'Virgin will compete with Tesla in the electric car business,' says Richard Branson
Virgin boss Richard Branson goes head-to-head with Tesla CEO Elon Musk by developing electric car.
Virgin boss Richard Branson is about to go head-to-head with Tesla’s Elon Musk by adding an electric vehicle to the brand’s already extensive portfolio.
During an interview with Bloomberg TV, Branson said that he has a team working on developing an electric vehicle for the mass market, which would rival Tesla. This statement was released during the Formula E event in Miami. The billionaire said that Virgin might compete with Tesla in the electric car business in the future.
Virgin has already developed an electric car, which is currently competing in the electric version of the world's premiere racing competition Formula 1. Formula E uses a more defined and well-engineered electric motor similar to its counterparts in Formula 1.
Commercial electric car development is not the only field in which Branson and Musk will go head-to-head – Virgin Galactic is a commercial spaceflight company that works on electric motors and competes with Tesla's SpaceX, which was also founded by Elon Musk.
According Reuters, Virgin's spokesman, Nick Fox confirmed that they are currently working with Virgin's Formula E in developing a plan for the next season's car. He also added that Virgin Group's aim is to develop and build an engine that will dominate the sport and ultimately will develop a car that can be used by a broader market.
Aside from Tesla, more and more companies such as Apple were reported to put time and resources in developing their own electric car while Google on the other hand is currently developing a car that can drive it self and it won't be a surprise if they will also join the bandwagon of electric cars.
Branson ended the interview by saying that Tesla is as sexy as any other car on the road today.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.