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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Lexus pioneered hybrids in the luxury segment, but for the foreseeable future it intends to put a halt on gasoline-electric tech, giving a pass to lithium-ion batteries in favor of the same nickle-metal hydride units the company has relied on for years.
A year riddled with controversy for electric cars is winding down, but not without at least one more flare up — Chinese firm Wanxiang Group won the bidding war for A123 Systems.
Bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems was scheduled to go up for auction today behind closed doors at a Chicago law firm, but the list of bidders is likely to cause trouble.
As global demand for hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles continues to grow, the demand for lithium is also growing exponentially.
Prices might be falling soon on the cost to produce electric vehicles, which means (hopefully) that the MSRP will fall soon as well.
A new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows the cost of lithium ion batteries falling 14 percent over this time last year. Furthermore, prices took a 30 percent swan dive since 2009.
Honda announced today that it will start a mass-production recycling program to extract rare earth metals from used car parts.
Partnering with Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., the automaker will begin extracting the materials, which are 95 percent controlled by China. The majority of material harvesting will be from nickel-metal hydride batteries collected from used hybrid vehicles sourced from Honda’s massive dealer network.
Currently, China’s near-monopoly over the material is causing drastic price inflation, but finding a way to circumvent that cost is obviously advantageous.
The project will extract 80 percent of the nickel-metal hydride from used hybrid batteries and will eventually use the process for other components as well.
If your cell phone has ever run out of battery power midday, you know how frustrating it can be to charge on the go. Imagine having to do the same for your car.
Driving an electric vehicle (EV) means you’re always thinking about when and where you can charge next. At current charging times that can be significant - DC fast-charge systems on the market today need 30 minutes to achieve an 80 percent charge.
Nissan’s Leaf is one of the EVs available on the market today, and thanks to a recent tech development the automaker hopes to change charging times for the better.
According to a report, researchers at Japan’s Kansai University working with Nissan engineers sped up the charging process by tweaking a capacitor using tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide instead of the usual carbon. The result— a 10-minute charge.
The faster charging process allowed the capacitor to retain almost the same capacity and voltage as lithium ion batteries and appeared to retain durability during charging and discharging tests.
In light of their latest achievement, the same researchers hope to alter the capacitor’s structure to further decrease charging times to three minutes. If they can achieve their goal, charging times will be on par with average fueling times for gasoline vehicles.
The same report also mentioned that while this development will help bring such technology to consumers faster, it probably won’t be widely available for another decade.