Daimler, BYD Team Up to Develop Electric Cars in China

BYD, the China-based battery giant turned electric car developer, has just struck a deal with Germany’s Daimler (s DAI) to form a 50-50 joint venture focused on researching and developing an electric vehicle for the Chinese market, and launching it “as soon as possible.”

Made in Germany: Daimler, Evonik to Crank Out Electric Car Batteries by 2011

The growing number of companies and policy makers trying to build a booming electric vehicle battery industry in the U.S. have so far found the biggest competition coming from Asia, home of lithium-ion cell manufacturers that dominate the market for laptop and electronics batteries. But now the seeds of competition are also sprouting up in Germany. Daimler AG (s DAI) and Evonik Industries have just finalized plans to build a lithium-ion battery pack plant in Kamenz, Germany, near an existing facility for the companies’ lithium-ion cell venture, Li-Tec.

daimler-evonikDaimler and Evonik want to move fast — Evonik on Tuesday released a timeline for the project: Begin construction this fall, start churning out battery packs by 2011, and launch them in vehicles starting with models in the 2012 lineup from Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz. From there, the Daimler-Evonik battery system joint venture, called Deutsche Accumotive, aims to pursue sales to third-party automakers. Read More about Made in Germany: Daimler, Evonik to Crank Out Electric Car Batteries by 2011

MLB iPhone App to Live-Stream Games Over 3G; Still No Sling

mlbatbatMajor League Baseball has added live video streams of baseball games to its $9.99 iPhone app, starting today. The games can be viewed over Wi-Fi or via the iPhone’s 3G connection — unlike the Sling video-streaming app, which only works over Wi-Fi because of a clause in AT&T’s Terms of Service forbidding it. Because of this, the live video offering is raising hackles among some net neutrality advocates.

The Sling video streaming app, which allows users to stream video from a home set-top box to their iPhone, was forbidden from AT&T’s 3G network via a clause (altered numerous times) that currently bans “redirecting television signals for viewing on personal computers.” An AT&T representative confirmed that the Sling ban is in place over “congestion” concerns. However, all is not right in Mudville. Read More about MLB iPhone App to Live-Stream Games Over 3G; Still No Sling

Tesla, Daimler Team Up for Smart Batteries, Daimler Takes 10 Percent Stake

elondaimlerDaimler AG (s DAI) has invested a “double-digit million-dollar sum for about a 10 percent stake” in Tesla Motors as part of a new strategic partnership between the German automaker and the Silicon Valley electric sports car startup. Speaking at a press conference in Stuttgart, Germany this morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk (pictured) and Daimler’s Thomas Weber, who is responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development, announced that Daimler will use battery packs from Tesla for the electric Smart cars slated to launch commercially in 2012. The companies have also agreed to share expertise for future models, and Daimler will take a seat on Tesla’s board of directors.

Today’s deal does not mean Daimler is abandoning a joint venture with battery maker Evonik, or that Tesla is a shoe-in for supplying the battery packs for other Daimler models. Tesla does not develop or manufacture battery cells in-house, and Musk said today that the company could very well assemble battery packs using controls and cooling systems developed at Tesla, with cells from Evonik subsidiary Li-Tec, in the future. (General Motors (s GM) is taking a similar approach with the batteries for its Chevy Volt, assembling battery packs with cells from LG Chem.)
When it comes to choosing a cell maker, Musk said, “We are agnostic. We are very interested in using a Li-Tec cell, or Panasonic, Sony, LG — whatever delivers the best product for the customer.”
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