EV, Battery and Charging News: Biden, GM, Proterra, Lightning eMotors, EVgo, Uber, Foxconn, Lordstown Motors, Ford, SEA M5, Growatt, QuantumScape, StoreDo & FreeWire

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are Biden, GM, Proterra, Lightning eMotors, EVgo, Uber, Foxconn, Lordstown Motors, Ford, SEA M5, Growatt, QuantumScape, StoreDo and, FreeWire.

Biden to Visit GM Factory ZERO Wed.

General Motors is excited to welcome President Biden to Factory ZERO on Wednesday, Nov. 17, as the company opens the doors to its all-electric assembly plant in the heart of Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. Factory ZERO is the culmination of GM’s multibillion-dollar U.S. investment in people, product and process. The electric trucks, SUVs and autonomous vehicles built at Factory ZERO will transform GM and the automotive industry.

Porterra Contracted to Supply Lightning eMotors Battery Tech

Proterra Inc, a leading innovator in commercial vehicle electrification technology, announced an expansion of its partnership with Lightning eMotors to power their Class 4 and Class 5 electric commercial vehicles with Proterra’s industry-leading battery technology. Under a new multi-year supply agreement, Proterra contracted to supply battery systems totaling more than 900 megawatt hours in battery storage capacity to Lightning eMotors to power up to 10,000 electric commercial vehicles between 2022 and 2025.

This includes supplying Lightning eMotors with Proterra H Series battery systems for its strategic partnership with Forest River to co-produce and deploy Class 4 and Class 5 zero-emission, battery-electric shuttle buses.

The expansion builds on Proterra’s previously announced collaboration with Lightning eMotors to power the Class 3 Lightning Electric Transit commercial van using Proterra battery technology. Proterra will now also supply its battery technology to Lightning eMotors for the Lightning Electric E-450 and Lightning Electric F-550 electric commercial vehicles.

EVgo Gos for Uber

EVgo Inc. a first mover in fleet electrification and owner and operator of the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity,  announced an expansion to its EV charging program for rideshare drivers on Uber’s platform. With nearly one million rideshare vehicles on the road, electrification of rideshare provides a significant opportunity to add high-utilization drivers to EVgo’s network. Featuring new discounts and benefits for all drivers using Uber, this expanded initiative builds upon the existing program’s success to ultimately increase access to, and utilization of, EVgo’s network of over 800 public fast chargers — helping both companies further accelerate the adoption of zero-emission transportation at scale.

Rideshare drivers often charge multiple times per day. A recent EVgo survey of drivers in the EVgo program, indicates that approximately 34% of drivers drive 400 to 800 miles each week and another 47% drive more than 800 miles each week and rely heavily on public fast charging. Conveniently located in high ridership urban areas, EVgo’s fast chargers enable drivers without access to at-home charging to charge in between Uber trips.

“Helping drivers go electric remains one of the most important things we can do as a company,” said Adam Gromis, Head of Sustainability Policy at Uber. “The enhanced incentives from EVgo’s program help drivers save money and take another step towards transforming Uber into a zero emissions platform.”

As part of the expanded EVgo Discount Program with Uber, drivers are granted access to discounted EVgo accounts and pricing based on their Uber Pro status. Drivers using Uber — regardless of status– will continue to be able to access EVgo’s member rates without any monthly fees. Drivers with Uber Pro Gold, Platinum, or Diamond status will unlock even lower EVgo Plus rates, saving up to 30% on charging costs over EVgo’s standard Pay As You Go rates.*

EVgo and GM Partner for 2.75 K Charging Ports

EVgo Inc.and General Motors (GM) announced an expansion of their fast charging infrastructure build-out collaboration currently underway across the U.S. EVgo and GM previously announced a tripling of the EVgo network with plans to build 2,750 charging stalls through 2025.

“As EV adoption picks up momentum across both consumer and commercial segments, the charging infrastructure buildout needs to continue being a few steps ahead of demand. EVgo is committed to reliable and convenient charging for all”

In response to the growing demand for charging infrastructure and new vehicles coming to market in the later years of the program, EVgo and GM have now expanded their build plan to add another 500 high-powered DC fast charging stalls, bringing the total to 3,250 through 2025 and extending the geographic reach from 40 metropolitan markets to 52.

Stations that are part of the program are now live in eight states, including in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado and North Carolina. The joint program will further accelerate widespread EV adoption and increase public access to charging, including in future markets in Alabama, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas. This includes drivers who live in multi-unit dwellings, rent their homes and can’t install chargers, or might not otherwise have access to home or workplace charging. These DC charging stalls could also provide a fast charging option for drivers who’d like to charge on-the-go.

EVgo will continue scaling fast charging deployments for the program as newer EV models hit the market in the next few years. GM’s sustained commitment to electrification includes plans to deliver 30 EV models to the market globally through 2025. The new EVgo sites all deploy cutting-edge power sharing technology, including high power fast chargers capable of delivering up to 350 kW. Sites can provide up to 150 miles of range in 8-12 minutes1 for new 350k -capable EV models coming to market.

Inspiration Finances Vehicles and Infrastructure

Inspiration, the first one-stop EV solutions company to both finance electric vehicles and build, own and operate the charging infrastructure enabling the EV transition, announced its launch. Featuring a founding team that brings together expertise in automotive finance, fleet management, clean energy infrastructure and real estate, Inspiration provides light and medium-duty fleets with end-to-end solutions that maximize the economic benefits of an electric vehicle fleet. To offer this comprehensive solution to fleet operators and other industry participants, Inspiration secured an initial $200 million in capital commitment from ArcLight Energy Partners Fund VII.

Power Edison Partners with Hug Neu Realtiy in NJ

Power Edison, the leading developer and provider of utility-scale mobile energy storage solutions, is partnering with sustainability champion Hugo Neu Realty Management of New Jersey — and other stakeholders — to deploy the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging hub in the United States. This signature project — to be comprised of more than 200 high-power fast chargers — will be sited at Kearny Point Industrial Park, 10 minutes from the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, and 10 minutes from New York City. It is anticipated that this EV charging hub, serving the high-traffic Tri-State region, will power thousands of light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles daily — in addition to charging electric marine vessels. As world leaders meet at COP26, the message is clear that we are significantly behind on climate change action. This innovative partnership is accelerating meaningful community-centric solutions that will improve livability for frontline communities — while reducing harmful GHG emissions.

Power Edison is led by industry veterans with experience in power generation, transmission, distribution, power conversion and smart grid. Power Edison is expanding its team and hiring to further support its growth.

With the significant need for EV charging solutions, Power Edison launched a new subsidiary called EV.

Lordstown Motors Reaches Deal with Foxconn

Lordstown Motors and Foxconn will work jointly on Lordstown Motors’ electric vehicle programs in the production and assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Lordstown Motors Corp. (“Lordstown Motors” or “LMC”) (Nasdaq: RIDE), a provider of electric light-duty trucks focused on the commercial fleet market, and Hon Hai Technology Group (“Foxconn”) (TWSE: 2317), one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, announced that they have entered into a definitive Asset Purchase Agreement regarding LMC’s facility in Lordstown, Ohio.

As previously disclosed, on September 30th Lordstown Motors entered into an Agreement in Principle, or AIP, with an affiliate of Hon Hai Precision Industries, also known as Foxconn, to work jointly on Lordstown Motors’ electric vehicle programs in the production and assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. Shortly after the AIP, and as a sign of confidence in the partnership, Foxconn purchased $50 million of common stock directly from Lordstown Motors at a price of $6.8983 per share. The definitive Asset Purchase Agreement (“APA”) implements the terms of the AIP and provides as follows:

  • LMC has agreed to sell to Foxconn the Lordstown facility, excluding certain assets such as the hub motor assembly line and battery module and pack lines, for $230 million.
  • Foxconn has agreed to make a down payment of the purchase price of $100 million by November 18th, and subsequent down payments of $50 million on each of February 1st, 2022 and no later than April 15, 2022. The balance of the purchase price will be paid at closing.
  • The parties have agreed to pursue a contract manufacturing agreement for the Endurance pickup truck, which must be entered into before closing—currently targeted by April 30th.
  • Lordstown Motors and Foxconn will pursue a joint venture agreement to co-design and develop vehicle programs for the global commercial fleet market, using the MIH open platform. Lordstown and Foxconn would have the right to commercialize these new EV programs in North America and internationally.
  • Upon the closing, Foxconn will receive 1.7 million warrants to acquire Lordstown common stock, exercisable for three years, at a price of $10.50 per share.

The closing of the transactions contemplated by the APA is subject to closing conditions, including entry into the contract manufacturing agreement, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Ford and Purdue Uni. Speeds Charging

Ford and Purdue University researchers have taken an important early step to make recharging EVs simple and time saving.

Through a research alliance, researchers from both groups are working to develop a new, patent-pending charging station cable that could combine with in-development vehicle charging technology, making it even easier for people to transition to EVs with seamless re-charging.

“Today, chargers are limited in how quickly they can charge an EV’s battery due to the danger of overheating. Charging faster requires more current to travel through the charging cable,” said Michael Degner, senior technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.1 “The higher the current, the greater the amount of heat that has to be removed to keep the cable operational.”

Purdue researchers are focusing on an alternative cooling method by designing a charging cable that can deliver an increased current. The cable uses liquid as an active cooling agent, which can help extract more heat from the cable by changing phase from liquid to vapor – the key difference between this and current liquid-cooled technology on the market.

This innovation could one day deliver significantly more power than today’s leading systems to re-charge electric vehicles, making the potential of faster re-charging times possible if vehicle charging and other technology enhancements are made in parallel. Ultimately, this could eventually lead to re-charging EVs as quickly as conventional gas station fill-ups.

The idea for this technology originated based on the Ford team’s understanding of the challenges faced going to faster charging rates, as well as Purdue researchers’ area of expertise. The teams collaborate regularly to review the latest results and give feedback on areas of focus as the technology is developed.

“Electric vehicle charging time can vary widely, from 20 minutes at a station to hours on an at-home charging station, and that can be a source of anxiety for people who are considering buying an electric vehicle,” said Issam Mudawar, Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family professor of mechanical engineering, Purdue University. “My lab has come up with a solution for situations where the amounts of heat that are produced are beyond the capabilities of today’s technologies.”

Mudawar says his lab intends to begin testing a prototype charging cable in the next two years to determine more specific charge speeds for certain models of electric vehicles.

“Ford is committed to making the transition to electrification easy,” said Degner. “We are glad to work closely with Purdue’s research team, which has the potential to make electric vehicle and commercial fleet ownership even more appealing and accessible.”

Electrifying young talent

The alliance with Ford and Purdue is part of hundreds of strategic alliances the company has with university professors around the world. Providing graduate students with opportunities to work on real world-challenges helps them develop their skills while introducing Ford to students who may choose to start their career at the company.

“The research that we are conducting in a project such as this is really advanced, and we view it as a benefit for us, the future of charging electric vehicles and as a pipeline to young talent – and we’ve seen success in doing this,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. “Students get engaged, they like the work they’re doing, and it’s a sustained investment in their laboratories, while helping us solve problems.”

While the fast-charging cable won’t be on the market for some time as research continues, Mudawar has been developing ways to more efficiently cool electronics for the past 37 years by taking advantage of how liquid captures heat when boiled into a vapor.

“Ford has been actively involved in battery research and electric vehicles dating back to the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison,” Miller said. “We’ve secured more than 2,500 U.S. patents in electrification technologies and we have more than 4,000 more pending. Working with Professor Mudawar and his students is the perfect fit to help us research the charging solutions of the future.”

GATR Truck Buys 1,150 SEA M5 EVs

GATR Truck Center has made a significant step towards an all-electric transport future, with a deal to acquire 1,150 zero-emissions SEA M5 EVs for its clients across Minnesota and Iowa.

The deal will see the first 40 trucks delivered by the end of the 2021 calendar year, with the remainder delivered throughout 2022, with demonstration models made available for fleets to sample the technology for the very first time.

The package features the Hino Class 5 chassis, fitted with a SEA Electric SEA-Drive® Power System, which has found favor the world over for its innovative design.

The truck’s drive train features a 1,106lb-ft electric motor in combination with a 138kWh battery pack, which provides market-leading performance and range potential.

For GATR EV, the announcement will form the cornerstone of an e-commerce system currently in development focusing purely on the sale of electric vehicles.

All dealerships are set up to fully back this move into the EV space via comprehensive specialist after-sales support.

Growatt’s EV Charger THOR Series

Growatt, the global leading manufacturer and supplier of PV inverters and energy storage systems rolls out its brand new smart EV charger THOR series in order to power green travel with renewable energy. With extensive compatibility, THOR can be used in all branded solar systems and EVs for both residential and commercial scenarios. There are two types of chargers for customers to choose from — AC EV charger (3/7kW version and 11/22kW version) and DC EV charger.

Sleek Design

THOR applies white color and arc shapes to create a simple yet fashionable look. Its front panel integrates a touch screen and a card reading area, catering to customers’ needs for optimal user experience.

Easy Control

THOR is integrated into ‘GroHome’, an IoT system developed by Growatt, which allows users to conduct Remote ControlMulti-zone Control, Voice Control, Hotkey and Smart Scheduling on their user end devices. With the ‘ShinePhone‘ app, users can remotely control and monitor the real-time status of charging as well as schedule different charging modes through multiple connection methods, including WiFi, LAN port and 4G.

Smart Charging

THOR supports three different charging modes — Fast Mode, Off-Peak Mode and PV Linkage Mode. With Fast Mode, the EVs can be charged with maximum speed, while Off-Peak Mode allows users to charge their EVs during off-peak hours with less charges from the grid.

PV Linkage Mode is the highlight of THOR and it’s what makes THOR a more favorable EV charger to the customers. When combined with PV system, it enables the charger to harness the power solely from solar to charge the EV and meanwhile realize a higher solar self-consumption rate and zero charge from the grid.

Enhanced Safety 

THOR’s advanced built-in type A+ 6mA DC fault protection saves the cost of installing an extra 6mA DC RCD, while its smart load balancing function can adjust its charging power dynamically according to the limited home power and avoid breaking the fuse and causing power outage, making it safe to use for customers.

About Growatt
As a global leader of smart energy solutions, Growatt provides residential,    commercial and utility-scale PV inverters, energy storage, micro-grid systems and smart energy management solutions. According to IHS Markit, it is the   world’s No.1 residential solar inverter supplier and also ranks among the world’s top 5 suppliers of commercial inverters.

EVPasport Partners with Qmerit

EVPassport, the EV charging hardware and software platform for purpose-driven organizations,  announced a partnership with Qmerit, a leader in green energy transformation with the largest nationwide network of certified electrical installers for EV charging. Through the partnership, Qmerit’s network of contractors provide installation services and support of EVPassport chargers at multi-unit dwelling (MUD) locations, delivering a frictionless, end-to-end EV charging experience.

QuantumScape QS Campus in San Jose

QuantumScape Corporation announced QS Campus – the future hub of its upcoming manufacturing activities – after securing a new set of buildings in San Jose. The new campus comprises the current site of QS-0, QuantumScape’s pre-pilot production line, and the adjacent three new buildings. QS Campus is a key building block of QuantumScape’s multi-year strategic growth plan as it advances closer to commercializing its solid-state lithium-metal battery technology.

Much of the new space will be dedicated to manufacturing, ultimately expanding the footprint and overall capacities of its existing QS-0 and development buildings, and affords QuantumScape the necessary space to scale up manufacturing and execute on its development timeline. The company has confirmed 10-year lease agreements for the three new buildings of QS Campus.

“As we shift into the next phase of our growth trajectory, developing advanced manufacturing capabilities becomes more critical. To achieve our goals, we believe we must make progress on both development and manufacturing simultaneously,” said Jagdeep Singh, co-founder and CEO of QuantumScape. “This new campus provides us with an opportunity to continue our ground-breaking innovation while laying the foundation for scaling up those innovations into production.”

QuantumScape’s new facilities will also house additional research and development and office space to accommodate hundreds of new employees. The company plans to continue aggressive hiring of world-class talent through 2022 and beyond. The campus is designed to encourage more natural opportunities for employees to collaborate across departments and functions. This prime location in San Jose – in the heart of Silicon Valley, near world-renowned universities and research institutions – offers access to a rich pool of talent for the company to build out its team.

“As the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose continues to welcome the growth of innovative tech leaders like QuantumScape,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We are thrilled to see QuantumScape’s investment in our community and their commitment to bringing advanced battery development and local manufacturing jobs to North San Jose.”

The company will take possession of the new buildings and begin outfitting the facilities for specific purposes starting in January 2022. QuantumScape has been based in San Jose since its founding in 2010. The new site in North San Jose is minutes from its current location, which will retain its central role in the company’s research and development activities.

StoreDot First to Make Silicon Anonde XFC Cells

StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles, has become the first company to manufacture silicon-dominant anode XFC cell technologies, ready for electric vehicles, on a production line.

In a crucial step towards production at scale of technologies that will decrease electric vehicle charging times by half, A-Series Samples of XFC pouch cells have been produced by StoreDot’s manufacturing partner EVE Energy. These cells will go on to be shipped to global car manufacturers, already partnering with StoreDot, to begin real-world testing.

FreeWire Partners with Apollo Sungard for EV Charging for GSA

FreeWire -FreeWire Technologies, a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging and power solutions, has partnered with Apollo Sunguard Systems, Inc., a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and contractor with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to provide ultrafast EV charging to the federal fleet industry. The collaboration combines Apollo’s past performance federal government services expertise with FreeWire’s infrastructure-light charging technology (the Buy America compliant Boost Charger) to enable fast deployment of high-power charging.

“We are proud to partner with FreeWire to accelerate decarbonization of the federal transportation sector,” said Apollo Sunguard President, Kevin Connelly. “The federal fleet’s transition to zero-emissions EVs should catalyze adoption nationwide, and with Boost Charger, the federal government can accelerate the scale-up of charging infrastructure while reducing the need for burdensome and costly grid upgrades.”

Apollo sells directly to federal, state, and local government agencies as a pre-approved vendor and bypasses the need for a lengthy competitive bidding process. With less than one percent of the government’s 657,000 vehicles currently electric, the White House has vowed to replace the nation’s fleet with clean electric vehicles. Deploying faster chargers as quickly as possible, and at a lower total cost, is critical to making the transition to electrification successful.

“FreeWire’s inclusion on Apollo’s GSA schedule will support government and military fleets in accelerating the build-out of fast EV charging stations, reducing costs and strain on the electric grid,” said Arcady Sosinov, FreeWire Technologies Founder and CEO. “Apollo’s deep expertise in serving government agencies as a distributor of EV charging solutions is especially crucial as state and federal fleets transition to electric vehicles.”

The first battery-integrated fast charging solution to be added to the GSA schedule is especially ideal for remote and urban areas, giving agencies the ability to deploy in hours, not months, and deliver fast charging where grid power is limited. As demonstrated by FreeWire’s recent deployment of Alaska’s first ultrafast charger, the Boost Charger plugs into the existing low-voltage utility service and delivers high-power charging in areas that typically need extensive grid upgrades. Because the fully-integrated systems charge EVs directly from the battery, and not the electric grid, demand charges are virtually eliminated with peak-shaving and load-shifting capabilities, in addition to proprietary management software which reduces costs and provides additional energy services. An independent report from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) found potential cost-savings of $30,000 a year in energy fees and charges.

In addition to cost-savings and energy services, the Boost Charger’s semi-permanent design allows fleet operators the flexibility to assess utilization or return on investment and scale or relocate their infrastructure as needed.

FreeWire recently announced its compliance with Buy America provisions under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements for domestic sourcing of components in the production of its Boost Charger, increasing control over its supply chain and making it one of a few preferred fast charging vendors for federally-funded transportation investments.

About FreeWire Technologies

FreeWire’s turnkey power solutions deliver energy whenever and wherever it is needed for reliable electrification beyond the grid (see video). With scalable clean power that moves to meet demand, FreeWire customers can tackle new applications and deploy new business models without the complexity of upgrading traditional energy infrastructure.

FreeWire has deployed battery-integrated chargers with Fortune 100 companies, commercial customers, fleets, retail locations, and gas stations. FreeWire and ampm, a bp subsidiary and convenience store chain with over 1,000 locations, have already deployed multiple public charging stations in the U.S. Learn more at www.freewiretech.com and follow us @FreeWireTech