EV, Battery & Charging News: Tesla, GM, LG, CARB, FF, Phillips 66, Guidehouse, Navistar, PG&E, V2G School Buses, Autoneum, &

In electric vehicle, charging and battery news are Tesla, GM, LG, CARB, FF, Phillips 66, Guidehouse, Navistar, PG&E, V2G School Buses, Autoneum, and Dupont.

ILG to Pay $1.9 Billion to GM to Replace Bolt Batteries

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced it has reached an agreement under which LG Electronics Inc. will reimburse GM for costs and expenses associated with the recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs due to manufacturing defects in battery modules supplied by LG.

As a result of the agreement, GM will recognize an estimated recovery in its third-quarter earnings that will offset $1.9 billion of $2.0 billion in charges associated with the recalls.

“LG is a valued and respected supplier to GM, and we are pleased to reach this agreement,” said Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Our engineering and manufacturing teams continue to collaborate to accelerate production of new battery modules and we expect to begin repairing customer vehicles this month.”

CARB Reports California Hydrogen Fuel Could be Ready by 2030

The California Air Resources Board released an analysis of the California hydrogen fueling network for passenger cars and found that, with the right funding, the network could be self-sufficient by 2030. The report, “Hydrogen Station Network Self Sufficiency Analysis” finds that “hydrogen fueling network self-sufficiency can likely be achieved within the decade with additional State support beyond AB 8.”

Signed into law in 2013, Assembly Bill 8 funded at least 100 hydrogen stations serving passenger vehicles. Because of decreasing station costs, and changes to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, more than 170 hydrogen stations have been funded.

The share of private industry investment has increased from 30 percent to 70 percent since the last funding announcement in 2017. In the report’s analysis, the share of private co-funding is expected to rise to 90 percent by the end of the decade.

Additional public funding of about $300 million will be needed to achieve a fully self-sufficient market, which is about 10% of California’s currently proposed ZEV infrastructure budget.

The report reflects five years of research, evaluation, and surveys and interviews with industry and stakeholders. Prior to publication, the public and a panel of experts provided additional review and input to CARB’s analysis.

Faraday Future Reports Milestones

Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. (“FF”) (NASDAQ: FFIE), a California-based global shared intelligent electric mobility ecosystem company, unveiled upcoming milestones in its manufacturing process for the ultimate intelligent techluxury FF 91 EV. FF shared the timeline with local Hanford officials as part of an FF executive factory review. With the progress made by the Hanford manufacturing and operations teams, along with the support of FF’s suppliers, FF remains on target to launch the FF 91 in July 2022.

The FF 91 production goals are modest, focusing on a smaller volume and specific clientele, ensuring a smooth roll out of the FF 91 and future vehicles.

Since going public in July, FF has kicked off construction at the Hanford plant and has completed the pilot line systems to support FF pre-production builds. The key production milestones at the Hanford plant include:

  • Milestone #1: Complete installation of pilot equipment in FF pre-production build area.
  • Milestone #2: Complete work to secure a Certificate of Occupancy, clearing the path for FF pre-production builds.
  • Milestone #3: Start foundation construction for all remaining production areas including body, propulsion, warehouse and vehicle assembly.
  • Milestone #4: Pre-production builds for final engineering validation and certification vehicles.
  • Milestone #5: Start all major mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems to support equipment installation.
  • Milestone #6: Complete construction and equipment installation in final vehicle manufacturing areas.
  • Final Milestone: Start of Production (SOP) – summer 2022.

In addition to the manufacturing updates described above, FF also has achieved progress in the FF 91 program, including:

  • Finalizing stamping dies
  • Body assembly automation
  • Paint shop automation
  • Battery pack manufacturing strategy
  • Inverter manufacturing systems
  • Vehicle assembly systems

FF is creating a state-of-the-art facility that uses leading-edge automated production processes and highly skilled craftsmanship to rival the top luxury automakers of the world. To fulfill the expectation of the top-tier FF 91 user segment, the FF 91 manufacturing strategy calls for superior craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, and the ability to personalize the vehicle to meet the style and functionality requirements of each user. This is one of the many FF differentiators compared to traditional OEM mass production.

The FF 91 Futurist Alliance Edition and FF 91 Futurist models represent the next generation of intelligent techluxury EVs. They are high-performance EVs, all-in-one all-ability cars, and ultimate robotic vehicles that allow users to experience a third internet living space beyond their home and office.

Real-Driving- Based Insurance for Tesla in Texas

Telsa announced that Automotive insurance based on real-time driving behavior now available in Texas.

Unlike other telematics or usage-based insurance products, Tesla does not require an additional device to be installed in your vehicle. Tesla uses specific features within the vehicle to evaluate the premium based on  actual driving. Monthly payments are based on driving behavior instead of traditional factors like credit, age, gender, claim history and driving records used by other insurance providers.

The premium is determined based on what vehicle, address, how much drive, what coverage selected and the vehicle’s monthly Safety Score. An average driver could save between 20% to 40% and the safest drivers could save between 30% to 60%.

The Safety Score Beta is the first release of the Safety Score which is an assessment of driving behavior based on five metrics called Safety Factors. These are combined to estimate the likelihood that  driving could result in a future collision.

The daily Safety Score is not impacted by the number of miles or hours  driven. Every month, the insurer combines the daily Safety Scores into a 30-day, mileage-weighted average to calculate the Safety Score used to update the premium.

Phillips 66 & Plug Power Partner for Low-Carbon Hydrogen Opps

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) and Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, announced that the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the development of low-carbon hydrogen business opportunities.

Phillips 66, which has 13 wholly owned and joint venture refineries in the U.S. and Europe, owns extensive hydrogen-related infrastructure and uses hydrogen in the manufacturing of transportation fuels. With over 20 years of history, and customers like Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot, Plug Power is a leader in hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers. The company has begun construction on state-of-the-art green hydrogen production facilities in California, New York, Tennessee and Georgia that will ultimately supply 500 tons per day of liquid green hydrogen by 2025.

As part of this agreement, the companies will explore ways to deploy Plug Power’s technology within Phillips 66’s operations, leveraging Plug Power’s experience as a full value chain provider within the hydrogen economy. Plug Power will benefit from Phillips 66’s capabilities as a developer of large-scale energy infrastructure, operator of industrial-scale hydrogen production facilities, and presence in the fuels marketing segment in the U.S. and Europe.

“We are excited to team up with Phillips 66 to take advantage of its rich history in the energy industry and forward momentum in the energy transition,” said David Bow, Executive Vice President of Electrolyzers Solutions at Plug Power. “Phillips 66 stands to help us meet our goal of producing 1,000 tons per day of green hydrogen while deploying cost-efficient solutions within the renewable fuels sector.”

The companies’ memorandum of understanding provides a framework for working together on three key objectives:

  • integrating and scaling low-carbon hydrogen in the industrial sector;
  • advancing hydrogen fueling opportunities for the mobility sector; and
  • developing hydrogen-related infrastructure to support the build-out of the hydrogen value chain.

“We believe hydrogen is an important pathway for hard-to-electrify industries in a lower-carbon energy landscape,“ said Heath DePriest, Vice President of Phillips 66’s Emerging Energy group, which is focused on building lower-carbon business platforms. “Hydrogen is a key component of our diversified Emerging Energy portfolio strategy.”

Wireless Charging in N. CA from Momentum Dynamics

– Public buses carrying passengers in Northern California soon will be among the first electric vehicles in that state to use wireless charging, allowing emission-free automatic charging while the buses remain on their designated routes. Momentum Dynamics Corporation (Momentum) of Malvern, PA, the global leader in wireless charging for all types of electric vehicles, announces first-of-its-kind shared charging network to be deployed in Northern California. The project, with support from the California Energy Commission (CEC)’s BESTFIT Innovative Charging Solutions program, will establish a model for shared electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Northern California.

This project – approved unanimously and enthusiastically by the CEC board earlier today – will deploy the first ever interagency wireless charging network. Momentum will partner with Solano Transportation Authority (STA) to deploy 300kW automatic wireless fast-charging infrastructure at seven strategic transit centers in the region between San Francisco and Sacramento. The charging network will power STA’s SolanoExpress service, which is operated by two local agencies (SolTrans and FAST). In addition, this network will facilitate the acceleration of electric bus adoption by also being open to other transit agencies operating at these transit centers. The seven transit centers are located at:

  • El Cerrito Del Norte Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station
  • Walnut Creek BART Station
  • The Fairfield Transportation Center (FTC)
  • The Suisun-Fairfield Amtrak Station
  • The Vacaville Transportation Center
  • The Vallejo Transit Center (VTC)
  • The York St Regional Bus Facility Extension at VTC

Momentum’s charging equipment is currently available as a factory option from GILLIG, BYD, and GreenPower, with approximately 200 wirelessly powered electric buses on the road or on order. Momentum is also in integration planning discussions with four additional U.S. bus manufacturers. Charging systems are offered from 75kW to 450kW. Momentum’s systems are UL field certified and have the CE Mark for European sales.

Creating shared charging infrastructure at transit centers will keep vehicles powered and on-route all day, while also reducing the need for each agency to have dedicated infrastructure. The goal is to demonstrate a model of interagency cooperation that can accelerate electrification and the development of shared, high powered commercial charging infrastructure.

Guidehouse to Guide GSA Fleet

Guidehouse, a leading global provider of consulting services to public sector and commercial clients, announced the firm has been selected by the U.S. General Services Administration Office of Fleet Management (GSA Fleet) to support federal offices and agencies in electrifying the US government’s fleet.

Since 1949, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has been a customer-oriented agency, striving to streamline administrative work in the federal government. This strong track record includes bringing some of the first commercially available zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and infrastructure to agency customers as well as implementing the latest in advanced fleet management capabilities. Building on this success, GSA Fleet will play a significant role in creating a comprehensive strategy to deploy ZEVs as part of President Biden’s agenda to address the climate crisis, as outlined in Executive Order 14008.

Guidehouse’s team of industry-sourced mobility experts and management consultants will leverage in-house datasets, frameworks, and analytics tools—including Guidehouse’s fleet software suite—to provide analytics, reporting, training, and real-time dashboards across GSA Fleet customer fleets, facilities, and fueling infrastructure.

“This work represents a major component of a broader industry shift to optimize fleet operations and infrastructure to support and implement new ZEV technology,” says Karen Wilson, partner in Guidehouse’s Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure (ES&I) segment. “We are proud to bring our expertise to GSA and support them in this large-scale initiative to provide cleaner, more resilient, and optimized vehicles and infrastructure to government agencies.”

Once complete, Guidehouse will have assisted GSA Fleet with identifying and recommending strategies to optimize ZEV deployment and adoption across the federal government for over 200,000 vehicles. This analysis is expected to play a critical role in tackling the climate crisis and moving toward both domestic and global decarbonization goals.

“GSA Fleet’s approach to tackle transformational change head on will inspire action among other national fleet leaders on ZEV planning and execution to address the climate crisis,” says Derek Jones, director at Guidehouse and leader of ES&I’s Mobility solution.

Navistar and Penske Int’l eMV Medium Trucks

Navistar and Penske Truck Leasing announced their continued commitment to a zero-emissions future with the anticipated delivery of the International® eMV™ Series medium duty truck. This will mark Navistar’s first U.S. delivery of the full battery electric medium-duty trucks from International.

The delivery of the International eMV Series reinforces the partnership of Navistar and Penske on the continued collaboration of various emerging technologies for the commercial vehicle industry.

As a validation partner, Penske plans to operate these units at various locations throughout their footprint with the intent of evaluating the operation of electric trucks in real-world situations. The company is expanding its electrified fleet and evaluating important related technologies to support a zero-emission commercial vehicle future.

Navistar announced the launch of the International eMV Series full battery-electric trucks in Long Beach, Calif. at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo last month.

The new eMV combines Navistar’s decades of medium-duty truck experience with the expertise of its zero-emissions team, NEXT eMobility Solutions, to deliver a fully integrated electrified powertrain and complete ecosystem solution./

PG&E Close to 5K Chargers

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced it has installed 4,827 Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports at customer sites across Northern and Central California since 2018.

Through its first EV charging infrastructure program—EV Charge Network—PG&E partnered with businesses at 192 locations and with 11 EV charging companies throughout its service area including in Bakersfield, Chico, Fresno, Grass Valley, Red Bluff and San Jose. Through September 2021, PG&E has enabled charging for 5.5 gigawatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to over 1,400 traditional cars being taken off the road for a year.

Through the EV Charge Network program, PG&E paid for and built the necessary electrical infrastructure from the electric grid to the parking space at each customer site. Additionally, PG&E offset a portion or all of the cost of the actual charger for all participating customers, based on the site and location. With 39% of the new chargers—or 1,859 charging ports—located in disadvantaged communities, PG&E helped to bring EV charging options to customers who might not have had them before.

“PG&E’s program has helped lead to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles for our residents here at Wolf Creek Lodge. We are proud to be among those setting the pace in Grass Valley for electric vehicle use and the resulting reduction in carbon emissions,” said Bob Miller, EV project lead at Wolf Creek Lodge, where PG&E installed 30 EV charging ports through the EV Charge Network program. Wolf Creek Lodge is a cohousing community where members aim to be very good neighbors to one another and practice an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

V2G School Buses in MASS

In a historic breakthrough for local clean energy, an electric school bus in Beverly, Massachusetts successfully delivered power back to the electricity grid for more than 50 hours over the course of the summer. This is the first time an electric school bus has been leveraged as an energy resource by the regional utility National Grid in New England and among the first instances in the United States that an electric school bus has supported the electric grid in this way.

In conjunction with Highland Electric Fleets and National Grid, a Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley® electric school bus equipped with a Proterra Powered™ battery system discharged nearly three megawatt-hours of electricity stored in the bus to the regional electric grid over the course of 30 events this summer.

Highland, who provides the bus, chargers, and all electricity to Beverly Public Schools under a mileage-based subscription, worked with National Grid to ensure that the site was prepared for energy discharge and coordinated participation in their Connected Solutions Daily Dispatch program. Under this program, National Grid utilized the energy stored in the electric school bus battery on 30 different occasions over the summer to lower demand on the grid during times of peak demand.

Thomas Built’s Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley with Proterra’s bidirectional charging system managed the charging and discharging of the electric school bus back into the grid.

By sending electricity back to the grid when demand for electricity was at its highest and most expensive, the school bus helped reduce local emissions and decreased the need to fire up costly fossil fuel “peaker” plants. National Grid compensates participants in this program for their energy services, incentivizing the use of distributed energy resources to strengthen the local grid.

Participation in National Grid’s program marks an important step in closing the up-front cost gap between traditional diesel school buses and electric school buses, as revenue from vehicle-to-grid (V2G) programs offer a unique means to improve the economics of electric school bus ownership.

The average school bus transports students for approximately six hours a day, 200 days annually, and are otherwise parked or idled when not in operation. This is particularly true during summer months, when demand for electricity is often at its highest and clean energy stored in idled electric school buses can provide an energy resource to the grid.

“We are proud to have added several customers and vendors to our programs this year that are using vehicle-to-grid technology. This underlines the strength of the technology neutral approach of the Connected Solutions Daily Dispatch program. Through this single program we have enrolled batteries, fuel cells, thermal storage, V2G, and many other technologies without needing to confuse customers and vendors with separate programs and incentives for each technology,” said John Isberg, Vice President of Customer Sales and Solutions at National Grid.

In Beverly, Highland provided a turnkey, fixed-price subscription that eliminated up front cost, risk, and complexity of managing the electric school bus, and allowed Beverley to benefit from the V2G services provided by the bus through a lower subscription price. This type of public-private partnerships allows school districts to capture the value of a V2G program and fully unleash the potential of electric school buses.

“Beverly is proud to lead in electrifying our school bus fleet and to be at the forefront nationally, to successfully discharge battery stored electricity back to the grid. We look forward to taking full advantage of the economic, environmental and operational benefits that V2G technology offers. We truly appreciate our valuable partners – Highland Electric Fleets, National Grid and Proterra – whose collaboration has made this project a huge success,” said Beverly Mayor Mike Cahill.

The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley couples 226 kWh of total energy capacity from Proterra’s industry-leading battery technology, the highest standard battery capacity in the industry, with a Proterra electric drivetrain to offer unparalleled energy efficiency and up to 135 miles of drive range to meet the needs of school bus fleets.

Autoneum EMS Prevents EMI in EVs

The electrification of mobility is progressing steadily. Recognizing the resulting increased demand from automotive manufacturers for products related to the vehicle battery, Autoneum has expanded its expertise in aluminum sheet forming to include battery electromagnetic shields (EMS). The stamped aluminum components prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI) inside electric vehicles and, thanks to their design and simple manufacturing process, provide a robust and cost-effective shielding solution for composite battery lids.

The performance of vehicles today depends on a growing number of electronic systems and devices. While the increasingly complex technical equipment enhances both driving comfort and vehicle safety, it is also susceptible to electromagnetic disturbance. To prevent electromagnetic radiation from affecting the functionality of the car’s electronic circuits and battery, or causing damage to its safety-critical control systems or its occupants’ health, electronic components must be protected accordingly. The need for effective electromagnetic shielding is especially prevalent in electric vehicles, where e-motor and battery present additional sources of EMI. In order to minimize the associated risks, Autoneum has developed EMS made from embossed aluminum sheets.

Autoneum’s latest product specifically targeted at electric vehicles draws on the Company’s decades of experience in the design, development and production of aluminum heatshields. However, instead of providing protection against the heat arising from the powertrain and exhaust system, EMS are placed on top of the battery lid to shield the vehicle battery and other electronic devices from EMI. Thanks to the excellent conductive properties of aluminum as well as the particular design of the components, Autoneum’s EMS improve the function of the battery housing as a highly effective protective shield against EMI. With a shielding effectiveness of more than 70 dB, they not only offer greater electromagnetic protection than alternative methods such as the use of additional fillers or the spraying of metal coatings on the battery lid, they are also considerably easier to manufacture.

As a high-quality, robust and cost-effective complement for composite battery lids, aluminum EMS prevent EMI inside the vehicle and thus provide a valuable extension of Autoneum’s textile-based product portfolio for electric cars, which already includes components such as the Ultra-Silent-based front trunks and under battery shields as well as e-motor encapsulations made of Hybrid-Acoustics PET. Autoneum’s aluminum EMS are currently available in Europe, North America and Asia.

Volta Chargers at Floor & Decor

Volta Inc. (“Volta”), an industry leader in commerce-centric electric vehicle (“EV”) charging networks, is partnering with Floor & Decor, a leading specialty retailer of hard-surface flooring, to make EV charging accessible to its customers at their warehouse stores across the United States. The charging stations are slated to be in place for customers at 8 Floor & Decor locations by the end of 2021, with more stations nationwide in 2022.

Floor & Decor offers homeowners and professionals the industry’s broadest in-stock selection of tile, natural wood, natural stone, laminate, and luxury vinyl plank under one roof. The addition of Volta stations will provide Floor & Decor customers with an additional, high-value service as they shop.

“Floor & Decor strives to make a positive impact in the communities where we live and work, and the addition of Volta charging stations provides both convenience and the ability for our customers to lower their environmental impact,” said Brandon Shah, Senior Manager, Real Estate Consolidated Systems of Floor & Decor.

Founded on the premise that the electrification of mobility is likely to be a transformational shift, Volta builds and operates a nationwide EV charging network that has among the best utilization per station in the EV charging industry for the United States. Centered around capturing new spending habits expected to result from the shift to electric vehicles, Volta seeks to transform the fueling industry by building charging stations in locations where drivers already spend their time and money, including grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail locations.

Electric Friendly Solutions from Dupont

Reducing the time required to charge electric vehicles (EVs) is one of the top priorities of the automotive industry. At the Fakuma trade show, DuPont (NYSE:DD) announced the launch of an extension to its Zytel® HTN range of EF (Electrically Friendly) solutions.

“DuPont has more than 100 years of experience collaborating with our customers in the automotive industry,” notes Rudy Van Engen, commercial director EMEA for automotive solutions. “With the addition of these new Electrically Friendly grades, we enable manufacturers of EV batteries to overcome concerns about the durability of thermoplastic parts in a very harsh environment.”

The Zytel® 500 series is a new family of PPA 6/6-based solutions within the company’s HTN product range. These new materials were developed to provide excellent retention of properties in e-mobility oils, a high CTI (Comparative Tracking Index) for electrical parts, and EF characteristics.

DuPont has developed four ranges of Zytel® HTN EF solutions, each based on different polymers. Each range offers manufacturers a different set of mechanical and performance characteristics, such as heat aging resistance and chemical resistance. Each also offers enhanced durability to protect parts from failure due to moisture, elevated temperature, or traces of halide ions.

Adds Van Engen, “Automotive electrification brings new challenges, but we are ready to meet them. As we announced last month, we have invested in a global network of Centers of Excellence specifically focused on automotive electrification.” The COEs are in addition to DuPont’s famed network of laboratories supporting manufacturers of boots and bellows, fluid management systems, suspension systems, and other applications.