Electric Vehicle, Battery & Charging News: Vitesco, Freewire, Sourcewell, AmpUp, CelLink, EVgo, Bollinger Motors, Volta Trucks, Magna & Volvo Trucks

In electric vehcile, battery and charging news are Vitesco, Freewire, Sourcewell, AmpUp, CelLink, EVgo, Bollinger Motors, Volta Trucks, Magna and Volvo Trucks.


Vitesco Tec Demos FCCU

In the field of battery-powered electric vehicles, Vitesco Technologies has often demonstrated its electric drive systems expertise. The extensive electronics expertise possessed by the international supplier of state-of-the-art drive technologies and electrification solutions is now also being used in hydrogen-powered fuel cell systems for heavy duty trucks and off-highway applications. Vitesco Technologies is developing a new Fuel Cell Control Unit (FCCU) for a German fuel cell manufacturer which serves as the central control unit of a fuel cell system. Series production of the FCCU will commence in the second half of this decade.

The decisive factor in Vitesco Technologies winning the order for the new Fuel Cell Control Unit was not only development potential but also production experience. “The agility and flexibility with which we developed the FCCU, which is a prerequisite for success in this dynamic market environment, is combined at Vitesco Technologies with comprehensive expertise in industrialization built up over decades. This is why we will implement volume production with the same speed and quality as the development work”, says Andreas Wolf CEO Vitesco Technologies.

FreeWire Tech Partners with Sourcewell

FreeWire Technologies (“FreeWire”), a category leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging and power solutions, announced a new partnership with cooperative purchasing provider, Sourcewell, to more readily supply Sourcewell clients across North America with access to its best-in-class ultrafast EV charger.

Sourcewell is a self-sustaining government organization offering a cooperative purchasing program with more than 400 competitively solicited contracts to government, education, and nonprofit entities throughout North America. By utilizing Sourcewell contracts, participating agencies save time and money by capturing the buying power of more than 50,000 organizations.

FreeWire believes the transition to electrification depends on access to ultrafast charging. Receiving this Sourcewell contract as a recognized vendor for providing and installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations enables FreeWire to streamline the process for prospective clients. FreeWire’s chargers connect easily to existing grid infrastructure, alleviating the delays and costs imposed by grid upgrades.

Districts and institutions who are Sourcewell members now have access to the FreeWire’s fully-integrated EV chargers including the Boost Charger, which have been installed at convenience stores, rest-stops, attractions and other facilities in North America and Europe. An independent report conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute found a Boost Charger can save almost $30,000 annually on operation costs, compared to a conventional DC ultrafast charger.

“FreeWire is accelerating EV adoption worldwide by making ultrafast charging convenient and affordable,” said Renee Samson, Director of Regulatory Affairs at FreeWire Technologies. “Partnering with Sourcewell as an approved EV charging provider is an important milestone in our growth. We look forward to working with Sourcewell’s robust network of schools, government agencies and non-profits as we bring EV battery integrated charging technology to more communities across North America.”

Goodyear Ventures Invests in AmpUp

Goodyear (NASDAQ: GT) announced today that its venture capital arm, Goodyear Ventures, has added AmpUp, a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging, to its investment portfolio.

AmpUp supports the EV driving community through their advanced charging network and software solutions. With operations across North America, AmpUp aims to make charging accessible and seamless for every EV driver.

Electric vehicle charging provider AmpUp has secured additional capital led by investment firms Goodyear (NASDAQ: GT), Foothill Ventures, and TechNexus Venture Collaborative.

Secured less than one year from AmpUp’s initial seed raise, AmpUp plans to use the new capital to scale operational and technical capabilities to meet growing sales demand.

The AmpUp product line provides an easy way to manage electric vehicle charging stations for property owners, utilities, and fleets. Founded in 2018, AmpUp’s solutions serve thousands of EV drivers and charge station owners across North America and abroad.

The company’s fundraising round comes off the back of achieving major milestones this year, including a 160 charge station project in downtown Los Angeles and EV charging pilots with major utilities National Grid, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Green Mountain Power. Firms backing the new round will join past investors YCombinator, Hyundai, SAIC Motor, and iSun Inc. (NASDAQ: ISUN) to name a few.

BorgWarner Invests in CelLink

BorgWarner, a global product leader in delivering innovative and sustainable mobility solutions for the vehicle market, invested in CelLink Corporation, a company that develops large, high-conductance flexible circuits for the automotive and energy storage industries.

This Series C equity investment complements BorgWarner’s technology investments as well as its Charging Forward electrification strategy that was announced during the company’s Investor Day earlier this year. As part of its presentation, BorgWarner unveiled its goal of having 45% of its total sales generated from EV technology in 2030 by accelerating its shift toward electrification. As part of its strategy, the company is enhancing its focus on technologies as well as partnerships and investments that support customers as they make the shift to electrification.

Nuvve Holdings  Deploys Charging for MDUSD

Nuvve Holding Corp. (Nuvve) (Nasdaq: NVVE), a global technology leader accelerating the electrification of transportation through its proprietary vehicle-to-grid (V2G) platform, announced that it has deployed 16 Nuvve PowerPort charging stations for Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) in the San Francisco Bay Area. The charging infrastructure will help MDUSD operate new electric buses recently acquired through a Carl Moyer Program grant aimed at reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

EVgo’s New Pricing Plans

EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO), the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity, announced new pricing plans, a new loyalty program called EVgo Rewards™, and statewide kilowatt-hour (kWh) and time-of-use (TOU) pricing pilots in California. The company is also rolling out location-based pricing for customers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Next month, the updated Member plans and the new EVgo Plus™ subscription will take effect nationwide, and EVgo’s fast chargers in California will switch from per-minute rates to kWh pricing with three time-of-use windows: early-bird (12am-8am), on-peak (4pm-9pm), and off-peak (8am-4pm and 9pm-12am).

The new EVgo Plus subscription plan unlocks deeper discounted rates and other benefits for heavy users. EVgo will be expanding the EVgo Rewards program nationwide and enrolling all active customers into the loyalty program. Drivers can earn 5 points for every dollar spent on charging sessions with EVgo, with additional opportunities to earn points towards free charging sessions. Through these new innovative benefits, the more drivers charge with EVgo, the more they can save.

EVgo’s expansion of customer pricing options to suit different driving patterns is taking place as the company also accelerates growth in station deployment, expands into new geographies, maintains a 98% network uptime and a 24/7 customer service call center. By charging by the kWh with TOU and location-based pricing, drivers will pay for the energy they use at a rate that reflects the costs related to that location, local utility rates, EVgo network congestion, and time of day.

EVgo has designed a pricing structure that provides flexibility and customer choice. The California TOU program is the first statewide time-of-use pricing pilot in the industry and data from this initial California rollout will help inform how EVgo implements innovative pricing in other markets in the future.

EVgo’s transition to TOU rates reflects the role of EV charging in power grid load management and the importance of the EV charging industry working in concert with utilities to support the growth of clean sources of electricity. EVgo’s location-based pricing pilot will explore additional options for aligning pricing with other station attributes, including environmental and social justice considerations (based on California’s CalEnviroScreen), traffic congestion, and other market dynamics. Prices for each station will be visible in all relevant locations, including the EVgo App and on PlugShare and customers can find more details on EVgo’s new pricing page.

EVgo now has more than 800 public fast charging locations across the U.S. ranging from 50 kW through 350 kW and more than 2,000 new chargers in Active Engineering & Construction Pipeline stages.

e-Mission Control Green Fleet Pioneers

-e-Mission Control, a firm that facilitates credit generation through California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program and Oregon’s Clean Fuel Program (CFP), launched its Green Fleet Pioneer designation for partners who participate in the LCFS and CFP. Launched in 2009, the LCFS was designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector, which is responsible for roughly 50 percent of GHG emissions and 80 percent of ozone‐forming gas emissions. This program also transforms and diversifies the fuel pool in California to reduce petroleum dependency and achieves air quality benefits. In 2016, Oregon passed similar legislation with the goal of reducing the amount of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy by a minimum of 10% below 2010 levels by 2025.

All partners qualify for this designation. They will be receiving a logo badge, along with data accumulated throughout their engagement with e-Mission Control, for use in their communications. “Transparency and education are paramount in these programs. Many of our partners have a good understanding of LCFS and CFP and maximize the financial opportunities these programs generate. Oftentimes, they utilize the benefits to expand their operations including zero-emission material handling equipment, and we feel this should be applauded,” he added.

Bollinger Motors and Pearce Renewables Join CMC

The California Mobility Center (CMC) today announced two new agreements with Bollinger Motors and Pearce Renewables as its most recent Client and Member, respectively, which increases the combined Client and Member roster to more than 25 companies since the CMC launched full commercial operations earlier this year.

The CMC also announced the addition of two board members, Julia Hamm, President and CEO of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and Elise Benoit, Head of Commercial Communications for Enel X – North America. Benoit also serves as VP of Marketing for Enel X’s e-mobility division. Both Hamm and Benoit officially joined the CMC’s board of directors effective August 1st.

Bollinger Motors is an original equipment manufacturer that is reinventing the all-electric vehicle from the ground up. Headquartered in Detroit, Bollinger is developing class 3 all-electric vehicles for both consumer and commercial applications, including the B1 Sport Utility Truck, the B2 Pickup Truck, the B2 Chassis Cab, and the Chass-E.

Pearce Renewables, a leading national provider of operations, maintenance, and engineering services for renewable wind, solar, EV charging, and energy storage infrastructure, also just joined the CMC as a Member. CMC Members have a vested interest in future mobility commercialization and in partnering with industry entrepreneurs and innovators.

7 UK Orgs Join for Solid State Batteries

A consortium of seven UK-based organisations has signed a memorandum of understanding to combine ambitions to develop world-leading prototype solid-state battery technology, targeting automotive applications.

Solid-state batteries offer significant potential advantages over conventional lithium-ion batteries and could be transformational in meeting the UK’s net zero commitments through the electrification of transport. The successful outcome of the collaboration would be to harness and industrialise UK academic capability to produce cells using highly scalable manufacturing techniques that leapfrog the cost-effectiveness and performance achieved elsewhere.

The consortium comprises the following world-leading organisations in battery research, development and manufacturing:

  • Faraday Institution – the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, which has led the consortium’s formation and will lead its development.
  • Britishvolt – the UK-based Gigaplant developer, with a site in NE England.
  • E+R (Emerson & Renwick) – a world leading designer of manufacturing equipment.
  • Johnson Matthey – a global leader in sustainable technologies and the UK’s leading battery materials business.
  • Oxford University – that leads the Faraday Institution’s solid-state battery project (SOLBAT) and provides the necessary scientific understanding to the consortium.
  • UK Battery Industrialisation Centre – the pioneering battery manufacturing development facility to enable UK battery manufacturing scale-up and facilitate upskilling in the battery sector.
  • WMG, University of Warwick – leaders in battery R&D and initial scale-up capability, as well as academic and apprenticeship skills development.

The preliminary design for a prototyping facility has been developed. Sources of funding are currently being sought.

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said: “Collaboration between industry, government and our world-leading academic institutions is putting the UK at the forefront of global efforts to develop innovative automotive technologies, such as solid-state batteries.

Solid-state batteries (SSBs) offer significant potential advantages over existing lithium-ion battery technologies, including the ability to hold more charge for a given volume (leading to increased electric vehicle (EV) range) and reduced costs of safety-management. Early deployment of SSBs is likely to be in consumer electronics, niche automotive applications and unmanned aerospace, before being used in broader EV markets. The Faraday Institution forecasts that, in 2030, SSBs are likely to take a 7% share of the global consumer electronics battery market and a 4% share of the EV battery market (Faraday Insight 5, 2020). Global SSB revenues from sales to EV manufacturers are expected to reach $8 billion by 2030 (IDTechEx, June 2021) and then grow rapidly to 2040 and 2050 when the market is expected to become extensive.

However, there are fundamental scientific challenges that need to be addressed before high power SSBs with commercially relevant performance can be realised. The Faraday Institution’s SOLBAT project has made considerable progress in addressing these challenges over the last three years.

The construction of the one-of-a-kind facility being developed by the collaboration will enable SSB technology to emerge from UK university laboratories. It will allow larger cells to be produced using scalable manufacturing techniques that will be improved iteratively through deep investigation of the causes of problems that emerge during manufacture and testing of prototype batteries.

Volta Trucks Testing Volta Zero

Volta Trucks, a leading and disruptive full electric commercial vehicle manufacturer and services provider, has confirmed the start of engineering evaluation and development testing of the first prototype Volta Zero at HORIBA MIRA in Nuneaton, UK. The start of testing follows soon after the reveal of the first prototype chassis of the Volta Zero – the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner city logistics.

Affectionately named ‘Volta Minus One’ by development engineers, as the forerunner to the production-specification Volta Zero, the prototype vehicle uses the proposed production specification chassis frame and drivetrain of the finished vehicle and will test all the electro-mechanical and thermal properties of the truck. This includes the high-voltage battery supplied by Proterra, and the compact rear axle, electric motor and transmission eAxle unit from Meritor. The unconventional bodywork of the prototype is purely designed to protect the development driver from the elements when the vehicle is moving at speed. The production vehicle will feature a cargo box design, but the prototype uses a flatbed to allow engineers to add different levels and locations of loads to test its weightcarrying capacity.

The prototype Volta Zero will continue testing at HORIBA MIRA over the coming months. The forthcoming test and development programme with this and later-specification prototypes also includes periods of cold weather testing north of the Arctic Circle, and hot weather testing in southern Europe. The comprehensive programme will ensure that the production-specification Volta Zero vehicles deliver the durability and reliability expected by fleet operators and vehicle owners.

These learnings will be taken into the production of Pilot Fleet vehicles that will be tested and evaluated by key customers who have signed up for both testing and the option to purchase series production trucks. This is designed to develop their understanding of how the Volta Zero will integrate into their operations. Full-scale production of customer-specification vehicles will then follow at the end of 2022.

Chief Product Officer of Volta Trucks, Ian Collins, said; “The start of testing and evaluation of the first prototype Volta Zero is a major milestone on our journey towards production, and an exciting time for all of the Volta Trucks team and our customers. To have achieved this landmark moment in just eight months is a great example of the nimble and agile approach we have at Volta Trucks. We work at high pace to ensure that we can bring zero emission, full-electric commercial vehicles to market quickly, because our customers require vehicles as soon as possible. We need to go through a comprehensive and thorough development programme, but the start of prototype testing is evidence that we are on track to deliver production vehicles, on time, by the end of next year.”