year
@colinmckerrache: This is happening in many Western countries: power sector emissions falling quickly, leaving transport as the largest source. Policy pressure will only rise from here, automakers need to plan accordingly.
@colinmckerrache: Most EV oil displacement figures still assume they're almost all low mileage privately owned vehicles. Meanwhile Didi has almost a million EVs on its platform, and 63 Chinese cities have taxi fleet conversion targets. BNEF update on this coming later in Q1.
@sdmoores: EV battery arms race enters new gear with 115 megafactories now in pipeline, Europe sees most rapid growth, China still the battery powerhouse.