Saturday, October 01, 2011

Lithium Charge: GE May Lease Vehicle Batteries for Electric Cars ge, ilc.v, tnr.v, czx.v, rm.v, lmr.v, abn.v, asm.v, btt.v, bva.v, bvg.v, epz.v, fst.v, gbn.v, hao.v, jnn.v, ks.v, ktn.v, kxm.v, mgn, mxr.v, rvm.to, svb, ura.v, nup.ax, srz.ax, usa.ax



  Here we have another potential solution to the high entry cost for the Electric Cars. Total cost of ownership is already very much competitive with the ICE cars, but the high sticker prices will prevent Electric Cars to take the market by storm. Renault in France will be leasing the lithium batteries with the Electric Cars. All Electric Fluence will go for the same price as its  diesel version and lithium battery will be leased for the payment of 70 euro per month. 
  Now we have GE considering the same idea. Actually GE can make a very good business out of it. Customers will be ready to pay more for the monthly lease of the batteries in order to be able not to worry at all about the battery reliability, warranty and have an upgrade to the newer model. GE is looking for its place in this Next Big Thing, which is according to some venture capitalist will represent the opportunity in the market place like the Internet with another Zero. Once corporate monsters like GE will be seriously in play we can count on the very fast technological and marketing advance in this market.

"Lithium drive: German Scientists Plan to Halve The Cost Of Electric Vehicles. We are monitoring here the story with DBM Energy  - this German start up is talking about  its wonder Lithium battery: Kolibri, which can make this announcement the very low bar to beat. Question is still whether this technology will be commercially proven and on the market in the nearest future. Recently we have found some more confirmations about its potential break through in Lithium batteries performance and cost. As with all technology once the proper funding will be put in place we can expect the rapid technological advance even without the miracles promised by companies like DBM Energy."

IBTimes:

September 30, 2011 

General Electric Co (GE.N) may lease costly vehicle batteries to electric-car buyers, joining other companies looking to get more people to buy alternative-energy automobiles.

The largest U.S. conglomerate is just at the "thinking stage" of such a move, said Mark Little, head of GE's research and development efforts, on Friday at an event at Nissan Motor Co's (7201.T) research center near Detroit.

GE makes batteries and is one of the biggest investors in Massachusetts-based battery maker A123 Systems Inc. (AONE.O)

A battery leasing program is a venture that could allow GE to show off its range of businesses, from its industrial core which could be influential in manufacturing the batteries, to its GE Capital finance arm which could support the leasing.

These kinds of batteries are relatively new to the auto industry, leading to a level of skepticism among consumers. Questions about durability and performance could be addressed if buyers were simply asked to lease the battery that came with the electric vehicle.


"The life span and the performance of the batteries is not well understood," Little said. "We may be better off owning the asset."

He did not comment on how far along GE is in its consideration of leasing, and did not provide a timetable for entering the business.

Little did point to GE's approximately 6 percent stake in A123, a 10-year-old lithium-ion battery maker that went public last year, as a position GE can use as it digs deeper into the electric-vehicle market. Little said that GE has "no interest in being in the car business."

Little is an A123 board member. GE's involvement in the company dates back to its venture-capital investment before A123 went public, and Little advised GE when they invested in the start-up.

Talk about electric-vehicle battery leasing has come up in the auto industry in recent years as top automakers unveiled plans to launch vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and General Motors Co's (GM.N) Chevrolet Volt. A variety of companies, including Palo Alto, California-based Better Place and Nissan, have proposed battery leasing programs as a way to ease anxiety about electric cars.

Electric cars have been slow to catch on. In the U.S., a lack of available models, skimpy infrastructure, relatively low gasoline costs and high vehicle sticker prices are factors holding back demand for such vehicles. Nissan has sold 7,000 Leaf electric vehicles in the United States since launching it 10 months ago.

On Friday, GE said it is embarking on a two-year research project with Nissan that could help it better understand energy demands of electric vehicles and their owners. GE attempted to partner with Chrysler Group LLC a few years ago on hybrid vehicle programs, but that relationship failed to pan out."
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