EV & Charging News: Toyota, Stellantis, Ford, Nissan, Blink, Volvo, Hyundai, Magment GmbH, Blink, Hyliion, Zeus Electric & Meritor

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are Toyota, Stellantis, Ford, Nissan, Blink, Volvo, Hyundai, Magment GmbH, Blink, Hyliion, Zeus Electric and Meritor.

Reactions to EPA and Biden’s Electrification Plans

Many automakers releases statements about President Biden’s electrification plans.

When the EPA proposed stringent new environmental standards for future vehicles. Concurrently, the Biden Administration set an aspirational goal that up to 50% of the new vehicle market will be electric by 2030. You can count on Toyota to do our part. This is great for the environment and helps protect the 436,000 American jobs of our employees, dealers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the U.S. Let’s go!, says Ted Ogawa, CEO, Toyota Motor North America

Ford Motor Company Executive Chair Bill Ford on Ford’s Electric Vehicle Sales and the White House’s fuel economy announcement:

“It has been said that this generation is the first to feel the impact of climate change, and the last that can do something about it. I am proud that Ford is leading the electric revolution and standing for stronger standards that protect people and the environment as we progress towards a zero-emissions transportation future. Ford has always been a leader in sustainability and our employees continue their tremendous efforts to leave our children and our grandchildren with a cleaner planet.”

– Executive Chair Bill Ford

Eric Mayne at Stellantis said “Our path to offering clean, safe and affordable mobility is defined by our $35 billion investment in vehicle electrification, which includes four flexible BEV platforms, a scalable family of three electric-drive modules and solid-state battery development. This activity also serves to echo the Administration’s commitment to safeguard employment for American workers.”

Ford, GM and Stellantis announced their shared aspiration to achieve sales of 40-50% of annual U.S. volumes  of electric vehicles (battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles) by 2030 in order to move the nation closer to a zero-emissions future consistent with Paris climate goals.  Our recent product, technology, and investment announcements highlight our collective commitment to be leaders in the U.S. transition to electric vehicles.  This represents a dramatic shift from the U.S. market today that can be achieved only with the timely deployment of the full suite of electrification policies committed to by the Administration in the Build Back Better Plan, including purchase incentives, a comprehensive charging network of sufficient density to support the millions of vehicles these targets represent, investments in R&D, and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.  With the UAW at our side in transforming the workforce and partnering with us on this journey, we believe we can strengthen continued American leadership in clean transportation technology through electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing.  We look forward to working with the Biden Administration, Congress and state and local governments to enact policies that will enable these ambitious objectives.

Blink on Infrastructure

Blink Charging Co. (Nasdaq: BLNK, BLNKW) (“Blink” or the “Company”), a leading owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle (“EV”) charging equipment and services, congratulates the Biden Administration and bipartisan lawmakers who agreed to a much-needed federal infrastructure package – highlighting the $7.5 billion allocated specifically to EV infrastructure and urges Congress to pass this package and take additional steps towards making America the worldwide leader in EV technology and infrastructure.

“Blink is encouraged by the package’s inclusion of $7.5 billion for EV infrastructure, which represents a significant step to advance electric vehicle charging nationwide. As the auto industry accelerates its transition to zero-emission vehicles, EV charging infrastructure must be deployed to handle the demand,” stated Michael D. Farkas, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Blink Charging.

Farkas continued, “While this package makes important investments, we still have a long way to go to meet the President’s goals of having the U.S. economy reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and having only electric vehicles on the road by 2040. We believe the most economical way of achieving the Administration’s goal of deploying 500,000 charging stations is through the widespread deployment of fast Level 2 (L2) chargers nationwide. In fact, charging data shows that L2 charging is the most popular with EV drivers as it takes advantage of the time a vehicle is parked, which is the majority of the time. L2 charging is also commonly used for public and workplace charging which makes owning an EV accessible for those who don’t reside in a single-family residence.”

According to industry data, Level  2 charging is the predominant type of charging in the United States, with more than 77,000 L2 chargers compared to approximately 17,000 DC fast chargers. We believe that in order to build out a robust electric vehicle ecosystem, it needs to be inclusive of DC fast corridor charging but must have a focus on L2 charging.

Although the compromise at hand is less than what the Biden Administration initially requested for EV infrastructure, it can still be effective if allocated methodically and is comprised of both corridor and urban charging. In most cases, it costs approximately $100,000 per port for DCFCs, whereas it costs under $10,000 per port for L2 charging. Additionally, the energy cost is considerably more with DCFCs, ultimately making it cost-prohibitive to EV drivers. While DC fast chargers are great solutions for travel corridors and long trips, most drivers travel less than 40 miles per day, making L2 charging a better and more economically viable solution.

There are several important steps that Congress could take to support these infrastructure priorities. In particular, Blink urges Congress to provide the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Program with additional lending authority that it could use to finance a comprehensive national network of L2 chargers. Blink also supports the congressional creation of an infrastructure bank. Through these steps, Congress could open extraordinary possibilities for American industry and innovators, spurring manufacturing and deployment of cutting-edge EV chargers and components and facilitating projects to use EV chargers as a resource for virtual power plants.

“We are at an inflection point in America’s automotive industry, especially with most OEMs eliminating internal combustion engine vehicles within the next decade. Therefore, the time is now to invest in our nation’s EV infrastructure to meet future demand. We look forward to continuing our work with members of the House and Senate to increase support of policies that encourage long-term growth and continued success of the electric vehicle infrastructure industry,” said Farkas.

In addition to assisting in the Administration meeting its EV charger goals, Blink intends to seek support from the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) to onshore the manufacturing of charging stations to meet the Biden administration’s Made in America requirements.

Nissan Announced Electric Targets

When Nissan launched the all-electric LEAF in 2010, the company announced its intention to bring attainable electric vehicles to the masses around the world.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has set the goal to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. As part of this effort, by the early 2030s every all-new Nissan vehicle offering in key markets will be electrified.

Nissan North America, Inc., has a target that more than 40 percent of its U.S. vehicle sales by 2030 will be fully electric, with even more to be electrified.

“With LEAF, Nissan showed our pioneering spirit in electric vehicles. Now with more than a half-million pure EVs sold and more than 5 billion electric miles driven on roads around the world, we’re helping to lead the electric vehicle revolution,” said Jeremie Papin, chairperson, Nissan Americas. “Nissan is fully committed to doing our part toward building a cleaner, safer and more inclusive society for all.”

To build on the success of LEAF, which is now in its second generation, Nissan will offer the all-electric ARIYA crossover in 2022. ARIYA combines all the fun-to-drive acceleration and handling that an EV provides with a serene, refined cabin and advanced technology to make driving easier and more fun.

As consumer adoption increases, ARIYA will be followed by even more all-electric models to give customers choices and help them find the vehicle to meet their unique day-to-day needs.

“It is critical to have industry and government working together to advance consumer adoption of EVs, as well as the manufacturing and infrastructure support to get the next-generation of electrified mobility on the road,” said Papin. “First and foremost, we want more American consumers to enjoy the benefits of electrification: lower emissions, lower operating costs and a lot more fun behind the wheel.”

Volvo Car Gives XC40 to NY Fire Department

With a history in safety leadership, Volvo Car USA donated a fully electric XC40 Recharge vehicle to the FDNY yesterday to help further the cause of post-accident safety involving battery electric vehicles (BEV).

After an accident, one of the most important tasks emergency services need to accomplish is the safe extrication of vehicle occupants. While FDNY has been saving lives in conventionally powered vehicles for decades, the rise of all-electric vehicles presents new challenges. BEVs feature a large primary battery and high voltage wiring that may change where first responders should attempt to cut into the vehicle. Additionally, a car with as much ultra-high-strength steel as a Volvo XC40 Recharge requires specialized extrication procedures.

The FDNY will use the donated vehicle to help update training procedures and real-life protocols when it comes to battery powered vehicles, with the aim to both quickly and safely extricate passengers and keep first responders safe.

Anders Gustafsson, Senior Vice President, Volvo Car Corporation, and President and CEO, Volvo Car USA, and Eric Miller, Vice President of the Northeast Region for Volvo Car USA, were at Volvo Cars Manhattan to hand over the keys to representatives of the FDNY and members of Manhattan’s Rescue Company 1. “As the automotive industry and Volvo Cars in particular speed toward an electric future, our world will see changes that reach far beyond how drivers power their cars. This includes the experience first responders will have with these vehicles,” said Eric Miller. “The XC40 Recharge we have donated will help ready the FDNY for this future, and we’re proud to support them as they continue the vital work of protecting the communities they serve.”

“With the number of electric vehicles on the road growing each day, it’s critical that FDNY members have the ability to train on extrications, fires, and other potential incidents involving them,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Thanks to the FDNY Foundation’s support and this generous donation from Volvo Cars, our members will be even better trained and more prepared to respond to these incidents and continue to bravely protect New Yorkers”

The XC40 Recharge features traditional Volvo safety to help keep drivers and passengers safe but also has many safety features to help keep first responders safe, too. These include a dedicated battery safety cage and independently sealed and cooled battery modules to prevent damage and leaks, brightly colored high voltage wiring to prevent unintentional contact, and an easily accessible deactivation switch to shut down all high voltage power.

UL & Hyundai Partner for SLBESS

UL, the global safety science leader, and Hyundai Motor Company, a global enterprise aiming to revolutionize the mobility value chain and sustainability, have entered into an agreement to help further the safe deployment and use of second life battery energy storage systems (SLBESS).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed during a July 23 ceremony at UL’s offices in Seoul, South Korea, formalized the relationship between the two companies. UL and Hyundai will collaborate on SLBESS initiatives, including safety testing and assessment, a North America demonstration project and evaluation process development. In addition, UL and Hyundai will harness their collective worldwide presence to help extend the reach of their collaboration globally with the intent to help further SLBESS marketplace adoption.

Researched Reasons for Not Buying EVs

New research from Parks Associates finds 15% of US broadband households report intentions to purchase an EV in 2021. Among consumers who do not plan to buy an EV, 27% felt EVs are too expensive, while 24% cited limited number of charging stations available.

Parks Associates: Reasons for Not Purchasing Electric Vehicle in 2021

Wireless Charging Concrete in Indiana DoT

The Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University recently announced plans to develop the world’s first contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment. The project will use innovative magnetizable concrete – developed by German startup Magment GmbH – enabling wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.

“Indiana is known as the Crossroads of America and we’re committed to fortifying our position as a transportation leader by innovating to support the emerging vehicle technology,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “This partnership to develop wireless charging technology for highways sends a strong signal that Indiana is on the leading edge of delivering the infrastructure needed to support the adoption of electric vehicles.”

“As electric vehicles become more widely used, demand for reliable, convenient charging infrastructure continues to grow, and the need to innovate is clear,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said. “We’re excited to partner with Purdue and Magment to explore incorporating wireless charging technology into highway infrastructure.”

“The field of transportation is in the midst of a transformation not experienced since the invention of the automobile,” Nadia Gkritza, Professor of Civil Engineering and Agricultural and Biological Engineering and ASPIRE Campus Director at Purdue University said. “Through this research, we envision opportunities to reduce emissions and near-road exposures to pollutants, coupled with other transportation innovations in shared mobility and automation that will shape data-driven policies encouraging advances.”

The project is part of the Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification (ASPIRE) Initiative, an Engineering Research Center funded by NSF, the National Science Foundation, and involves the collaboration of universities, government laboratories, businesses, and other stakeholders developing next-generation charging technologies for the electrification of Transportation vehicles of all classes.

“We’re quite eager to see this first of its kind project unfold in Indiana,” said David Christensen, ASPIRE Innovation Director. “This partnership that includes Magment, INDOT, Purdue University, and the larger ASPIRE consortium has great promise to really move the needle on technology development, which will, in turn, enable more positive impacts from deeper electric vehicle adoption.”

Phases 1 and 2 of the project will feature pavement testing, analysis, and optimization research conducted by the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. In phase 3, INDOT will construct a quarter-mile-long testbed at a location yet to be determined, where engineers will test the innovative concrete’s capacity to charge heavy trucks operation at high power (200 kilowatts and above). Upon successful completion of testing of all three phases, INDOT will use the new technology to electrify a yet to be determined segment of interstate highway within Indiana.

“This project is a real step forward towards the future of dynamic wireless charging,” said Mauricio Esguerra, CEO of Magment, “that will undoubtedly set the standard for affordable, sustainable and efficient transportation electrification.”

The project will include three phases and is expected to begin later this summer.

Blink Extends Continues Partnership with Greenlight

Blink Charging Co. (Nasdaq: BLNK, BLNKW) (“Blink” or the “Company”), a leading owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and services, announced a five-year agreement with two five-year extensions with Greenlight Communities, LLC, an Arizona-based residential property developer. After installations are completed, there will be a total of 58 Blink owned EV charging stations at Greenlight multifamily residential communities across the Phoenix metro area in Arizona.

The deployments are being aided by the SRP Business EV Charger Rebate, which offers businesses up to $1,500 per networked Level 2 EV charging station. SRP, or the Salt River Project, is the electrical utility provider for the Phoenix metro and surrounding area in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Founded in 2018 and having completed its first three projects, Greenlight Communities is a real estate developer successfully building attainable rental housing in the Phoenix area. The most recent Blink deployments can be located at the recently completed Cabana Hayden property in Scottsdale. Three more complexes are currently under construction and will be the next to offer Blink’s IQ 200 EV charging stations.

Blink’s IQ 200 units are among the fastest level 2 AC charging stations available on the market, with a maximum output of 80 amps. The Blink IQ 200 chargers have been well received by leading EV industry experts.

Detmar Logistics Reserves Hyliion

Hyliion Holdings Corp. (NYSE: HYLN) (“Hyliion”), a leader in electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 semi-trucks, announced that Detmar Logistics LLC has executed a reservation agreement covering 300 Hypertruck ERX™ systems. The agreement is part of Hyliion’s latest collaboration with the Texas-based frac sand solutions provider, whose reservation marks the next step in their continued effort to fully electrify their fleet over the next five years. Detmar is actively expanding their fleet operations and sees Hyliion’s Hypertruck ERX™ as an enabling technology to accelerate their growth.

The Hypertruck ERX™ is an electric powertrain that is recharged by an onboard natural gas generator for Class 8 commercial trucks that aims to provide lower operating costs, emissions reductions, and superior performance. Utilizing the 700+ commercial natural gas vehicle filling stations across North America, it enables long range and quick refueling, and when fueled with renewable natural gas, can provide net-negative carbon emissions to commercial fleets.

An early adopter of electrification in the oil and gas industry, Detmar placed an initial order of 10 Hyliion Hybrid Electric units earlier this spring. The successful program and deployment—met with positive feedback from Detmar’s operations team, drivers, and customers—generated further interest in the Hypertruck ERX™ solution and a longer-term commercial relationship with Hyliion.

Hyliion will begin showcasing the Hypertruck ERX™ demonstration units to the Detmar team in late 2021, with trials running in 2022. The purchase and sale of the 300 Hypertruck ERX™ units is subject to the execution of a final agreement between Hyliion and Detmar. In April, Hyliion announced a first of its kind Hypertruck Innovation Council with leading companies that will test and provide feedback on the Hypertruck ERX™.

Zeus Electric Fire Trucks Debut

A revolutionary design in the multi-aid, quick-attack wildfire truck market is premiering at FDIC. The Zeus Electric Chassis (Zeus) electric fire truck combines the reconfigurable Zeus Power PlatformTM with a 300-gallon water tank and IDEX electric motor driven water pump. All auxiliary functions, including the water pump, are powered from the main vehicle batteries — a ground-breaking solution for the fire industry.

Along with a reduced carbon footprint, the EV solution substantially reduces noise pollution, provides quiet, clean auxiliary power, and eliminates the need for dual power sources, power take offs (PTOs) and extra drive shafts.

“Zeus is continuing to the next level, showcasing a fully-electric integrated solution of an IDEX water pump family on a fully-electric Zeus chassis,” said Robert Grinstead, Zeus Founder and CTO. “With one power source and the same communication network, this brings uncompromising performance in an electric fire truck.”

The Zeus truck is equipped with several products from the IDEX Fire & Safety portfolio of brands. These include Hale Products’ proprietary electronic water flow system, offering a prime solution for municipal, urban, rural, and wildland operators seeking a complete alternative fuel solution.

“IDEX Fire & Safety is proud to stand at the forefront of innovation as part of this exciting solution for fire departments looking to decrease their carbon footprint,” said Bill Simmons, President, Fire & Safety at IDEX Corporation. “We look forward to showcasing the IDEX emission-free technology behind this EV, alongside Marion Body Works (Marion) and Zeus Electric Chassis, this year at FDIC.”

Marion Body Works supplies the Zeus aluminum cab structure. The reputation of Marion in the specialty work truck market, specifically for quality-built structures and cabs, brings a strong foundation to the Zeus team. Zeus is entering a space with a quick trajectory. Marion is in position to support that growth, having the flexibility and agility to manufacture for Zeus at scale as they expand into adjacent markets.

Hino Evaluating Meritor ePowertrain

Meritor, Inc. today announced that Hino will be evaluating and testing Meritor’s ePowertrain for its development path to zero emissions vehicles (ZEV).

Meritor has been a long-standing key supplier for Hino Motors Manufacturing North America for dressed axles on its medium-duty truck models. With this new collaboration both companies look to expand advanced, electrified drive systems to further zero-emissions development.

Examples of Meritor’s electrified solutions include its all-electric, fully integrated, ePowertrain for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. It is designed to provide efficiency, performance, weight savings and superior space utilization.

Key advantages of Meritor’s ePowertrain over remote mount systems include:

  • Tighter turning radius due to a shorter wheelbase
  • Increased room between frame rails for additional battery capacity, which extends the range of the vehicle
  • Lighter weight (up to 800 pounds)

“We are pleased to work with Hino to accelerate the early commercial application of electric vehicles, which in turn will help further sustainability in the areas where these electric trucks will operate,” said Chris Villavarayan, CEO and president for Meritor.

“We have a long relationship with Meritor, and we are excited to be working together in evaluating Meritor’s ePowertrain for our development path to ZEV,” said Davey Jung, EVP, Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc.

Meritor for Hyliion

Meritor, Inc. today announced it will provide electric drivetrain sub-systems for Hyliion’s Hypertruck ERX™ electrified powertrain for Class 8 trucks.

Hyliion’s powertrain system will feature Meritor’s Blue Horizon™ 14Xe™ ePowertrain integrated drive axles as the standard position propulsion and regeneration hardware on Hyliion vehicle upfits. Hypertruck ERX provides a practical, clean, long haul powertrain solution capable of operating in all-electric mode.

Meritor Invests in SEA Electric

Meritor, Inc. today announced an equity investment in SEA Electric Holdings Pty Ltd. (“SEA Electric”), a global leader in commercial electric vehicles for urban delivery and logistics.

With global headquarters in Los Angeles, SEA Electric currently partners with commercial vehicle OEMs, dealers, operators and upfitters to deliver a range of zero-emissions trucks with remote mount electrification solutions to the medium and heavy-duty (Class 3-8) commercial vehicle market.

“This collaboration with SEA Electric gives us another path to apply our expertise in electrification solutions for the medium-duty market,” said Chris Villavarayan, CEO and president for Meritor.

“Meritor’s investment will help us to accelerate global sales efforts and strengthen the delivery and distribution transportation segment for vehicles that operate in urban and metropolitan areas,” said Tony Fairweather, president and founder, SEA Electric. “We are excited for Meritor to join us as a strategic investor and shareholder.”

SEA Electric is on schedule to deliver more than 500 electric commercial vehicles this year and plans to have more than 15,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2023.

Funding for Aira

 Aira Inc., the company redefining wireless charging with FreePower®, today announced a $12 million Series Seed funding round. This additional capital will accelerate the company’s expansion into the automotive, enterprise, and hospitality sectors. It will also enable Aira — which was named FastCompany‘s #5 Most Innovative Company in 2021 — to expand its operational and engineering resources in preparation for the launch of FreePower® 2.0 by year’s end. The company was recently granted it’s first patents for FreePower® and has more than 80 patent assets related to its ground-breaking wireless charging methods.

Aira in Automotive
Current wireless charging technology is not built for moving environments, leaving consumers and automakers underwhelmed. In-car charging surfaces with FreePower®, on the other hand, are able to support devices shifting around while driving, multi-device charging, surfaces of any size, and firmware updates for future enhancements and compatibility. They can also deliver high-power charging while maintaining stringent safety and regulatory standards.

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