GM is supplying next-gen batteries for Honda EVs

GM is supplying next-gen batteries for Honda EVs

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Stringer . / Reuters

GM has expanded its collaboration with Honda to supply the Japanese automaker with next-generation batteries. These will go in EVs built mainly for the North American market, and though neither company stated when they would start using the new power options, sources told Reuters that they’re expected to begin production in 2021.

GM’s innovations intend to cut electric battery costs in half — which is huge, given their typical pricetag between $10,000 and $12,000, sources told Reuters earlier in the year. The deal will help Honda speed up EV production after 2020. It’s not the automaker’s first collaboration with GM: In early 2017, the pair went in together on a Michigan factory dedicated to producing hydrogen fuel cells to power their vehicles. But given the auto industry’s increasingly expansive investments in electric vehicles — GM included — this is a savvy move to get more EVs on the road.

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via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

June 7, 2018 at 09:03PM

Nanostructured Electrolytes for Stabilizing Lithium Metal Anodes

Nanostructured Electrolytes for Stabilizing Lithium Metal Anodes

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Scientific Achievement

The addition of salt to block copolymers results in the spontaneous and surprising formation of well-ordered lamellae in a sample that originally had a disordered morphology.

Significance and Impact

The geometry of ion-conducting pathways (bright domains) is crucial for both prevention of dendrite formation at the lithium metal anode and for conducting ions between the battery electrodes.

Research Details

  • The morphology-conductivity relationship of a solid block copolymer electrolyte was studied by combining X-ray scattering, electron microscopy and electrochemical characterization.
  • Conductivity data contained three separate local maxima that had not been previously identified.
  • The maxima were related to morphological transitions.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b02415

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via JCESR http://www.jcesr.org

March 28, 2018 at 03:05AM

Lithium-Oxygen Battery with Long Cycle Life in a Realistic Air Atmosphere

Lithium-Oxygen Battery with Long Cycle Life in a Realistic Air Atmosphere

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Scientific Achievement

Advances in materials functionality for Li-O2 electrochemistry have resulted in a Li-O2 battery that is able to run under a realistic air atmosphere with a long cycle life.

Significance and Impact

The new Li-O2 cell architecture is a promising step toward engineering the next generation of lithium batteries with much higher specific energy density than lithium ion batteries.

Research Details

  • Development of new materials with key functionalities: a robust lithium protective coating, a synergistic electrolyte blend, and very active cathode for O2 reduction and evolution.
  • These new materials have been successfully merged to create a highly reversible and stable Li-O2 electrochemical cell operating in air.
  • Density functional and molecular dynamics simulations have provided key insight into electrochemical properties of the new materials and how they enable long cycle life.

DOI:10.1038/nature25984

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via JCESR http://www.jcesr.org

March 27, 2018 at 09:01AM

Bentley is the latest luxury car maker committing to EVs

Bentley is the latest luxury car maker committing to EVs

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According to AutoBlog, Bentley is planning on using the same electric architecture as the Porche’s Mission E, making for a faster, stronger and farther-ranging automobile. “A full electric Bentley is something I am extremely convinced we have to do,” design director Stefan Seilaff told Auto Express. “It should be a four or five-seater and it should also have the possibility to carry a little bit of luggage, maybe not for five people.”

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via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

March 26, 2018 at 01:03PM

Nissan is using recycled Leaf batteries to power street lights

Nissan is using recycled Leaf batteries to power street lights

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Nissan has been testing the idea of used Leaf batteries for awhile with its Tesla Powerwall-like xStorage program. The idea of using the batteries in an off-grid streetlight, however, is new and appears to be just the start of Nissan’s new push into grid and off-grid storage.

Much like its alliance-mate Renault, Mercedes and others, Nissan also has a grand plan to use batteries from old and destroyed EVs in several ways. One is for residential homes and buildings that use solar or wind energy, storing energy and releasing it at night or if the power goes out. Another is to use the batteries for “smart booths” that could power cellphones and other devices. Finally, Nissan unveiled a whimsical scheme, “a park converting the bursting energy of children into electricity while they play. Children’s energy during the day keeps the park bright and safe at nighttime.”

Much like Renault’s “Smart Island,” Nissan’s Light Reborn project is more a small-scale test and way to market its green credentials. Namie, Japan, is a particularly poignant location for a test, as the nearby Fukushima nuclear plant lost power during an earthquake and tsunami, causing a partial meltdown of the core.

So far, only Tesla has truly made a big push into the consumer market with its Powerwall batteries and solar panels. By the time 2020 rolls around, however, and large companies like VW release mainstream EVs, the idea of recycling car batteries for the grid will be a lot more feasible — and necessary.

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via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

March 26, 2018 at 02:39AM

Nissan targets sales of 1 million EVs annually by 2022

Nissan targets sales of 1 million EVs annually by 2022

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Nissan targets sales of 1 million EVs annually by 2022

Nissan is hoping to achieve a target of selling 1 million electrified vehicles across its portfolio by its fiscal 2022, the automaker announced today. The target is part of its overarching strategic mid-term plan leading up to 2022. To be included in the sales total, models sold by Nissan need to either be pure electric or e-POWER vehicles (Nissan’s hybrid system that delivers the performance benefits of a fully-electric powertrain with the range and refuelling benefits of an internal combustion engine).

The overall strategy to help get Nissan to that milestone also includes the release of eight new purely electric vehicle, to follow the LEAF, and a multi brand launch of EVs specific to China. There’s also a new electric mini-car coming to Japan, and a plan to electrify all new Infiniti vehicles by 2021.

Alongside its EV targets, Nissan is also looking to build out its autonomous driving portfolio, with specific goals to ramp up its ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system sales by 2022. Nissan says it’s also aiming to sell 1 million models per year equipped with ProPILOT (which is similar to Tesla’s Autopilot) by that time. ProPILOT should grow more capable, too, with automated multilane driving and destination picking hopefully rolling out in the next couple of years.

 

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via TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com

March 23, 2018 at 05:55AM

Someone Go Find a Practical Use for This Sweet-Ass Conductive Plastic

Someone Go Find a Practical Use for This Sweet-Ass Conductive Plastic

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Researcher Brett Savoie with PTEO conductive plastic.
Photo: Purdue University and John Underwood

I’m not gonna lie. Sometimes I see a science paper and think, dang, that’s really cool, I really wish it could do X. Like, maybe a major advancement in flexible, transparent plastic conductors could solve all of my cracked smartphone screen problems. Of course, things are more complex than just that, and a single new material won’t solve my concrete-induced woes. But this latest research definitely conjures some intriguing possibilities.

“Conductive flexible plastics will open up a host of medical and display applications that we can’t currently imagine,” Brett Savoie, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Purdue, told Gizmodo. Combined with other breakthroughs, plastics that conduct electricity well could make for some wonderful gadgets.

Scientists have increasingly been exploring the field of “organic radical polymers,” which have strange electronic properties. These are molecules built from a single regular repeating unit, called a monomer. But their special electrical properties come from a dangly bit hanging off of each monomer that has an extra, unbound electron, called a free radical. This new polymer, poly(4-glycidyloxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl), PTEO for short, is in the neighborhood of 10,000 times more conductive than its competition.

Building one of these conductive polymers requires precisely controlling each monomer. In this case, the conductivity comes about through annealing, or heating and slowly cooling the material. This presumably arranges the polymer in a way that allows the electrons to move from free radical to free radical along a little electric highway.

This isn’t the first transparent conductor, nor the first polymer conductor. But lots of the existing ones rely on a chemical called ITO, which incorporates the very expensive and brittle metal indium. The new PTEO is not the most conductive plastic, but it takes a lot less work to make than other varieties.

The research has other limitations—the conductivity only works on teeny, micrometer-scale distances.

As Professor Jodie Lutkenhaus from Texas A&M writes in a commentary for Science, “Although the conductivity is exceptionally high for this polymer type, wider application will require this conductivity to be sustained over a larger length scale.” She’d also like to see further analysis of the polymer’s structure to validate the author’s claims in their paper, also published in Science.

In order to be used in a flexible touchscreen, this material probably needs to be combined with another flexible piece, the same way that a transparent, inflexible sheet of glass covers the transparent, inflexible conductor in your iPhone.

The new conductive plastic is constructed from some pretty widely available parts. If the researchers could send the electrons through the conductors over longer distances, perhaps they could incorporate the material into batteries, flexible touch screens, or medical devices.

Maybe it’s spring fever, but I’m feeling optimistic that one day I’ll have an iPhone that, with the help of some neat chemistry, doesn’t crack in response to my own stupidity.

[Science]

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via Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com

March 22, 2018 at 11:42AM

US Utilities Have Finally Realized Electric Cars May Save Them

US Utilities Have Finally Realized Electric Cars May Save Them

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Pity the utility company. For decades, electricity demand just went up and up, as surely as the sun rose in the east. Power companies could plan ahead with confidence. No longer. From a report: This year, the Tennessee Valley Authority scrapped its 20-year projections through 2035, since it was clear they had drastically underestimated the extent to which renewable energy would depress demand for electricity from the grid. But there is a bright spot for utilities: electric vehicles (EV), which make up 1% of the US car market. For years, that market barely registered on utilities’ radar. As EVs find growing success, utilities are building charging infrastructure and arranging generous rebates. Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and New Jersey’s PSE&G have partnered with carmakers to offer thousands of dollars in rebates for BMW, Nissan, and other brands. Now utilities are asking Congress for help as they attempt to keep tapping into EV demand. A collection of 36 of the nation’s largest utilities wrote a letter (PDF) to congressional leadership on March 13, asking for a lift on the cap on EV tax credits. The signatories’ include California’s Pacific Gas & Electric, New York’s Consolidated Edison, the southeast’s Duke Energy Company, and others covering almost every state. At the moment, Americans who buy electric vehicles receive a $7,500 federal tax credit (along with some state incentives) for each vehicle.



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via Slashdot https://slashdot.org/

March 16, 2018 at 07:01AM

Elucidating Zn and Mg Electrodeposition Mechanisms in Nonaqueous Electrolytes for Next-Generation Metal Batteries

Elucidating Zn and Mg Electrodeposition Mechanisms in Nonaqueous Electrolytes for Next-Generation Metal Batteries

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Scientific Achievement

The development of nonaqeuous electrolytes enabling reversible and efficient deposition/stripping of multivalent metals has been hindered because of the complexity of electrolyte properties and behaviors. Different cations exhibit different deposition efficacy. Our research explores Zn and Mg deposition mechanisms and explains differences between the two cations.

Significance and Impact

Our research shows that Mg and Zn electrodeposit by two fundamentally different mechanisms.  Mg requires a chemical step in addition to an electron transfer step, while Zn just requires an electron transfer step.  This result suggests that facile Mg deposition may be reached at higher temperatures whereas Zn electrodeposition may be enhanced by increasing electron-transfer rate constant, likely through additives.

Research Details

  • CVs of Zn deposition at a ultramicroelectrode (UME) exhibit an independent relationship between current density and scan rate indicating a simple two-electron reduction mechanism.
  • CVs of Mg deposition at a UME show an inverse dependence between scan rate and current density suggesting a more complicated chemical-electrochemical process.
  • By coupling electrochemistry with COMSOL simulation, our study provides kinetic parameters and insights central to the Zn and Mg electrodeposition/dissolution processes.

DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b00835

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March 12, 2018 at 07:34PM

Addressing Passivation in Lithium-Sulfur Battery Under Lean Electrolyte Condition

Addressing Passivation in Lithium-Sulfur Battery Under Lean Electrolyte Condition

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Scientific Achievement

Identification and understanding of cycle life limiting factors of Li-S batteries under lean electrolyte conditions; Identification of a NH4TFSI additive to effectively mitigate the uncontrollable passivation issue arising from accumulation of insulating Li2S.

Significance and Impact

NH4TFSI additive enhances the dissociation of Li2S, and largely reduces the insoluble and insulating Li2S particles in sulfur cathodes, which facilitates reversible and sustainable redox reactions and significantly improves the cycle life of a Li-S battery under lean electrolyte conditions.

 Research Details

  • The cycle life of Li-S batteries under lean electrolyte condition largely depends on the electrolyte to sulfur ratio (E/S). SEM, NMR and XPS measurements indicate that a low E/S ratio creates a critical passivation issue resulting from uncontrollable and irreversible accumulation of Li2S.
  • The NH4TFSI additive increases the solubility of Li2S and other short-chain species effectively by tailoring the ionic strength of the solution and promoting Li2S dissociation.

SEM and EIS measurement indicate that NH4TFSI  enables a homogeneous sulfur cathode and Li anode morphology with sustainable reaction interfaces upon cycling under lean electrolyte conditions.

DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201707234

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via JCESR http://www.jcesr.org

March 12, 2018 at 07:34PM