Intelligent Buildings & Charging
Intelligent energy network provider GridPoint announced the launch of its new building-centric electric vehicle (EV) charging solution. GridPoint takes a whole building approach to managing customers’ peak demand charges by analyzing and managing load across several controllable, grid-interactive assets from a single platform, including HVAC, lighting and now EV chargers. Customers can also enroll EV chargers and other eligible building loads into automated demand response (Auto-DR) programs, which deliver additional savings and support a cleaner, more reliable grid.
As the climate crisis worsens and the economy shifts from fossil fuels to cleaner distributed energy resources, buildings across the country—from car dealers to chain restaurants to grocery stores—are installing on-site EV chargers. However, they do not necessarily have visibility into how those installations will impact their energy expenses.
GridPoint’s technology platform ensures that EV chargers and other assets are operating as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Smart control and scheduling systems identify and allow customers to adjust charging based on times of peak demand while supporting grid program participation, such as revenue generating Auto-DR. The new EV solution also monitors real-time consumption and provides insights on building usage trends over time. It is technology agnostic and can submeter and control any charging system.
The commercial building benefits of the EV charging solution also translate to better outcomes for the grid. A more distributed energy system means the supply and demand curve on the grid is also changing. Utilities and grid operators are seeking visibility into energy use changes, as well as the ability to cohesively manage more assets. Increasing on-site efficiency and having additional resources like EV chargers to call on for demand response events allows for more reliability and flexibility.
Solar House & Car
Solar Team Eindhoven presents the world’s solar powered mobile home called Stella Vita. The vehicle generates enough solar energy to live and drive on. With this, the students are taking the next step towards a sustainable future. On 19 September, the solar house on wheels will hit the road for the first time and start a journey through Europe.
Stella Vita is a Self-sustaining House On Wheels. This means that the mobile house is self-sufficient in terms of energy. Through solar panels on the roof, it is independent of charging stations. The vehicle generates enough solar energy to drive, shower, watch TV, charge your laptop and make coffee.
The solar house on wheels has a roof that slides up when stationary. This makes it easy to stand inside to cook, sleep or work. In addition, extra solar panels fold out when the roof is raised, doubling the solar surface to as much as 17.5 square metres. For daily use, a comfortable interior has been designed that is as light and efficient as possible. By using energy efficiently, Stella Vita can travel up to 730 km on a sunny day.
The team unveils the vehicle to a room full of young students. “They are the future, the next generation and can encourage and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future,” said Kjell Revenberg, team manager of Solar Team Eindhoven. “To accelerate this transition we are going to inspire as many people in Europe as possible for the sustainable future during our journey”.
The students will travel with Stella Vita in one month from Eindhoven to the southernmost tip of Spain on energy from the sun. Together with their partners, including main sponsor Coolblue, the students will show the future of sustainable travel.
NIO ES8 Five Stars
On September 8, 2021, the NIO ES8 was awarded the five-star safety rating by European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP). NIO will soon start delivering the NIO ES8 in Norway.
The Euro NCAP testing protocols 2020 introduced the frontal impact with a mobile progressive deformable barrier (MPDB), occupant protection in the far-side impact, driver monitoring, rescue and extrication, more test scenarios for Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), and also raised the speed of mobile side barrier to 60 km/h in the side impact test. The new protocols represent a more stringent requirement for a vehicle’s active and passive safety.
The high-strength all-aluminum body and active safety features standard on all NIO ES8s are fundamental to its five-star rating. The passenger compartment of the NIO ES8 remained stable in the frontal offset impact test, with dummy readings showing good protection of the knees and femurs of both the driver and passenger. In both the frontal-offset impact test and the side barrier impact test, the NIO ES8 provided good protection to all critical body areas of the 6-year and 10-year dummies and scored full marks in this part of the assessment. The AEB system of the NIO ES8 achieved good performance in protecting vulnerable road users and car-to-car tests. With the outstanding results in the driver monitoring and lane support tests, the NIO ES8 earned 92% in the Safety Assist category under the new protocols.
Rhombus & Nuvve Get SCE Approval
Rhombus Energy Solutions and Nuvve Holding Corp. (Nuvve) (Nasdaq: NVVE) are announcing the inclusion of their market-leading 60kW vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable DC fast charger Power Control System (PCS) (RES-DCVC60-480-V2G) and dispenser (RES-D2-CS20-V2G) on the Southern California Edison (SCE) Charge Ready Transport Program Approved Product List for Medium Duty/Heavy Duty (MDHD) electric vehicles (EVs). This approval paves the way for both Rhombus-branded and Nuvve-branded versions of this charger and dispenser to operate in V2G mode on Nuvve’s aggregation network. More importantly, the PCSs and remote dispenser are now eligible for the California Public Utilities Commission rebate program for EV chargers which is administered by SCE. These incentives and rebates enable customers to significantly reduce the purchase price of V2G-enabled Rhombus chargers and dispensers, and are in addition to Federal and California incentives that are available for vehicle electrification and the installation of alternative fuel infrastructure such as EV Support Equipment (EVSE).
Caterpillar Buys CarbonPoint
Caterpillar Inc. has acquired Enhanced Energy Group, Inc. operating as “CarbonPoint Solutions,” a U.S.-based carbon capture technology company. Headquartered in Rhode Island, CarbonPoint Solutions provides technology to concentrate and capture CO2 for utilization or sequestration.
Carbon capture systems using CarbonPoint Solutions’ patented processes can be applied to engines and turbines at oil and gas sites, distributed power and industrial plants and waste-to-energy sites.
“Combining CarbonPoint Solutions’ patented technology with Caterpillar Oil & Gas solutions enables us to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions while helping our customers meet their climate-related objectives,” said Rod Shurman, vice president of Caterpillar’s Oil & Gas and Marine Division.
“We are extremely pleased to join Caterpillar and look forward to rapid deployment of the Semi-Closed Cycle and carbon capture for Cat engines and Solar gas turbines,” said Paul Dunn, president and founder of CarbonPoint Solutions.
Caterpillar is committed to contributing to a reduced-carbon future. We demonstrate this in many ways including our continued investment in new products, technologies and services to help our customers achieve their climate-related objectives as they build a better, more sustainable world.
Toyota Spending $13.5 on Battery Tech
– Toyota Motor Corp reported Tuesday it is spending more $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system. “we aim to improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X,” said Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda.
Auto Dealers Not Ready for EVs
When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), auto dealerships around the U.S. are struggling due to unprepared salespeople, limited vehicles and inconsistent sales practices.
That’s one of several findings from a recent Ipsos Electric Vehicle Dealership Readiness Study. Ipsos deployed mystery shoppers into dealerships across the top-selling electric vehicle markets in the U.S. to see how prepared dealerships are for consumers. The mystery shoppers examined the current sales process across automotive brands that currently offer battery or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. “With more than 100 electric vehicles set to be available in the next few years, the results of this study can help OEMs and dealerships identify improvements needed to create an informative and supportive EV sales process,” says Mike VanNieuwkuyk, Senior Vice President at Ipsos Automotive. These improvements, driven by Ipsos’ findings, can “transform shoppers who are exploring EVs into informed, excited buyers.”
“The OEMs have done an incredible job of creating excitement about EVs and generating strong consumer interest,” VanNieuwkuyk added. “Unfortunately, production delays due to COVID and the microchip shortage have created a lag in EV supply to leverage the increase in demand.”
Unprepared Staff Not Capitalizing on Customer Curiosity
Ipsos found that dealer websites, where many consumers begin their new vehicle shopping journey, lack EV-specific information. This continues when shoppers set foot in the showroom, where it is evident that many dealers often are not prepared for the EV-curious customer. Even Tesla, a company with an EV-only product line, appears to be having fewer in-depth conversations with customers to help alleviate concerns about the vehicles. “Tesla no longer stands alone, as new entrant, Polestar, along with Volvo and VW – traditional OEMs with mixed-vehicle line-ups – have joined Tesla among the top-performing brands for EV dealership readiness. These brands are shown to spend more time addressing shoppers’ concerns and pointing out the advantages that EVs offer,” says VanNieuwkuyk.
Customers see auto dealers as trusted sources to help them understand the EV ownership experience. The lack of information and inventory leaves shoppers with many unanswered questions. “Being knowledgeable about EVs allows the salesperson to match the vehicle type to the person, ultimately building trust with the customer and assuring that an EV is a good match for their needs and lifestyle,” says Kacey Muccino, Vice President, Ipsos Automotive. “As EVs are such a new and different choice for consumers, the dealer is the main source for them to get the answers they need to make the right decision.”
Customers Aren’t Able To “Try It On”
The lack of EV inventory at dealers also means fewer opportunities for potential customers to take an EV test drive. The test drive is key: it allows the salesperson to show the uniqueness of EV performance benefits and highlight key features. “Most people want to try things out before they buy them, and this is especially important when it comes to electric vehicles,” says VanNieuwkuyk. “EVs are often misunderstood by customers, with the belief that they are not as capable or as versatile as their gas-engine counterparts. Giving the customer the EV experience is everything. It’s what ultimately sells the vehicle.”
About the Study
The EV Dealership Readiness Study is a syndicated partnered project between Ipsos Automotive and Ipsos Channel Performance. The study was conducted in May and June of 2021. This mystery shopping project covered 22 premium and non-premium brands across 12 of the largest EV markets in the U.S. Ipsos investigated the entire sales process all the way up to the point of purchase. Mystery shoppers documented the shopping experience of 201 EV selling dealerships by completing a scorecard which measures attributes related to knowledge of EVs, availability and readiness of the vehicle, quality of the test drive, recommendation, needs assessment, etc. In addition to mystery shopping, Ipsos also completed an informal review of shopped brands’ websites to understand how they promote and position their EVs.
Guidehouse Insights to EVs & Energy Storage
A new report from Guidehouse Insights analyzes the growing rate of electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage adoption, as well as developments in battery technology and the measures that regulatory bodies are taking to increase their safety.
Even in conservative estimations, EV sales are expected to experience aggressive growth by 2030. As a result, consumers, integrators, and policymakers are turning their attention to battery performance, with special consideration given to safety and risk. According to a new report from Guidehouse Insights, building confidence in the technology is contingent on battery technology that is reliable, cost-effective, and safe to transport, use, and dispose of.
“The market is being flooded with new battery chemistries, configurations, applications, and capabilities that all have the potential to be the leading solution for EVs and energy storage,” says Maria Chavez, research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “As regulators and consumers try to take stock of the various options being introduced to the market, it becomes more difficult to assess the safety and reliability of these systems.”
In the report, recommendations for improved safety are made. These include battery design that facilitates reuse or recycling, flexible warranties tailored to a battery system’s intended ambient conditions, updated safety information, and standards for manufacturers that incentivize environmentally friendly practices.
The report, Key Developments in Battery Energy Storage Safety, discusses key trends in battery safety, including recent technological developments, battery chemistry profiles, and current initiatives to improve battery safety across the industry. The report recommends a multilayered approach for manufacturers, integrators, regulatory bodies, and policymakers. An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Guidehouse Insights website.
New Battery Chem from Sila
Breakthrough in battery chemistry in 30 years — the technology to replace graphite anodes — which will usher in a new era of energy storage. Sila’s silicon anode chemistry dramatically increases the energy density of batteries, reducing battery size without sacrificing safety or performance. Proven and now commercially available in WHOOP 4.0, the latest fitness and health wearable from WHOOP, the human performance company, Sila science has the ability to unlock innovations in consumer product design, the electric vehicle industry, and renewable energy.
Today, Sila’s materials increase the energy density of batteries by nearly 20 percent and have the potential to do so by up to 40 percent, without compromising cycle life, power, safety or other performance parameters. This innovation marks a significant step toward the electrification of everything, which has been stalled in recent years by minimal improvements to traditional Li-ion chemistry. The technology also facilitates the development of new and unique product features for mobile devices not previously possible due to energy density and battery size constraints – better cameras, augmented reality/virtual reality sensors, wireless charging, 5G speeds, and sensors for continuous health monitoring.
“After 10 years, 55,000 iterations, and over a 1,000x manufacturing scale up, the Sila team is the first to industrialize and now make commercially available a new type of lithium-ion chemistry with dramatically higher energy density. Our next-generation materials will drive radical change in product innovation, freeing consumers and device makers from having to choose between better design, more features, and battery performance,” said Gene Berdichevsky, CEO and Co-Founder of Sila. “We are running out of time to transition from the fossil fuels economy to the energy storage economy. The path to a sustainable future will be paved with great products and Sila is proud to be enabling those products today.”
WHOOP 4.0, the most advanced 24/7 fitness and health wearable, is the first product in the market to use next-generation silicon anode materials. Powered with Sila science, WHOOP 4.0 is a smaller, sleeker product with 17 percent higher energy density—enabling a 5-day battery life and enhanced sensors for improved fitness tracking. These advances were achieved without altering existing manufacturing processes, making it faster and easier for WHOOP and its battery manufacturing partner to incorporate Sila materials into its newest wearable.
From chips to displays to cameras to connectivity, consumer electronics pave the way for significant innovations in other industries. So too, with advanced battery materials. Automakers and cell manufacturers are looking to next-generation battery technology – in the pursuit of longer driving range, faster charging, and greater affordability – to reach their electrification goals. Through partnerships with leading auto OEMs and cell makers, Sila is producing innovation at scale to unlock new product design possibilities, remove the current barriers of energy storage, and create a path to the sustainable future we need.
Elio Motors Electrifies
Elio Motors OTCMKTS: ELIO, (eliomotors.com) is announced their intention to produce an electric version of their three-wheeled vehicle. The announcement is based on the change in consumer demand and finance markets’ new appetite for electric vehicles. The Elio-E model has a targeted base at $14,900 making it the most affordable entry level electric vehicle on the market.
Loop Energy Partners with METTEM-M & GAZ
Loop Energy (TSX: LPEN), a developer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cell-based solutions, announced their partnership with METTEM-M Ltd., a developer of vehicle control systems and systems integrator, to provide hydrogen electric powertrain solutions to commercial vehicle OEMs across Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and greater Europe. The companies’ first joint project — a hydrogen electric transit bus for GAZ Group, a leading global commercial vehicle OEM provider — is presently on display at the International Commercial Vehicle Show 2021 (COMTRANS) in Moscow, Russia. The 12-meter passenger bus vehicle is expected to enter regular city transport service in Moscow, in early 2022, after completing customary road testing and vehicle level certification requirements.
Under this agreement, METTEM will use Loop’s eFlow™ powered fuel cell modules to develop and supply hydrogen electric subsystems, powertrains, and complete vehicle solutions for a variety of applications including transit buses, logistics vehicles, and rail transport.
The hydrogen electric transit bus, currently showcased by its OEM at COMTRANS 2021, marks the first commercial achievement between Loop Energy and METTEM. The vehicle’s hydrogen electric control system was developed by METTEM under the contract with GAZ Group — a leading manufacturer of light commercial and medium-duty vehicles, buses, powertrain and automotive components, and special-use vehicles headquartered in Russia. The solution is using GAZ Group’s existing battery electric passenger bus platform, Loop Energy’s high efficiency fuel cell modules, and METTEM’s fully integrated hydrogen electric fuel cell system.
“Partnering with Loop was a natural next step for METTEM as we look to supply our OEM customers with mobility solutions that meet the growing demand in Russia and beyond for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles over the next decade,” said Jan Drewitz, CEO of METTEM. “With Loop’s innovative fuel cell modules and our extensive powertrain and vehicle integration expertise, we foresee hydrogen electric solutions, and the benefits of extended range, peak power performance, and fuel efficiency, becoming the gold standard in the commercial vehicle market.”
“Collaborating with METTEM is a key milestone for both the adoption of hydrogen electric solutions for commercial vehicles, as well as expanding Loop’s footprint in both Russian and greater European markets,” said George Rubin, Chief Commercial Officer of Loop Energy. “METTEM’s market knowledge and technical expertise bring an invaluable contribution to this partnership. We are seeing a steady demand for clean energy alternatives across the globe and are eager to work with a leading player in the commercial vehicle industry to provide sustainable solutions.”
Li-Cycle Builds Recycling in Tuscaloosa AL
Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE: LICY) (“Li-Cycle” or “the Company”), an industry leader in lithium-ion battery resource recovery and the leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, today announced that the Company will build a fourth commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility, to be located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
With the pace of deployment of new battery mega-factories far exceeding initial expectations, Li-Cycle will construct an additional fourth Spoke in North America (“Spoke 4”). The Company previously had a base case plan for three North American Spokes (the Kingston, Ontario and Rochester, New York Spoke facilities are commercially operational; the Gilbert, Arizona Spoke facility is in advanced execution stages).
The southeastern United States is emerging as a critical region for the lithium-ion battery supply chain, as battery manufacturers and automotive OEMs establish operations in the region, which will lead to the generation of significant quantities of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries available for recycling. Univar Solutions Inc. will be an anchor battery feed supply customer for the new facility, following on Li-Cycle’s previously announced on-site partnership with Univar Solutions to provide waste management solutions for electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturing.
When completed, Li-Cycle’s Spoke 4 facility will have an initial capacity of up to 5,000 tonnes of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries per year, bringing Li-Cycle’s total North American recycling capacity to 25,000 tonnes per year. The Tuscaloosa site is also being developed to accommodate a future, second 5,000 tonne processing line, which would increase capacity at the Tuscaloosa site to 10,000 tonnes per year, and Li-Cycle’s total North American recycling capacity to 30,000 tonnes per year. As Li-Cycle continues to build upon its position as a leading lithium-ion battery recycler and resource recovery company, the Alabama Spoke is projected to commence operations by mid-2022 and is expected to create an initial 30+ new jobs.
The execution of Spoke 4 is strongly supported by a range of local stakeholders, including but not limited to:
- Univar Solutions and their existing automotive customer base;
- The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA);
- The State of Alabama, including the Alabama Department of Commerce; and
- The Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority.
Juice Tech IS 27001 Cert
Juice Technology AG, manufacturer of charging stations and software, and leading producer of portable charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs), today announced it has secured ISO Standard 27001 certification for its portable EV charging stations and software.
“Our robust, systematic software orientation and associated approaches of ‘software first’ and ‘security-by-design’ set us apart from other firms in the industry. The security aspect is an inherent part of our product planning and development,” states Christoph Erni, CEO of Juice Technology AG.
By certifying to the internationally leading standard ISO/IEC 27001, the Swiss-based technology company is underscoring the value it places on delivering compliant and physically secure charging stations, to ensure resilience from the threat of cybersecurity attacks that can become a risk to EV charging infrastructure just as they are in other critical infrastructure industries.
LA Auto Show to Debut The ZEVAS Awards
The Los Angeles Auto Show® (LA Auto Show®), the leading automotive and lifestyle in-person event, announced today The LA Auto Show Zero-Emission Vehicle Awards or THE ZEVAS™— a new, signature awards program set to debut at the iconic auto show this November. The first awards program of its kind, THE ZEVAS honor the latest in zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) that are currently available for sale or pre-order.
The inaugural awards spotlight emerging and established automakers as they introduce all-new electric and hybrid vehicles and new zero-emission versions of existing models. From Fisker’s Ocean, to Ford’s F-150 Lightning, to Porsche’s Taycan—the ZEV market is gaining strong momentum. With the LA Auto Show being the place for shoppers to discover, test, and determine their next ride, it’s no surprise that the LA Auto Show attendees’ interest in ZEVs has increased by 79 percent during the past 15 months (source: June 2021 LA Auto Show Consumer Attendee Survey).
“Electrification is the biggest transformation the auto industry has experienced in 100 years,” said Lisa Kaz, CEO and owner of the LA Auto Show. “With accelerating consumer interest in electric vehicles, there is no better place for the new car and truck buyer to learn about, experience and compare the latest and greatest electric vehicles and gas-powered models all in one convenient place.”
A pioneer in supporting consumer adoption and education of electric vehicles, the LA Auto Show is a leader in showcasing the crossroads of the automotive and technology sectors. THE ZEVAS program will take place on Wed., Nov. 17 at the annual AutoMobility LA—the LA Auto Show’s two-day press and trade event attracting automakers, tech companies, media, government officials, among other industry professionals. THE ZEVAS will honor the best zero-emission vehicles in a variety of categories including Adventure, Family, Ridesharing, Personal Commuter, Workhorse, and more. Many nominees and award winners will be on display during this November’s much-anticipated return of the LA Auto Show.
Recognizing the ever-growing support for zero-emission vehicles from the private and public sector—federal, state, and city—LA Auto Show’s timely ZEVAS awards program comes to the scene at a pivotal point for the automotive industry with President Biden’s goal that half of all vehicles be zero emission by 2030, and California targeting all vehicle sales to be zero-emission by 2035. Additionally,
Los Angeles is currently the top U.S. market for new electric and hybrid vehicle sales (source: Pew Research).
Tritium Funded AUD$40 by Cigna
Tritium Holdings Pty Ltd (“Tritium”), a global developer and manufacturer of direct current (“DC”) fast charging technology for electric vehicles (“EVs”), t announced a AUD$40 million private placement by Cigna Investments, Inc. (“Cigna”), the investment arm of Cigna Corporation, a U.S.-based global health services company.
Tritium intends to use the proceeds from the private placement to continue scaling its global operations, including production, sales and administrative support, during its ongoing business combination with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II (“DCRN”) (NASDAQ: DCRN, DCRNW, DCRNU), which was announced on May 26, 2021, in an effort to satisfy Tritium’s existing order backlog from its customers.
Eaton Develops Heavy-duty Fuel Cells
-Power management company Eaton today announced its Vehicle Group has partnered with leading fuel system manufacturer Ballard Fuel Cell Systems, and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), to develop heavy-duty truck fuel cell technology. The partnership is the result of a grant Eaton’s Vehicle Group received from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop highly efficient hydrogen fuel cells capable of powering heavy-duty machinery.
The new fuel cell technology will leverage Eaton’s Twin Vortices Series (TVS) technology to improve fuel efficiency. This marks another important step in Eaton’s commitment to decarbonizing the transportation sector, building on the company’s more than two decades of investments and solutions that help to mitigate climate change.
“Our TVS supercharger technology provides fuel cell manufacturers with a precise amount of controlled air to increase power and efficiency,” said Karl Sievertsen, vice president and chief technology officer, Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “The efficiency of competitive fuel cells is lower because most hydrogen fuel cells use simple fans for air flow, which produces less pressure and is not controllable.”
Eaton will leverage its Corporate Research Labs in Golden, Colorado and Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Southfield, Michigan to produce the technology, using cutting-edge power electronics and advanced 3D-printing. Eaton’s Vehicle Group will design and test a subscale, proof-of-concept system prototype utilizing its TVS technology that delivers a significant reduction in air system power consumption and fuel cell efficiency for heavy-duty truck applications.
Eaton’s TVS technology is ideal for harsh environments, as it can tolerate water, has operating maps with broad efficiency, and provides accurate air flow control in proportion to speed. These properties enable a water applicator to replace the humidifier to achieve higher operating pressure ratios and isentropic efficiencies.
Free Volta Charging at Six Flags
-Volta Inc. (“Volta”), an industry leader in commerce-centric electric vehicle (“EV”) charging networks, is partnering with Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, to make EV charging accessible to its guests at their parks across the United States.
Six Flags’ strategy centers around modernizing the guest experience through technology. Installing EV charging stations is the latest step towards the company’s vision to be the preferred regional destination for entertainment and its commitment to environmental sustainability. At the forefront of innovation in the industry, Six Flags is the first theme park company to have Volta charging stations available to its guests. The first charging stations will be installed at Six Flags America, just outside of Washington, D.C., with more parks to follow.