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Toyota launches TOYOTA NEXT Open Innovation Program in Japan

Lucid Motors and Samsung SDI in strategic partnership on next-gen lithium-ion cells

Samsung SDI and luxury EV startup Lucid Motors have entered a strategic partnership for battery cell supply. Samsung SDI will be a major supplier of lithium-ion cells for Lucid’s first vehicle, an electric executive sedan scheduled to begin production in late 2018.

Samsung SDI and Lucid have collaborated to develop next-generation cylindrical cells that are able to exceed current performance benchmarks in areas such as energy density, power, calendar life and safety. Significantly, this jointly developed cell also achieves breakthrough tolerance to repeated fast charging.

I have been very pleased with the results of the collaboration with Samsung SDI in developing a cell chemistry that meets our stringent standards. Samsung SDI combined their in-house chemistry expertise with massive real-world datasets and state-of-the-art battery models provided by Lucid to develop a cell that is both energy dense and resistant to damage associated with fast-charging.

—Albert Liu, PhD, Lucid’s Director of Battery Technology

Lucid has a great deal of EV battery expertise. The company began in 2007 as Atieva, a company focused on developing a battery system for electric vehicles that could be scaled to work across many different vehicle types. Over the next five years, the company developed and integrated a diverse set of battery packs into motorcycles, sedans, vans and buses with an energy ranging from 3 kWh to 150 kWh.

By using modern big-data technology to analyze over 20 million miles of real-world driving data, we improved battery system reliability and performance across all projects. Ultimately, we perfected our core battery system technology and accumulated over 50 patents in the US alone. Many of those original vehicles are still running on the roads without a single safety incident.

—Sam Weng, co-founder, COO

In 2014, the company closed a 9-digit funding round with the goal of developing a complete car. The initial result was a custom 900 hp powertrain test vehicle (based on a delivery van) that could accelerate from 0-60 mph in ~ 3 seconds: Edna.

Edna features two electric motors, two sets of power electronics, two gearboxes, one 87 kWh battery pack, plus all of the software required. Edna allows the Lucid team to test various aspects of the powertrain system, including motor control algorithms, regenerative braking behaviors, accelerator pedal feel, and cooling strategies.

Lucid also recently announced it had selected Casa Grande, Arizona, as the location for its factory. Lucid plans to break ground and begin hiring in the first half of 2017. (Earlier post.)


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Lucid might make it into a viable business if they manage to make a really nice car and produce it in 20k copies in 2019 as is their plan. After that Apple could buy them and use their driverless tech to make them fully driverless and use Apple’s coffins to ramp up production quickly with new factories.

However, the window of opportunity is closing fast for BEV startups. After 2020 all the old automakers that want not to go bankrupt by 2025 will have launched real (non-compliance) BEVs and the price competition will start to erode gross margins on BEVs. It will be impossible to make a profitable BEV startup after 2020. The scale of economics in that industry will prevent it. Only handmade niche BEVs (sports cars) will be possible.

Tesla is in the best position already for mass market BEVs. Tesla is the world largest customer for auto batteries and Tesla has the world’s best selling BEV the Model S that currently sell more copies than Nissan Leaf. By 2018 Tesla will have one of the best selling cars in the world and by 2020 they will almost certainly have the bestselling car in the world probably selling over 500,000 Model 3 per year. That gives Tesla a cost advantage over all other car makers. They also has an income advantage because by 2018 Tesla will be the only car maker in the world that sell cars that are fully self driving and able to earn lots of money on the Tesla Network when not used by its owners.

The Lurking Jerk

Henrik, you have been railing at an unhealthy level lately. The reality is there will still be manufacturers not making BEVs by 2525, and none of them will go bankrupt for that reason either. And there are several VERY monied companies which may go into the car business from scratch: Apple, Google, etc.
Niche car makers will always spring up, and a few of them will grow.
You have been ranting like an idealist lately. Try to calm down. P.S. : Bernie lost.


@ Henrik
It was probably your intention to use the term "coffers" and not coffins. Coffins are usually used as a container for a corpse for final disposal underground. Coffers, however, implicate containers for storing large amounts of valuables or money.

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Mr Jerk what you don’t get yet is that when cars become self-driving (as they will in massive numbers after 2020) the current cost advantage by ICE vehicles over BEVs flips 180 degrees. Self-driving BEVs can take full advantage of their ability to last 1 million miles and also their lower fuel cost over gasses. It matters very little they cost 10,000 USD more to make than the gasser if you can drive them 100,000 miles per year for 10 years as you easily can with a self-driving car. In the beginning self-driving BEVs from Tesla can make 100,000 USD per year (1 USD per mile) driving as taxis on the Tesla Network and Tesla will have 500,000 such cars by the end of 2018. The annual turnover will be 50,000,000,000 USD. I think Tesla should have no problems financing the next ten giga factories from profits made on the Tesla Network if they do not get some competition from other driverless BEVs soon.

PS I am pro Trump in many more ways than you can imagine. I only had an issue with his anti free trade and anti global warming rhetoric. However, it seems he will not abandon free trade but replace global trade deals with bilateral trade deals. Fine with me. Also it appears that Trump now has admitted that global warming is manmade and a serious problem. For all I can see it looks like Trump will be a great president and probably better than the previous presidents. Trump is right that USA has not been pushing hard enough to secure US interests. I unlike previous presidents do not believe you can protect democracy by being humane towards your mortal enemies. You need to be ruthless with your external enemies or you will lose. I think Trump can be that and secure our culture and democracy better than any of the previous presidents. He can start by making sure Iran does not get nukes and give them a new deal/offer of the kind that cannot be refused. Bernie who?

What I am trying accomplish here by using provocative and insulting rhetoric like Trump is to get everybody’s attention (which seem to work as I get more comments than anyone else here at GCC) and hopefully get some of you to start thinking maybe he has a point.

Yoatmon of cause my fault.


We don't care about you and Trump,
we are suppose to be discussing ideas for sustainable mobility.

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Lucid does look like a strong contender for future EV. Lucid Motors showed their prototype at the 2016 LA Car Show, designed by Derek Jenkins, who is the former head of design at Mazda and credited with the new Mazda MX-5. Mazda has the best designs in the car business and btw prior to Jenkins, Franz von Holzhausen (the Tesla designer) was head of Mazda design.
Watch the Lucid Edna test van video, it is seriously fast. Probably competitive with super fast EV like the NextEV NIO EP9 and Rimac Concept One. Of course, Lucid Motors started life as a battery maker. The Lucid Motors battery will be used in the 2018 Formula E Competition (partner with McLaren). The 54 kWh battery weighs only 250kg and can be recharged completely in 45 minutes. It can also be run for a complete race due to its patented Thermal Management System. Also, the Lucid Motors CTO is Peter Rawlinson, the former Tesla Model S lead engineer.
Yes, Apple should look at Lucid Motors if it has not already. It is close to Cupertino, located nearby in Menlo Park.

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Lucid Motors probably will be using the new 21700 battery announced last year by Samsung SDI. Tesla will also use this new form factor in the Tesla Model 3.

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Detroit has always been very risk averse when it comes to the Auto Industry. When I was young, the best cars came from Detroit. First Germany, then Japan eclipsed Detroit in all auto segments except trucks and SUV. When I was a consultant in Dearborn in the 80's, the industry looked like it was going to be bought out by Japan Inc. It would take over 20 years and a couple of bankruptcies before Detroit would really change investing in Just in Time Manufacturing and Robotics.
However, no one was changing their luxury cars from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Lexus. Until the Tesla Model S showed that a different paradigm using EV would disrupt the luxury car market. Today it is the leader in that field. Cadillac and Lincoln are trying though they are still too risk averse to really compete.
The Chevy Bolt is a brilliant design. It is the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year and is already a leader in the small hatch, small crossover segment (compare it to the VW Golf GTI in performance and the Honda HRV in size). It is a big risk for GM and they are reported to be losing $9K per car. Since it is a compliance car and does not erode large profits in their favored market segments (truck and SUV), this is a good marketing move particularly since it gets a jump on Nissan, VW, and Ford.
BY 2020, we should see how the EV market develops. If Tesla, Lucid, and the established auto manufacturers create designs that are not only competitive but exceed current cars then the market will take off. One can look at the Cell Phone business as an indicator on how quick markets can change. In less than 10 years from the Apple iPhone introduction in 2007, the world has completely adopted this new technology.


So, as long as people are staking out predictions, here is mine. Due to lack of oil exploration, the price of oil will spike in the next few years. When it does buyers will either buy BEVs and Plugin Hybrids or quit driving and use Self-driving vehicles (Henrik's paradigm). However, as cars are made up of commodity electronics with maybe 3D printed bodies, there will be lots of producers, including small startups with no deep pockets.

Low price of gasoline ceases to be relevent as soon as battery prices decrease enough for EVs to achieve price parity with ICEs. Bloomberg (BNEF) says by 2022.

Better interior space, lower center of gravity, these advantages alone are decisive, and they are the minor ones.

Better NVH, better off the line performance. Etc, etc, etc.

Nobody's going to want to buy ICEs once price parity threshold has been crossed.

First serious oil price spike is just the aneurism that precedes the death knell. Patient already had one foot in the grave, just didn't know it.

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JMartin I agree 3D printing could create a lot of startup with niche cars like sports cars at very high prices. There is always a market for uniqueness. However, 3D printing is not cost effective. A stamping machine can literally make hundreds of body parts per hour that it would take a 3D printer one hour to make just one. I don’t think there is a single mass produced product on the planet that is 3D printed. As I see it 3D printing has revolutionized the prototyping phase by decimating the time it takes to prototype a product and modify it to the final product.

E.C.I. I am skeptical that BEVs will ever get cheaper than gassers up front. A battery will always be hundreds of times more expensive to make than a plastic gas tank. I know the BEV engine and transmission is less costly than the gasser’s engine and transmission and there is no need for an exhaust system in the BEV but it is not enough to make up for battery costs. You can get a new 5 seat gasser for 15,000 USD. That will never be possible for a 5 seat BEV. 25,000 USD is the lowest we will ever get to for a 250 miles range, 5 seats BEV without self-driving capability.
To many people forget that BEV cost per mile is a function of how many miles you can put on the vehicle during its lifespan. The more miles the less cost per mile for the BEV. This is why driverless tech is so critical for the success of BEVs because it makes it easy to drive a BEV 1 million miles in 10 years and at that usage rate today’s BEVs are already far superior to ICE with regard to costs.

Another problem with BEVs today is that there are only two BEVs on the market that are not compliance cars and that is Model S and X. The rest including the new Bolt that can degrade its battery at 40% after only 100,000 miles are all compliance cars. No real effort was made to make a good BEV because the old automakers are still not 100% committed to making BEVs. This will not change until Tesla become a volume thread and starts to make profits. All that will not happen until 2018.


Near future (2018/2019) TESLA good weather, limited range, Model III will look and perform a lot like similarly priced ($40K to $45K) e-cars from Ford-GM-Fiat-Honda-Hyundai-Mazda-Toyota-BYD-VW-BMW-Mercedes-Nissan-Renault etc.

Will $40K to $45K for limited range (200 miles) electric cars attract the majority enough to convince them to move from $20K ICEVs, $25K HEVs, $30K PHEVs? Many may be reluctant to pay almost twice as much for a transporter.

It may not be a question of ADVs but plain and simple initial cost affordability and how green you are.

Until batteries' price drop well below $100/kWh, 130 to 150 mpge PHEVs may be the best solution for most buyers and the environment.


The ones that bought another battery than this one have really made a bad deal. I knew that fast charging was killing old batteries.

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Harvey upfront cost will not matter for the 90% of future car users because they will never buy a car but instead hail one when they need one. This is why driverless tech is far more important for the success of BEVs than battery tech. The battery tech is already good enough for driverless BEVs to take over from gassers.

Also Harvey I hope you do realize that no PHEV has ever got over 55 MPG when it switch to ICE power. Most do not get better than 40 MPG. They are all polluters and earth destroyers. PHEVs cannot prevent a massive global warming extinction event from happening. They can just postpone it by a few years. We need BEVs to safe most life on this planet.


Henrik....I would like to believe you with all the claimed benefits from ADVs but it will not be for tomorrow. It will be 2030+ before they become common place and take a major role in ground transportation.

With very few exceptions, about 99% of passenger trains and subways still have unwanted/un-needed drivers?

PHEVs (with ICE or FC range extenders) are an excellent transition technology already capable of 133+ mpge in normal use. That's about 5.5 times better than the average ICEVs. BEVs using electricity from CPPs will not do better and even worse.

ADVs will do better where REs are available at an affordable price and icing rain + snow is not prevalent. Early morning Black Ice covered with a thin coat of snow is very hard to detect but creates many accidents.

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Harvey by 2025 every new car sold globally to private people or taxi services or others will be fully driverless. It is easy to put this extremely useful tech into every car made as it is only tiny parts that are easy to mass produce in small factories. However, by 2025 far from all cars sold will be a PHEV or BEV. The problem is that the needed batteries and electric motors and power electronics will require an enormous effort in terms of making new massive factories that can make millions of tons of this stuff. So driverless tech will have a much faster propagation than PHEVs or BEVs.

There are no cost savings of PHEVs over BEVs. They cost about the same to make. Fx the Volt is 33.2k USD and the Bolt is 36.6k USD. And GM could have done better with the Bolt. It is still a halfhearted compliance car. Model 3 will be much better that the Bolt or the Volt and still only cost 35k USD. If you only focus on making BEVs you end up making better cars. Auto makers cannot do both BEVs and ICEs. They have to choose. The old auto makers should divert all R&D to BEVs and keep producing the old ICE designs as long as they are in demand. However, all new cars should be BEVs.


Henrik...please do not compare a GOOD weather very short range (200 miles) very slow charge BEV with all weather extended range (550+ miles) PHEVs.

We (like many others) take frequent 300 miles trips on very cold days. Going down town on snowy traffic jammed days also require more range. Sorry, a short range BEV giving about 140 all weather miles would NOT do the job.

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Harvey there will be 300 mile all weather BEVs available by 2018. However, this option will be expensive. For those that cannot afford that and who need to drive often over 300 miles the Tesla Network will do the job for less than the cost per mile possible by any self-owned gasser.

New battery tech coming before 2018 in real BEVs is the following 3 BEVs from Tesla, Faraday and Lucid and the story is here

HarveyD very well know that 300+ miles all weather extended range BEVs require very expensive 130+ kWh battery pack and would cost USD $120,000+. Secondly, quick recharging those large battery packs may take up to 60 minutes.

A PHEV/FC clean extended all weather range could be 500+ miles and take 3 to 4 minutes to refill.

Clean H2 can be extracted with clean REs and easily stored overnight or longer while electrons are difficult and more costly to store leading to use of CPPs and NGPPs.

Total tailpipe emissions from a 53-97 mile range PHEV/REx are of very minor concern given the very few miles drivers log exceeding that distance daily. They also don't require a complete replacement of the refueling infrastructure at the cost of millions per station.

By the time emissions from the occasional long trips do become a concern, batteries will be much cheaper, longer-life, and capable of quicker charges. Ethanol or other biofuels could also address the emissions issues for longer trips.

H2 range extenders will find it very difficult to compete with ICE plug-in hybrids. The Chevy Volt and BMW i3 approaches could be adapted to any size and configuration vehicle.

When Chevy and For start making plug-in hybrid SUVs and Trucks, there will be very little incentive to continue to develop FCVs.

A full size truck or SUV that gets 70+ MPGe will be a very attractive vehicle. The battery, as a percentage of total vehicle cost, will be much less than that of a Volt.

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