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Vale’s Canada Mines Set For More Battery-Electric Vehicle Trials SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 1:25 PM on Friday, June 12th, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko has an option for 100% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

  • These trials will help steer business investment decisions in future years
  • The benefits from trials so far include:
  • Health and safety improvements for employees underground: EVs are much quieter than diesel vehicles and produce less heat and zero exhaust emissions. “From an operator comfort perspective, EVs are certainly an improvement,”
  • Cost savings: EVs can reduce underground ventilation demands and the associated operating and capital expenditure
  • Environmental benefits: EVs contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

By the end of 2020, Vale hopes to have upward of 20 battery-powered vehicles operating within its North Atlantic operations, according to Alex Mulloy, Mining Engineer within Vale’s Base Metals Technology and Innovation division.

The plan is for the electric vehicles (EVs) to be operating on a trial basis at its Creighton, Coleman, Copper Cliff, Garson and Thompson mines by the end of the year, with the company having already made significant headway on achieving this goal.

Vale is aligned with the Paris climate-change agreement, and committed to being carbon neutral by 2050, with a 33% cut in greenhouse gas emissions planned across the company by 2030. This is part of a strategy to invest at least $2 billion to combat climate change, which includes the use of battery-electric vehicles.

Vale has already tested Rokion’s battery-powered personnel carriers/utility vehicles at Creighton, while an Epiroc ST7 battery-powered vehicle and Artisan Z40 haul truck have been trialled underground at Coleman.

Mulloy said the green vehicles are going to be evaluated with feedback from operations, as well as operating data, to help Vale understand how they perform in terms of reliability, functionality and the benefits they can offer our people and the business.

The benefits from trials so far include:

  • Health and safety improvements for our employees underground: EVs are much quieter than diesel vehicles and produce less heat and zero exhaust emissions. “From an operator comfort perspective, EVs are certainly an improvement,” Mulloy said;
  • Cost savings: EVs can reduce underground ventilation demands and the associated operating and capital expenditure; and
  • Environmental benefits: EVs contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“EVs certainly complement the efforts of the business in terms of greenhouse gas and carbon reduction,” Mulloy said. “It’s a great technology. Not only does it enable operational benefit and improvement, it also contributes to our greater goals of reducing our emissions and the impact on the environment.”

Natalie Kari, Principal Engineer, Strategic Electric Vehicle Implementation, said: “Exhaust emissions from diesel engines are one of the larger contributors to environmental pollution. EVs are an opportunity to increase safety by improving operating conditions and creating a safe work environment. Reducing noise, vibrations, heat, greenhouse gas emissions, and diesel particulate matter, while improving air quality, contributes to creating an attractive work environment for top talent.

“With increased challenging mine conditions at depth, EVs also provide an opportunity to sustain productivity by enabling mines to produce in areas that otherwise may not be feasible without these benefits, contributing towards mining for years to come.”

These trials will help steer business investment decisions in future years, according to Mulloy.

“Over the coming months, a number of large prime mover vehicles will be delivered,” he said. “When those vehicles arrive, it will be an exciting step in the journey because most of the question marks around the performance of EVs relate to the large vehicles, so that’ll be a chance for us to really put this technology to the test.”

Kari added: “Our company’s next major steps include collaborating with internal and external industry stakeholders towards safe implementation, comprehensive trial data collection and validation of a robust model towards a final approved five-year implementation strategy. With any new technology, investment in our people will be a priority to ensure they are equipped with the tools necessary for successful operation and maintenance.

“It is thrilling to be a part of leading this effort in a time of increased innovation and environmental awareness,” she continued. “The movement from traditional diesel to electric vehicle brings a feeling of social pride in creating a healthier workplace.”


The Second-Life of Used EV Batteries SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 1:30 PM on Friday, May 29th, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko has an option for 100% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

When an electric vehicle (EV) comes off the road, what happens to the vehicle battery? The fate of the lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles is an important question for manufacturers, policy makers, and EV owners alike. Today, EVs are a still a small piece of the automotive market. Many of the batteries coming off the road are being used to evaluate a range of options for reuse and recycling.  Before batteries are recycled to recover critical energy materials, reusing batteries in secondary applications is a promising strategy.

The economic potential for battery reuse, or second-life, could help to further decrease the upfront costs of EV batteries and increase the value of a used EV. Given the growing market for EVs, second-life batteries could also represent a market of low-cost storage for utilities and electricity consumers.  But in order to enable widespread reuse of EV batteries, policy will play an important role in reducing barriers and ensuring responsible, equitable, and sustainable practices.

Today, I’ll be providing testimony to the California Lithium Battery Recycling Advisory Group regarding the reuse of EV batteries; the advisory group’s goal is to make recommendations to ensure 100% of EV batteries sold in California are reused or recycled. In this blog, I describe current industry landscape and explain the potential use cases for second-life EV batteries. This blog summarizes a brief white paper I helped developed with researchers from the University of California Davis for the group.

The market for second-life batteries

As the market for electric vehicles grows, so too will the supply of second-life batteries. Forecasts from academic studies and industry reports estimate a range of 112-275 GWh per year of second-life batteries becoming available by 2030 globally. For context, this is over 200 times total energy storage installed in the US in 2018 (~780 MWh).

California is the largest market for EVs in the US and by 2027, an estimated 45,000 EV batteries will be retired from the state. Assuming a conservative capacity for each of these batteries (25 kWh), this amounts to over 1 GWh/year of available storage in the Golden State.

Why EV batteries could be reused

After 8 to 12 years in a vehicle, the lithium batteries used in EVs are likely to retain more than two thirds of their usable energy storage. Depending on their condition, used EV batteries could deliver an additional 5-8 years of service in a secondary application.

The ability of a battery to retain and rapidly discharge electricity degrades with use and the passing of time. How many times a battery can deliver its stored energy at a specific rate is a function of degradation. Repeated utilization of the maximum storage potential of the battery, rapid charge and discharge cycles, and exposure to high temperatures are all likely to reduce battery performance. I break down battery degradation more in a previous blog post.

Given the light-duty cycles experienced by EV batteries, some battery modules with minimal degradation and absent defects or damage could likely be refurbished and reused directly as a replacement for the same model vehicle.  Major automakers, including Nissan and Tesla, have offered rebuilt or refurbished battery packs for purchase or warranty replacement of original battery packs in EVs.

The value of used energy storage

The economics of second-life battery storage also depend on the cost of the repurposed system competing with new battery storage. To be used as stationary storage, used batteries must undergo several processes that are currently costly and time-intensive. Each pack must be tested to determine the remaining state of health of battery, as it will vary for each retired system depending on factors that range from climate to individual driving behavior. The batteries must then be fully discharged, reconfigured to meet the energy demands of their new application; in many cases, packs are disassembled before modules are tested, equipped with a new battery management system (BMS), and re-packaged.

Depending on the ownership model and the upfront cost of a second-life battery, estimates of the total cost of a second-life battery range from $40-160/kWh. This compares with new EV battery pack costs of $157/kWh at the end of 2019. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has also created a publicly available battery second-use repurposing calculator that accounts for factors such as labor costs, warranty, and initial battery size and cost. The figure below illustrates the potential cost structure of a repurposed battery in a second-life application where the buying price is the maximum value paid for the used battery.  If this value could be passed through to the original owner, it could help to defray the cost of an electric vehicle.

Comparing new and repurposed EV battery pack costs

Based on the NREL’s Battery Second-Use Repurposing Cost Calculator; assumes a throughput of 10,000 tons of spent batteries per year (~1 GWh/year), and net repurposing and testing costs of $22/kWh.

Most applications of distributed energy storage have considerable downtime where batteries are not being cycled.  Therefore, second-life batteries offer the greatest economic benefit when battery systems provide multiple services at the same time. Bundling services together to improve the economics of energy storage is referred to as value stacking.

For example, a consumer customer might install so-called behind-the-meter storage primarily to reduce electricity costs by avoiding demand charges (i.e. additional electricity costs related to high loads). The customer might also value resilience in a power outage. Both behind and in front of the meter, distributed storage can provide a range of services for electric utilities including reducing the need to build new power plants or leveling out large changes in electricity supply or demand. A key challenge for battery storage (new or used) in a commercial market is how to capture each of these value streams.

A major barrier will be developing fair compensation for the enhanced ability of batteries to perform certain services within these storage markets. On top of this, the value of the service provided by these batteries must be thoroughly quantified to reduce uncertainty.

Customer energy management

There are a variety of options ‘behind the meter’ for customers to deploy energy storage to reduce energy costs and improve system resilience.

Time of use rate (TOU) rate structures encourage customers to shift their energy use to off-peak hours by charging higher rates for usage during peak hours. Capacity bidding into demand response is another mechanism to reward commercial customers for reducing load for a short duration. The implementation of storage in these cases is to charge when electricity is cheaper, then discharge during peak hours when it is advantageous to reduce customer load (this is known as “peak shaving”).

As TOU rates trend towards evening hours, utilizing second-life batteries in behind-the-meter load shifting applications provides an environmental benefit as well, since they charge from cleaner electricity during the day then displace demand for energy that would otherwise be supplied by natural gas peaker plants.

Battery storage can also be used to directly balance the intermittency of wind and solar generation. Storage enables customers to take advantage of times when onsite generation exceeds demand; energy can be stored, then discharged to fill in the “lull” periods.  On-site storage could also provide a greater value than net-metering for some types of private systems.

Utility scale services

There are a number of services that distributed energy storage an provide for electric utilities. As mentioned previously, a key barrier for second-life EV batteries and distributed energy storage more broadly is the ability to capture these different value streams. There are four general types of grid services storage can provide:

  • Frequency regulation – Broadly characterizes the need for the grid to maintain the balance between generation and load (demand)
  • Transmission and distribution – Upgrading this infrastructure is costly and storage could help to alleviate congestion
  • Spinning Reserves – Reserve generation for an unexpected event, usually available at short notice
  • Energy arbitrage – Storing excess energy generation during the day and providing resource adequacy when demand outpaces generation.

Existing behind the meter pilot projects

Several pilot projects exist for second-life LIBs used in customer energy management strategies, ranging from small to large-scale customers (Table). For example, Nissan’s European headquarters in Paris, France features a 192kWh/144kW system composed of 12 second-life Nissan Leaf batteries. The system allows the headquarters to manage demand and take advantage of TOU electricity rates.

The Robert Mondavi Institute at UC Davis is another example of a behind-the-meter system that is paired with solar PV. In a project sponsored by the California Energy Commission (CEC), a 300-kWh system comprised of 18 repurposed Nissan leaf battery packs was assembled inside a shipping container.

On the larger end of customer demand, a cooperative effort between Nissan, Eaton, BAM and The Mobility House has led to the installation of a hybrid first-life/second-life system at the Johan Cruijff Arena, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This system, comprised of 148 Nissan Leaf batteries, has a 3 MW power capacity and a 2.8 MWh electricity storage capacity. The battery system helps to decrease energy costs and provides up to one hour of back-up power to the arena. In 2016, a 13 MWh system was commissioned in Lunen, Germany based on 1,000 BMW i3 packs, approximately 90% of which are second-life batteries.

Developing policy to enable battery reuse

Although there are no uniform global or regional policies governing the reuse and recycling of EV batteries, there has been an increase in attention paid to the issues of end of life (EOL) management in recent years.

One key challenge for EOL management is sharing of critical data like battery manufacturer, cathode material, battery condition, and usage history down the value chain to the potential secondary market or recycler. The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) was founded in 2017 as a collaboration of 70 public and private organizations with the goal of establishing a sustainable battery value chain including repurposing and recycling.  The GBA ‘Battery Passport’ aims to improve the sharing of data along the value chain by standardizing labelling and creating a database of battery information.  Sharing of battery data could decrease the costs of battery repurposing and increase the value proposition of battery reuse.

Another key challenge for battery reuse is logistics. Used batteries, once removed from a vehicle, are considered hazardous waste and are therefore governed by restrictions on the transportation of hazardous wastes.  The costs and challenges in transporting and aggregating used batteries are also a barrier to widespread reuse.

The waste hierarchy is a useful framework for considering the fate of used EV batteries: reduce first, followed by reuse, recycling, energy recovery, and finally treatment and disposal. EVs already deliver significant environmental benefits compared to conventional gasoline vehicles; encouraging battery reuse and ensuring proper recycling are important strategies for further increasing the sustainability of EVs.

Existing second-life pilot projects

Lead Entity LocationYear(s)Capacity 
United Technologies Research Centre Ireland, Ltd.Paris, France2017-88 kWh (Kangoo packs number unspecified)
Gateshead College, United Technologies Research Centre Ireland, Ltd.Sunderland, United Kingdom2017-48 kWh (3 Leaf packs, 50 kW PV capacity)
NissanParis, France2017-192 kWh (12 Leaf packs)
RWTH Aachen UniversityAachen, Germany2017-96 kWh (6 Kangoo packs)
City of Kempten, the Allgäuer Überlandwerk GmbHKempten, Germany2017-95 kWh ( 6 Kangoo packs, 37.1 kW PV capacity)
City of Terni, ASM TerniTerni, Italy2017-66 kWh (Kangoo packs number unspecifed, 200 kW PV capacity)
Daimler, Getec Energie, The Mobility House, RemondisLunen, Germany2016-12 MW, 13 MWh (1000 i3 packs, 90% 2nd life)
Nissan, Eaton, BAM, The Mobility HouseAmsterdam, Netherlands2019-3 MW, 2.8 MWh (148 Leaf packs, 42% 2nd life)
Daimler, The Mobility House, GETEC ENERGIE, Mercedes-Benz EnergyElverlingsen, Germanyby 202020 MW, 21 MWh (1878 packs, 40% 2nd life)
Mobility House, AudiBerlin, Germany2019-1.25 MW, 1.9 MWh (20 e-tron packs, 100 % 2nd life)
UPC SEAT, EndesaMalaga, Spain2016-37.2 kWh (4 PHEV packs, 8 kW PV)
BMW, Vattenfall, BoschHamburg, Germany2016-2 MW, 2.8 MWh (2600 i3 modules)
Renault, Connected Energy LtdBelgium2020-720 kWh, 1200 kW (Kangoo packs number unspecified)
Nissan, WMG: University of Warwick, Ametek, Element EnergyUnited Kingdom2020-1 MWh (50 Leaf packs)
UC Davis, California Energy Commision, NissanDavis, CA, USA2016-260 kWh (864 Leaf modules, 100 kW PV)
BMW, EVgoLos Angeles, CA, USA2018-30 kW, 44 kWh (2 i3 packs)
UC San Diego, BMW, EVgoSan Diego, CA, USA2014-2017108 kW, 180 kWh (unspecificed number of mini E packs)
General Motors, ABBSan Francisco, CA, USA201225 kW, 50 kWh (5 Volt packs, 74 kW PV, 2 kW wind turbines)
ToyotaYellowstone National Park, USA2014-85 kWh (208 Camry modules)
Nuvve, University of Delaware, BMWNewark, USA2019-200 kW (unspecificed number of mini E packs, integrated with V2G in addition)
Nissan Sumitoto (4R Energy), Green charge networkOsaka, Japan2014-600 kW, 400 kWh (16 Leaf packs)


Two UK Battery Startups Eye £4 Billion EV Battery “Gigafactory” SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 8:41 AM on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko has an option for 100% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

  • The UK needs to manufacture 130GWh of electric car batteries a year if it is to maintain its position as the fourth largest car maker in Europe.

A potentially landmark agreement to explore the construction of an electric car “gigafactory” has been signed between two UK startups, AMTE Power and Britishvolt.

The growth of the electric car industry in the UK as car makers wind down petrol and diesel car production has sparked a warning from the UK government-backed Faraday Institution that without more investment in the local battery manufacturing industry, a major opportunity in the form of more than 100,000 jobs could be missed.

Currently, the UK electric car battery industry is led by a battery factory alongside Nissan’s car factory in Sunderland with an annual 2GWh capacity.

A joint venture announced in 2018 between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group outlined a plan to build another battery making facility in Coventry to build 10,000 battery packs a year, and Unipart has also been chosen as a key player in Jaguar Land Rover’s battery assembly plant.

But these are small fry, in light of the recently released Faraday report which suggests the UK needs to manufacture some 130GWh of electric car batteries a year if it is to maintain its position as the fourth largest car maker in Europe.

If successful, the new memorandum of understanding between AMTE Power and Britishvolt would see as much as £4 billion invested in a new “gigafactory” with a potential 35GWh capacity, enough to rival the likes of Northvolt which has plans to output 32GWH a year at its Swedish battery factory in Skellefteå by 2024, and 24GWH from its German factory in Salzgitter.

While its still a far cry from plans of true electric car battery giants such as the proposed 60GWh that China’s CATL intends to output at its German factoryin Erfurt, or LG Chem’s planned 70GWh in Wroclaw, Poland, AMTE Power and Britishvolt’s vision is big.

“We are delighted to be working with Britishvolt exploring the creation of a large scale manufacturing facility in the UK,” said Kevin Brundish, CEO at AMTE Power in a statement of the proposed battery factory, which it is diplomatically referring to as a “GigaPlant”.

“The recent global crisis has further highlighted the importance of having a robust onshore supply chain, and the creation of a GigaPlant would place the UK in a strong position to service automotive and energy storage markets.

“The scalable production of lithium ion cells is key to electrifying vehicles and would drive new manufacturing revenues and new employment, and can be built on AMTE’s focus on the supply of specialised cells, thereby continuing the country’s tradition of excellence in battery cell innovation.”

For the relatively young Britishvolt, the chance to align with Scottish AMTE Power, which began life as AGM Batteries Limited, a joint vcenture between  Mitsubishi Materials and AEA Technology, GS (GS Yuasa), is a potential coup.

“Aligning our objectives with AMTE Power, who are looking to add to their current manufacturing capabilities in the UK, our ambition is to build a 30+ gigawatt hour factory with the support of the British Government, creating up to 4,000 jobs in the proces,” said Lars Carlstrom, Britishvolt CEO, in a statement.

“Meeting Road to Zero targets and moving the UK into a low carbon economy will necessitate the unprecedented electrification of vehicles, and reliance on renewable energy will require extensive battery storage.

“It is costly and carbon-intensive to have lithium ion batteries imported from the Far East, and this GigaPlant would cement a solid onshore supply chain to ensure quality and eliminate future uncertainty of supply.”

But it will take work. According to The Guardian, AMTE Power is initially looking to expand its operations which currently include a small battery plant near Thurso, Scotland to include a 1GWh plant either in Dundee oe Teesside, while Britishvolt is considering five sites for a 10GWh capacity plant to be followed by a further 20GWh depending on funding.

Ian Constance, CEO of APC, who introduced the two companies thinks that changes in UK consumer perception of electric vehicles as well as technological advances in battery innovation mean the market landscape is ripe.

“The UK is a highly credible location for green growth investment,” Constance said in a statement.

“It has a rich and diverse supply chain, a rapidly decarbonising energy supply and an innovation culture, and government support through a strong industrial strategy.

“As the pace and scale of change accelerates towards new net zero targets the UK is in a prime position to design, develop, manufacture and export high-value battery technologies. It is a positive testament that AMTE power and Britishvolt recognise the full potential of the UK and have identified it as a priority for their battery industrialisation explorations.”


GM Says It’s Developing EV Battery To Last 1 Million Miles SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 8:20 PM on Friday, May 22nd, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko has an option for 100% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

Not long after it was revealed that Tesla is edging closer to making a million-mile electric vehicle battery, General Motors has stated it is on the verge of doing the same.

While speaking at a recent online investor conference, GM executive vice president Doug Parks revealed the car manufacturer is working on next-generation batteries that will be even more advanced than the Ultium battery that it unveiled back in March.

Parks said that the car manufacturer is “almost there” with the new long-life battery and added that “multiple teams” at GM are working on advances including zero-cobalt electrodes, solid state electrolytes and ultra-fast charging, Reuters reports.

GM’s Ultium batteries are unique because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack, allowing engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Ultium energy options will range from 50 kWh to 200 kWh allowing for up to 400 miles (644 km) or more of range on each charge and vehicles that can sprint to 60 mph (96 km/h) in as little as 3 seconds.

Most future electric vehicles produced by GM with the Ultium batteries will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capabilities, while the brand’s truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.

While GM may be close to developing a million-mile battery, Tesla looks set to beat them to the punch. Thanks to a partnership with China’s CATL, the electric automaker’s million-mile battery could premiere in Chinese-built Model 3s later this year or early next year.


Tesla’s ‘Million Mile’ Battery Could Change the EV World SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 1:46 PM on Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomik has an option for 100% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

  • Experts say it would allow Tesla to sell electric vehicles for the same prices as gasoline-powered ones

A “million mile” battery that will lower the cost of EVs to the same as gasoline-powered ones?

Apparently Tesla and CEO Elon Musk are looking at exactly that for China later this year, according to a report in The Verge sourced from Reuters.

The battery is being co-developed with Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) and was designed in part by battery experts recruited by Tesla’s Musk, the report said.

Tesla is already the industry leader when it comes to squeezing range out of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, and it’s expected to reveal more about the new technology at an upcoming “Battery Day” for investors.

Musk told investors and analysts earlier this year that the information “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.”

The company originally planned to hold the event in April, but has had to reschedule it until at least late May thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the report said.

The battery is expected to lower the cost per kilowatt hour (the unit of energy most commonly used to measure the capacity of the battery packs in modern electric vehicles) to under US$100.

Many experts believe that reaching that mark would allow Tesla or other automakers to sell electric vehicles for the same prices as gasoline-powered ones, thereby making them far more accessible, the report said.

That Tesla is reportedly planning to bring the technology to China first demonstrates the nation’s importance when it comes to electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, General Motors is also trying to hit that mark in its work with battery maker LG Chem, as it recently shared during its own big “EV Day” event in March, though the automaker is not expected to get there until the mid-2020s.

GM said last month that its new generation of batteries will use 70% less cobalt, an expensive and precious material that is often mined by workers who are subject to brutal conditions, the report said.

Musk has long sought to remove cobalt from the equation entirely, and Tesla is getting closer to doing that in its work with CATL, according to Reuters.

Information about Tesla’s next-generation batteries has steadily trickled out over the last year or so thanks to the experts Musk hired and their public works, like patents, academic papers, and university presentations. The group has been funded by Tesla since 2016, according to Reuters.

Tesla has also bought up a small handful of companies that are contributing to its battery advancements, like Maxwell Technologies, the report said.

And its former CTO, JB Straubel, is leading a battery recycling company called Redwood Materials that Reuters says is an “affiliate” of Tesla’s.

According to TechXplore, earlier this year, Musk told investors, “We’ve got to really make sure we get a very steep ramp in battery production and continue to improve the cost per kilowatt-hour of the batteries—this is very fundamental and extremely difficult. We’ve got to scale battery production to crazy levels that people cannot even fathom today.”

At the end of 2019, battery prices were about $156/kWh; it’s widely thought $100/kWh is the number the auto industry needs to reach to make electric cars’ cost on par with gasoline cars, reported.

CATL’s cobalt-free lithium-iron-phosphate battery packs have just recently fallen below $80/kWh, with battery cells dropping below $60/kWh. CATL’s low-cobalt NMC battery packs have almost reached that magic $100/kWh number.


Not Science Fiction: Can We Charge EVs With Car-to-Car Mobile Recharging? SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 1:25 PM on Monday, May 11th, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko owns 80% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

Electric vehicles (EVs) in their current form are not practical for long distance travel due to the need for multiple or lengthy stops at charging stations. But what if they could—like planes being refueled in the air from another aircraft—get a charge-on-the-go?

The idea sounds like science fiction, but there are already technologies in use that would help facilitate specialized vehicles for charging.

For instance, Tesla cars use radar to detect the speed of other cars around them, which controls the speed of the car in relation to traffic—a feature that would make “docking” possible.

With rural electric charging stations almost non-existent, Swarup Bhunia and engineers at the University of Florida, Gainesville, are postulating that “peer-to-peer charging” and “mobile charging stations” could likely solve this problem faster than the current proliferation of charging points or battery advancements

Along with the mobile charging stations idea, Bhunia believes that if more and more people buy electric cars, it would be super-efficient if all cars on the road could share charge with one another.

The idea is bold and definitely something out of Blade Runner or Ex Machina, but Bhunia explains that, incredibly, it’s the easiest way to solve the two largest hang-ups that prevent consumers from selecting an EV—battery range, and charging time.

Cloud Technology for Traffic

“A set of cloud-based schedulers decides charge providers and receivers,” begins the hypothesis written by Bhunia et al. in a journal called arxiv that allows non peer-reviewed material to be discussed.

What Bhunia and his team are describing is a cloud system that examines all of the EV drivers on the road, where they are going, and how much charge each vehicle has. The cloud then determines, for example, that EV-A has 89% battery, but requires only 4% to reach its destination, while EV-B has 22% battery, yet requires 31% to reach its destination.

If the rerouting isn’t intrusive, the system would instruct the two EVs to carry out the charge transfer. The system would then link the provider with the receiver, and a credit system would ensure that everyone is paying for the charge they use.

Inside the given traffic network, every vehicle’s charge could be examined against each vehicle’s demand, and “mobile charging stations,” which would be large automated trucks with onboard charging equipment to fill in the demand gaps.

“We envision a safe, insulated, and firm telescopic arm carrying the charging cable,” reads the paper, describing how to get one charge into another car while barreling down the freeway, much like two aircraft during mid-air refueling. “After two EVs lock speed and are in range for charge sharing, they will extend their charging arms.”

They admit this would be just one possible way to tackle this problem. One extremely exciting thing that the team has also imagined would be wireless charging in the future, as we can already do with our phones. Imagine realizing you need a bit of a charge up, and so you simply pull your car alongside an 18 wheeler, set the cruise control, and charge up wirelessly before continuing on your way.

Volkswagen has already unveiled a conceptual design for a little robot that will tug around a trailer of batteries while charging all the cars inside a given parking garage, and if the technology could be adopted onto a mobile charging station like a truck, car, semi-trailer, or even drone, as some have imagined, Bhunia’s dream of a cloud-sharing peer-to-peer charging network is already halfway real.


New Study Examines Impacts of Different Sources of Critical Metals for EV Batteries SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 9:07 AM on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko owns 80% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

  • The study commissioned by DeepGreen examines how we can source the massive amount of mineral resources required for a wholesale move away from fossil fuels with the least amount of damage to the planet.

As calls for a transition to renewable energy and electric transport grow louder in the face of increasing global climate chaos, demand for certain EV battery metals is projected to increase by 11 times the current level by 2050, according to the World Bank, with shortages in nickel, cobalt and copper predicted to emerge as soon as 2025.

The first-of-its-kind LCSA study provides an in-depth comparison of the cradle-to-gate impacts of producing metals from land ores and polymetallic nodules, both sources of the nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese required to build one billion EV batteries. The researchers examine the relative impacts of the extraction, processing and refining of these key base metals on several impact categories, including: greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, ecosystem services, non-living resources and habitats, biodiversity, human health and economics.

“The purpose of this in-depth research effort is to provide a substantive look into the impacts of different sources of the critical battery metals that make up the bedrock of the clean energy economy” said DeepGreen Chairman and CEO Gerard Barron. “The scale of the green transition is monumental, and the timeline is daunting. For Earth Day’s 50th anniversary let’s go deeper than mere calls for renewable energy and electric transport and have an honest conversation about the resources required to get us there. We believe that polymetallic nodules are an important part of the solution. They contain high concentrations of nickel, cobalt and manganese – they’re effectively an EV battery in a rock.”

Gerard Barron, DeepGreen Chairman and CEO, added that ocean nodules are a unique resource to consider at a time when society urgently needs a good solution for supplying new virgin metals for the green transition and that extraction of virgin metals – from any source – is by definition not sustainable and generates environmental damage. This means there is a responsibility to understand the benefits – as well as the damages associated with sourcing base metals from nodules.

Polymetallic nodules are made of almost 100 percent usable minerals and contain no toxic levels of deleterious elements, compared to ores mined from the land which have increasingly low yields (often below 1 percent) and often do contain toxic levels of deleterious elements. This means that producing metals from nodules has the potential to generate almost zero solid waste and no toxic tailings, as opposed to terrestrial mining processes which produce billions of tonnes of waste and can leak deadly toxins into soil and water resources.

Based on a relative impact assessment of land ores and ocean nodules, the researchers find that nodule collection and processing can deliver a 70 percent reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent (C02e) emissions, 94 percent reduction in stored carbon at risk, 90 percent reduction in SOx and NOx emissions, 100 percent less solid waste, 94 percent less land use, 92 percent less forest use and zero child labour, among other benefits.

“Over the last 5 years there has been heightened awareness of the environmental, social and economic impacts of producing metals from land ores” said one of the whitepaper’s lead researchers, marine biologist and ecologist Dr. Steven Katona. “We essentially built on existing lifecycle assessment indicators work for land-based mining and created an apples-to-apples comparison for battery material production from ocean nodules. This unique comparative LCSA enables auto manufacturers, technology companies and policy makers to understand how these different sources of key base metals measure up against each other with regards to their impacts.”

While the deep seabed is a food-poor environment with limited biomass, uncertainties remain over the nature as well as temporal and spatial scales of impacts from nodule collection on deep-sea wildlife. The study provides the broader context for a deeper, multi-year environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) being conducted by DeepGreen, in what the company says will be the largest integrated seabed-to-surface deep-ocean science programme ever conducted, with over 100 separate studies being undertaken. DeepGreen has partnered with three pacific island states for deep-sea environmental studies, mineral exploration and project development. Through these relationships with the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Kiribati and the Kingdom of Tonga, DeepGreen has exclusive rights under the International Seabed Authority to explore for polymetallic nodules in regions of the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean.

In recent months DeepGreen has continued its push to disrupt the minerals industry and re-shape how critical battery metals are sourced, processed and ultimately recycled, through several key milestones. In October DeepGreen derived its first metal from polymetallic nodules in a processing lab, and in March, the company’s partner Allseas acquired a former drill ship to convert to a polymetallic nodule collecting vessel.

Earlier this month the company announced the acquisition of Tonga Offshore Mining Limited (TOML), giving DeepGreen access to a third seabed contract area in which to explore for battery metals with significantly lower environmental and social impact. As part of its commitment to develop these resources, which are defined as the ‘Common Heritage’ of Humankind, DeepGreen is committed to full transparency, has pledged to share all knowledge generated and is currently involved in a global stakeholder engagement process.


Elon Musk: One of The Most Exciting Days in Tesla History is Coming – Hints At ‘Terafactory’ – SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 11:48 AM on Friday, May 1st, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko owns 80% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

Elon Musk is hyping Tesla’s upcoming Battery Day – saying that it will be “one of the most exciting days in Tesla history” and hinting at a ‘Terafactory’ announcement.

Last year, Musk said that Cybertruck is Tesla’s last product unveil for “a while,” but he teased some upcoming tech announcements.

Those announcements were expected to happen at what Tesla has been referring to as “Powertrain and Battery Investor Day.”

Much like the “Autonomy Day” that happened last year, Tesla said that it is planning to give presentations to investors, which are livestreamed, about the automaker’s latest development in powertrains and battery technology.

Later, Musk referred to the event as â€œTesla April company talk” and said that it will be held at Gigafactory New York, where Tesla plans to offer media and investors tours of the facility.

Earlier this month, Musk updated Tesla’s upcoming event to add that it will focus just on batteries and not powertrain.

During a conference call following Tesla’s Q1 2020 results yesterday, Musk was asked about the Battery Day.

The CEO said:

“Yes. Actually, we don’t want to preempt Battery Day. We want to leave the exciting news for that day, but there will be a lot of exciting news to tell. And I think it would be one of the most exciting days in Tesla’s history and we’re just trying to figure out the right timing for that.”

Musk gave a hint later in the call when he talked about Tesla’s next factories becoming “Terafactories”.

When announcing the first Gigafactory, Tesla decided to call it that because it was going to produce ‘gigawatt-hours’ (GWh) in battery capacity.

A ‘Terafactory’ could be producing over a terawatt-hour of battery capacity, which is 1,000 GWh or about 20 times the current capacity of Panasonic’s production at Gigafactory Nevada and several times the world’s production for EV batteries.

As we previously reported, Electrek revealed that Tesla will present the result of its internal secret Roadrunner project at the battery event.

The goal is for Tesla to produce its own battery cells using technologies developed by Tesla’s internal teams, including work from its research lab in Canada led by Jeff Dahn, and new technologies recently acquired through the acquisition of Maxwell, on a massive scale and at a cost below $100 per kWh.

Musk said that Tesla is aiming for the event to be held the third week of May:

“We think probably the right timing will be probably the third week of May. Not giving a firm date, but we think that probably that’s the right timing. And depending upon what we’re allowed to do, it will either be in California or Texas.”

It will put the event between May 17-23.

Electrek’s Take

On top of the actual new cells and production system developed under Roadrunner, I think Tesla is going to announce a location to produce over 1 terawatt-hour of battery cells.

The fact that Elon mentioned California or Texas might lead people to think that the factory is going to be at one of those locations, but I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to that conclusion.

The event was first supposed to happen in Gigafactory New York, but I think he doesn’t believe any event is going to be able to be held in NY next month.

California is where Tesla is based and where the automaker is running its pilot production line for the Roadrunner battery cells and Texas is where Elon is based right now for SpaceX work and also where restrictions are being relaxed.

I am not saying that it’s not possible Tesla might announce a deal for a factory in Texas at the event, but I am just saying that it’s not a done deal just because he mentioned the state.


VIDEO: Lomiko $ Discusses High Grade #Graphite, #Tesla and Recent #Oil Shock $ $ $ $ $ $ $TSLA

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 5:53 PM on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Paul Gill, CEO of Lomiko Metals (LMR:TSX:V) (LMRMF:OTCQB) (DH8C:FRANK) is in the midst of proving up a very high grade Graphite deposit.

The La Loutre Flake Graphite property is a high-grade (10+ % Cg) deposit located 117 kilometres northwest of Montreal. It has an indicated + inferred resource of 10 M Tonnes of 6% at the Graphene-Battery Zone.

Lomiko recently completed drilling at the “REFRACTORY Zone” of La loutre.
A second resource that includes recent high grade intercepts of 28.5 Metres of 16.53% Cg and 21.5 Metres of 11.53% Cg reported January 6, 2016 and 9% over 90.75 metres reported September 24th 2015 from the Refractory Zone.

The company reported multiple 100M+ intercepts and multiple 10% CG zones.

On the demand side, Paul provides a compelling argument for the future of graphite and more specifically EV’s (Tesla). Paul’s thesis further suggests that the recent oil shock will do little to curb the long term lifestyle demand of the future Tesla consumer.

Grab your favourite beverage and check it out!

Norway and the A-Ha Moment That Made Electric Cars The Answer SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 1:18 PM on Monday, April 20th, 2020

SPONSOR: Lomiko Metals is focused on the exploration and development of minerals for the new green economy such as lithium and graphite. Lomiko owns 80% of the high-grade La Loutre graphite Property, Lac Des Iles Graphite Property and the 100% owned Quatre Milles Graphite Property. Lomiko is uniquely poised to supply the growing EV battery market. Click Here For More Information

  • A country fuelled by hydropower has become the world’s electric vehicle leader

In 1995, the lead singer of the 1980s band A-ha and the head of the Norwegian environmental group Bellona climbed improbably into a converted electric Fiat Panda they had imported from Switzerland and set off on a road trip.

They drove around Oslo refusing to pay the city’s sky-high road tolls, parking illegally wherever they could, and ignoring every penalty notice they were given. Eventually, the authorities impounded their car and auctioned it off to cover the fines.

But the stunt attracted massive media attention, and the point was made. Soon after, electric vehicles were exempted from road tolls, one of a large raft of incentives that have, over the years, helped make Norway the country with the world’s highest per capita electric vehicle ownership.

Last month, in an economy hit by the coronavirus crisis, fully electric cars accounted for just under 60% of Norway’s new car market, and plug-in hybrids just over 15% – meaning three in four of all new cars sold were either wholly or partly electric.

It still has some way to go, but the country looks on course to meet a government target – set in 2016, with full cross-party parliamentary support – of phasing out the sale of all new fossil-fuel based cars and light commercial vehicles by 2025.

“It’s actually quite amazing how fast the mindset’s changed,” said Christina Bu of the Norwegian EV Electric Vehicle Association. “Even in 2013 or 2014, people were sceptical. Now, a majority of Norwegians will say: my next car will be electric.”

The story of how and why that has happened has a straightforward, if unexpected logic. First, despite being a major oil and gas producer, almost all of Norway’s domestic energy comes from a single, and renewable, source: hydropower.

That means switching to EVs is a much greener option for Norway than for countries whose power is generated mostly by coal plants – and that if it wants to significantly reduce its emission levels, it has little choice but to green its transport sector.

Driven by the environmental imperative, the government began offering incentives to buy and run electric cars as far back as 1990, first by introducing a temporary exemption from Norway’s exorbitant vehicle purchase tax, which became permanent six years later.

“This was an important step,” Bu said. “Norway was a very poor country before we discovered oil; cars were a luxury item. They’ve always been taxed very highly. Cars in Norway are a lot more expensive than elsewhere. Without the purchase tax, the cost of an electric car basically fell to that of an ordinary car.”

Since then, electric car drivers have been given the right to park for free in some municipal car parks, drive in bus lanes, take ferries without a ticket and, thanks to A-ha, drive toll-free. They are not required to pay VAT on their cars, or road tax, and company electric cars are taxed at a lower rate than petrol or diesel vehicles.

Some measures have changed over the years: to be allowed to drive in a bus lane, for example, you now need to be carrying a passenger. A so-called 50% rule was introduced in 2017, allowing local authorities to charge EV drivers up to 50% of the parking fees, road tolls and ferry rates applicable to fossil-fuel vehicles.

But overall, said Bu, the “combination of a big one-off saving when you buy the car, plus the substantially lower costs – fuel, tolls, parking, maintenance – of actually driving it, still adds up to a very powerful financial argument. Over its lifetime, you really save a lot of money with an electric car in Norway.”

That was certainly what persuaded Wenche Charlotte Egelund, 57, who bought a VW Golf Electric with her partner two years ago when they moved out of central Oslo. “The incentives were crucial,” she said. “The tax and VAT exemptions, free municipal parking, free toll roads that mean we avoid the rush-hour traffic jams.”

In fact, Egelund said, the incentives were so significant that she almost “felt the decision was imposed on me. Financially, it was like there was no other sensible option. I do wonder whether it really is as green as we are told. Is a car running on clean diesel really worse than the environmental impact of producing an EV battery?”

Rachel Ritman, 56, a postwoman living on the outskirts of Fredrikstad, bought her Opel Ampera two years ago and said she has not regretted her choice, even if she was “not sure we would have gone electric without the incentives”. The car’s range was good, she said: 250 miles (400km) in summer, 200 miles (320km) in winter and because she charges at home she does not suffer from “lade-angst”, or the fear of running out of juice.

Both Ritman and Egelund have a second, diesel-powered car for extra-long journeys, to country cabins or holidays. Sten Bråthen, 55, a media consultant, bought his Nissan Leaf as a second car “for taking the children around and driving to work. But there were so many advantages that when we were getting a new main car last year we didn’t think twice about going electric.”

Government incentives were vital in the decision to buy, Bråthen said: “I think we would have managed without the other incentives – free toll roads and parking – but the actual cost of buying was so much lower than ordinary cars here in Norway.” He warned, though, that Norway was going to need more charging stations.

Despite the incentives, EV sales in Norway remained low until about 2010, when a number of smaller, more affordable electric cars from makers such as Mitsubishi and Nissan came to market, and improved technology meant larger electric cars began to offer both the space and range to make them a sensible choice for families.

Bu said the incentives were so significant that “many people say they’ve bought the most expensive car they’ve ever had when they buy electric – Teslas, Jaguars, that kind of model – simply because they’ve calculated what kind of saving they’re going to be making over the coming years, and feel it makes sense”.

That has led to accusations that Norway’s encouragement of electric vehicles amounts to little more than tax cuts for the rich, or a cut-price second car. Many Norwegians on lower incomes can only dream of owning an electric car, and three out of four car purchases are on the secondhand market.

Bu – whose organisation represents consumers rather than producers – rejected this, arguing that “we have to change the cars we drive, and the only way to do that is to change the new cars. We can’t change used ones”. EVs will soon make up 10% of Norway’s passenger fleet, she said, and are slowly coming on to the used market. Advertisement

She said she was confident for the future of electric vehicles, even in countries without a big renewable power sector, and studies show that EVs running on power generated from fossil fuel are responsible for roughly the same level of overall CO2 emissions as petrol cars.

“As a society, we clearly have to do two things,” she said. “Produce more renewable energy and products – like cars – that can run on it,” she said. “We have to do both, as fast as possible. We can’t hang around until we’re producing 100% renewable energy.”

Electric cars are “never going to be truly environmentally friendly”, Bu said. “The main problem is making the batteries. We need clean battery producers in Europe. But look, we need transport. We need cars and vans, particularly outside our cities. And for us, electric is the answer.”

This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The Guardian is the lead partner in Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.