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E-cars: the cooperation between manufacturers

Bernhard Schoke
E-car technology
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D he automobile manufacturers are in the fever of cooperation. Since power from the socket is rapidly gaining in importance, they diligently forge joint ventures and cooperations with those companies that have the necessary know-how in battery technology. The main problem lies in the production of powerful and at the same time inexpensive lithium-ion cells.

China is further than Germany when it comes to electronics

This is how a set of batteries suggests for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (the Mitsubishi i-Miev in a practical test), which the Japanese have been doing since July 2009 on the domestic market for around 10,000 euros. The German manufacturers are lagging behind in the field of battery research. 'The German auto industry has not continued to work consistently enough on the subject of electronics,' admits VW boss Martin Winterkorn frankly. In Japan you are already two steps further, as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan Leaf show. The car companies there entered into cooperation with domestic battery manufacturers such as Sanyo or GS Yuasa years ago. This guarantees them a kind of pre-emptive right to the energy storage in demand if there should be bottlenecks.

In China, people fully rely on electric drives

Nissan , Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy ( Subaru ) joined forces with the power company Tokyo Electric Power to expand the infrastructure for charging stations. In addition, the Japanese government is pushing battery development. The Ministry of Economic Affairs set the goal that batteries should be developed by 2030 that consume seven times more energy and only cost one fortieth of the current storage capacity. The consequence: when it comes to battery technology, corporations from Japan and Korea have a clear lead. In China, too, the government wants to promote the development of the electric car. Instead of the hybrid, one relies fully on the electric drive. Domestic companies shouldBringing electric cars to series production.

Mercedes bought Tesla

The car manufacturers therefore obtain a large part of the know-how for future electric vehicles from the various suppliers. US companies have also specialized in the energy source of the future. Mercedes bought ten percent from Tesla. The sports car manufacturer controls the lithium-ion batteries for the next electric Smart at. AC Propulsion supplies the battery for the E-Mini. While research is still being carried out in Germany, series electric vehicles are already rolling out to customers in Japan. The PSA Group can benefit from this ( Peugeot / Citroën ), thanks to the cooperation with Mitsubishi 2010 a variant of the i-MiEV brings to market.

In Germany, 60 partners have come together

In order to catch up quickly, more than 60 partners from science and industry have come together in Germany . Also included are Daimler , VW , Bosch and BASF, but also universities. VW brought in the Chinese automaker Byd to manufacture batteries Boat. Daimler forged a partnership with Evonik. The aim is to jointly manufacture lithium-ion batteries. But instead of bundling research on e-cars with one another, German manufacturers in particular are looking for salvation from different suppliers. In the meantime, Toshiba announces that it has brought a new type of battery called Scib to market. It should be significantly more powerful than current energy storage devices. The phones of the Japanese should therefore no longer stand still.


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