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News flashes

  • Saft and Total, two members of RS2E since 2011, signed an agreement this week just before Total filed an offer to buy Saft for €950.000.000! Saft, a renowned lithium-ion battery manufacturer for specialty applications (satellites, boats etc.), is a logical target for Total which has been monitoring the battery field closely for some time (with investments in Donald Sadoway’s - from MIT - battery company Ambri among others).

    "The acquisition of Saft is part of Total’s ambition to accelerate its development in the fields of renewable energy and electricity” says Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total.

    This deal will allow Saft to develop a greater engineering capacity, more funding, a powerful worldwide network and hopefully get head-to-head with battery giants such as LG Chem or Tesla. It will also place Total in the position to test and develop new and upcoming battery technology quickly using Saft’s up and running R&D facility (read our interview of Saft’s head of R&D, Anne de Guibert here)

    Source: [Press release]

  • Japan has now more electric vehicles chargers than gas stations! Indeed, quick chargers can be found on every major road across the country. There is over 40.000 EV charging spots for 34.000 gas stations. This figure takes into account both private and public charging stations.

    Japanese automakers, such as Nissan and Toyota, are known worldwide for their state-of-the art electric vehicles thanks to an intensive research on energy storage systems such as lithium-ion batteries. Japan is now the second biggest market for EV after the US with the most sold EV model being the Nissan Leaf.

    Source: [TransportEvolved]

  • Bioo is an unusual flower pot: designed by the homonymous start-up, it could recharge your smartphone’s batteries. The aim is to make bacteria (living in the soil) produce energy from the plant’s waste. The efficiency and the energy produced by the system are not specified but the recharging may be very long...

    The startup has already registered a lot of pre-bookings. Bioo indeed collected €63,000 on the crowfunding site  Indiegogo. The price of the commercial version will be of €120.

    Source: [WeDemain]

  • Toshiba had to recall 100.000 Panasonic lithium-ion battery used in its laptops. The reason? The lithium-ion battery packs can potentially overheat and pose fire hazard. The firm has indeed received four reports of battery packs overheating and melting (no injuries have been reported).

    This problem only concern North America (USA, Canada). Panasonic has also recalled its own cells used in some of its mass-market electronic devices.

  • Solar Impulse, a groundbreaking experimental plane who is running thanks to rechargeable batteries and 17 000 photovoltaïc cells just landed in California after a flight over the Pacific. A huge success after a 10-months stay in Hawai because its batteries were seriously damaged due to overheating.

    Talking about the feat, the Russian pilot André Borschberg said : «in 10 years, electric planes will be able to carry fifty people ». A dream shared by the RS2E team but that will only become reality through cutting-edge, worlwide and realistic researches in the energy storage field.

    Source:  [Solar Impulse]


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