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EVPlus - December 2014 News

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Tesla Roadster 3.0 adds 70 kWh Battery and 640 km Range

Added by admin 26/12/14

Tesla Motors have announced a new extended-range upgrade for the Roadster - the Lotus-based two-door that preceded the Model S sedan.

The upgrade includes a battery swap, a retrofit aerodynamics kit to reduce drag by 15% plus new tires and wheel bearings to decrease rolling resistance by 20%. The upgrades are expected to yield a 40 to 50 percent improvement in range, breaking the 400-mile mark.

Battery technology has continued a steady improvement in recent years, as has Tesla's experience in optimizing total vehicle efficiency through Model S development. Tesla have long been excited to apply this learning back to their first vehicle, and aim to do just that with the prototype Roadster 3.0 package. It consists of three main improvement areas.

1. Batteries
The original Roadster battery was the very first lithium ion battery put into production in any vehicle. It was state of the art in 2008, but cell technology has improved substantially since then. Tesla have identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell they have created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70 kWh in the same package as the original battery.

2. Aerodynamics
The original Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36. Using modern computational methods Tesla engineers 'expect' to make a 15% improvement, dropping the total Cd down to 0.31 with a retrofit aero kit.

3. Rolling Resistance
The original Roadster tires have a rolling resistance coefficient (Crr) of 11.0 kg/ton. New tires for the Roadster 3.0 have a Crr of roughly 8.9 kg/ton, about a 20% improvement. They are also making improvements in the wheel bearings and residual brake drag that further reduce overall rolling resistance of the car.

Combining all of these improvements Tesla 'expect to achieve a predicted 40-50% improvement on range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0. There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles (640 km). Tesla will be demonstrating this in the real world during a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015.

Appointments for upgrading Roadsters will be taken this spring once the new battery pack finishes safety validation. Tesla are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come.

                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News


VW buys stake in solid-state battery startup aiming to triple EV range

Added by admin 06/12/14

Volkswagen bought a stake in battery startup QuantumScape with the aim of developing technology that can more than triple the range of its electric cars, according to people familiar with the matter.
VW is considering using the energy-storage technology, which is fireproof, for vehicles from the namesake brand as well as Porsche and Audi, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Tests to show the system is viable for cars are due to be completed in mid-2015, they said. The VW of America unit bought a 5 percent holding and has options to raise the stake.
Peter Thul, a spokesman at Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW, declined to comment on any investment. Calls to the main switchboard and an e-mail to San Jose-based QuantumScape seeking comment weren’t answered. Financial details of the company weren’t available.

Solid-State Technology
QuantumScape is an early-stage battery startup that has been working on commercializing technology from Stanford University. It was was founded and is being led by Infinera co-founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh, and is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Khosla Ventures.
Licensing technology from Stanford, the company has been looking to create batteries that are energy dense as well as safer than standard lithium ion batteries. The company’s technology uses a new method for stacking trace amounts of materials together, which can lead to high energy and power densities, and also higher cycle life than traditional lithium ion batteries.
The Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program awarded grant funding to the stealthy firm back in 2011 describing the technology as:
This novel battery stores energy by moving electrons, rather than ions, and uses electron/hole redox instead of capacitive polarization of a double-layer. This technology uses a novel architecture that has potential for very high energy density because it decouples the two functions of capacitors: charge separation and breakdown strength. If successful, this project will develop a completely new paradigm in energy storage for electric vehicles that could revolutionize the electric vehicle industry.

700 km range
“I see great potential in this new technology, possibly boosting the range to as much as 700 kilometers (430 miles),” VW Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said in a Nov. 6 speech at Stanford University in California. That’s more than three times the range of the battery-powered version of the VW Golf. Tesla’s Model S has a range of 265 miles, according to its website.
Electric Car technology is critical for meeting tightening emissions regulations, especially for luxury-car manufacturers such as VW, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Volkswagen’s increased focus on electric cars would put pressure on Tesla to maintain its sales lead.
The German automaker employs about 44,000 research and development engineers and spends $13 billion a year on new technology. Tesla’s entire workforce totaled about 5,800 employees at the end of 2013, and research and development expenses were $280 million in the first nine months of 2014.
“Electro-chemistry is a field of the greatest importance internationally and across industries,” and is “a field where we can and must achieve progress,” Winterkorn said in the speech. In July, he said the company had invested in a battery-technology company without providing details.

                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News


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