At the BMW Group plant in Leipzig, the 200,000th BMW i3 model rolled off the production line last week. The BMW i3s (combined power consumption: 14.6 – 14.0 kWh/100 km) with Fluid Black metallic paint finish and accents in BMW i Blue was produced for a customer from Saxony and... Read more →


General Motors announced its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center will be known as Factory ZERO, reconfigured to an all-electric vehicle assembly plant. The name Factory ZERO reflects the significance of this facility in advancing GM’s zero-crashes, zero-emissions and zero-congestion future. Factory ZERO will be the launchpad for GM’s multi-brand EV strategy. The... Read more →


Monash University engineers have demonstrated improvements in the fatigue life of high-strength aluminum alloys by 25 times—a significant outcome for the transport manufacturing industry. In an open-access paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers reported that the poor fatigue performance of high-strength aluminum alloys was because of weak links called... Read more →


Nuvera Fuel Cells, a US-based manufacturer of heavy-duty fuel cell systems, is now using BASF’s polyphthalamide (PPA) Ultramid Advanced N to manufacture several components in its latest generation of 45 kW fuel cell engines. The fuel cell engines will be integrated into transit buses and delivery vehicles in China over... Read more →


Fisker Inc. is entering into agreements with Magna International Inc. that provide the framework for strategic platform sharing and manufacturing cooperation for the Fisker Ocean SUV. We chose to leverage the Magna EV architecture after detailed due diligence on several options—and in consideration of our own product and technology strategy.... Read more →


ArcelorMittal Europe provided some details of the CO2 technology strategy that will enable it to offer its first green steel solutions to customers this year (30,000 tonnes); scale up this offering in coming years (to reach 120,000 tonnes in 2021 and 600,000 tonnes by 2022); deliver its 30% CO2 emissions... Read more →


Ford has selected ArcelorMittal’s Fortiform 980 GI (earlier post) as the sole source of third-generation advanced high-strength steel (Gen 3/HF) for the revitalized 2021 Ford Bronco. This highly anticipated vehicle will be the first automobile in the world to incorporate this grade of steel, which is made at AM/NS Calvert... Read more →


PNNL team uses ShAPE to increase conductivity of copper wire by ~5%; graphene composite

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have increased the conductivity of copper wire by about 5%—a development that can increase motor efficiency. Higher conductivity also means that less copper is needed for the same efficiency, which can reduce the weight and volume of various components for EVs. Using a... Read more →


The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is a central element of the digital transformation process at the BMW Group. The BMW Group already uses AI throughout the value chain to generate added value for customers, products, employees and processes. The BMW Group continues to follow global developments in terms of... Read more →


Cummins signs multi-year agreement with Ansys; leveraging SPDM

Cummins has signed a multi-year agreement with digital engineering simulation company Ansys. The collaboration allows Cummins engineers to leverage Ansys’ simulation and data management tools to expedite the design and manufacture of engines with increased thermal efficiency and improved fuel economy. Cummins engineers are using Ansys’ next-generation simulation process and... Read more →


Solid Power produces and delivers 10-layer 2Ah all solid-state lithium metal cells

Solid Power announced the production and delivery of the company’s first-generation multi-layer, multi-ampere hour (Ah) all solid-state lithium metal cells. Solid Power’s sulfide-based all solid-state lithium metal batteries are manufactured using lithium-ion industry standard processes and automated equipment. Every cell that Solid Power produces is free of any liquid or... Read more →


Audi Hungaria, in cooperation with E.ON Hungaria, officially started operation of Europe’s biggest photovoltaic roof installation. Since the start of the year, the site in Győr has used only green power. In 2012 Audi’s Hungarian plant opened a geothermal facility to supply most of its heat requirements. The remainder is... Read more →


SEAT begins construction on battery lab in Spain

SEAT has begun work on its future Test Center Energy (TCE), the new automotive battery lab that will be located at the SEAT plant in Martorell. With an investment of more than €7 million, the new center will develop and test various energy systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. With... Read more →


DOE awards $1.95M for conceptual designs that extract critical minerals and rare earth elements from coal sources

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy selected 13 projects to receive approximately $1.95 million in federal funding to develop conceptual designs of commercially viable technologies that will extract rare earth elements (REEs) from US coal and coal by-product sources. Each project will receive up to $150,000... Read more →


Developing lithium from the Salton Sea in California can help anchor a multi-billion dollar domestic electric vehicle battery supply chain and inject thousands of jobs and billions of dollars into California’s economically disadvantaged Imperial Valley, according to a new report from New Energy Nexus. The report, Building Lithium Valley: Opportunities... Read more →


Jervois Mining Limited will acquire 100% of the Sao Miguel Paulista nickel and cobalt refinery (SMP Refinery) in the Brazilian State of Sao Paulo from Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) (an investee company of Votorantim, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Latin America). SMP Refinery has annual refined production... Read more →


Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG) has exclusively licensed and optioned a technology developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed to eliminate thermal runaway in lithium ion batteries due to mechanical damage. The technology complements Soteria’s existing battery safety technology. Soteria Battery Innovation Group Inc is an... Read more →


California Governor signs bill creating commission on lithium extraction in California

California Governor Gavin Newsom this week signed Assembly Bill 1657, which will create a Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California. The commission will comprise 14 members appointed by a combination of the California Energy Commission, other state agencies, Assembly Speaker, and Senate Committee on Rules. The Blue Ribbon... Read more →


The first fully-electric BMW iX3 has left the production line at the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture (BBA) in Shenyang, China. The workforce at the BBA Plant Dadong in Shenyang already celebrated the successful start of production on 29 September 2020. In addition to intelligent manufacturing and advanced technologies, the... Read more →


Daimler Trucks building facilities at Esslingen for fuel-cell pre-production

In June 2020, Daimler Truck AG announced that it was driving forward the series production of fuel cells with Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG. (Earlier post.) Over the past ten years, experts from Daimler built up extensive know-how in this field and have developed production methods and... Read more →


President Trump declares US critical mineral supply chain a national emergency

US President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order declaring a “national emergency” to deal with the threat to US security, foreign policy and economy from its “undue reliance” on supplies of critical minerals from “foreign adversaries”—specifically China. Though these minerals are indispensable to our country, we presently lack the capacity... Read more →


Dürr is positioning itself in the growing Li-ion battery market as a supplier of production technology and is expanding its market access to battery manufacturers through a cooperation with Techno Smart, a leading Japanese manufacturer of coating systems. The group covers all relevant technologies for coating electrodes for lithium-ion batteries.... Read more →


EC launches European Raw Materials Alliance; initial focus on rare earth and magnet value chains

The European Commission has launched the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) as part of an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials. Initial focus will be rare earth and magnet value chains before extending to other raw materials required for Europe's green and digital transitions. ERMA will be managed by EIT... Read more →


Battery manufacturer Northvolt raises $600M to invest in capacity expansion, R&D and giga-scale recycling; Volkswagen kicks in more

European battery maker Northvolt signed a $600-million private placement, led by Baillie Gifford, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and Volkswagen AG, enabling the company to make further investments in expanding its production and recycling capacity as well as R&D activities to support the target of establishing 150 GWh of manufacturing... Read more →


Miltec UV receives DLA contract to demo UV production technology for solid-state Li-ion batteries

Miltec UV International has been awarded a contract from the Defense Logistics Agency, to demonstrate the cell technology to produce solid-state lithium-ion batteries using Miltec’s UV cured Gel Polymer Electrolyte. This technology will accelerate the advancement of solid-state lithium batteries. Miltec is working in partnership with Saft America, Inc.’s Cockeysville,... Read more →


thyssenkrupp System Engineering business unit to be split into two independent companies; powertrain and battery unit to be sold or find partners

At the start of the new fiscal year on 1 October 2020, thyssenkrupp will commence the operational realignment of its automotive system engineering activities. In the coming months the current System Engineering business unit will be split commercially, operationally and legally into two independent business units. The aim is to... Read more →


Adamas: “Unfathomable” rare earth demand growth awaits post-2030

Demand growth of the 2020s will soon be dwarfed by the astronomical demand growth of the 2030s, according to a new forecast by Adamas Intelligence. Therein lies the real defining challenge and opportunity facing the global rare earth industry today, the company said. After growing at a CAGR of 6.4%... Read more →


Ballard expanding MEA production capacity 6x by early 2021 to meet expected growth in fuel cell vehicle demand

Ballard Power Systems is expanding manufacturing capacity for production of its proprietary membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs)—a critical component of every fuel cell—6x by early 2021 at its headquarter facility in Vancouver. The upgraded capacity for production of 6 million MEAs annually, equivalent to approximately 1.66 Gigawatts of product, will make... Read more →


XPeng enters into cooperation agreement for new smart EV manufacturing base in Guangzhou; $586M in financing

Chinese EV contender XPeng announced that its wholly owned subsidiary in China, Guangdong Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co., Ltd. entered into a cooperation agreement with Guangzhou GET Investment Holdings Co., Ltd., a wholly owned investment company of Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone. According to the terms of the Cooperation Agreement,... Read more →


Series production of the Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty truck is due to start in 2021 at the Wörth plant, alongside the existing manufacture of trucks with combustion engines. The electric truck models are set to be assembled alongside trucks with conventional drives in a flexible process. The construction of the different... Read more →


The BMW Group is further expanding its Germany-based production capacities for electric drives. From 2021, the Leipzig plant will also produce battery modules for the high-voltage batteries of the BMW Group’s electrified vehicles. By 2022, the company will invest more than €100 million in the site to prepare for the... Read more →


IHS Markit: average cost of lithium-ion battery cell to fall below $100/kWh in 2023

The average cost of a Li-ion battery cell—used to power electric vehicles and to provide flexibility in the power grid as more renewables, such as solar and wind, are added will fall below $100 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in the next three years, according to a new analysis by IHS... Read more →


Elon Musk used Tesla’s much-anticipated Battery Day presentation not to disclose some super cell, but to outline an aggressive, comprehensive and radically innovative approach to battery design, manufacturing and vehicle integration that he projected will result in a 56% reduction in cost/kWh and a $25,000 electric vehicle in about three... Read more →


With the support of the State of Georgia, Jackson County and City of Commerce, SK Innovation plans to hire more than 1,000 skilled workers by the end of 2021 as it prepares for initial production at the first of two electric vehicle battery plants being built in Commerce, about 70... Read more →


Sakor: Hybrid and EV powertrain testing is key to reaping efficiency benefits

By Randal Beattie, President, SAKOR Technologies Inc. Over the past decade, most transportation markets, from automotive, to military, aircraft, and even space systems have seen a tremendous surge of interest in hybrid and electric vehicle technology. To gain the promised efficiency benefits and green profile of these vehicles, it is... Read more →


Ford celebrated the production start of the all-new F-150 at the Ford Rouge Center and confirmed construction of the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center where it will build the all-electric F-150 by mid-2022. Rendering of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. The new manufacturing center at the Dearborn-based Rouge Center, once... Read more →


6K, a leading developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials through its recently launched 6K Energy division, has developed NMC 811 at 1-3 microns as well as the capability to produce single crystal NMC. 6K Energy has developed NMC 811 at 1-3 microns, the smaller size... Read more →


Li-Cycle selects Rochester, NY as site for Li-ion battery recycling hub

Li-Cycle Corp. a lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, will invest more than US$175 million in its first commercial lithium-ion battery recycling Hub at Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester, New York. (Earlier post.) The Hub is a wet chemistry/hydrometallurgical facility that will refine battery-grade materials from black mass generated from... Read more →


LG Chem spinning off battery business

LG Chem plans to spin-off its global battery business. LG Chem will seek approval from an extraordinary meeting of stockholders on 30 October and officially launch the spin-off—tentatively named LG Energy Solution—as a new corporation exclusively in charge of the battery business from 1 December. This will be a physical... Read more →


China dominates BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) lithium-ion battery supply chain ranking in 2020, having quickly surpassed Japan and Korea that were leaders for the majority of the previous decade. China’s success results from its large domestic battery demand—72GWh—and control of 80% of the world’s raw material refining, 77% of the world’s cell... Read more →


A simpler and more efficient way to predict performance will lead to better batteries, according to Rice University engineers. The method is 100,000 times faster than current modeling techniques. A graph that maps the capacity of batteries to cathode thickness and porosity shows a laborious search based on numerical simulations... Read more →


PPG receives $2.2M from DOE to study coatings applications in automotive lithium-ion batteries

PPG received funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for research into the use of two versatile, high-output processes in the production of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery electrodes. The three-year, $2.2-million project—one of 13 selected through a DOE initiative focused on addressing engineering challenges for advanced battery materials and devices—will... Read more →


Kia Motors Corporation previewed its global electric vehicle (EV) business strategy; the brand will launch seven new dedicated BEVs by 2027 across several vehicle segments. Kia also released an early sketch of several of the brand’s future dedicated Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Details of Kia’s future EV product strategy were... Read more →


The BMW Group continues to adapt its production structures to growing demand for fully and partially electrified vehicles. In China, the BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint venture has expanded its battery factory at the Tiexi location, the “High-Voltage Battery Center”, with a further battery center that will immediately begin producing... Read more →


Aeva, a company building next-generation sensing for autonomous vehicles (earlier post), and ZF are partnering to bring the first Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR to market for autonomous driving applications. (Earlier post.) The partnership, combining Aeva’s expertise in FMCW LiDAR technology with ZF’s experience in industrialization of automotive grade... Read more →


Groupe Renault, partners develop XCEED blockchain project to certify compliance of vehicle components

Groupe Renault has developed the XCEED (eXtended Compliance End-to-End Distributed) blockchain project to certify the compliance of all vehicle components, from design to production. Designed and implemented in collaboration with leading automotive industry players, this tool enables greater responsiveness and efficiency at a time of ever-greater regulatory stringency. New market... Read more →


Global interoperability solutions provider Elysium is developing a new consolidated interoperability platform scheduled for release in spring of 2021. The new 3DxSUITE will enable users to customize and integrate Elysium’s advanced data solutions into automated quality and compliance-checking systems best suited to their operational needs. For almost 30 years, we... Read more →


In order to keep up with the growing demand for e-cars, investments are being made in battery factories worldwide. Dürr is positioning itself in this growth market as a supplier of production technology and is expanding its market access to battery manufacturers through a cooperation with Techno Smart, a leading... Read more →


Nikola Corporation and General Motors Co. announced a strategic partnership that begins with the Nikola Badger and carries cost reductions through Nikola’s programs, including: Nikola Badger, Nikola Tre, Nikola One, Nikola Two and NZT. As part of the agreement, Nikola will utilize General Motors’ Ultium battery system and Hydrotec fuel... Read more →


PSA and Total create JV for manufacture of EV batteries in Europe; €5B investment

Groupe PSA/Opel and Total/Saft have signed an agreement for the creation of the joint venture Automotive Cells Company (ACC). Yann Vincent has been appointed Chief Executive in order to implement and develop it. Ghislain Lescuyer has been appointed Chairman of the Board. With this partnership, the parties are setting up... Read more →