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Lithium Mining Projects May Not Be Green Friendly

Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy.The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the near total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium.But the project, known as Lithium Americas, has drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe, ranchers and environmental groups because it is …

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Ford to open new lab to develop next-gen lithium-ion and solid-state batteries

Ford Motor Company will open a $185 million R&D battery lab to develop and manufacture battery cells and batteries, a first step toward the automaker possibly making battery cells in-house. The facility comes as yet another signal to consumers and other automakers that the auto giant is no longer hedging its bets on the transition to battery electric vehicles.
Company executives declined to provide a timeline on when Ford might scale its battery manufacturing, but it is clear that the company intends this facility to lay the groundwork for such a future.
The Ford Ion Park will be based in …

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The Hottest Amenity From Developers? A Power Plant Made of Batteries.

In Utah, Soleil Lofts signed a first-of-its-kind deal with Rocky Mountain Power, which can tap the batteries as a power source. This arrangement helps the utility save generating costs while helping the developer save money, according to the Wasatch Group, the Utah developer that built and manages the apartments.Wasatch executives see the virtual power plant as proof that batteries are a smart investment for building owners.“The V.P.P. provides an income stream and makes this a more attractive property to rent,” said Ryan Peterson, president of Wasatch Guaranty Capital, the firm’s real estate and investment unit. “ …

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The City Where Cars Are Not Welcome

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Eckart Würzner, a mayor on a mission to make his city emission free, is not terribly impressed by promises from General Motors, Ford and other big automakers to swear off fossil fuels.Not that Mr. Würzner, the mayor of Heidelberg, is against electric cars. The postcard-perfect city, in southern Germany, gives residents who buy a battery-powered vehicle a bonus of up to 1,000 euros, or $1,200. They get another €1,000 if they install a charging station.But electric cars are low on the list of tools that Mr. Würzner is using to try to cut Heidelberg’s impact on the climate, …

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Auto Dinosaurs Show They’re Not Dead Yet

A year ago, investors had pretty much given up the big global carmakers for dead. Shares of Daimler, General Motors and Ford Motor were at 10-year lows. Electric vehicle start-ups without any sales were sometimes worth more than traditional automakers with tens of thousands of employees and factories all over the world. The pandemic looked as if it would seal the dinosaurs’ fate.But it turns out the old behemoths may not be doomed just yet. Earnings reported by Daimler on Thursday underlined a remarkable comeback by some traditional carmakers. These companies have managed to survive the pandemic, reorient to …

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The Auto Industry Bets Its Future on Batteries

“Today’s batteries are not competitive,” said Jagdeep Singh, chief executive of QuantumScape, which is based in San Jose, Calif. “Batteries have enormous potential and are critical for a renewable energy economy, but they have to get better.”For the most part, all of the money pouring into battery technology is good news. It puts capitalism to work on solving a global problem. But this reordering of the auto industry will also claim some victims, like the companies that build parts for internal combustion engine cars and trucks, or automakers and investors that bet on the wrong technology.“Battery innovations …

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G.M. Wants to Make Electric Cars. China Dominates the Market.

SHANGHAI — The business of making cars has reached a critical juncture — and it looks as if China is in the driver’s seat.General Motors’ surprise announcement on Thursday that it aspires to eliminate gasoline and diesel cars from its fleet by 2035 and embrace electric cars follows a road map successfully drawn by Beijing. To get there, G.M., the Detroit stalwart and symbol of American industrial might, may have no choice but to embrace car and battery technologies in which Chinese companies play leading roles.Even when setting the time frame, G.M. seems to be matching Beijing’s …

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Sila Nanotechnologies raises $590M to fund battery materials factory

Sila Nanotechnologies, a Silicon Valley battery materials company, has spent years developing technology designed to pack more energy into a cell at a lower cost — an end game that has helped it lock in partnerships with Amperex Technology Limited as well as automakers BMW and Daimler.
Now, Sila Nano, flush with a fresh injection of capital that has pushed its valuation to $3.3 billion, is ready to bring its technology to the masses.
The company, which was founded nearly a decade ago, said Tuesday it has raised $590 million in a Series F funding round led by Coatue with significant participation by …

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British Auto Industry Risks Slow Decline After Brexit

“Therein lies a flashing yellow light,” Mr. Palmer said. “If they’re not tooling up the next-generation E.V. in Sunderland, and everything is going electric, that’s a concern.”Britain was once one of the world’s leading auto producers, its glamour epitomized by Rolls-Royce, Bentley and James Bond’s weaponized Aston Martin. But auto production peaked in 1972 and has been pretty much downhill since. Brands like Rover, Austin-Healey or Sunbeam, widely admired but only intermittently profitable, disappeared. MG, once known for two-seat sports cars, belongs to SAIC, a Chinese automaker that uses the brand name for a line …

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German Automakers Are Charged Up and Ready to Take on Tesla

Next year, Mercedes, a division of Daimler, will introduce the EQS, a battery-powered counterpart to the company’s top-of-the-line S-Class. The EQS, which will cost more than $100,000, will be the first vehicle built with Mercedes’s so-called electric vehicle architecture, the same idea as Volkswagen’s modular toolbox.Daimler says the EQS will be able to travel 700 kilometers, or 435 miles, on a charge. That would be slightly more than the current Tesla S. In 2022, Daimler will introduce additional models based on the electric vehicle platform, including a battery-powered S.U.V., to be produced at the company’s factory in …

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