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Tesla Inks 5-Year Lithium Deal with Chinese Supplier

Tesla Inks 5-Year Lithium Deal with Chinese Supplier

To help keep pace with its surging sales, Tesla has signed a five-year contract to buy battery-grade lithium hydroxide from China's Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group.

The deal is valued at $630-$880 million through 2025. This equates to as much as 19,000 ton of lithium hydroxide per year.

Chinese Connection

Chengdu-based Yahua opened a new plant last May that can produce 20,000 tons of the material per year, more than doubling the company’s previous capacity.

Tesla, which ramped up production at its vehicle assembly plant in Shanghai in January, also sources lithium from China's Ganfeng Lithium, one of the world's biggest producers of the pricey material.

The carmaker also has an agreement with Chinese battery giant CATL (in addition to Panasonic and LG Chem).

LMC Automotive
Magna-LG Electronics JV Targets Electrified Powertrains

LG Electronics and Magna International have formed a joint venture to produce a variety of components and systems for electrified vehicles, including:

  • E-motors
  • Inverters
  • On-board chargers

The deal, which is expected to close next July, will broaden and accelerate the partners electrification capabilities—including a complete electric driveline.

Combined Operations

Tentatively called LG Magna e-Powertrain, the JV is valued at about $1 billion and will employ 1,000 people at existing LG locations in the U.S., South Korea and China. LG will own 51% of the venture, with Magna holding the remaining 49%.

The new company combines Magna’s electric powertrain expertise and manufacturing capabilities with LG’s expertise in component development for e-motors and ...READ MORE

Mayflower Consulting
Akella on the Intersection of AI & Manual Assembly Ops

Prasad Akella says that he’s spent a considerable amount of his career trying to completely automate production operations.

“The belief has been the only way to increase productivity is to automate,” he says.

Perhaps more than a small amount of change was predicated on the fact that he worked at General Motors from 1994 to 2000 on a team that was fundamentally responsible for the development of the collaborative robot, or “cobot,” the automation device that can work with human workers, supplementing or enhancing their capabilities. Automation, but automation that is used with, not instead of, human workers.

Akella, who’d gone to GM after obtaining a Ph.D. in robotics from Stanford, decided to leave Warren and go back to the Valley, where he founded ...READ MORE

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

One of the things about hybrid vehicles is that even though they have been in the world for decades now, even though some race cars have hybrid systems, hybrids are often thought of in the context of being thrifty vehicles. Perhaps this is predicated on the early days of the vehicles, when OEMs somehow had to accommodate the costs of a dual-powertrain system (engine and motor) while making the vehicles priced such that people would actually be able to afford them. A consequence, perhaps, was something that the early hybrids were. . .lacking. Those who were hybrid inclined didn’t have a problem with that. Those who were hybrid skeptics felt justified in their criticism of what they thought was not a “real” car.

When concepts are formed, they are hard to dispel.

One of ...READ MORE

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