Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere — in phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and increasingly cars. Demand for lithium-ion batteries has risen sharply in the past five years and is expected to grow from a $44.2 billion market in 2020 to a $94.4 billion market by 2025, mostly due to the boom in electric cars.
And a shortage of lithium-ion batteries is looming in the U.S. Former Tesla CTO and Elon Musk’s right-hand man, JB Straubel, started Redwood Materials in 2017 to help address the need for more raw materials and to solve the problem of e-waste. The company recycles end-of-life batteries and then supplies battery makers and auto companies with materials in short supply as EV production surges around the world. Straubel gave CNBC an inside look at its first recycling facility in Carson City, Nevada. Watch the video to learn why battery recycling will be an essential part in making EV production more sustainable.
Lucid, Fisker, Rivian and Canoo are among the well-funded startups racing to release new electric vehicles. WSJ asked CEOs and industry insiders how new auto companies plan to challenge Tesla’s market dominance and take on legacy car makers. Photo composite: George Downs
U.S. automakers are finally making bold commitments to electrify their fleets, but in the short-term, there may not be enough lithium-ion batteries to go around. While China dominates the battery manufacturing supply chain, and Europe is working to catch up, the U.S. still lags far behind.
As batteries become a matter of energy independence and national security, here’s what the U.S. can do to catch up. As automakers continue to grapple with a semiconductor shortage, some experts say the next supply chain crisis for the U.S. could involve lithium-ion batteries. As companies like GM, Ford and a slew of start-ups are ramping up their electric vehicle ambitions, current battery production in the U.S. will not be able to keep up with demand.
The global electric vehicle market is heating up and China wants to dominate. The country has invested at least $60 billion to support the EV industry and it’s pushing an ambitious plan to transition to all electric or hybrid cars by 2035. Tesla entered the Chinese market in 2019 and has seen rapid growth.
China sold roughly one million more EVs than the U.S. in 2020. But there are signs the U.S. is getting more serious about going electric. President Joe Biden announced a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and investments in green infrastructure. Watch the video to find out how China came to dominate the market and whether it’s too late for the U.S. to catch up.
As Tesla looks to expand to new markets, rumors are circulating that India could be next. While the 5th largest auto market could be big for the ev manufacturer, it’s filled with challenges and increasing competition.
There is an electric vehicle revolution sweeping the world, but India is lagging behind. Elon Musk has said that Tesla will enter India this year, but it’s not clear if that will actually happen. On January 8th, Tesla took its first step towards launching in the country, registering Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited in Bengaluru.
But when Tesla does eventually come to India, it won’t be easy. The electric vehicle industry is in its infant stages there, lacking much of the infrastructure needed for widespread adoption. And the most popular vehicles are motorcycles, rickshaws and budget passenger cars. Watch the video to find out what Tesla will be up against in India.
A Tesla Supercharger is a 480-volt direct currentfast-charging technology built by American vehicle manufacturer Tesla, Inc. for their all-electric cars. The Supercharger network was introduced on September 24, 2012 with six Supercharger stations. As of December 31, 2020, Tesla operates over 23,277 Superchargers in over 2,564 stations worldwide (an average of 9 chargers per station). There are 1,101 stations in North America, 592 in Europe, and 498 in the Asia/Pacific region. Supercharger stalls have a connector to supply electrical power at maximums of 72 kW, 150 kW or 250 kW.
The original V1 and V2 Tesla supercharging stations charge with up to 150 kW of power distributed between two cars with a maximum of 150 kW per car, depending on the version. They take about 20 minutes to charge to 50%, 40 minutes to charge to 80%, and 75 minutes to 100% on the original 85 kWh Model S. The charging stations provide high-power direct-current (DC) charging power directly to the battery, bypassing the internal charging power supply.
In September 2017, Tesla announced the availability of urban Superchargers. The urban Superchargers are more compact than the standard Supercharger stalls, and will be primarily deployed in urban areas such as mall parking lots and garages. Compared to the standard Superchargers, urban Superchargers have a maximum power delivery of 72 kW. Instead of 150 kW distributed between two vehicles at a Supercharger A/B stall pair, each Urban Supercharger stall provides dedicated 72 kW capacity.
A few of the Tesla supercharging stations use solar panels to offset energy use and provide shade. Tesla plans to install additional solar power generation at Superchargers.
Groupe Renault has revealed a new two-seat urban mobility vehicle designed called the EZ1-Prototype, which recalls the Twizy and will be the first machine offered under its new Mobilize mobility brand.
Mobilize is developing four purpose-built machines that will focus on ride-sharing and last-mile delivery services. The first is the EZ-1 Prototype, which “exemplifies the goals of the Mobilize brand” by putting “service at the heart of vehicle design”.
Designed as a shared-use urban mobility vehicle, it takes cues from mobility concepts previously shown by Groupe Renault but has been honed for real-world use. Users will be able to rent by time or distance on a pay-per-use basis.
Gone are the long waits at charging stations: Chinese electric-vehicle startup NIO is pioneering battery-swap systems, challenging Tesla and other rival car makers. Here’s how NIO and Tesla are racing for the world’s largest EV market in China.
California EV startup Canoo has announced a new multipurpose electric vehicle aimed at last-mile deliveries and other small businesses, which starts at $33,000 but scales up in size and cost. It’s Canoo’s second vehicle, following the subscription-only van it debuted last year. Canoo still plans to make that EV — in fact, the new multipurpose vehicle is built on the same technological platform that Canoo developed for the van, and they share similar design features.
The new vehicle will initially be sold in two variants, though Canoo says more will eventually be offered. The smaller one (which is the one that starts at $33,000) is 14.4 feet long, 6.4 feet wide, and 6.2 feet tall, and has 230 cubic feet of cargo space. Canoo will offer three different battery pack options, too: 40kWh (with an estimated 130 miles of range), 60kWh (190 miles), and 80kWh (230 miles). The company will also make a larger version that is 17.1 feet long, 7.2 feet wide, and 8.4 feet tall, with 500 cubic feet of cargo space. The same battery pack options will be available, though the range estimates drop to 90 miles, 140 miles, and 190 miles, respectively, thanks to the extra weight.
Aptera Motors has introduced the first solar electric vehicle (sEV) that requires no charging for most daily use and boasts a range of up to 1,000 miles per full charge, shattering industry performance achievements to date. Aptera leverages breakthroughs in lightweight structures, low-drag aerodynamics and cooling, material science, and manufacturing processes to deliver the most efficient vehicle ever made available to consumers. Aptera’s Never Charge is built into every vehicle and is designed to harvest enough sunlight to travel over 11,000 miles per year in most regions.