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Contrasting Experiences of Driving Electric in Portugal

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The EV driving experience is not uniform across European countries that have electric vehicle charging infrastructure. When traveling to another country, it is therefore important to know your options and ensure your journey goes as planned. This story is about using an EV in Portugal on a daily basis. It includes two scenarios with different vehicles, and therefore it becomes a comparison of private versus public charging infrastructure in Portugal from the eyes of a visitor.

The first experience started by entering the country using the highway system through France and Spain. These trips are easy when you drive a Tesla. You just need to start the day with a reasonably high state of charge and the car will calculate the rest perfectly. At every Supercharger, the navigation system knows where I will charge next and it displays how much charge will remain upon arrival if I depart now. Therefore, there is no calculation or guessing involved, you feel very certain and relaxed about your journey. With the spacing of the chargers and the range of the vehicle, I never felt the need to drive below the speed limit either. Every Supercharger location, even the very remote ones (places like Guarda or Tordesillas look quite remote to me) has at least 8 stalls, so I never waited to charge. Charging speeds were between 130 kW and 150 kW, which meant that stops varied between 15 and 30 minutes. It is also very nice to book hotels with destination charging. It eliminates one Supercharger stop. While staying in Lisbon, the parking owner very kindly allowed me to use their electricity for a fee. The included mobile charger kit allows you to charge anywhere in Western Europe. The Tesla experience is very predictable and is very familiar by now, which I will therefore skip and get to comparing my experience with different infrastructure.

Given that COVID-19 closed down many borders and made long road trips impossible, it meant that for my next trip I had to fly into Lisbon and rent a car locally. As someone who is not used to fossil-fuel cars, I searched and found that almost no rental companies had any EVs. There is a company called Watts on Wheels, but when I tried to reserve a car for two months, the prices were far too high for that type of vehicle. … If you need a car for a couple of months, it is not financially sound to spend over €8000 to rent a Model 3. One of the legacy rental companies had a Renault Zoe ZE50, which I took because it “only” cost €900 per month to rent and came equipped with the CCS charging system.

Image courtesy of Renault.

The Renault has a decent WLTP range of 395 km, which in reality is more like 300 km. The rental company provided a universal Prio charge card that seems to work everywhere. It is very convenient indeed. On the other hand, the Renault did not come with a mobile charger. It is brand new and I checked with the desk if they forgot to include it, but they explained that the car was delivered without a mobile charger. This is somewhat unusual to me, as both Volkswagen and Tesla delivered cars with mobile chargers. Fortunately, there is a 3.6 kW public charger a 30 minute walk from my place where I can charge the car using the type 2 cable that is included.

In practice, the car never shows more than 320 km of range, which is not a big issue due to having a number of CCS chargers along the route I travel (the A2 highway to the south). The bigger issue is that you should not be in a hurry, as charging is slow. The car can charge at around 40–45 kW apparently — sometimes it needs 1½ hours to fully charge. Worse yet, you may decide to walk to a nearby restaurant and come back to find out someone interrupted your charging and started their own charging. (It was an angry Leaf driver in my case who did not understand how I could use the charger for 30 minutes. I did not understand that person, but avoided arguing even though I was quite annoyed.) Note that there is no time limit on those chargers. The only requirement is that you actually charge a car. I really needed to charge more to get to the destination. I also saw that the car had barely gained 3% before he interrupted my charging with the red emergency button. It is very strange to me as someone used to Supercharging that there are these massive red buttons on third party chargers they can just use to stop your charging and start their own charging session. I understand you need an emergency shutoff, but perhaps it could be installed in a less obvious place. I have not noticed those on Superchargers. Lesson learned: stay in your car while you charge.

All locations I’ve visited have had only one stall. Every time, I have encountered the same equipment — a station with one 11 kW AC charger, one 50 kW CCS, and a 50 kW CHAdeMO cable. The problem with these systems, which I recognize from 5 years ago when I borrowed an e-Golf, is that the CCS and CHAdeMO do not work simultaneously. They do not share the power. That is why the Leaf driver had to cancel my charging session to start his, using the big red emergency button. Besides this sharing problem, there can be others. I noticed there was another fast charger nearby, but when I arrived, it was wrapped in plastic ribbon and looked broken. The gas station attendant told me it had been broken for ages. In many locations, the public 3.6 kW AC chargers are also out of order. Therefore, to be certain to get a charge, it is better to use the mobile charger at home if you have that possibility. In rural areas, houses usually have outside outlets, so charging is not an issue in my experience. Fast charging is clearly a problem. I cannot see the current infrastructure handling more legacy brands with new EVs. The one charger per location is a serious limitation, and the speed is unacceptably low. The conclusion is quite clear in my experience — the private Tesla charging network is far superior to the public networks. This is probably also why there are far more Teslas on the road today in Portugal.

As for the car itself, Renault makes acceptable small EVs that are designed to be more urban in their use. This is apparent in the range you get for such a small car. There is no car in this micro hatchback category that has more range. It is fairly easy to operate, but some things could improve. It is a bit strange at first that the car does not have a “P” for park on its gear selector. Instead, you must put it in neutral and use the parking brake, then turn it off. Still, the gear selector is simple to use and you can choose “B” mode, which is what I use at all times. The regenerative power seems rather weak and friction brakes are used quite often. Regarding the car handling, I like the direct steering it has. Power is okay, but suspension feels too soft and the body rolls noticeably in corners. The interior is small (I could only put one suitcase in the trunk) and all interior plastics are hard. I had to remove both wheels of my MTB to be able to transport it with this car. This is clearly a more urban vehicle, but I had no other options besides spending a lot of money to rent a Porsche Taycan.

Even though the car was brand new when I picked it up, there are some strange cabin and suspension noises. I am not sure this is normal, but the vehicle operates fine, so I am not too concerned. The quality of manufacturing could be better. Overall, as a rental vehicle, I would still choose this car over its fossil-fuel counterparts because it is a clean option compared to fossil-fuel rental cars. It would be great to have in-between options that may have more space and range.

As a final conclusion, it is nice that you can rent EVs in Portugal. Though, you should be prepared for surprises with public charging, unless you drive a Tesla. What I struggle to understand with the legacy brands is why do they not have serious charging infrastructure everywhere like Tesla? It causes a lot of anxiety to only have one charger per location. Perhaps more than flashy advertising and expensive marketing campaigns, they could develop more charging locations with more stalls to help boost the confidence of potential EV buyers.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/05/30/contrasting-experiences-of-driving-electric-in-portugal/

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Calendar Aging Research Is Critical to Future of Silicon-Based Batteries

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In the race against climate change, state-of-the-art energy storage solutions are paramount to leveraging power generation from clean energy sources, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers are exploring strategies to increase battery cell energy density while decreasing manufacturing costs.

Silicon anodes offer a promising improvement to existing lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery capabilities for electric vehicles and stationary storage. Replacing the graphite anode material typically used in Li-ion batteries with silicon anodes may pave the way to reducing battery pack size by 25%–30% and increase driving range by 30%–40%.

NREL researchers are at the forefront of silicon anode research, using cutting-edge facilities to explore the foundational science of organic electrolytes with silicon interfaces. However, recent findings highlight the importance of continued studies on the lifetime of silicon-based cells. In a new Nature Energy Perspective article, “Calendar aging of silicon-containing batteries,” battery scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office Silicon Consortium Project emphasize the importance of ongoing research into the calendar life of this anode material.

“New research shows that calendar aging of silicon anodes is a bigger problem than we originally thought,” said Max Schulze, postdoctoral researcher at NREL and co-author of the perspective. “With this report, we hope to encourage researchers to consider the unique challenges these batteries face. Collaboration across laboratories and in industry to evaluate and address this issue now is essential to the success of silicon electrodes in batteries.”

Researchers Investigate New Uncertainties in Battery Chemistry

To understand the lifetime of a battery, researchers must consider the effects of both battery usage and time. New electrodes are typically evaluated by cycling the cells — evaluating the capacity degradation over a set number of charge/discharge cycles — to determine the capacity loss during usage. To determine the capacity loss over time, charged cells are simply allowed to sit unused with periodic measurements of their capacities.

These types of calendar aging experiments are time intensive, so many calendar life studies extrapolate data from short-term tests to forecast aging trends. While this approach has worked for traditional graphite-based anodes, researchers face new uncertainties when altering the electrode chemistry. As a result, comparatively little is known about the time-dependent degradation of silicon-based batteries.

“Silicon does not form the same stable interface with the liquid electrolyte that gives graphite electrodes their long lifetimes,” said Andrew Colclasure, NREL scientist and another co-author of the perspective. “Further research is crucial to better understanding how the different electrode chemistry affects battery lifetime.”

Recent studies outlined in the Nature Energy Perspective suggest that the addition of silicon to the battery anode may result in a higher susceptibility to calendar aging. When compared to graphite anodes alone, silicon-containing anodes are significantly more reactive. These cells are vulnerable to damaging chemical reactions, such as gas formation, electrolyte decomposition, or dissolution of the silicon electrolyte interface, stressors that can lead to degradation over time, regardless of whether the battery is used. As such, comprehensive calendar aging studies are vital to understanding the long-term stability of silicon in batteries.

NREL-Led Consortium Focuses on Lifetime Predictions

The Silicon Consortium Project led by NREL is investigating strategies to learn more about calendar aging of silicon in batteries. Researchers developed new test protocols to assess the progress of silicon modifications, cell designs, electrolytes, or additives faster and more efficiently. The current methods do not yet provide absolute calendar lifetime predictions; however, researchers can use this data to identify the most promising strategies for mitigating calendar aging in silicon electrodes. Ultimately, the Silicon Consortium Project aims to implement those strategies to develop and demonstrate long-lived batteries with silicon anodes.

Learn more about NREL’s energy storage research.

Article courtesy of NREL.

 

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/25/calendar-aging-research-is-critical-to-future-of-silicon-based-batteries/

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The Bauer Et Al “Blue” Hydrogen LCA Paper Isn’t Useful In The Real World (Part 2 of 2)

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The first part of this analysis on the recently released life-cycle assessment of “blue” hydrogen covered the provenance and background for the paper, as well as the significant and questionable assumptions that the authors make about both expected demand for “blue” hydrogen and the scalability of carbon capture and sequestration it would demand. This second half continues the analysis of assumptions and statements in the paper.

“In general, large-scale blue hydrogen production will be connected to the high-pressure natural gas transmission grid and therefore, methane emissions from final distribution to decentralized consumers (i.e., the low-pressure distribution network) should not be included in the quantification of climate impacts of blue hydrogen.”

The first problem with this is the assumption that massive centralized models of hydrogen generation will be preferable to the current highly distributed creation of hydrogen at the point of consumption. The challenges with distributing hydrogen are clear and obvious, so it’s interesting that they make an assumption that is completely contrary to what is occurring today, and wave away the significant additional challenges — including carbon debt — of creating a massive hydrogen distribution system essentially from scratch.

This also assumes that there will continue to be a distribution network for natural gas. Electrification of heat will continue apace, eliminating this market. But supposing that it does continue, this assumes that perpetuating the leakage problem is in line with actual climate mitigation, which is decidedly not the case. This is not the point of the paper, but is in line with the rest of the paper’s assumptions.

“… natural gas supply must be associated with low GHG emissions, which means that natural gas leaks and methane emissions along the entire supply chain, including extraction, storage, and transport, must be minimized.”

This is in context of what requirements “blue” hydrogen would have to meet in order to be low-carbon hydrogen per the paper.

I agree with this statement, but further say that there is zero reason to believe that this will be widely adhered to as the fossil fuel industry is already lagging substantially in maintenance with declining revenues in regions impacted by the Saudi Arabian-Russian price war, the history of the industry consists of a Ponzi-scheme of paying for remediation with far distant and non-existent revenues — witness the $200 billion in unfunded remediation in Alberta’s oil sands as merely the tip of the iceberg, and as long-distance piping and shipping of natural gas requires a great deal of expensive monitoring and maintenance to maintain that standard.

In other words, while the statement is true as far as it goes, it is so unlikely to be common as to be irrelevant to the actual needs of the world for hydrogen, something that the authors barely acknowledge.

“Our assessment is that CO2 capture technology is already sufficiently mature to allow removal rates at the hydrogen production plant of above 90%. Capture rates close to 100% are technically feasible, slightly decreasing energy efficiencies and increasing costs, but have yet to be demonstrated at scale.”

Once again, 90% is inadequate with over a thousand billion tons of excess CO2 already in the atmosphere. Second, carbon capture at source has been being done since the mid-19th century. It’s not getting magically better. The likelihood that approaching 100% capture rate technologies will be deployed by organizations and individuals who think 90% is good enough and are likely to be rewarded handsomely for achieving that level approaches zero. After all, Equinor has received what I estimate to be over a billion USD in tax breaks for its Sleipner facility, which simply pumps CO2 they extracted back underground, and ExxonMobil touts its Shute Creek facility as the best in the world when it pumps CO2 up in one place then back underground in another place for enhanced oil recovery, benefiting nothing except their bottom line.

Removal of carbon from the atmosphere to draw down CO2 levels toward achieving a stable climate will not be realized by “good enough,” and close to 100% will be so rarely realized globally that it’s not worth discussing.

“It is important to reiterate that no single hydrogen production technology (including electrolysis with renewables) is completely net-zero in terms of GHG emissions over its life cycle and will therefore need additional GHG removal from the atmosphere to comply with strict net-zero targets.”

The authors appear to think that the current CO2e emissions from purely renewable energy are going to persist. As mining, processing, distribution, manufacturing and construction processes decarbonize, the currently very low GHG emissions of renewables full lifecycle will fall. This is equivalent to the common argument against electric cars, that grid electricity isn’t pure. It’s also a remarkable oversight for a group of authors committed to a rigorous LCA process.

The argument that “blue” hydrogen at its very best in the best possible cases will be as good as renewably powered electrolysis as it decarbonizes fails the basic tests of logic and reasonableness.

“… natural gas with CCS may be a more sustainable route than hydrogen to decarbonize such applications as power generation.”

This is so completely wrong that it’s remarkable that it made it into the document. First, there is no value in hydrogen as a generation technology. That’s a complete and utter non-starter beginning to end, making electricity vastly more expensive to no climate benefit. Secondly, all bolt-on flue capture programs for electrical generation have cost hundreds of millions or billions and failed. They increase the costs of electrical generation to the level where it was completely uncompetitive in today’s markets.

When wind and solar are trending to $20 per MWh, long-distance transmission of electricity using HVDC exists in lengths thousands of kilometers long and underwater around the world, and there are already 170 GW of grid storage and another 60 GW under construction at the bare beginning of the development of storage, assuming that either natural gas with CCS or hydrogen have any play in electrical generation makes it clear that the authors are simply starting with the assumption that natural gas and hydrogen have a major part to play in the future, and have created an argument for it.


The authors’ argument boils down to that in a perfect world, perfectly monitored and perfectly maintained, “blue” hydrogen would be similar in emissions to green hydrogen today, ignoring the rapidly dropping GHG emissions per MWh of renewables and ignoring that the world of fossil fuels in no way adheres to the premise of perfect monitoring and perfect maintenance.

The authors are performing a life-cycle assessment focusing on greenhouse gas emissions, and it is not scoped to include costs. Having reviewed the costs of the technologies that they are proposing for this hypothetical perfect “blue” hydrogen world, they are vastly higher than just not bothering, shifting to renewables rapidly and electrifying rapidly.

As a contribution to the literature on what will happen in the real world, this is a fairly slight addition, one which is being promoted far beyond its actual merit by the usual suspects.

Featured image by akitada31 from Pixabay

 

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/25/the-bauer-et-al-blue-hydrogen-lca-paper-isnt-useful-in-the-real-world-part-2-of-2/

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Lying, Cheating Oil & Gas Companies Stick Taxpayers With Cleanup Bill

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In our minds, we envision an oil well faithfully pumping oil for decades after it is drilled. In reality, the wells created by fracking often play out within a few years or even months. The same goes for unnatural gas wells. What to do? Drill more wells and when they stop producing, pack up your equipment and go drill down the road, around the corner, or somewhere over the rainbow.

Today, there are millions of abandoned wells all across America, many of them left behind during the fracking boom of the past 20 years. While many states require oil and gas companies to put up a bond to cover the cost of closing them down, in practice, that bond is often a small percentage of the actual cost. The Guardian reports the state of Colorado — one of the larger oil and gas producing states, requires a bond of as little a $10,000 when the actual cost is often $140,000 or more. The cost of cleaning up millions of abandoned wells in Texas is estimated at $1 billion.

Here’s how the game is played. GigantaOil drills a well and posts a bond. It carries that bond as a liability on its books but after a few years of maximum production, it sells the well to Acme Oil Corp. Acme assumes the liabilities but guess what? Acme in turn sells to Bottom Of The Barrel, LLC, a shell company that drains the last few drops out of the well, then folds its tent and disappears into the night, leaving nothing but worthless assets behind.

Now there is no money to pay to decommission the well so who gets stuck with the cleanup? Yup, you guessed it. The taxpayers who already shelled our millions in tax breaks to GigantaOil in the first place. Is this a great country or what?

Getting Paid On Both Ends

The myth in America is that oil and gas are what make the US such a great nation. Oil production and oil reserves are a matter of national security and let’s face it — without them the entire economy would grind to a halt, throwing millions of people out of work and shutting down public services like drinking water and sewer systems. Civilization as we know it would come to an abrupt halt.

But the fly in the ointment is that the oil and gas industry have used their economic power to suspend the laws of economics. They get to avoid taxes on most of their income through a convoluted web of special provisions in the tax code. Mr. and Mrs. America don’t need an IRS code that is thousands of pages long with a welter of rules and regulations to interpret all those provisions, but the fossil fuel industry certainly does. It’s an integral part of how it does business.

The free market types out there take great pleasure in telling us how efficient the market is but that is only true if it is run fairly. The fossil fuel hordes have gamed the system to the point where it is a “heads we win, tails you lose” proposition that takes no account of the pollution that results from basing the economy on oil and gas (and, to a lesser extent, coal). So, yeah, we get it. Markets are efficient and Adam Smith’s “unseen hand” has magical powers, but when free marketeers refuse to include all the costs of doing business in their grand economic calculus, they are committing a monstrous fraud on society.

The Infrastructure Bill

The US Congress at the present time is considering new legislation that would pump trillions of dollars into the economy to improve America’s infrastructure. That is a good thing, arguably. But it will also provide lots of tax dollars to clean up abandoned wells that are leaking toxins into the environment all across America.

The legislation includes a plan to inventory, measure, and track methane emissions and groundwater contamination associated with orphan wells — abandoned wells with no identifiable owner. “People on the surface think that this is a good environmental thing … but the devil is in the details,” Megan Milliken Biven, a consultant and former program analyst with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, tells The Guardian. She says in reality it is anything but. “This is a bill for the bosses,” she says.

$2 million is earmarked for the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, an organization closely linked to the fossil fuel industry. The draft bill empowers the group to consult with the federal government as it issues billions of dollars in grants for states to plug, remediate, and restore those orphan wells. The infrastructure bill treats the commission innocuously, granting it duties and access to federal research and development funds as if it were a formal government entity.

The trouble, The Guardian says, is it is not. It was originally sanctioned by the government. But according to an InsideClimate investigation, in 1978 the Department of Justice recommended that Congress break it up on the grounds the group had evolved into an advocacy organization. Its influence, through a membership network similar to the right wing American Legislative Exchange Council, has reached its tentacles into state legislatures across the country to promote copy and paste legislation that benefits oil and gas interests.

Uncle Sugar To The Rescue

Recently, IOGCC vice chairman Wayne Christian was recorded telling supporters, “If the bill passes, and we’re pretty close to it passing, $25 million will be coming to Texas to clean up abandoned wells and larger amounts than that in the future. So, we will be helping the energy industry to some of these trillions of dollars.”

Christian is an avowed climate denier and head of the Railroad Commission of Texas which is notorious for its close ties to the oil industry. The current chair of IOGCC is Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt, who received more than $240,000 in campaign donations from the oil and gas sector in 2018. He is known for urging the Environmental Protection Agency to strip Indigenous tribes of regulatory authority over their land and for co-signing a letter urging the Biden administration to resume oil and gas leasing on public lands.

What is it about Oklahoma that causes it to embrace idiots like Stitt and the despicable Scott Pruitt who would rather see humans disappear from the face of the Earth than lose a dime of oil soaked profits? Do its citizens not understand that dead people make extremely poor customers?

On its website, the IOGCC calls itself a “multi-state government agency,” yet it also claims exemption from public information laws. Although the group says it does not lobby, according to ProPublica, it has spent an estimated $100,000 on Capitol Hill since March 2019 lobbying for favorable well plugging programs.

Jesse Coleman, senior researcher at the watchdog group Documented, has been investigating the IOGCC for years and says he was surprised to see a pseudo-agency identified as an arbiter of the orphan well program. He calls it an even “more powerful, more direct role” than the group usually gets, which he says is problematic because no government entity oversees the IOGCC.

“Any real amount of power going to this organization, which is funded by the oil and gas industry, [strips] power away from actual government agencies that do have oversight and accountability,” Coleman says. Not to worry says senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, who co-sponsored the legislation. He explained that according to the proposal, the IOGCC’s role is to provide technical assistance and consultation. “Consultation is distinct from control,” Luján’s office said, defending the necessity of the IOGCC’s position in orphan well cleanup.

That may be true, but why are the taxpayers giving any money to an avowed climate denier who is little more than a spear carrier for the oil and gas industry? When do we stop letting the lunatics run the asylum?

Going Along To Get Along

The National Wildlife Federation and Environmental Defense Fund have endorsed the current bill. John Goldstein, senior director of regulatory and legislative affairs for the EDF, tells The Guardian his group was not worried about IOGCC influence. “We didn’t want to see this opportunity pass us by to get this funding out the door,” he said.

Rob Schuwerk, executive director of Carbon Tracker’s North America office, says, “The question is, does it then incentivize people to hold off plugging wells because they think federal money is going to be there for it?” He adds that plugging orphan wells won’t eliminate methane emissions across the oil and gas sector at anywhere near the scale needed to avert the worst effects of the climate emergency, scientists have pointed out, as long as drilling continues.

“I think [lawmakers] really need to be scrutinizing that issue and ensuring that they address the incentives and moral hazard problem, not just money to plug wells,” Schuwerk says. “There should be a good quid pro quo.

Leveling The Playing Field

In other words, let’s not just give the fossil fuel industry everything on its wish list. Those who pray at the altar of free market theory claim all they want is a level playing but that is a lie. They want the playing field tilted as much as possible in their favor. At some point, the best interests of the the larger community have to be given priority. “There’s no time like the present,” as my old Irish grandmother liked to say.

 

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/25/lying-cheating-oil-gas-companies-stick-taxpayers-with-cleanup-bill/

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Mercedes & Volkswagen Ramp Up Battery Factory Plans

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Battery factories are springing up everywhere you look. As more and more automakers begin offering battery-powered models, they have to decide whether to buy the battery cells they need from suppliers or make them in house.

When Dieter Zetsche was running things at Daimler, he very much believed in letting suppliers do what they do best because it was just too expensive for his company to manufacture its own battery cells. But things have changed since the famously mustachioed Zetsche left the C suite in Stuttgart.

New CEO Ola Kaellenius announced this week that Mercedes has taken a 33 percent stake valued at $1.2 billion in battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company. Stellantis — which Fiat Chrysler is now part of, whereas it was once part of the Daimler empire — owns a third of ACC. Stellantis includes the PSA group of companies — Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall. French company TotalEnergies owns the remaining third. It is the corporate parent of Saft, the European battery technology company that has done pioneering work on solid-state batteries.

According to Automotive News Europe, Kaellenius says the purpose of the partnership is to develop cells and battery modules and “help ensure that Europe remains at the heart of the auto industry — even in an electric era.” The ACC factories are expected to begin supplying Mercedes from 2025 forward.

ACC originally expected to produce 48 GWh of batteries at two factories but now aims to reach at least 120 GWh by 2030. Daimler will hold two of six supervisory board seats for the battery maker. The companies will work together on battery technology development, including high silicon anode and solid state batteries. (Notice how every company seems to expect solid state batteries to begin powering its electric cars in 2025 or shortly thereafter.)

“Our focus is on Europe,” Kallenius told a press conference. “That is where ACC wants to grow, expand, and develop technologies with us. Together with ACC, we will develop and efficiently produce battery cells and modules in Europe — tailor-made to the specific Mercedes-Benz requirements. This new partnership allows us to secure supply, to take advantage of economies of scale.”

Daimler announced in July it intends to become “all-electric” by 2030, but adds “if market conditions allow,” which is a pretty big escape hatch if things don’t turn out as planned. ACC’s first new battery factory in northern France is scheduled to start production in 2023. A second factory in Kaiserslautern, Germany, is expected to come online in 2025.

Volkswagen Battery Factory In China

Also this week, Volkswagen announced a new battery factory in Hefei, China. The new production facility will deliver over 150,000 battery systems a year for Volkswagen Anhui, the joint venture formerly known as JAC Volkswagen. It will be the German company’s first majority owned joint venture for electric vehicles in China.

The 45,000 square meter facility is expected to start production in the second half of 2023. It will have an annual capacity of up to 180,000 battery systems for vehicles based on the MEB electric car platform. Production at the nearby Volkswagen Anhui assembly plant is scheduled to begin the same year.

“With a significant increase of battery-electric vehicles in the future, we need to focus on keeping key components like battery systems in our own value chain, allowing us to leverage Group-wide synergies and innovations. Volkswagen Anhui and VW Anhui Components Company, alongside our two strong Joint Ventures, are crucial to our electrification strategy and to achieving our goal of the Volkswagen Group China fleet reaching over 40% NEVs by 2030,” says Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China.

Volkswagen Group is currently building three new MEB battery manufacturing facilities — this one in China, another in Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic, and a third in the US near its factory in Chattanooga.

The Takeaway

Mercedes seems to be hedging it bets a bit by taking a stake in a European battery maker, but Volkswagen continues to push its EV agenda forward as aggressively as possible as it strives to become the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world.

 

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/25/mercedes-volkswagen-ramp-up-battery-factory-plans/

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