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Tesla’s Secret Batteries Said to Aim to Rework the Math for Electric Cars and the Grid

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Tesla's Secret Batteries Said to Aim to Rework the Math for Electric Cars and the Grid

Tesla’s Secret Batteries Said to Aim to Rework the Math for Electric Cars and the Grid

Electric car maker Tesla plans to introduce a brand new low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China later this year or early next year. the company expects that it will bring the cost of electric vehicles in line with gasoline models, and permit EV batteries to have second and third lives in the electric power grid.

For months, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has been teasing investors, and rivals, with promises to reveal significant advances in battery technology during a “Battery Day” in late May.

New, low-cost batteries designed to last for 1,000,000 miles of use and enable electric Teslas to sell profitably for a similar price or less than a gasoline vehicle are just part of Musk’s agenda, people familiar with the plans told Reuters.

With a worldwide fleet of over 1 million electric vehicles that are capable of connecting to and sharing power with the grid, Tesla’s goal is to attain the status of a power company, competing with such traditional energy providers as Pacific Gas & Electric and Tokyo electric power, those sources said.

The new “Million-Mile” battery in the middle of Tesla’s strategy was jointly developed with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) and deploys technology developed by Tesla together with a team of academic battery experts recruited by Musk, three people familiar with the hassle said.

Eventually, improved versions of the battery, with greater energy density and storage capacity and even lower cost, are going to be introduced in additional Tesla vehicles in other markets, including North America, the sources said.

Tesla’s decision to launch the new battery first in China and it’s a broader strategy to reposition the company has not previously been reported. Tesla declined to comment.

Tesla’s new batteries will consider innovations like low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, and the use of chemical additives, materials, and coatings that will reduce internal stress and enable batteries to store more energy for longer periods, sources said.

Tesla also plans to implement new high-speed, heavily automated battery manufacturing processes designed to reduce labor costs and increase production in massive “Terafactories” about 30 times the size of the company’s sprawling Nevada “Gigafactory” — a technique telegraphed in late April to analysts by Musk.

Tesla is working on recycling and recovery of such expensive metals as nickel, cobalt, and lithium, through its Redwood Materials affiliate, also as new “second life” applications of electric vehicle batteries in grid storage systems, like the one Tesla in-built south Australia in 2017. The automaker also has said it wants to supply electricity to consumers and businesses but has not provided details.

Reuters reported exclusively in February that Tesla was in advanced talks to use CATL’s lithium iron phosphate batteries, which use no cobalt, the most expensive metal in EV batteries.

CATL also has developed a less complicated and less expensive way of packaging battery cells, called cell-to-pack, that eliminates the middle step of bundling cells. Tesla is predicted to use technology to help reduce battery weight and price.

The sources said CATL also plans to provide Tesla in China next year with an improved long-life nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) battery whose cathode is 50 percent nickel and only 20 percent cobalt.

Tesla now jointly produces nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) batteries with Panasonic at a “Gigafactory” in Nevada and buys NMC batteries from LG Chem in China. Panasonic declined to comment.

Taken together, the advances in battery technology, the strategy of expanding the ways in which EV batteries will be used and the manufacturing automation on a huge scale all aim at the same target: Reworking the financial math that thus far has made buying an electric car costlier for most consumers than sticking with carbon-emitting internal combustion vehicles.

“We’ve ought to really ensure we get a very steep ramp in battery production and continue to improve the cost per kilowatt-hour of the batteries — this is very fundamental and very difficult,” Musk told investors in January. “We’ve got to scale battery production to crazy levels that individuals cannot even fathom today.”

Tesla has reported operating profits for three quarters in a row, driving a near-doubling of its share price this year. Still, Musk’s ambitious expansion plans depend upon increasing both profit margins and sales volume.

A number of the technical advances made by Tesla and CATL in battery chemistry and design originated at a small research laboratory at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The lab has been run since 1996 by Jeff Dahn, a pioneer in the development of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage.

Dahn and his team began an exclusive five-year research partnership with Tesla in mid-2016, but the relationship dates back at least to 2012.

Among the critical contributions from Dahn’s lab: Chemical additives and nano-engineered materials to built lithium-ion batteries tougher and more resistant to bruising from stress like rapid charging, thus extending their life.

The cost of CATL’s cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate battery packs has fallen below $80 (Around Rs. 6,000) per kilowatt-hour, with the price of the battery cells dropping below $60/kWh, the sources said. CATL’s low-cobalt NMC battery packs are near to $100/kWh (roughly Rs. 7,550).

Auto industry executives have said $100/kWh (roughly Rs. 7,550) for battery packs is the level at which electric vehicles reach rough parity with combustion competitors.

Battery expert Shirley Meng, a professor at the University of California San Diego, said NMC cells could cost as little as $80/kWh (roughly Rs. 6,000) once recycling and recovery of key materials like cobalt and nickel is factored in. Iron phosphate batteries, which are safer than NMC, could find a second life in stationary grid storage systems, reducing the upfront cost of these batteries for electric vehicle buyers.

In comparison, the new low-cobalt batteries being jointly developed by General Motors and LG Chem are not expected to succeed in those cost levels until 2025, according to a source conversant in the companies’ work.

GM declined to discuss its cost targets. Earlier this year, it said only that it planned to “drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh” without specifying a timetable.

Smartphones

Realme 6i Indian Variant Could be a Rebadged Realme 6s, Suggests Report

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Realme 6i

Chinese smartphone brand Realme is slowly starting to develop a confusing lineup of devices almost like rival brand Xiaomi. We are soon commencing to see plenty of Realme devices being launched with a specific name in one country and the name then being switched to another by the time the phone launches elsewhere. Reportedly, this may even be the case with the upcoming Realme 6i.

The Realme 6i isn’t a single device. The initial Realme 6i was launched in India as the Realme Narzo 10. This was likely because the brand didn’t want to adopt a budget phone into the mid-range ‘6’ series in the country. Now, however, Realme is launching a Realme 6i in the country, and as per a report by OnPhones via GizmoChina, this may actually be a rebadged Realme 6s, that launched in Europe in May 2020.

Realme 6i leaked specifications

An image of a poster for the upcoming Realme phone also surfaced in the blog. The poster in the picture shows a smartphone with a few specifications revealed. This includes a MediaTek Helio G90T processor, a 90Hz ultra-smooth display, and a 48-megapixel quad-camera setup. The image also depicts that the Realme smartphone will also be available in black and white color variants. Moreover, it’ll feature a single punch-hole cutout on the top-left of the display.

As per the source, the Realme 6i is going to be available in barely one configuration which is 4GB RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. It had been also revealed that the smartphone could launch next week in the country.

Realme has quite a few variants to settle on from now in its budget to upper-mid-range segments. While the Narzo series represent the upper-budget segment, the Realme 6 series are proper mid-range devices. We expect the new Realme 6i to be positioned below the Realme 6, which after a recent hike now costs Rs 14,000.

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Smartphones

Asus ROG Phone 3: Specifications, Price, Release date, all the details we know so far

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ROG phone 3

ASUS has officially announced that the follow-up for its popular gaming smartphone ROG Phone 2, will be unveiled later this month. The ROG Phone 3 is going to launch at an online-only event in China and the corporate has once again partnered with Tencent Games, which suggests that we could see a special ‘Tencent Edition’ as well.

The company has reportedly started sending out invites for its ROG 2020 Game Changer event on July 22. The event is scheduled to start at 8:30 PM IST. The upcoming smartphone was recently spotted on Chinese regulatory body TENAA’s website, unveiling the phone’s key specifications.

ASUS ROG PHONE 3 EXPECTED SPECIFICATIONS

At the specifications front, ASUS ROG Phone 3 is predicted to feature a 6.9-inch AMOLED display with 1080×2340 pixel-screen resolution. Under the hood, the phone probably to be powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 865 chipset with a maximum frequency of 3.091GHz, it means that it will have an overclocked chipset.

The ROG Phone 3 will be provided in three variants i.e. 8GB + 128GB, 12GB + 256GB, and 16GB + 512GB options. At the camera’s front, the phone will come with a triple rear camera setup, which will feature a 64-megapixel primary sensor and a 13-megapixel secondary lens. But, the TENAA listing doesn’t say anything about the third sensor however, it has hinted it will support up to 8x zoom.

Also, the phone will be powered by Android 10 out of the box. Other features of the ROG Phone 3 include 5G support, an in-display fingerprint sensor, face recognition, and a USB Type-C port at the bottom for charging. There could also be a secondary USB Type-C/video out port on the left-hand side. The phone is predicted to measure 171x78x9.85mm and weigh 240 grams.

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Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Price Reduced by Rs 7,000 in India: Check Details

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Samsung has announced a Rs 7,000 price drop on the premium Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone in India. The corporate will now sell it for Rs 1,08,999 (Rs 1.9 lakh) permanently rather than Rs 1,15,999 (Rs 1.16 lakh). To recall, the corporate had initially launched the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip at Rs 1,09,999 (Rs 1.10 lakh) in India, on the other hand, it quietly increased the price to Rs 1,15,999.

Apart from Rs 7,000 reduction, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip buyers can even avail an extra Rs 8,000 discount if they upgrade to Galaxy Z Flip from select smartphones. This can effectively bring the price all the way down to Rs 1,00,999 (Rs 1.1 lakh). Samsung website is yet to list the new price, but the offer of no-cost EMI up to 18 months through various leading banks is live.

The Galaxy Z Flip comes with accidental damage cover, which has one-time screen protection and a 24X7 dedicated call center support in India. Consumers can purchase it in three color options of Mirror Gold, Mirror Purple, and Mirror Black.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is being pitched as a life-style product aimed toward those staying prior to the curve. In India, the Galaxy Z Flip is out there for purchase from here, Amazon India, and select retail stores. The Galaxy Z Flip addresses some of the key issues first observed with the Galaxy Fold introduced last year.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: Specifications, features

The foldable smartphone comes with a 6.7-inch Full HD+ foldable screen. This screen acts as the primary display and becomes available once you unfold the smartphone. When folded, there’s a smaller 1.1-inch secondary screen with a resolution of 300 x 112 pixels. It is good to ascertain notifications and even acts as a viewfinder but it’s not considered useful.

With the flip foldable smartphone, Samsung has strengthened the first display and claims to use ultra-thin glass. It is powered by Snapdragon 855+ SoC and comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB internal storage. There are dual 12-megapixel rear cameras and a 10-megapixel selfie camera. The Galaxy Z Flip comes with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and packs a 3,300mAh battery. The device supports 15W fast charging and wireless charging also.

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