19 March 2013 | Leon Wong
Japan has an incredibly strong history of innovation. Yet the country too often starts out with dominant market share only to lose leadership as the pace of innovation quickens.
For example, its world market share of Lithium-ion Batteries (LiB) for mobile and portable devices declined ~60% in 19 years. Solar panels ~30% in 4 years. DRAMs ~55% in 15 years. DVD players ~70% in 9 years. LCDs ~80% in 7 years. Car navigation systems ~80% in 5 years. In none of these industries has any meaningful market share loss been recovered. Now, their world market share in Lithium-ion batteries (LiB) for vehicles has dropped ~20% in the past 5 years. While Japan’s share is still a robust ~80%, Japan’s track record forebodes an unhappy ending.
In light of this history, I recently attended the Battery Japan 2013 conference (part of Japan’s World Smart Energy Week 2013, which drew over 75,000 ...
12 October 2012 | Editor
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Digital technologies are making a dramatic impact on manufacturing, enabling a greater variety of products at lower volumes and lower costs. Not only will these technologies usher in a new wave of mass customization and personalization, but we will also see significant shifts in how products are developed, made, and delivered to retailers and consumers.
PARC is leading the innovation of digital design and manufacturing across hardware, software, and process technologies, and building public-private partnerships in open innovation to execute that vision.
24 June 2010 | Serdar Uckun
Arguably, the all-electric powertrain will be the most significant disruption in automotive technology since Henry Ford introduced the first assembly line over 100 years ago. So far, the gasoline- (or diesel-) powered internal combustion engine has been a tremendous success despite its limited efficiency, particulate matter and CO2 emissions, complexity, and maintenance demands. An all-electric powertrain, however, would eliminate many common failure modes associated with internal combustion engines. The recent introduction of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles have sparked a new wave of public interest and heightened expectations -- is it finally time for electric vehicles to displace the internal combustion engine for good?
10 February 2010 | Serdar Uckun
Vehicle-to-Grid is a fascinating concept that appeals to venture capitalists and energy economists alike. Imagine millions of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids connected to the power grid, storing excess energy generated by wind farms at night and selling power back to the grid during peak demand hours. But is V2G truly a win-win-win -- that is, does it make economic sense for PHEV/EV owners and manufacturers? Given the battery depreciation economics, Lithium-ion may not be the right chemistry for V2G. It might be wise for us to focus our attention on more feasible ways to integrate renewables into the grid.
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