Apr 15

LG Chem opens ‘largest’ EV battery plant, projects one-quarter world market share

 

Upon completion of what it said is the world’s highest capacity battery plant last Wednesday, and with two more in the works, LG Chem Ltd. announced intentions to capture 25 percent of the world’s advanced-tech auto battery market by 2015.

On hand at the South Korean firm’s Ochong plant opening was General Motors, which had come to pledge financial support.

GM uses its batteries in the Chevrolet Volt, and has said it will switch to U.S.-made versions when its Holland, Mich. plant comes on line.


The Chevrolet Volt is shown charging its LG Chem batteries.

For now, LG Chem – which is part of the LG Group – said Ochang will have annual capacity to produce batteries for 100,000 electric and hybrid cars. For its Michigan and another Korean plant underway, LG Chem said it will spend an additional $1.84 billion (2 trillion won) by 2013.

According to Bloomberg, General Motors Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky said GM would itself invest $4.4 billion (4.8 trillion won) in South Korea over the next three years. Girsky offered no details as to what GM would spend the money on.

This report came as news to GM spokesman Rob Peterson, but he said GM is a global company, and speculated the money might be to supply batteries for “widgets,” or some other GM electronics needs.

Peterson said nothing has changed for the Holland plant to be up and running on schedule.


All 288 LG Chem cells, and high voltage features, are monitored for safety within the battery of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

The 650,000-square-foot Holland plant – whose groundbreaking was presided over by President Obama last year – is anticipated to produce enough cells per year for 200,000 electric cars and hybrids, including the Volt and upcoming Ford Focus Electric.

All told, as South Korea’s biggest chemical maker, LG Chem said its annual global capacity by 2013 would be enough to supply 350,000 vehicles. The company said it intends to earn $1.84 billion (2 trillion won) in sales by 2013 and $3.68 billion (4 trillion won) by 2015.

Undoubtedly GM’s vice chairman was welcome at Ochong, as the Voltec supply agreement, plus ongoing GM commitments, are being credited for tipping the scales of LG Chem’s rise to increased prominence.

“Its efforts are starting to bear fruit after General Motors Corp. and other carmakers agreed to use its battery technology,” said Hwang Kyu Won, an analyst at Tong Yang Investment Bank in Seoul, who told Bloomberg he maintains a buy recommendation on the stock. “Annual revenue from battery sales will increase, with LG Chem maintaining an edge in the global battery market.”

Other automotive supply deals that LG Chem has are with Ford Motor Co., Hyundai, China-based Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., Renault SA, plus three other automakers for a total of eight.


A battery assembly is readied for installation during pre-production of a Chevrolet Volt.

Upon the news about Ochong’s opening last Wednesday, LG Chem shares rose 1.9 percent to 477,500 in Seoul trading, compared to a 0.2-percent decline on the benchmark Kospi Index. In the past year, the company has advanced 91 percent.

As for the picture closer to home, on April 4 the Holland Sentinel reported LG Chem intends to hire 200 positions in spring job fairs.

The $303 million plant – funded by 50-percent U.S. Department of Energy matching stimulus funds – needs to fill around 200 technical positions, 10 higher-level posts, and will hold its first job fair April 26.

“One reason why these positions have been slow in coming is because LG Chem is inventing these positions essentially and they’re inventing the training,” said Mike Stock to the Sentinel on behalf of Michigan Works, which is overseeing hiring of the tech jobs in two waves of 100 each, “The training will be very specific to LG Chem.”

Training and work will reportedly get underway this year, but the production Volt is not slated to receive Holland batteries until next year. LG Chem has said it will have hired more than 400 employees by 2013, as the first full year of Volt battery cell production begins.

Initially, our call to Peterson was to inquire whether GM’s large Korean investment last week could mean a deviation from Chevrolet’s plans to increase the Volt’s U.S. content. He said not only will the batteries be U.S. made around mid-2012, but, as previously announced, the Volt’s Austrian engine will be replaced with a U.S.-made version around then too.

While LG is growing, and GM is committing billions to it here and abroad, Peterson said Chevrolet’s plans are still to increase the drivetrain’s U.S. content.

For those not familiar, Peterson said each Volt battery utilizes 288 cells, is comprised of about 160 parts, and is already largely U.S.-made. Of its parts, 152 are engineered by GM, and final assembly is in Brownstown, Mich.

Chevrolet’s plans dovetail most of the way with those of the Obama administration. Last July, when the president visited Holland, he said “in the next few years” the cost of EV batteries – the largest contributor to the Volt’s cost – would come down by as much as 70 percent.

“That means that by 2012, the batteries will be manufactured here in Holland, Mich.,” Obama said at the time, “So when you buy one of these vehicles, the battery could be stamped “Made in America” – just like the car.”

Peterson said while GM is always looking for ways to cut costs without diminishing quality, the president’s “70 percent” looked a bit optimistic at this juncture, without making any estimate of his own.


President Obama continues to be an enthusiastic supporter of electric cars, and the Volt in particular.

Obama gave this quote after his administration started pledging to put one million EVs on American roads by 2015.

As for this forecast, Peterson did not say it was impossible, but also did not say he thought it was certain.

In any event, and whether or not the president’s goal is achieved, it looks like GM and LG Chem are making sure they will have done their part.

Sources: AFP, Bloomberg, Holland Sentinel

This entry was posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 61


  1. 1
    Mark Z

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (6:34 am)

    The value of the Volt is dependent on a high quality battery that lasts for the entire warranty. If production can increase without compromising quality, then GM should have a very successful run of the Volt and all other similar models. With warmer weather, the 40 mile range is appearing almost daily. This is Volt at its best, and I look forward to a long spring, summer and autumn of driving enjoyment.


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    Raymondjram

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (6:53 am)

    I am expecting to read the lowering of the Volt cost by 2013, because by then I might be able to buy my own Volt. If Barrack Obama stays in office by January 2013, I wish he can command his aides and all members of the Democratic Party to buy more Volts as their second vehicle, since most have a Cadillac as their first. The Secret Service should contact GM to help produce a Voltec-powered Presidential limousine, so if a war does break out in the Middle East, the President can travel on solar-charged battery power and not depend on imported oil.

    BTW, in the third picture showing the battery assembly, I think the workers are misaligning the pack, because it seems tilted to the right a bit.

    Raymond


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    Bonaire

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (8:01 am)

    I think I am willing to wait until 2013 in order to get US-made batteries and engine. I really want to help US-job growth (even though much of the process is made with robots) and US-sourced materials.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (8:10 am)

    Two things. First the tilted battery that was a picture of a hand built pre production car, I saw the real thing at the D’HAM assembly plant and rest assured there is not tilt to any battery pack there and the raising and allignment are both computer controlled. In warm weather with conservative driving my full battery read 47,48, or 49 every day. If you are only getting 40 you can do better.

    Take Care,
    TED Volt#1506 4022 total miles
    Last 2000 1.2 galllons of gasoline used.


  5. 5
    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (8:10 am)

    Good for LG CHEM and GM.
    Back in the early days, I remember A123 systems being a potential player in this market.
    I wonder what became of them. Seems like GM picking LG CHEM has really boosted that company.
    Too bad A123 Systems wasn’t ready at the time. It would have been nice to have had an American battery company win.

    I see that A123 System’s stock in going down, while LG Chem is on the upswing.


  6. 6
    Bonaire

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (8:16 am)

  7. 7
    kdawg

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (8:50 am)

    “He said not only will the batteries be U.S. made around mid-2012, but, as previously announced, the Volt’s Austrian engine will be replaced with a U.S.-made version around then too.”

    It would be interesting to find out the the US content % by mid-2012. Would this be the most US produced car by GM (or by any manufacturer)?


  8. 8
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (9:25 am)

    I will be happier still when we are all using American fuel, Electricity. We will all have more money to spend on other things that keep many American workers working if we are careful about what we buy.

    Take Care, TED


  9. 9
    charlie h

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (9:40 am)

    (click to show comment)


  10. 10
    Dave K.

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (9:42 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: TED Volt#1506 4022 total miles
    Last 2000 1.2 galllons of gasoline used.

    Very good numbers. One gets used to the smoothness and quiet of the Volt after a while. But is reminded of the luxury feel when driving another vehicle. My alternate vehicle is a 2002 CR-V. Listening to the engine rev and all the squeaks and rattles makes me really appreciate the Volt. My Volt has 3099 miles on it. Have added just $15 of premium gas since January. Currently display 149 total miles available range on the display. One gas stop in three months.

    GasPumpNo.jpg?t=1302874927


  11. 11
    DonC

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (9:58 am)

    If I remember correctly the problem with the A123 batteries were that the form factor wasn’t ideal — cylinders rather than flat pouches — and that they had some safety and reliability issues. On the spec side they were better. Higher energy density and more cycles, though the LG Chem batteries may turn out to be better than anticipated in that regard.

    Battery technology is very good in Korea. That’s the great thing about the world today, you can get the benefit of those areas of the world which are most advanced in any field. Who knows, maybe in a few years everyone will be using the KOLIBRI battery talked about a few days ago. (Not holding my breath but many things are possible). On the assembly side, ultimately vehicles will be made locally for the local market. Shipping stuff around the world with oil over $100/bbl just doesn’t make much sense, especially for large and heavy parts.

    The benefits of the government investment in the battery plant goes well beyond this one plant. We know from research that manufacturing forms ecosystem clusters with related manufacturers locating close to each other. The US should now have two of these ecosystems, one in MI and one in TN, each devoted to battery and associated electronic development and production. Nice.


  12. 12
    George S. Bower

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (10:03 am)

    Imagine that ….the south Koreans beating China in the auto battery biz. Somewhat of an ironic twist and fine w/ me.

    Hypermiler must be thrilled!!


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    ccombs

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (10:34 am)

    I love hearing about the real world numbers of the Volt in the hands of customers. Exceeds even my fanboy expectations.

    I think GM should do two things after they have about a year’s worth of data:

    1. Compile all of the data from customers and wow the government regulators and public with how little gas people are using. The “I told you so” moment. I’m sure this is in their plans.

    2. Have a series of contests for Volt owners to get the most efficiency out of their vehicle and offer substantial prizes. Or possibly have a contest for ALL Volt owners to collectively increase fleet efficiency by their driving- and reward them all somehow. Maybe the latter would work better in another country, but it maybe could work in the US. Making it a game, and helping prove how efficient the fleet I think would appeal to most Volt buyers.


  14. 14
    EVO

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (10:44 am)

    Remember when folks thought this might be the future? That was then.

    http://www.autoevolution.com/news/ttxgp-sanctioned-by-the-ama-and-fim-34304.html

    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/4/1031/6/Motorcycle-Blog-Post/Yates-Sets-Electric-Motorcycle-Speed-Record.aspx

    “Ricky Bobby: What does that do? Does that blow your mind? That just happened!”

    Oddly, this is on topic.


  15. 15
    jim1961

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (11:28 am)

    I am a huge fan of the Volt but I can’t afford to buy one even if it were available in my state. I’d like to tell Volt owners about a page on the EPA website. You can find out mpg estimates for any car sold in the US. There is a way for actual drivers to share their own personal mpg numbers. Below the official EPA mpg numbers they list the average of “drivers like you”. So far only two people have shared their real world mpg numbers for the 2011 Volt. One of the two is getting 41 mpg (100% highway driving) and the other is 158 mpg for an average of 65.6. I’m not sure what kind of funny math they are doing because I come up with 99.5 mpg. (perhaps they are factoring in the mpg “equivalent” of driving on electric power). I’d like to see more Volt drivers register and share their mpg numbers with the EPA. Type in “EPA” and mpg in a google search and you will find the page I’m talking about.


  16. 16
    Noel Park

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (11:38 am)

    DonC: Shipping stuff around the world with oil over $100/bbl just doesn’t make much sense, especially for large and heavy parts.

    #11

    Amen. +1

    As one who lives near the ports of LA and Long Beach, I can tell you from bitter experience that the environmental impacts of large ships, most notably container ships, are profound. If $100/bbl oil reduces global “goods movement”, that is one silver lining in the cloud.


  17. 17
    Dave K.

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (11:40 am)

    jim1961: So far only two people have shared their real world mpg numbers for the 2011 Volt. One of the two is getting 41 mpg (100% highway driving) and the other is 158 mpg for an average of 65.6

    It will be a year before strong pre-ordering allows for dealers to hold Volts in stock. Buyers will walk onto the lot and look at the EPA rating. It’s not the stated MPG that’s important. It’s the 40 miles of battery range per 3.5 hour recharge. If the gas engine in my Volt delivered only 17mpg. My overall mpg would still be close to 300.

    NPNS


  18. 18
    Noel Park

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (11:43 am)

    EVO: http://www.autoevolution.com/news/ttxgp-sanctioned-by-the-ama-and-fim-34304.html

    #14

    Very cool. +1

    Do you know haw many laps they do on a charge in a race around Infineon? I have quite a bit of experience there, so it is fascinating to me. Running as hard as we can we get about 4 mpg in our Corvette!


  19. 19
    Noel Park

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (11:54 am)

    Somewhat on topic, I experienced a BEV owner’s nightmare this AM. This has been talked about here many times, but it has now actually happened to me.

    I got home last night a bit distracted by the day’s events. While shaving this morning the penny suddenly dropped that I might have forgotten to plug in the Volt. I went to the garage to check, and sure as he*l I had. I plugged it in at 6:05, knowing that I had to leave at 7:00. When I got ready to leave, it was showing 22 miles AER. While the AER picks up during the first downhill part of my commute, it’s a 25 mile trip, so that’s cutting it pretty close. I made it on the battery with 4 miles to spare.

    If I had been driving a BEV I probably would have had a heart attack from “range anxiety”, LOL. As we get older, many of us are at risk for such “senior moments”. No BEV for me, thank you very much. Someone here said recently that GM embraced the EREV concept partly as a result of their experience with the EV1. Amen.


  20. 20
    Mark Z

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (12:25 pm)

    Ted in Fort Myers…In warm weather with conservative driving my full battery read 47, 48, or 49 every day. If you are only getting 40 you can do better…

    The nights cool down to where the heat is being used, enjoying Sport mode, and not needing the full range everyday. The range is better during the day when I occasionally drive over 40 miles, it’s just not happening on the daily drive.

    Glad to read that the more temperate climates are getting GM’s top range of 50.


  21. 21
    EVO

     

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (12:51 pm)

    Noel Park,

    Enough to finish the race, preferably in first. That’s all you need.

    It looks like 20 to 25 miles at top race speeds is pretty typical – not bad for 7.5 kWh of onboard energy (Formula 75) or less than 550 pounds (Formula 1). The weight restriction really demands cell manufacturures step up to the plate and get some low cost high power density product on market. How far can your 3,500 pound Corvette go with 7.5kWh at 4 mph? Gal gas ~ 36.6 kWh is 0.2 gallons, so you can go about 8/10 of one mile, about half a lap. You’d lose both races with a DNF in Formula 75 and DNQ in Formula 1 on weight if you were otherwise qualified and raced if so. Kind of like what’s happening in the broader market right now. :)

    Efficiency is now critical to production and race vehicles. Low cost safe high power density wins the day.


  22. 22
    nasaman

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (1:04 pm)

    Today’s lead article reminded me that the Obama Administration has a goal “to put one million EVs on American roads by 2015″. By coincidence, about an hour ago I received by email a copy of the DOE’s “One Million Electric Vehicles By 2015″ status report*. This report lists 11 different models of EVs from 9 automakers, showing projected quantities of each model year-by-year from 2011-2015, with a cumulative total of 1,222,200 (see table, pg 4), 22% above Obama’s goal. Of these, Volt (the only model shown for GM) is projected to sell/lease more than any other model at 505,000 or somewhat less than half of the total. No EVs are listed for Toyota, Mitsubishi or Coda.

    As optimistic as these numbers seem, I have to assume the DOE has used data supplied by the manufacturers —which leads me to believe the goal of 1 million by 2015 might actually be achieved! I said in post #1 yesterday that the Volt team had “re-engineered GM”. I want to revise this to “Volt’s designers have potentially re-engineered the entire automotive industry”!

    * http://www.energy.gov/media/1_Million_Electric_Vehicle_Report_Final.pdf


  23. 23
    Raymondjram

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (1:30 pm)

    Ted in Fort Myers:
    I will be happier still when we are all using American fuel, Electricity.We will all have more money to spend on other things that keep many American workers working if we are careful about what we buy.

    That could be the best statement even said in favor of the EV.

    Although most smart persons know that electricity exists since the Universe was create, the fact that we use is as a FUEL (source of Energy) to do our bidding is based on American ideas. The first person to realize the possible uses of electricity was ol’ Ben Franklin himself. Then with our 19th and 20th century geniuses, such as Faraday, Edison, Fleming, Tesla, DeForest, Armstrong, Woulk, and even Einstein (his Nobel prize in Physics was in Photoelectricity), we now have many appliances and portable devices that use electricity and almost all are American.

    The first use of petroleum was also American, but we cannot survive on American oil anymore. We can survive only on clean American electrical energy.

    Raymond


  24. 24
    kdawg

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (1:47 pm)

    nasaman,

    Thanks for the post nasaman. I’m just glad to finally know what the Government is calling an EV. I thought they may throw NEV’s and motorcycles into the mix. (I also think the #’s are high for Telsa & Fisker, even assuming they have product out by these dates)

    Here’s the list

    Fisker Karma PHEV
    Fisker Nina PHEV
    Ford Focus EV
    Ford Transit ConnectEV
    GM Chevrolet Volt
    Navistar eStar EV (truck)
    Nissan LEAF EV
    Smith Electric Vehicles Newton EV (truck)
    Tesla Motors Model S EV
    Tesla Motors Roadster EV
    Think City EV


  25. 25
    Tall Pete

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (2:08 pm)

    So it seems the trolls are back. Another sure sign that Jeff is doing a great job.

    If I may suggest something, I think the main title of today should have read :

    « Thanks to the Volt, LG Chem opens ‘largest’ EV battery plant »

    That will fire them up for sure :-)


  26. 26
    DonC

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (2:28 pm)

    Noel Park: As one who lives near the ports of LA and Long Beach, I can tell you from bitter experience that the environmental impacts of large ships, most notably container ships, are profound.

    I think the formula is “1 Container Ship = 50,000,000 cars”. LOL Not for all emissions but for most pollutants. At least in CA they have to run on electricity when they’re in port now. Here’s the cite for the pollution numbers:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/09/shipping-pollution


  27. 27
    Loboc

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (3:03 pm)

    OT.

    My local Chevy dealer finally got a Volt to show/sell. I’m going over to take a gander this weekend.

    Ft. Worth, TX.


  28. 28
    Jeff Cobb

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (3:08 pm)

    Tall Pete:
    So it seems the trolls are back. Another sure sign that Jeff is doing a great job.

    If I may suggest something, I think the main title of today should have read :

    « Thanks to the Volt, LG Chem opens ‘largest’ EV battery plant »

    That will fire them up for sure :-)

    Thanks! It’s not too late to change the title you know … :)

    Nah, on second thought, better keep it. It’s already out there.

    Have a nice weekend.


  29. 29
    Exp_EngTech

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (3:36 pm)

    Attention !

    There’s a story out today about a garage fire involving a Volt.
    I think it was in Connecticut.

    It will be interesting to hear if the Volt is implicated.


  30. 30
    Jackson

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    Those of you who are linking the progress of the Volt (and other EVs) to Obama are making a grave mistake: JMO. Obama has a way of adopting existing, successful movements and programs as his own, when in fact he has had little or nothing to do with them.

    Those who have been here long enough recall that the Volt was conceived and brought to an advanced state during the Bush administration; and that it was Bush who signed TARP: which made it possible for GM to last long enough for an appeal to the Obama administration. W himself was very much in favor of developing Hydrogen for transportation (wrong, but close). Funny how often people fail to remember this.

    Please don’t get me wrong. It would have been just as inadvisable to link the Volt to Bush.

    The danger is that this very important movement could be made subject to the whims of the political wind. The American Political parties have different takes on our energy future: but at the end of the day the Volt will succeed; not because of “green-ness,” not because of political champions, but because it solves problems for consumers, and is simply better. This is the attitude we need to cultivate, moving forward, if we are to have a positive influence.

    Did I mention that this is all just my opinion?


  31. 31
    George

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (4:01 pm)

    A 70% drop in lithium-ion battery prices over the next few years sounds a bit optomistic, but heck, if an 80% drop happens over the next 10 years, I’ll gladly take that.

    The thing to always keep in mind about the projected drop in battery prices and simultaneous increase in oil prices, is that these trends are not in question–they’ll happen. What’s in question is merely the time frame.

    I hope that LG Chem is reading the recent post about the innovative German battery company DBM Energy and is taking notes.

    George, Sudbury, Canada…go Volt!!


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    omnimoeish

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (4:08 pm)

    Expect this lead to grow as Korea is HEAVILY investing in improving their battery technology. The US is too I believe but I don’t think our system is as motivating as what’s going on in Korea where the government is offering a lot of money to corporations to continue to roll out of their plan and they make their money if and when the phase has been accomplished.


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (4:43 pm)

    Jackson: Did I mention that this is all just my opinion?

    SO!
    +1 anyway!!!!


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    WVhybrid

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (5:08 pm)

    kdawg:

    Thanks for the post nasaman.I’m just glad to finally know what the Government is calling an EV.I thought they may throw NEV’s and motorcycles into the mix. (I also think the #’s are high for Telsa & Fisker, even assuming they have product out by these dates)

    Here’s the list

    Fisker Karma PHEV
    Fisker Nina PHEV
    Ford Focus EV
    Ford Transit ConnectEV
    GM Chevrolet Volt
    Navistar eStar EV (truck)
    Nissan LEAF EV
    Smith Electric Vehicles Newton EV (truck)
    Tesla Motors Model S EV
    Tesla Motors Roadster EV
    Think City EV

    That lists seems to miss out on some pretty important cars. Are all of these just vaporware?

    1 ) Toyota Prius PHEV
    2 ) Ford Escape PHEV
    3 ) RAV4 EV
    4 ) SMART EV
    5 ) MiniE EV
    6 ) Mitsubishi iMiev
    7) BMW ActiveE
    8 ) Coda Electric Sedan
    9 ) Honda Fit EV
    10 ) The Volvo V70 PHEV
    11 ) Mitsubishi PX-MiEV
    12 ) Ford Focus PHEV


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    bt

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (5:14 pm)

    I saw the picture briefly but if memory serves me right, the car seemed much better off than the garage. If so, my basic knowledge of fire investigations(and trust me I am NO expert) would suggest that the car is not implicated.
    The reason: the worst damage in a fire is usually at the source.

    At least I hope I am right about this.


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    Jackson

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    Apr 15th, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    OT:

    What happened to Tagamet?


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (7:04 pm)

    charlie h:
    That $7500 rebate for the Volt battery has helped launch the ROK into leadership in battery production.It’s good of the US taxpayer to be so supportive of ROK industries.We are truly a generous and kindly people.

    Of course we also spend over $1 Trillion each year buying stuff from China. I guess this is being generous too?


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (7:09 pm)

    jim1961:
    I am a huge fan of the Volt but I can’t afford to buy one even if it were available in my state. I’d like to tell Volt owners about a page on the EPA website. You can find out mpg estimates for any car sold in the US. There is a way for actual drivers to share their own personal mpg numbers. Below the official EPA mpg numbers they list the average of “drivers like you”. So far only two people have shared their real world mpg numbers for the 2011 Volt. One of the two is getting 41 mpg (100% highway driving) and the other is 158 mpg for an average of 65.6. I’m not sure what kind of funny math they are doing because I come up with 99.5 mpg. (perhaps they are factoring in the mpg “equivalent” of driving on electric power). I’d like to see more Volt drivers register and share their mpg numbers with the EPA. Type in “EPA” and mpg in a google search and you will find the page I’m talking about.

    I’ve posted millage regularly. Volt #324…2,905 miles…16.2 gallons of gasoline. 179 MPG real world driving. No commuting but lots of trips of 20 to 140 miles each. We have solar and have not paid for electricity in nearly three years.


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (7:38 pm)

    George S. Bower: Imagine that ….the south Koreans beating China in the auto battery biz. Somewhat of an ironic twist and fine w/ me.Hypermiler must be thrilled!!

    Name another country that’s losing the battery race to the South Koreans. One that’s nearer and dearer to your heart.


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (8:00 pm)

    The not too distant future appears it will be very interesting for anyone interested in automotive battery development, especially with LMP technology looming.


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (8:57 pm)

    Free EV track day at Laguna Seca June 26.

    Since some of your are from California and thereabouts, I thought you might be interested in this (quite off topic) post.

    It’s open to motorcycles and cars. Not sure how they’ll be organizing it.

    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2011/04/refuel-2011-lets-you-drive-laguna-seca-in-your-ev.html

    If you go, just watch out for those Teslas … :)


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (9:47 pm)

    Jackson,

    I too have been wondering about that.


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (10:08 pm)

    RB: I too have been wondering about that.

    Three.


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    Apr 15th, 2011 (10:38 pm)

    #27 Loboc

    OT.

    My local Chevy dealer finally got a Volt to show/sell. I’m going over to take a gander this weekend.

    Ft. Worth, TX.

    ++++

    Stopped by Meyers Chevrolet in New Era, Michigan today. Went for a drive in a Crystal Red Metallic Tintcoat Volt with 7 miles of battery charge remaining. Drove over 10 miles and was able to experience the seamless transition between electric and gas. Well done GM-nice ride.


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (10:35 am)

    Loboc: My local Chevy dealer finally got a Volt to show/sell. I’m going over to take a gander this weekend.

    This is like “just looking” at puppies. Bring the checkbook. LOL


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (12:59 pm)

    bt: I saw the picture briefly but if memory serves me right, the car seemed much better off than the garage. If so, my basic knowledge of fire investigations(and trust me I am NO expert) would suggest that the car is not implicated.
    The reason: the worst damage in a fire is usually at the source.

    At least I hope I am right about this.

    bt, as a “media man” you may not agree with me, but it’s not surprising to me that the local media accused the Volt rather than the owner’s home-built EV conversion, old wiring, etc. Why? Ratings – because the Volt has already garnered 11 major awards*, most recently the “Best Engineered Vehicle of 2011″ by the readers and editors of “SAE Intrntl Automotive Engnrng”.
    *For the 11 Awards, see comment #68 at http://gm-volt.com/2011/04/14/chevrolet-volt-wins-sae-best-engineered-vehicle-of-2011/


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (1:01 pm)

    Building factories for a rapidly evolving technology is one of the riskier ventures in all of what passes for capitalism. In the past, the US government would just come up with some way for the Air Force to use a technology, and we’d all cheerfully fund it in the name of national defense. What we really were doing was carrying these industries over the “valley of death” between bench scale and production scale. It worked like a charm for jet engines and electronics. So even on the day after April 15th, I don’t get overly worked up about government spending on this sort of thing.

    Once the factories are built though, it damps the pace of evolution as the owners try to recoup their investment. Toyota sunk a lot of cash in NiMH and then kept up a seemingly bizarre PR campaign against Li-ion early on. This brings me to the “on topic point” here, what does this say about the Sakti3, Boston Power, et al projects? The current “damp” cells seem to be a dead-end technology in the face of the claims for the solid state electrolytes and the radically simpler fabrication they imply. Does LG Cherm think they’ll just buy one of these companies? Even so, it seems a very bold commitment to build capacity for what may soon be obsolete.

    Then again, if it opens some jobs sooner rather than later in Detroit, it isn’t the worst thing in the world.


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (3:09 pm)

    Sometimes, you just gotta love the media in this country….NOT!
    Speculation abound on the cause of this fire. The number one thought? The Chevy Volt.
    Click the link. Video is part way down the page.

    Hybrid Car May Have Sparked Garage Blaze
    http://www.wfsb.com/news/27541598/detail.html


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (6:13 pm)

    Sonoma Richard: Of course we also spend over $1 Trillion each year buying stuff from China. I guess this is being generous too?

    “We?” Mostly, I avoid stuff made in China. Not because I don’t like the Chinese but because so much of it is crap. We buy $1trillion of stuff because, mostly, we’re cheap. Not thrifty, cheap.


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    Charlie H: Not because I don’t like the Chinese but because so much of it is crap.

    That will soon change, and China will move up to Japanese equivalency. Then there will be another cheap crap country.


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (8:41 pm)

    nasaman: bt, as a “media man” you may not agree with me, but it’s not surprising to me that the local media accused the Volt rather than the owner’s home-built EV conversion, old wiring, etc. Why? Ratings –

    I think it’s more that people are prone to make connections out of coincidences, particularly when something is new. I don’t know how many times people have said to me: “I installed this piece of software and now my hard drive has died”. Right. And they took a shower too. Maybe that did it.

    Who knows. Old wiring. Two 240V chargers. Maybe. Do I think it’s the Volt per se? No. But it’s the new kid on the block so it’s going to be blamed for anything out of the ordinary. It’s just human nature to look at things this way.


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    Apr 16th, 2011 (9:10 pm)

    I’d love to see GM put out an ad in at the end of the first year, with Volt owners talking about how much gas they saved so far. Talking about how their money instead goes to the electric utility in their community instead of overseas to SA or Venezuela.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (12:35 am)

    Raymondjram: That could be the best statement even said in favor of the EV.

    Although most smart persons know that electricity exists since the Universe was create, the fact that we use is as a FUEL (source of Energy) to do our bidding is based on American ideas. The first person to realize the possible uses of electricity was ol’ Ben Franklin himself. Then with our 19th and 20th century geniuses, such as Faraday, Edison, Fleming, Tesla, DeForest, Armstrong, Woulk, and even Einstein (his Nobel prize in Physics was in Photoelectricity), we now have many appliances and portable devices that use electricity and almost all are American.

    Michael Faraday was English. John Ambrose Fleming was English. Nikola Tesla was Serbian, born in Austria. Did you mean Victor Wouk ? He was the brother of writer Herman Wouk – yeah, he was American. Albert Einstein was German, and won his Nobel Prize as a German.

    Alessandro Volta, who the “Volt” was named after, was Italian.

    And electricity is not a “fuel”, it is an energy carrier, not an energy source. But it is a universal carrier, so can be produced by many different fuels, including food by way of ATP in human muscle (bicycle generators).

    The first use of petroleum was also American, but we cannot survive on American oil anymore.

    The Colonel Drake oil well in Pennsylvania was drilled in 1859.
    Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea, had 116 oil producing wells starting in 1813, producing about 4 to 5 thousand tons of oil per year. By 1860, they had 218 wells.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_industry_in_Azerbaijan

    After global Peak Oil, the US can’t survive on any combination of oil – American plus OPEC plus Canadian plus Russian, whatever. Yes, the move to electricity is smart, but the time to gear up photovoltaic and wind and fusion etc. electricity production is now, not after the downslope of Peak Oil kicks in.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (9:24 am)

    Jackson: OT:
    What happened to Tagamet?

    RB:
    Jackson,
    I too have been wondering about that.

    DonC: Three.

    He is still around. I email him every few days. I sent him some Volt data last night from my recent trip down state New Mexico, and he replied within a few hours. He and “Mrs Tag” are still dealing with friends with life issues.

    Oh, and he still has a serious case of VES (which is made worse by engaging in this site).


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (9:40 am)

    Talking about batteries…

    http://www.duke-energy.com/news/releases/2011041402.asp

    in the black gold state.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (4:01 pm)

    Rashiid Amul,

    I do not like seeing GM spending so much money in Korea! We help them out and now they are spending Billions in Korea…. this is wrong! and will put a huge scar on an otherwise great car.

    4.4 billion dollars will build more the one battery plant in the US owned by GM… do it!

    NO American is going to like seeing GM spending so much money in KOREA while we know KOREA will not allow the VOLT to be sold in KOREA without huge tariffs.

    GM to spend billions in KOREA .. what will be the price of the VOLT in KOREA!!! How much tariff will the KOREAN’S be putting on the VOLT? while they sell KIAS and Hyundais in the US without tariffs and with getting away with not paying US taxes!


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (4:11 pm)

    GM should be working with A123 Systems also… not just one supplier which could turn out to be very dangerous.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    EcoTurbo, did you check out that battery company’s technology? In yet another ironic twist, it was originally developed to meet the California ZEV targets of the 90′s, very much sharing the birth and death cycle of the EV1!

    http://gigaom.com/cleantech/xtreme-power-a-super-battery-for-hawaiian-wind-farms/

    It might not have the density for autos but the if that $500 / kWh is for real for the promised 20 years of grid storage, it might prove to be a big enabling technology for intermittent renewables. It can be a cornerstone to a bold new vision for the future, “urban electrification”! In order to never so much as fly a plane over the middle east again, we run a National Defense HVDC transmission grid along land already allotted the the National Defense Interstate Highway system. It will route electricity from our copious sun-baked and wind-swept regions into buffer points that provide a steady flow to our cities. With this new cheap glut of electricity, we can heat our homes , drive our Volts, and beginning in 2015, Buick Electras.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (5:19 pm)

    I find it curious that the Arab world would not be into battery development or alternative energy development. The days for pumping oil out of the ground may be numbered and I would think that countries that make huge profits from this have not gotten into the development of the next energy generation systems. These nations that could use the jobs seem to have done little to protect themselves against future technical changes. I doubt that its not from a lack of brain power in the Arab world.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (8:09 pm)

    Ed M:
    I find it curious that the Arab world would not be into battery development or alternative energy development. The days for pumping oil out of the ground may be numbered and I would think that countries that make huge profits from this have not gotten into the development of the next energy generation systems. These nations that could use the jobs seem to have done little to protect themselves against future technical changes. I doubt that its not from a lack of brain power in the Arab world.

    Checkout Masdar City, a $20 billion project in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masdar_City
    The city will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology.

    It will also be the location of a university, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), which will be assisted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Automobiles will be banned within the city; travel will be accomplished via public mass transit and personal rapid transit systems, with existing road and railways connecting to other locations outside the city. The absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar’s perimeter wall, designed to keep out the hot desert winds, allows for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the city.

    And here’s a glimpse at Saudi Arabia:

    Germany: Solar conference told Saudi Arabia will export as much solar energy as petrol
    03. AUGUST 2010
    http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/germany–solar-conference-told-saudi-arabia-will-export-as-much-solar-energy-as-petrol_100000647/
    It has been said that Saudi Arabia will invest USD$120 billion over the next 25 years in developing its renewable energy industry; a special focus will be placed on solar energy “for both domestic and export use”. Additionally the kingdom provides “excellent” conditions for the extraction of solar energy through photovoltaic, solar heat and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies, as it only experiences about 10 days of rain a year and in the summer can typically produce up to 970 trillion kWh of energy in the form of sunlight within 24 hrs.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 (10:54 pm)

    shortale:
    EcoTurbo, did you check out that battery company’s technology? In yet another ironic twist, it was originally developed to meet the California ZEV targets of the 90′s, very much sharing the birth and death cycle of the EV1!

    http://gigaom.com/cleantech/xtreme-power-a-super-battery-for-hawaiian-wind-farms/

    It might not have the density for autos but the if that $500 / kWh is for real for the promised 20 years of grid storage, it might prove to be a big enabling technology for intermittent renewables.It can be a cornerstone to a bold new vision for the future, “urban electrification”! In order to never so much as fly a plane over the middle east again, we run a National Defense HVDC transmission grid along land already allotted the the National Defense Interstate Highway system. It will route electricity from our copious sun-baked and wind-swept regions into buffer points that provide a steady flow to our cities. With this new cheap glut of electricity, we canheat our homes , drive our Volts, and beginning in 2015, Buick Electras.

    Wow, this sounds a lot like things I go on (and on, and on) about here, at times. It’s good to know that others are thinking in these terms. Grid storage, with dedicated batteries for that purpose, is one of the greatest things we could do for our electrical infrastructure. Hopefully soon, a technology will cross the cost / scale threshold which can cause utilities to think of storage in the same way as generating capacity … whether or not this particular battery/capacitor turns out to be the enabler.

    Now, if we could just get moving on a superconducting electricity backbone for the nation…