Leclanché’s dual strategy for growth

The massive Leclanché battery order for Hecate Canada Storage II in Ontario is just one of the signs that its targeting of the stationary energy storage and electric vehicle markets is paying off. Photo Credit: De Lijn

The massive Leclanché battery order for Hecate Canada Storage II in Ontario is just one of the signs that its targeting of the stationary energy storage and electric vehicle markets is paying off. Photo Credit: De Lijn

By Jason Deign

The world’s oldest battery company isn’t clinging to the past. Leclanché, of Switzerland, is betting on its two newest lines of business for future growth, said Jacques Boppe, the company’s vice president of corporate development.

“Stationary storage is a growth business and transportation is a growth market,” said Boppe.

Both areas were given separate business unit status in January 2015 as part of a turnaround plan that saw Anil Srivastava, the former boss of Areva Renewables, taking the helm of the company in June 2014.

The turnaround followed financial troubles that resulted in Leclanché’s German subsidiary needing a €5m bailout from the Bruellan Corporate Governance Action Fund in 2012.

Boppe said Leclanché is expecting both business units to blossom while it continues to serve its legacy business, creating and distributing custom battery systems for specialist customers such as the Swiss Army, from a third unit.
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Car batteries for grids, the Duke way

Will car batteries really work as a distributed grid storage medium? Duke Energy says: “Yes, but not in the way everyone is thinking.” Photo credit: FIAMM

Will car batteries really work as a distributed grid energy storage medium? Duke Energy says: “Yes, but not in the way everyone is thinking.” Photo credit: FIAMM

Duke Energy, America’s biggest utility, is working on a way to use vehicle batteries for grid energy storage that could sidestep the concept’s biggest drawback. Electric vehicle batteries have long been mooted as a potential sink for distributed renewable energy sources, helping to mop up excess power in times of plenty.
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Hong Kong gets first electric bus

BYD electric buses are headed for Hong Kong

BYD electric buses are headed for Hong Kong. Photo credit: 写意人生

In a week that sees Chinese authorities making noises on tackling the country’s dire air pollution problem comes the news that Hong Kong is taking a tentative step in the right direction. And it comes as no surprise that BYD is the company supplying the metropolis’s first electric bus to the Kowloon Motor Bus company.
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India gets hydrogen fuel cell bus

The Tata Motors Starbus Fuel Cell bus features hydrogen fuel cell technology

The Tata Motors Starbus Fuel Cell bus features hydrogen fuel cell technology. Photo credit: Tata Motors

The aptly-named Starbus went through its paces at the Liquid Propulsion System Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore earlier this week, reports The Times Of India.
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BYD lands zero-emission bus contract

Isbrand Ho of BYD Europe and Jos Nijhuis of Schiphol Group sign a contract for electric buses.

Isbrand Ho of BYD Europe and Jos Nijhuis of Schiphol Group sign a contract for electric buses. Photo credit: BYD Company Ltd

BYD’s iron-phosphate battery-powered vehicles are making more inroads into the European market with the announcement that the China-based megacorp will be supplying 35 electric buses to Schiphol airport in The Netherlands. These airside transfer vehicles will together constitute Europe’s largest emission-free bus fleet.
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UK funds buses to lower emissions

The UK government will be funding low-carbon buses as part of its Green Bus Fund, reports Green Car Congress. In total, the four rounds of the GBP£87 million fund should provide more than 1,200 new low-carbon buses in England, saving around 28,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, says the government.

The bus manufacturers Alexander Dennis Limited, BYD, Optare, Scania and Volvo will benefit from orders for their hybrid, electric and gas buses.