Financial Review: VW to Spend Up to $15 billion on Battery Plant, Say Reports

Volkswagen is reportedly to invest up to €10 billion ($15.5 billion) in a major new battery factory as it attempts to reposition itself as a leader in the electric car market.

The move is part of a bid by VW to reinvent itself in the wake of the damaging emissions-rigging scandal.

The company had already announced ambitious plans to sell 1 million electric and hybrid vehicles a year by 2025 and to invest more in batteries.

Forbes: Lithium-Ion Will Be Tough to Beat, Says Argonne Battery Whiz

People who are working on next-generation batteries often put lithium-ion down, saying the current technology is too costly, too flammable, or too limited to meet the clean energy and clean transportation demands of the future.

But four years into a five-year effort to develop a better battery at Argonne National Laboratory, one Argonne engineer concedes Li-ion will be tough to beat in the marketplace.

“It’s just going to be incredibly difficult for other battery technologies to catch up with it,” said Kevin Gallagher, an electrochemical engineer, in an appearance this week at the University of Chicago. “I think that’s the lesson that a lot of new battery technologies are learning, definitely.”

E&E News: NY Overhaul Means New Models for Chasing Utility Profits

Last month, six of the state's utility CEOs met on the west side of Manhattan to discuss the future of their business.

What did they see? They pictured the state of New York with less CO2, more renewable power and more distributed generation. They contemplated a grid where they continue to build and run the wires, but they make money in novel and disruptive ways. They showed off the pilot projects that, they think, can be models of the new electricity era.

Then Mark Lynch, the president of New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric, served up a teaspoon of temperance.

"Those revenues are going to be modest," he said at the Advanced Energy Conference. "They're not going to supplant getting a billion dollars for capital expenditure and regulating that."

Gas 2.0: Spain Loves Tesla Campaign Seeks to Lure Tesla Factory

It’s not unusual for local governments to try luring business investment to their area, but doing it on YouTube is an honor only Tesla Motors is accorded. Perhaps it is because the company itself presents its public face to the world via Twitter and YouTube. It is the master of marketing via social media.

Paterna, a Spanish city just 6 miles from Valencia, has launched a Spain Loves Tesla campaign, complete with YouTube video, to encourage Tesla Motors to build its European factory there. Tesla hasn’t even confirmed that it plans to have a European factory. But if it expects to be making millions of cars soon, as Elon Musk claims, it will need more manufacturing space than it has at its factory in Fremont, California.

Guardian: Idea of Renewables Powering U.K. Is an 'Appalling Delusion'

The idea that renewable energy can power the U.K. is an “appalling delusion," according to the final interview given by former chief scientific adviser, the late Professor Sir David MacKay.

The sensible energy and climate change plan for the U.K., MacKay said, was for the country to focus on nuclear power and carbon capture storage technology, which traps the carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning. In that scenario, the amount of wind and solar the U.K. needed would be almost zero, he said.