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The Mobilist
The future of batteries, electric cars, and driverless vehicles. A new blog from Medium.

Lithium Ion Battery

In The Mobilist. More on Medium.

Questions are raised about price, including whether it’s important

What if the Tesla Model 3 cost $25,000? Photo: Courtesy Tesla.

For a little over half a year, the battery and electric vehicle communities have been in ferment: Companies that no one thought twice about have gone Spac and are worth hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars. New gigafactories have been announced by the week. Legacy automakers have torn up and remade their five-year plans, only to do so again within weeks or months. In total, they have announced hundreds of new EV models.

If you’re driving a Formula E race car, these niobium tungsten oxide anodes are for you

Target market — Formula-E in Rome. Photo: Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto/Getty

If electric vehicles are going to crack the mass market in a big way, an article of faith is that ordinary motorists — at least in the industry’s early mainstream years — must be confident they can charge up when they want, and do so fast. That means a speed somewhere at the high-end of their accustomed gas station experience — say 15 to 20 minutes for 80% charge. No one is yet offering such rates, but that’s the goal.

A 24th Tesla investigation, 1884 EV design, dry batteries

Photo: Terry Eiler/Library of Congress/Creative Commons

The Tesla safety and quality problem: Last weekend, two Houston men took the family Tesla S out for a spin, failed to turn in a cul-de-sac, sped into some woods, and crashed into a tree. No one was at the wheel at the time, police said, and both men were killed. Confusing the situation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Autopilot wasn’t engaged at the time.

Consumers could leave gasoline models unsold, and wait for electrics

The Rivian R1T, one of the most-discussed coming electric pickups. Photo: Courtesy Rivian.

In an announcement yesterday, BMW said it will introduce an electric vehicle with a solid-state battery by 2030. The same day, Toyota announced that it’s creating a new EV called the “bz4x,” to be offered for sale the middle of next year, not to mention an electric pickup not long after.

As great as they might be, the best may not be good enough to dislodge trusted lithium-ion

Courtesy: QuantumScape

QuantumScape, the sizzling darling of battery investors from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Europe and beyond, is the object of a fierce short-selling attack. Its assailant is Scorpion Capital, a little-known guerrilla outfit that yesterday released a 188-page, scorched-earth indictment that, in bold, black-and-red font and yellow highlight pen, accused QuantumScape of fraud and other transgressions. QuantumScape’s share price plunged 12.2% by the close of trading.

Driverless in Beijing, 5th U.S. gigafactory, Lithium Triangle, autonomous dreams

Photo: AngryWayne/Creative Commons

Each Wednesday, The Mobilist highlights reader articles on Medium, comments, and updates.

Blood feud, gigafactory chronology, useless batteries and new podcast

Photo: MJ Kim/Getty

Each Wednesday, The Mobilist highlights reader articles on Medium, comments, and updates.

A deadline this week adjudicating a South Korean blood feud

On the way to launching his infrastructure plan and batteries initiative. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

At a fragile moment in the global technological war, President Biden is on the cusp of an extraordinary decision that some say could influence how fast and robustly the U.S. begins to ramp up battery manufacture at a time rivals Europe and China are already well on their way.

Cell-making is essential but the President cited batteries just once

Photo courtesy of Siemens

For a decade, China has been building battery and electric vehicle industries, making it by far the biggest player in these technologies of the future. Over the last three years, Europe has sought to catch up, putting billions of dollars behind the creation of its own homegrown lithium-ion and EV industries. Today, the pair are more or less the global EV pantheon.

The life of batteries, mandatory recycling, and new media

Each Wednesday, The Mobilist highlights reader articles on Medium, comments, and updates.

Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty

Life of batteries, redux: Last week, researchers at Stanford triggered a to-do in the battery world with a paper at Nature Energy suggesting that lithium-metal batteries had a problem: over time, the calendar life of such batteries plunged by up to 25%. The consternation was because of the implication — numerous automakers are looking to lithium-metal anodes to help bring down the cost of their next-generation batteries, a dream that could be threatened if they lost so much capacity.

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