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Breakthrough tech makes car battery "happy", fully charges in 10 minutes
by Sayan Sen
Dr. Rachid Yazami, most famously known for his invention of graphite anode for use inside Li-ion batteries, has claimed he's now developed a technology that can charge electric vehicles (EV) in as little as 10 minutes.
In an interview with The Register, Yazami said the following:
In order to achieve this, Yazami is using a technique called "Non-Linear Voltammetry" (NLV) which regulates the voltage at different levels. If you imagine these levels as steps, then on a certain step the voltage necessary is kept constant until it reaches a higher step. Upon doing this, the voltage is altered to a suitable amount necessary for the new step. The process continues and ultimately, the battery is said to be fully charged when the highest step is reached. Hence why the approach is called Non-Linear Voltammetry; since the voltage is gradually raised in steps.
Yazami believes that this technique helps "to make the battery happy" and consequently increases the speed of charging as it improves the battery's resilience.
However, Rachid Yazami isn't the only one researching and developing fast-charging batteries. Earlier this year, StoreDot, a company that specializes in Extreme Fast Charging (or XFC) batteries, announced that it has produced a next-gen car battery which can charge a two-wheeler EV in just five minutes.
Source: The Register | Image via Tesla
By Jay Bonggolto
Apple hires former CEO and co-founder of an electric vehicle company
by Jay Bonggolto
Image via Canoo Reports about Apple developing an electric vehicle to compete with Tesla and other EV manufacturers popped up in 2015 after CEO Tim Cook reportedly gave his go-signal a year prior. The tech giant went on to hire top talent to fill positions for its EV project codenamed Titan and poached key people from other firms, including Doug Betts, who was quality lead at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The project was later discontinued.
Now, Apple may be reviving its EV ambitions. The company confirmed that it has recruited Ulrich Kranz, formerly the senior executive at BMW AG’s electric car division. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Canoo, an EV company based in Torrance, California. Citing sources privy to the matter, Bloomberg reports that Kranz will help oversee Apple's EV project.
Kranz joined Apple approximately a month after he left Canoo. Prior to his role at Canoo, Kranz served as a Senior Vice President at BMW, where he worked for three decades, as per his LinkedIn profile. He developed some of the firm's vehicles, including the BMW i3 and the i8.
In 2016, Kranz left BMW to provide consultation services for an investment firm and EV startups. Apple's move to hire someone with decades of automotive experience marks the company's growing EV push. Kranz will report directly to Doug Field, a former Tesla executive who now leads Apple’s car project. That said, it might take a couple of years before we see an actual Apple vehicle on the road, seeing as the effort is still in its infancy.
StoreDot creates car battery that can charge in 5 minutes
by João Carrasqueira
Image credit: Sky News StoreDot, an Israeli company focusing on battery technology for electric vehicles, has announced (via Sky News) the successful production of new fast-charging batteries that can be fully charged in just five minutes. In partnership with China-based EVE Energy, the company managed to produce 1,000 units of the battery in China, using existing production lines for lithium-ion batteries at one of EVE's factories, meaning production costs shouldn't increase on account of new production equipment. This achievement also proves the commercial viability of the technology, StoreDot says.
Back in December, CEO Doron Myersdorf talked about the project and explained that the fast charging speeds can be achieved courtesy of the replacement of graphite in the batteries' anode with metalloids such as silicon. Silicon can be used to either improve energy density - thus, capacity - or the charging speeds, but not both, and StoreDot is focused on the latter. As such, the company is giving up some of the battery's range - roughly 10% to 15% - in exchange for fast charging. It's not clear, however, just how long these batteries would last, since a clear point of comparison isn't given.
Myersdorf believes that charging anxiety - the fear of taking too long to charging an electric vehicle or having to wait for a charger to be free - is the biggest hurdle to EV adoption, which is why that's StoreDot's focus. Most chargers can take upwards of one hour to charge a typical car battery, and there's also a good chance that charging stations will be occupied when customers need to charge up. The battery technology allows it to charge faster without requiring a different charger, so charging points wouldn't have to be designed specifically for it, thus charging speeds would see a bump across the board, reducing wait times for users.
StoreDot has been working on technology like this for a while. Back in 2019, it demonstrated a two-wheeled vehicle charging up in just minutes, and last year, it did the same with a commercial drone, both of which were world firsts. This time around, though, it's doing it with a standalone battery that's expected to be commercially viable. The first-generation samples are more so proof of concept that the technology is scalable enough to be widely adopted, and they use germanium instead of graphite. Second-generation samples are planned for the end of the year, and StoreDot hopes to move to silicon for those. However, full commercialization isn't expected until 2024 or 2025.
LG to develop electric vehicle components in joint venture
by Paul Hill
LG has announced a joint venture with Magna International Inc. (Magna) called LG Magna e-Powertrain. Together, the companies will begin manufacturing e-motors, inverters and onboard chargers for a variety of car manufacturers.
In its announcement, LG said that the joint venture will couple Magna’s abilities in electric powertrain systems and automotive manufacturing with LG’s expertise in component development for e-motors and inverters. The two hope that LG Magna e-Powertrain will give them both an advantage in the electric powertrain market which is expected to grow significantly this decade.
Commenting on the news, president of LG Electronics Vehicle component Solutions Company Dr Kim Jin-yong said:
LG said that the joint venture will include over 1,000 employees located at LG locations in the United States, South Korea and China. It said that the transaction is due to close in July but is subject to several conditions including regulatory approval and LG shareholder approval.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Tesla reduces Full Self-Driving upgrade price by $1,000 for Enhanced Autopilot owners
by Usman Khan Lodhi
For owners of Tesla's Enhanced Autopilot package, the price of the Full Self-Driving (FSD) upgrade has been reduced by $1,000. FSD offers owners a plethora of driver-assist features, including the promise of level-five autonomous driving, which the firm hopes to integrate with forthcoming software updates.
Recently, Tesla began rolling out its FSD package in a beta release to a limited group of owners. Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, has remarked that the price of the package would be increased as Tesla adds more capabilities to it. The price increased by $1,000 to $8,000 in July, and after the beta release began, FSD's price skyrocketed to $10,000.
Many of the features in the FSD package were previously offered under the "Enhanced Autopilot package." The price to upgrade from the Enhanced Autopilot package has kept changing in the past. In an overnight change, Tesla is now offering the upgrade for $5,000, which is $1,000 less than the earlier pricing.
Tesla hasn't conveyed a reason for the change and is not expected to do so, as it dissolved its PR department earlier this year.