Switching battery chemistry for durability, availability

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Switching battery chemistry for durability, availability

Truck at IAA

HANOVER, Germany — Daimler Truck is migrating its battery chemistry to a formula that eliminates nickel and cobalt to improve durability and reduce competition with the passenger car business for scarce materials.

Daimler will gradually move its vehicles to lithium iron phosphate batteries it has developed in partnership with China’s CATL. Iron and phosphate cost far less and are easier to mine than other battery materials.

“They are both cheap and plentiful almost everywhere and will definitely help to reduce the pressure on the battery supply chain as adoption grows,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst with Guidehouse Insights.

Daimler, the German parent of Freightliner and Western Star truck brands, announced the strategy as it debuted a longer-haul electric truck for the European market at IAA Transportation 2022 on Monday.

“My fear is if the entire passenger car market, not just Tesla or the high-end cars, moves to batteries, there will be a fight,” Martin Daum, Daimler Truck’s CEO, told Automotive News. “And a fight always means higher pricing.”

— Jerry Hirsch

What you need to know

Growing the EV supply chain will take years: Automakers and battery companies are still reliant on overseas raw materials.

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Sarah Nielsen

Roundup

General Motors to sell 175,000 EVs to Hertz over five years.

EPA to consider tougher emissions rules for heavy trucks.

Automakers tackle patent hurdle in quest for in-car tech.

China calls U.S. EV tax breaks ‘discriminatory,‘ threatens unspecified actions.

Chinese EV battery maker Gotion could spend $3.6 billion on Michigan plant.

Brain food

Nvidia’s latest automotive computer, known as Drive Thor, has a processing speed of 2,000 trillion operations per second.

Last mile

Kittyhawk, the air-taxi company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, is closing down. The company was founded in 2010, one of the first to pioneer the market for electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft.

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