23 Mar Trending Mobility Industry News
Here are some of the trending news topics in the automotive and mobility markets from around the world. We will be curating three interesting pieces of news from the automotive industry and providing insightful summaries to give our readers a better understanding of the latest developments in this field.
By presenting the most significant information in a concise and accessible format, we aim to provide an engaging and informative reading experience.
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy learning about the exciting happenings in the world of automotive technology!
March 20, 2023
1. Volkswagen to Invest in Mines in Bid to Become Global Battery Supplier
Volkswagen (VW), aiming to become the world’s leading supplier of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), has announced plans to invest in a mine to extract lithium, cobalt, and other metals needed to manufacture EV batteries in order to ensure a stable supply of key raw materials. This is intended to avoid future supply chain disruptions that could interfere with the company’s production plans. This strategy is in line with a broader trend toward greater control over parts of the supply chain that have traditionally been left to third parties, from energy generation to raw material procurement, as automakers compete for the scarce resources they urgently need to meet their electrification goals.
China’s BYD, which also produces batteries, is far ahead of Volkswagen in the affordable EV race, posting sales in China in February that exceeded the German automaker’s for the first time in four months.
Getting batteries at the right price has been a challenge for automakers such as Volkswagen, Tesla, and Stellantis as they seek to make EVs more affordable.
Against this background, Thomas Schmall, VW’s board member in charge of technology, said the company will use all means at its disposal to further reduce the cost of batteries.
March 21, 2023
2. New Toyota boss doubles down on hydrogen and electric cars
Toyota Motor Corp. is looking to double down on hydrogen and electric drive for the environmentally friendly vehicles of the future.
Koji Sato, who will succeed Akio Toyoda as Toyota CEO on April 1, told Automotive News Southeast Asia correspondent Hans Greimel that he wants to “ensure that hydrogen remains a viable option.”
According to Automotive News, Toyota is working with industrial giant Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which builds liquid hydrogen carriers, and energy company Iwatani Corporation to provide a better infrastructure for hydrogen cars when they become popular in Japan.
The Toyota Mirai, which uses hydrogen to generate electricity in a fuel cell to drive an electric motor, has been in production for two generations since 2014, and the company is also developing a gasoline engine that runs on hydrogen fuel.
Starting in early 2021, Toyota has introduced a number of prototypes with gasoline engines that have been modified to run on gaseous or liquid hydrogen and emit little or no emissions from the exhaust pipes.
February 1, 2023
3.A New ‘Glue’ Could Make Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Cheaper—And Less Toxic
A research team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has announced that it has developed a new material that could be a safe solution for recycling lithium-ion batteries at one-tenth the cost of conventional materials. Lithium-ion battery cells have a cathode and anode, which conduct electricity, held together by a glue-like binder, but the new material developed by the institute is a binder made from two commercially available polymers that dissolves when immersed in room temperature alkaline water containing sodium hydroxide. The rare metals are collected by filtration of the solution and air-dried. With this method, there is no need to worry about the release of toxic substances through incineration, and if all goes well, this new material could be used in lithium-ion batteries within two to five years.
The production of lithium-ion batteries is expected to increase at an annual rate of about 30% over the next 10 years, and the battery recycling business is also expected to grow very significantly over the next 10 years, according to Gao Liu, senior scientist at the institute.