Tag Archives: electric vehicles

The “Gigafactory”: Tesla Motors and PANASONIC working on mass-producing Lithium Ion Batteries!!

The Gigafactory Project (Picture - Tesla Motors)

The Gigafactory Project (Picture – Tesla Motors)


“With a planned production rate of 500,000 cars per year in the latter half of this decade, Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide production of lithium ion batteries. The Tesla Gigafactory was born of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support our projected vehicle demand.

Tesla broke ground on the Gigafactory in June 2014 outside Sparks, Nevada, and we expect to begin cell production in 2017. By 2020, the Gigafactory will reach full capacity and produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013.

In cooperation with Panasonic and other strategic partners, the Gigafactory will produce batteries for significantly less cost using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof. We expect to drive down the per kilowatt hour (kWh) cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent. The Gigafactory will also be powered by renewable energy sources, with the goal of achieving net zero energy.

The name Gigafactory comes from the factory’s planned annual battery production capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh).”  (Tesla Motors)


Great Project and Vision! Congratulations to both Tesla and Matsushita (PANASONIC) for this “environment-friendly” business plan!!


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Is Japan’s future an Hydrogen Society??

Hydrogen Fuel Car (picture - ORNL)

Hydrogen Fuel Car (picture – ORNL)


Toyota’s plans to build a hydrogen-based society

The Japanese automaker says it will sell 30,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2020 and use hydrogen at its factories to reach ambitious environmental targets.

While other automakers are investing more into electric vehicles as a means to reduce tailpipe emissions, Toyota is betting on hydrogen and hybrid cars.

The automaker sold more than 1.2 million hybrid vehicles in 2014 and expects to reach 8 million in worldwide cumulative hybrid vehicle sales by 2015.

Hydrogen cars are another matter. Toyota launched its first fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, in late 2014. To reach its 30,000 annual sales goal by 2020 it will have to increase production volume tenfold from 2017. The car, which the EPA says has a 312-mile range, will debut in the U.S. market (just California) this fall. Even if customer demand for the fuel cell vehicle tops expectations, sales will likely remain sluggish until infrastructure problems are solved.

There are only 12 public hydrogen fuel stations in the United States, according to the Department of Energy. Ten of those are in California, making it the only feasible market in the U.S. for hydrogen cars.

In Japan, hydrogen cars have at least a fighting chance, thanks largely to a push by Toyota, Nissan, and Honda.

Toyota isn’t stopping with vehicles. The company wants to “foster a hydrogen-based society,” which means using hydrogen in cars, buses, and manufacturing. To do that, Toyota says it is making 5,680 fuel cell patents freely available and collaborating with other automakers to support the development of hydrogen infrastructure.

Toyota plans to use hydrogen and renewable energy such as wind power to cut emissions generated when manufacturing its cars.”   (Fortune)


Is Japan’s future an Hydrogen society?? 

What about Electric vs Hybrid vs Hydrogen fuel Cars?

Do you share Toyota’s vision? It is a brave and smart move!!

What do you think?


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“The Japanese government has joined forces with some of the country’s biggest manufacturers to push for what it’s calling a “hydrogen society,” in which everything from buses to cars to homes are powered by the plentiful, zero-emission fuel.

A big coming-out party for the hydrogen society is planned for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, when hydrogen-fueled buses will ferry athletes and fans around Olympic event sites. The government and companies including Toyota and Iwatani are working together to build a network of hydrogen fueling stations—there are around a dozen across the country already, with the goal of 35 up and running by 2020.”    (Fortune)


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Driverless MiniBuses (EV) in La Rochelle (France) !!

Driverless bus (Actu Environnement)

Driverless bus (Actu Environnement)

The city of La Rochelle in France has just hosted, in the context of the EU experiment “Citymobil 2″, a fleat of fully automated and electric vehicles with the aim of transporting city passengers and of checking the ” social acceptability” of the project. 14.661 journeys were counted on board of six minibuses operated without drivers during a period of over 4 months in La Rochelle (France). 100% Electric (EVs), these vehicules are  5 m long and 1.5 m wide and can carry up to 10 people. Their speed in public areas may not exceed 15 km/h and has even been reduced to 8 km/h in order to avoid incidents in this seaside touristic town. There were however no collisions/accidents during the test period!

These automated buses, built by the French manufacturer Robosoft, are connected to monitoring systems and are equipped with an advanced GPS system as well as a laser mapping system for localisation and movement control. To detect obstacles at front and on the side (bicycles, walkers, starting cars …), laser and ultrasound devices are used.

Read more (Article and Video in French from “Actu Environnement”) at:


With thanks to Pr Jean Englebert for submitting/introducing this article/project.


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