Energy Sec. Visits NOVONIX
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, along with federal, state and local officials, celebrated NOVONIX’s new facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., where the company will produce high-capacity long-life synthetic graphite anode material. NOVONIX is the only qualified U.S. supplier of the material, which is used in lithium-ion batteries.
In a celebration , elected officials, civic leaders and NOVONIX executives and board members marked commencement of Riverside Recharged, signifying the company’s nearly $20 million retrofit and creation of 290 jobs at the 400,000-square-foot facility located along the Tennessee River.
“This is a major milestone for the Electric Vehicle industry with the establishment of the U.S.’ first anode manufacturing facility, and we are honored to have Secretary Granholm here to celebrate the occasion,” said NOVONIX Board Member Andrew Liveris AO, who is also Chairman of Lucid Motors. “Our novel technologies are showing the path forward for the U.S. and global electric vehicle market, and our Chattanooga facility is at the center of the electrification of the U.S. economy.”
The company’s technology accelerates research and development from years to weeks. Its material is used in lithium batteries in everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. Soon, NOVONIX will be producing premium synthetic graphite at the Chattanooga facility, with a goal of 10,000 tonnes per year by 2023 and 40,000 tonnes by 2025.
“NOVONIX is transforming the battery material market and lessening U.S. dependence on foreign sources,” said Dr. Chris Burns, CEO of NOVONIX. “Through our technological breakthroughs, we are the first and only U.S. supplier of synthetic graphite to be qualified with a Tier 1 battery cell manufacturer. Our solution is helping to power the energy storage market, leading to better performance, longer life and lower costs.”
The Chattanooga facility was once owned by GE, where the company made nuclear turbines, but it closed operations in 2016. NOVONIX’s acquisition, retrofitting and production plans represent an overall $160 million investment.
“When a global company like NOVONIX chooses to invest here, it’s a win for Chattanooga and all Tennesseans, especially when it’s in an area that had remained dormant for years,” said U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee’s 3rd District. “Chattanooga is a place for innovation, and we welcome companies like NOVONIX, which are leading the way in their industry and creating good paying jobs.”
Today’s program and speakers included former U.S. Senator and Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Rep. Fleischmann, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Dr. Burns, Sec. Granholm and NOVONIX board members Liveris and Zhanna Golodryga, Phillips 66 Senior VP and Chief Digital and Administrative Officer.
The majority of NOVONIX jobs at the Riverside facility will be highly skilled operators and machinists, and the company will offer technical on-the-job training. Hiring plans and information on job openings will be available on the NOVONIX website.
Tritium Opens Testing Center
Tritium Holdings Pty Ltd (“Tritium” or the “Company”), a global developer and manufacturer of direct current (“DC”) fast charging technology for electric vehicles (“EVs”), opened a world-class compliance testing facility at the Company’s Brisbane, Australia headquarters, now viewable through an interactive tour on the Company’s website.
This new facility is capable of accelerating testing, prototyping, compliance and certification, allowing the Company to bring products to market in shorter timeframes, rapidly modify its products for customers and develop and certify products with greater cost efficiency.
Without the benefit of their own EMC testing facilities, many charger manufacturers and developers across the world need to test and certify their chargers in publicly-accessible EMC testing facilities with advance booking notice, for testing periods as short as 1-2 weeks. Any subsequent need for retesting often requires these manufacturers to return to the queue, which can significantly slow the process to get new charging technology to market.
“As passenger and fleet EVs with larger battery packs come online, demand for higher-powered DC fast chargers is expected to increase. To get these chargers in the ground and installed, each new product line must pass rigorous test standards to ensure compliance with various regulations around the world,” said Jane Hunter, Tritium CEO. “The more rapidly we can develop new products to meet the needs of this fast-evolving market and complete testing of those products for public use, the faster we can deliver chargers that meet that demand. This cutting-edge facility is expected to enable us to deliver world-leading charging infrastructure to our customers across the globe.”
Facility to Test Upper Limits of Charger Power
The facility features one of the highest power commercially accessible EMC testing chambers in the world. The facility is designed to deliver up to 720kW of regenerative power from its integrated system with fully integrated AC and DC power feeds, ensuring Tritium can test devices that demand very high power levels to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certification requirements. The custom-designed chamber features a five-metre turntable with high-power connections, providing Tritium with the ability to test a full high-powered charging system, consisting of the charger itself and an accompanying power cabinet.
“We now have the freedom to test a charger at a moment’s notice and for as long as we need, to ensure our chargers not only meet the thresholds required for compliance but exceed them,” said James Kennedy, Tritium Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder. “We believe that taking away the time constraints of a commercial facility, combined with the ability to test in one of the most powerful and advanced facilities of its kind, will enable us to rapidly create and certify market-ready products more cost-efficiently and to add features and customizations to more effectively meet the needs of our customers.”
In addition, the facility houses two thermal chambers to test equipment in extreme temperatures. The first chamber is designed to test full charging systems, while the second chamber is meant to test components and charger modules. Calibrated to meet IEC and Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) regulatory requirements, the thermal chamber for charging systems is expected to enable Tritium to test its products in up to 98% humidity and in temperatures ranging from -40°C (-40°F) to +70°C (+158°F), while the thermal chamber for testing modules and components is capable of producing temperatures ranging from -70°C (-94°F) to +180°C (+356°F).
The facility is also capable of IK impact testing, allowing Tritium to test and indicate the degree of protection its products’ electrical enclosures provide against external mechanical impacts.
Tritium Global Footprint Continues to Expand Along with Innovative Offerings
This verification and compliance testing facility is just the latest in a series of purpose-built facilities opened by the Company across the globe as it looks to continue to lead the way in developing DC fast charging technologies and expand its market reach.
In 2019, the Company opened its Research and Development (R&D) Centre in Brisbane, one of the largest of its kind in the world. It also opened a testing centre at its Amsterdam facility which allows EV manufacturers to test vehicles for interoperability with Tritium’s DC fast chargers. Later that year, the Company opened a new customer-focused Innovation Center in Los Angeles to allow customers to explore Tritium’s product suite and test vehicles with Tritium’s chargers. Last month, Tritium announced the opening of its first office in Singapore to allow the Company to have a local presence in the region and strengthen customer relationships in Asia.
“Since the launch of the R&D Centre in 2019, Tritium has become the first to market with Plug and Charge technology, allowing the vehicle and the charger to communicate and payment to occur without the need for a credit card reader or QR Code, pioneered fast charging for mining environments with an advanced IP65 rated fast charger with best-in-class ingress protection and developed a series of modular, scalable chargers to meet the needs of charge point operators and the evolving demands of EV drivers,” said Hunter. “We will continue to invest in innovation in the DC charging space and maintain our position as a supplier of leading technology.”
“The local support for this means not just something for Chattanooga, and it’s not just for Tennessee, but it really is for the country,” said Sec. Granholm. “The fact that we’re at a facility that once employed about 230 people and that now is going to employ 300 people, making the future of our transportation energy system secure, is such a great day for America.”//////
NIO Partners with Shell for Battery Charging and Swapping
On November 25, NIO announced to have entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Shell to further collaborate in the electric vehicle and energy industries globally.
According to the agreement, NIO and Shell will jointly construct and operate battery charging and swapping facilities. NIO and Shell plan to install 100 battery swapping stations in China by 2025, and start to construct and operate pilot stations in Europe from 2022. Shell’s charging network in Europe will also become available to NIO users.
In the meantime, NIO and Shell will continue to explore more collaboration opportunities in battery asset management, fleet management, membership system, home charging services, advanced battery charging and swapping technology development, and construction of charging facilities in China.
As the world’s largest gasoline retailer, Shell is committed to becoming one of the leading charging service providers worldwide. NIO is a global smart electric vehicle company that started its delivery in China from 2018. In 2021, NIO started delivery in Norway, marking its first step overseas. In the coming year, NIO will enter more European markets with its products and services. Based on the strategic development of both brands, NIO and Shell will join hands in leveraging each other’s strength and contributing to the development of the smart electric vehicle industry.
Koura Gets DOE Investment for Flourinated Electrolytes
Koura, a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of fluoroproducts and technologies and a division of Orbia, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in its $60 million investment to accelerate advancements in zero-emissions vehicles. As a part of that investment, Koura is awarded $3.1 million in research funding to support the development of fluorinated electrolytes to extend the operating temperature range of Li-ion batteries while improving safety and fast charge capability for transportation applications.
“We are excited to be selected to participate in this important initiative,” said Miodrag Oljaca, who heads Growth and Technology at Koura. “We are ready to leverage our technical and manufacturing expertise to expand our existing presence in the batteries and energy materials market. The new research funding from the Department of Energy is recognition of Koura’s innovation in battery technology and our strategic approach to developing next-generation technologies that can deliver improved safety, performance and sustainability for the entire battery industry.”
For this project, Koura will partner with researchers at Silatronix and Argonne National Lab who will assist in electrolyte development and manufacture of batteries to validate performance of novel electrolyte formulations.
The DOE research funding supports Koura’s expanding presence in energy storage and battery technologies. Electrolyte is a key component of Li-ion batteries and advancements in electrolyte technologies are essential for widespread use of Li-ion batteries in vehicle technologies. Currently, electrolytes are sourced almost exclusively outside of the USA. Koura is investing in the development of new electrolyte technologies and a USA-based electrolyte supply chain.