Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lithium Demand: Hyundai Plans Prius-Fighter Hybrid Hatchback, Lithium Battery TNR.v, CZX.v, LMR.v, RM.v, WLC.v, LI.v, CLQ.v, SQM, FMC, ROC, F. NSANY,

Koreans could become a price alternative to Japanese automakers in Hybrid space and for us it is very important that they are moving up on technology scale and using Lithium batteries. Price competition will bring mass production volume and lithium batteries will be adopted in more models of hybrid. Our mantra here is the same - Lithium cost is 1% in the end cost of the Lithium battery, all price competition will be in the other parts of the Electric Cars Value Chain - lithium could become a strategic commodity access to which will justify higher prices.
"It is not bubble - yet. Market is very healthy and growing, just look at the map who is selling and who is buying. GM still gets lithium cells produced in Asia, maybe even from Lithium Carbonate imported from Nevada. Any chance that some North American lithium end users (are there any?) will be involved in Lithium development in Nevada? We guess it will be again Japanese with JOGMEC and Chinese players as before."

The hybrid wars look like they're heating up, with aggressive challenger Hyundai planning a dedicated hybrid that takes direct aim at the iconic Toyota Prius.
The company is "studying" a unique hybrid vehicle, one that shares no body panels with an existing model, according to Miles Johnson, Hyundai product public relations manager. It could launch in late 2012.

Hyundai Blue-Will Concept, 2010 Detroit Auto ShowGallery

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid at 2010 New York Auto Show at CEO John KrafcikEnlarge Photo

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid at 2010 New York Auto ShowEnlarge Photo

2011 Hyundai Sonata HybridEnlarge Photo

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid teaserEnlarge Photo
The well-received 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid recently unveiled at the New York Auto Show is just the first of several hybrids the company is planning to launch, taking advantage of lithium-ion batteries developed with its partner LG Chem.
Blue-Will but less so
It would likely be a toned-down version of the company's Blue-Will plug-in hybrid concept car, first shown a year ago at the Seoul Motor Show and revealed in the U.S. at January's Detroit Auto Show. That concept pioneers what Hyundai calls "fluidic sculpture design."
Like the Toyota Prius, the Blue-Will concept is a compact-to-midsize five-door hatchback designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
Plug-in later, maybe
While the powertrain shown in the Blue-Will concept can be recharged by plugging into wall power, Hyundai's first dedicated hybrid vehicle may not initially plug in--leaving that for a later model, just as Toyota is doing with its 2012 Prius Plug-In Hybrid variant.
Hyundai has aggressive plans for its hybrid program, which jumps directly to using more energy-dense lithium-ion cells, rather than the older nickel-metal-hydride chemistry used in all but a handful of hybrids over the past decade.
Sonata Hybrid powertrain?
The Prius-fighting Hyundai might well use the same powertrain as the 2011 Sonata Hybrid. That vehicle is powered by a 169-horsepower, 2.4-liter gasoline engine akin to the one used for the standard Hyundai Sonata, though adapted for hybrid use.
The engine is paired with a 30-kilowatt (40-horsepower) electric motor, followed by a version of the company's six-speed automatic transmission. To adapt it for hybrid use, an oil pump replaces the standard torque converter.
Between the engine and the motor, the hybrid powertrain produces a combined 209 horsepower and 195 foot-pounds of torque. Hyundai also includes a small 8.5-kilowatt Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) to restart the engine after it is switched off. It can also provide a small amount of battery charging in severe conditions.
Lighter lithium cells
It drives differently from Toyota and Ford systems, maintaining familiar transmission shifting rather than acting as an electronic continuously-variable transmission (eCVT). Among other benefits, says Hyundai, is higher-speed all-electric running.
The Sonata Hybrid's 1.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack weighs just 96 pounds, against 124 pounds for the nickel-metal-hydride pack in the Toyota Prius, which has almost identical energy capacity.
Wide-open-mouth styling
Unusually for a hybrid variant of an existing model, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sports entirely new front sheetmetal, making it visually distinctive.
The Sonata Hybrid's front end shares the wide-open-mouth look seen on the Blue-Will, perhaps suggesting a coherent styling theme for Hyundai's hybrid lineup.
Last July, its domestic-market Elantra LPI Hybrid sedan became the world's first production vehicle to use lithium-polymer cells.
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