Electric Vehicle, Battery & Charging News: Ford, Lightyear, Bosch, GreenPower, Stellantis, Hercules, Nuvve, TI Fluid Sys, Ampcera & SP

In EV, battery and charging news are Ford, Lightyear, Bosch, GreenPower, Stellantis, Hercules, Nuvve, TI Fluid Sys, Ampcera, SP and Sensata.

Ford Mustang Mach-e Winner

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E earned Car and Driver’s first Electric Vehicle of the Year Award.

Lightyear Solar EV Goes 441 Miles

Lightyear, the solar electric vehicle pioneer, has achieved a major technology performance milestone by driving 441 miles (710 km) of range with its Lightyear One prototype car. Never before has an electric vehicle driven such a long-range on a relatively small battery.

“After four years of hard work and in-house development, this is a very important engineering and technological milestone. It validates the performance of our patented technology and truly shows that we are able to deliver on our promise to introduce the most efficient electric vehicle. This prototype has over 440 miles of range with an energy consumption of only 137 Wh/Mile at 53 miles an hour. Even the most efficient electric cars in the market today consume around 50% more energy at this relatively low speed”, says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. “This milestone is a great confirmation of the scalability of our business model. We are confident that in the coming months, we will be able to reach a similar level of energy consumption at highway speed. Lowering the energy consumption per mile of an EV means that you can provide a lot of range on a small battery. Because batteries are the most expensive part of an EV, you can lower the purchase price of the car and achieve affordable electric cars with a lot of range that don’t need a lot of charging. Low-energy consuming cars can also benefit a lot more from adding solar cells to the car and gain about 45 miles of charge on a sunny day.”

The prototype car was put to the test at the Aldenhoven Testing Center in Germany, to complete a drive cycle at a speed of 53 miles per hour on a single battery charge of 60 kWh. The integral test ranged from validating the yield of the solar panels, the battery performance, the energy consumption of the cooling system, all the way to the functioning of the in-wheel motors and the software operating the solar car.

The conducted full drive cycle test is a crucial step to verify and validate all the assumptions of the vehicle’s performance. Beyond the validation of the technical performance of the car, other upcoming tests are related to the homologation process such as the crash tests and an official WLTP drive cycle test.

Lightyear is on a mission to make clean mobility available to everyone, everywhere and is gearing up for the industrialisation and manufacturing of Lightyear One. The concept of a long-range solar car represents a huge opportunity to change mobility, so you can drive for months without charging. An exclusive series of 946 Lightyear One’s will go into production in the first half of 2022. Lightyear wants to address the mass market starting from 2024.

Bosch Intros AVT for EVs

The electromobility business is booming. Certain applications, however, still pose enormous challenges for the electrical powertrain: when towing trailers, tackling steep ascents with a heavy load on board, or driving longer freeway stretches at high speed, the battery charge drops rapidly. Almost all electric cars have only one forward gear, but in such situations a multi-stage transmission can work more efficiently. To demonstrate this, Bosch installed a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with push belt in a test vehicle. Called CVT4EV, this transmission increases efficiency by up to 4 percent. Depending on design, this can provide more torque in traction mode, better acceleration, or a higher maximum speed.

“The CVT4EV expands the electrical car’s repertoire,” says Gert-Jan van Spijk, who is in charge of CVT engineering at Bosch. And because the transmission adjusts the ratio continuously without loss of traction, the driving ease typical of e vehicles is not lost. Bosch contributes its systems expertise plus several components to the complete CVT solutions offered by specialized transmission manufacturers.

Better performance, lower energy consumption
The CVT4EV’s variable gear ratio provides the best possible balance of efficiency and performance. To this end, the system can freely control the speed and torque of the electric motor. At low speeds, a smaller gear ratio improves acceleration and handling characteristics on ascents, while a higher ratio enhances efficiency at higher speeds, as well as increasing top speed. In addition, it provides increased torque when towing and driving off-road, yet with lower energy consumption. Especially at constant speeds, the CVT4EV reduces the vehicle’s energy requirements.

Due to the electric motor’s reduced torque and speed requirements, a cheaper and more compact motor can deliver the same or even better performance. Alternatively, the same motor can achieve a greater range. As a result, manufacturers of electric vehicles can find the optimum balance between battery capacity and range.

High versatility, low complexity, reduced costs
This powertrain solution consists of a CVT4EV module, an inverter, an electric motor, and an axle drive with a ratio adapted to the vehicle. It is suitable for a wide variety of applications, from mid-size cars to sports cars to light commercial vehicles. Since individual software programs can often adapt the powertrains to the respective area of application, fewer hardware variants are needed. This cuts costs in both development and production. The use of CVT4EV also enables different driving modes for different types of vehicles, so carmakers can stand out from the competition by offering their brand’s typical handling in all their vehicle segments. As a result, end users get the driving experience they associate with the respective marque.

Compared to alternative variable solutions for electric vehicles, the CVT4EV offers a greater increase in the torque and engine speed available to the wheels. It also ensures completely smooth shifting without jolts – a must for electric vehicles. In addition, the larger spread of the CVT reduces the speed of the electric motor, resulting in an even smoother and quieter ride.

The concept of the CVT4EV with numerous Bosch components comes from Bosch Transmission Technology B.V., a Dutch subsidiary of Bosch. Based in Tilburg, the company is a leader in the development and mass production of CVT push belts. Full CVT4EV solutions are available through specialized transmission suppliers.

GreenPower Partners with WeDriveU

– GreenPower Motor Company Inc. a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission, electric-powered medium and heavy-duty vehicles, today announced that it has teamed with WeDriveU to add EV Stars to its electric shuttle fleet. As the leader in transportation solutions for workplaces and campuses, the purpose-built all-electric EV Star will be integral in the expansion of WeDriveU’s zero emissions fleet for customers across the U.S. Greenpower expects to deliver the first EV Star to WeDriveU in the current quarter with additional units planned by the end of the calendar year.

TI Fluid Sys Provides Coolant for Jeep Wrangler 4xe

TI Fluid Systems (LSE:TIFS), a leading global supplier of automotive fluid systems technology, announced today that it will supply the thermal coolant fluid carrying systems for the new 2021 Jeep® Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. The most technologically advanced Wrangler ever delivers zero-emission open air driving on- and off-road, with up to 25 miles of electric-only range and nearly 400 miles of total range.

TI Fluid Systems will be supplying EV coolant thermal loops and bundle assemblies that are made of the company’s traditional materials, as well as introducing new TI Fluid Systems developed high temperature rated plastic polymer tubes.  The supply of polymer tubes is a very important and innovative step forward in assuring weight reduction and efficiency improvements for electrified vehicles. The fluid handling assemblies transfer the traditional internal combustion engine and cabin comfort coolant to provide additional thermal management for the PHEV battery and electronic controls. This vehicle introduction represents a successful collaboration effort between Stellantis and TI Fluid Systems to introduce optimized lightweight alternatives for thermal management on very demanding sport utility electric vehicle applications.

LED Demand Increases

Value demand for Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) alone in automotive lighting will nearly triple from $1.4 billion in 2020 to $3.9 billion by 2024. The latest report “Automotive Lighting: Who Can Challenge LED’s Dominance?” from the Strategy Analytics Powertrain, Body, Safety & Chassis Service (PBCS) service, predicts that OEM requirements for styling and functionality will further increase demand for LED-based automotive lighting systems.

LED has seen further developments in efficiency and Tier 1 vendors have developed cost effective solutions for LED headlight modules. With the urgency to improve efficiency to support emissions and fuel economy mandates, the transition from halogen and xenon to LED has increased. But automakers are increasingly looking at styling with LED-based systems to win customers over their rivals. LED is also being used to raise functionality in lighting systems, particularly Digital Light Projection (DLP) and matrix LED headlights to form a precise Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) and increase the use of glare-free high beam illumination, as well as new welcome lighting and even projecting messages and virtual lane markings.

Ampcera Gets SBIR Grant for DOE

Ampcera Inc., an innovator in solid-state electrolyte and battery technologies, announces its Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office for the development of a lithium dendrite suppressing solid-state electrolyte membrane for lithium metal batteries using a high-throughput scaled manufacturing approach. In addition, Ampcera recently received private investment to fund further development.

Stellantis Reveals EV Roadmap

The Stellantis electrification roadmap encompasses the entire value chain. The company’s EV battery sourcing strategy is to secure more than 130 gigawatt hours (GWh) of capacity by 2025 and more than 260 GWh by 2030. The EV battery and component needs will be met with a total of five “gigafactories” in Europe and North America, completed with additional supply contracts and partnerships to support total demand.

Stellantis has signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with two lithium geothermal brine process partners in North America and Europe to ensure a sustainable supply of lithium, identified as the most critical battery raw material with regard to availability, as well as have the ability to integrate lithium into the supply chain once available.

In addition to sourcing strategies, Stellantis’ technical expertise and manufacturing synergies will drive battery costs lower. Electric vehicle battery pack costs are targeted to be reduced by more than 40% from 2020 to 2024 and by more than an additional 20% by 2030. All aspects of the battery pack play a role in reducing the costs – optimizing the overall pack, simplifying the format of the modules, increasing the size of the battery cells and upgrading the battery chemistry.

The company intends to maximize the full value of the battery life cycle through repair, remanufacturing, second-life use and recycling, as well as ensure a sustainable system that prioritizes customer needs and environmental concerns.

Customer Focused
Affordability is a priority at Stellantis, as the company is targeting for the total cost of ownership of EVs to be equivalent to internal combustion engine vehicles by 2026.

Electrification is not a “one size fits all” plan at Stellantis. Each of the company’s 14 iconic brands is committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions and doing so in a way that enhances the DNA of each brand. Stellantis revealed the following statements expressing the electrification approach of each brand:

  • Alfa Romeo – “From 2024, Alfa Becomes Alfa e-Romeo”
  • Chrysler – “Clean Technology for a New Generation of Families”
  • Dodge – “Tear Up the Streets… Not the Planet”
  • DS Automobiles – “The Art of Travel, Magnified”
  • Fiat – “It’s Only Green When It’s Green for All”
  • Jeep® – “Zero Emission Freedom”
  • Lancia – “The Most Elegant Way to Protect the Planet”
  • Maserati – “The Best in Performance Luxury, Electrified”
  • Ram – “Built to Serve a Sustainable Planet”
  • Commercial Vehicles – “The Global Leader in e-Commercial Vehicles”

Driving range and rapid recharges are key to widespread consumer acceptance of BEVs. Stellantis meets this challenge with BEVs that will deliver ranges between 300-500 miles (500-800 km) and with class-leading fast charging capability of 20 miles (32 km) per minute.

Stellantis will offer a full suite of solutions for private, business and fleet customers that help simplify the ownership journey. Efforts will include providing day-to-day smart charging offers using green energy sources, tapping into existing partnerships to expand charging options and accelerating smart grid use.

The company intends to meet the demands of its varied customers by supporting the development of fast charging networks across Europe, enabled by an MOU signed between Free2Move eSolutions and Engie EPS. The intention is to mimic Free2Move eSolutions’ business model for the North American market.

Smart Technology Enablers
Four BEV-centric platforms are the backbone of the electrified vehicles from Stellantis brands. The platforms are designed with a high level of flexibility (length and width) and component sharing, delivering economies of scale as each platform can support production of up to 2 million units per year.

The four platforms are:

  • STLA Small, with a range up to 300 miles (500 kilometers)
  • STLA Medium, with a range up to 440 miles (700 kilometers)
  • STLA Large, with a range up to 500 miles (800 kilometers)
  • STLA Frame, with a range up to 500 miles (800 kilometers)

Propulsion includes a family of three electric drive modules (EDM) that combine the motor, gearbox and inverter. These EDMs are compact, flexible and can be easily scaled. The EDMs can be configured for front-drive, rear-drive, all-wheel drive and 4xe.

The combination of the platforms, EDMs and high energy-density battery packs will deliver vehicles with best-in-class performance in efficiency, range and recharging.

A program of hardware upgrades and over-the-air software updates will extend the life of the platforms well into the next decade. Stellantis will develop software and controls in-house to maintain the characteristics unique to each brand.

Battery packs will be tailored for a variety of vehicles – from smaller city cars to energy-dense packs for performance vehicles and trucks. Use of two battery chemistries is planned by 2024 to support various customer needs: a high energy-density option and a nickel cobalt-free alternative. By 2026, the first competitive solid state battery technology is targeted to be introduced.

Stellantis currently has or is completing several key technology joint ventures, ranging from e-powertrain and e-transmission operations to battery cell chemistry and production and digital cockpit and personalized connected services. These partnerships provide Stellantis the opportunity to leverage not only in-house competencies, but also the expertise of the partners in order to bring new technology and solutions to market more rapidly, while optimizing capital allocation to further enhance Stellantis’ competitiveness in the marketplace.

“Our electrification journey is quite possibly the most important brick to lay as we start to reveal the future of Stellantis just six months after its birth, and now the entire company is in full execution mode to exceed every customer’s expectations and accelerate our role in redefining the way the world moves,” said Tavares. “We have the scale, the skills, the spirit and the sustainability to achieve double-digit adjusted operating income margins, lead the industry with benchmark efficiencies and deliver electrified vehicles that ignite passion.”

Hercules EV Designed by Pinnafarina

Hercules Electric Vehicles announced it has signed a strategic agreement with Pininfarina SpA for the design of its upcoming Alpha battery electric pickup truck, and other products currently under development.

Under terms of the agreement, Italian design firm Pininfarina will design for the Detroit automaker the Hercules Alpha pickup and other products to be announced at a future date. The two companies expect to immediately begin collaboration. The financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

The rugged Alpha luxury pickup, which will be available in late 2022, will offer powertrain configurations that produce more than 1,000 hp through a torque-vectoring four-motor drive system. The motors provide independent torque control for amazing stability and ultimate high-performance.

Pininfarina, well known for its designs across several industries, including automotive, industrial and experience design, architecture, nautical and mobility beyond automotive, also will provide design solutions to showcase products and vehicle ordering for Hercules’ retail locations.

“Pininfarina is the world’s foremost designers of performance and luxury automotive products with over 90 years of experience designing vehicles for Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo,” said James Breyer, Hercules EV Founder and CEO. “We wanted to engage the best to create a truly unique and differentiated product in our Alpha.”

The design partnership with Pininfarina goes beyond simply creating beautiful vehicle designs.

“We are excited to work with Hercules on the design of a new electric vehicle,” said Giuseppe Bonollo, SVP, Sales & Marketing of Pininfarina. “Pininfarina has always been at the forefront of electric mobility. We bring to this new venture with a North American partner our ability to develop a new design language having in mind both our client’s brand identity and our shared commitment to environmental sustainability.”

About Hercules Electric Vehicles, Inc: Hercules Electric Vehicles is an electric mobility company based in Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 2018 by James Breyer, to deliver fun, customized, eco-friendly vehicles tailored exactly to consumers tastes. The Hercules Alpha pickup truck is planned to start production in late 2022.//

Nuvve Enables V2G for School Districts

Nuvve Holding Corp.  a global technology leader accelerating the electrification of transportation through its proprietary vehicle-to-grid (V2G) platform, announced today that it has been selected as the energy technology provider that will enable school districts and utilities in San Diego, Calif. and Durango, Colo. to accelerate the electrification of their school buses, further expanding Nuvve’s growing V2G network. Reinforcing its leadership in this market, Nuvve’s proprietary V2G technology will create value for the customers of these deployments by lowering the total cost of ownership of electric school buses (ESBs) to be equal to or less than that of diesel school buses.

Electrifying school buses is a top priority for the Biden administration. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan supported by the administration includes $7.5 billion to replace thousands of diesel-powered school and transit buses with zero-emission electric vehicles. However, with approximately 480,000 school buses across the nation, the $7.5 billion split across both sectors represents only a fraction of the funding needed to electrify all school buses across the country. Nuvve’s V2G technology and the company’s recently announced plans to form a joint venture (“Levo”) to provide fully financed options for customers will help bridge the gap between the need to electrify the nation’s transportation fleet and the funding available to do so.

SP Announces New Pub wit KPIs

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) – an association of global automakers and their suppliers working together to advance environmental sustainability through the automotive supply chain –  announced the publication of a new guidance document on supply chain carbon reporting and reduction developed by a collective of automotive sustainability leaders.

“As companies in the automotive industry proactively work toward long-term goals of achieving carbon neutrality, it is increasingly expected that suppliers take an active role in striving to reduce carbon emissions from their businesses as far as possible,” said Steve Hellem, Executive Director, Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP).

Developed through a collaborative process between leading global automotive manufacturers – including Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda Development and Manufacturing of America LLC, Stellantis, and Toyota Motor North America – this new guidance document is designed to help companies in the automotive value chain in establishing a framework for carbon reporting and reduction aligned with common industry expectations and requirements.

The document outlines five key performance indicators (KPIs) which each of the noted OEMs has contributed feedback to and pledged support of. The KPIs outline at a high-level common industry recommendations regarding items such as, standard reporting cycles, long-term target-setting, comprehensive carbon reduction plans, consistent education and expectations for suppliers, and supplier recognition processes.

“For many years, SP has worked to facilitate open communication, education and collaboration between OEMs and suppliers to advance best practice in all aspects of environmental sustainability. This new guidance is intended to promote consistent approaches in relation to common industry expectations and elevate best practice around key aspects of supply chain engagement on the path to carbon neutrality,” said Kellen Mahoney, Program Director, Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP).

The SP working group members recommend that automotive suppliers carefully review this new guidance to benchmark their existing internal carbon reporting and reduction processes against industry best practice.  Suppliers are also strongly encouraged to cascade this information along the automotive supply chain as best practice guidance at all levels.

The automotive supply chain carbon reporting and reduction guidance document is available to download at no-cost at https://www.supplierspartnership.org/supplier-ghg-guidance/

Sensata GigaFuse Chosen by Charging OEMS

Sensata Technologies (NYSE:ST), a leading industrial technology company and provider of sensor-rich solutions that create insight for customers, announced its new power disconnect solution has been chosen by several leading charging infrastructure OEMs to enable faster and safer DC fast charging. Sensata’s unique solution combines contactors and GigaFuses from its leading Gigavac product brand to provide customers with a value-added contactor module, simplifying their installations while delivering safer and more effective system protection compared to traditional contactor and thermal fuse pairings.

To compete with traditional internal combustion engines, EVs need faster charging times, so EV Charging Systems are quickly migrating from 400V to 1,000V and from 50kW to up to 350kW to shorten charging times to less than 20 minutes. While higher voltage and current levels reduce charging times, they increase the safety risks and design challenges for the systems. High voltage contactors provide safe circuit continuity while fuses are required in tandem for circuit-protection in the event of a hazardous short circuit event.

The increases in voltage and current levels not only require contactors with higher breaking capabilities, but also make the contactor and fuse pairings more technically challenging. To address these challenges, DC fast charging infrastructure OEMs are seeking safer, higher performing and more comprehensive solutions that improve on the traditional contactor and thermal fuse pairing.

Sensata’s GigaFuse offers several advantages compared to a conventional DC thermal fuse, including the ability to:

  • Open a circuit within 3 mS; faster than a conventional DC thermal fuse
  • Open a circuit closer to normal operating conditions without nuisance tripping, resulting in less potential risk of damage
  • Pair more easily with the contactor because of its unique electro-mechanical triggering mechanism
  • Help prevent overloading, improving the performance of the contactor in the circuit
  • Reduce thermal resistance; typically, 0.15 mohm
  • Eliminate thermal aging due to low heat generation

Sensata’s packaged power disconnect module includes high voltage contactors and GigaFuses that are harnessed to a mounting plate. The solution delivers overcurrent and short circuit protection and provides the following benefits for the whole charging system:

  • Increases safety/reduces risk of damage
  • Increases thermal performance/system efficiency
  • Provides fast and reliable circuit protection

Nick Moelders, Vice President, Electrification at Sensata Technologies explains, “Our recent wins with major Charging Infrastructure OEMs demonstrate the additional value we provide to our customers as we move from being a component supplier to a leading electrification solutions provider. Working engineer-to-engineer with the most innovative companies allows us to learn and adapt to the needs of the rapidly transforming clean energy market.”