EV, Battery & Charging News: GM, POSCO, Bollinger Motors, BMW i7, Valmet, Li-Cycle, BorgWarner, ZEV, StoreDot, Factorial, MBZ, Stellantis, ZF, Rivian & AWS

In electric vehicle, charging and battery news are GM, POSCO, Bollinger Motors, BMW i7, Valmet, Li-Cycle, BorgWarner, ZEV, StoreDot, Punch Powertrain, Factorial, Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, EO Charging, ZF, Rivian and AWS.

GM & POSCO to Process Cathode Active Material (CAM)

General Motors and POSCO Chemical announced plans to form a joint venture through which the parties will construct a factory in North America to process critical battery materials for GM’s Ultium electric vehicle platform. The joint venture will process Cathode Active Material (CAM), a key battery material that represents about 40 percent of the cost of a battery cell. The location of the facility, which will create hundreds of jobs when it opens in 2024, will be announced later.

The new facility will supply the Ultium Cells LLC facilities GM and LG Energy Solution are building in Lordstown, Ohio and Spring Hill, Tennessee. Two more U.S.-based Ultium cell plants are planned by mid-decade as GM drives mass adoption of EVs with high-volume Ultium-powered EVs, including a Chevrolet crossover priced around $30,000.

GM and POSCO Chemical have signed a non-binding term sheet to create the joint venture and expect to execute definitive agreements soon.

GM EV Milestones

  • Invest $35 billion from 2020 to 2025 in electric and autonomous vehicles
  • Launch more than 30 EVs globally by 2025, with more than two-thirds available in the United States, and earn U.S. market share leadership in EVs
  • Deliver more than 1 million annual global EV sales by 2025
  • Drive first-generation Ultium cell costs 40 percent lower than those used in the Chevrolet Bolt EV; achieve twice the energy density at 60 percent lower cost in the second generation
  • Rapidly scale EV manufacturing, with more than 50 percent of North America and China plants capable of EV production by 2030
  • Double annual revenues from a five-year average of about $140 billion by the end of the decade, expand margins, and grow EV revenue from about $10 billion in 2023 to approximately $90 billion annually by 2030

Bollinger Motors & EAVX Partner for Work-Truck Bodies

Bollinger Motors, an all-electric truck company, announced a strategic collaboration with EAVX to develop electric work trucks that integrate EAVX’s commercial work-truck bodies and accessories with Bollinger’s electric vehicle platforms.

The terms of the collaboration will allow Bollinger and EAVX to design fully integrated electric vehicles for a wide variety of commercial applications, as well as coordinate offerings related to vehicle sales, after-sales parts, and vehicle servicing.

Bollinger Motors is developing an all-electric platform and chassis cab for various applications in class 3-6 vehicles, offering adaptable battery solutions to accommodate large payloads, sufficient range, and long-life durability.

EAVX, a business unit of JB Poindexter & Co, partners with the most advanced electric and alternative power-chassis producers to design, manufacture, distribute, and service the world’s largest commercial fleets and markets.

BMW i7 Being Tested in Winter

With the consistent expansion of its range to further vehicle segments, the BMW Group is pushing ahead with the transformation to electric mobility. During the forthcoming year, the Munich-based premium automobile manufacturer will already present the world’s first all-electric luxury sedan – the BMW i7 (power consumption combined: 22.5 – 19.5 kWh/100 km according to WLTP; CO2 emissions: 0 g/km; prognosis based on the vehicle’s current level of development). Within the framework of its series development process, the BMW i7 is currently undergoing driving dynamics testing on the premises of the BMW Group winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden. There, just a few kilometres away from the Arctic Circle, test engineers find the frozen surfaces and snow-covered roads offering the ideal preconditions for the integrated application of all drive and suspension systems. With the test programme held in the biting cold, they pave the way to a new interpretation of luxury driving pleasure. For the first time, it will be possible to experience a maximum in characteristic BMW dynamics, comfort and supremacy in the luxury class with absolutely zero local emissions.

The suspension components, steering and braking systems as well as driving dynamics and vehicle stability systems developed for the future generation of the BMW 7 Series are designed to raise the balance between sportiness and ride comfort so typical of the brand’s luxury sedans to the next level. This also includes performance-oriented tuning of the wheel suspension, springs, dampers and various regulating systems to match the various different drive types. They all undergo intensive testing in Arjeplog under extreme climate conditions.

In Lapland’s winter landscape, the test engineers find the perfect preconditions for this. During test drives around the snow-covered roads around Arjeplog, they are able to test and optimise all functions under extremely challenging conditions in order to achieve an absolutely harmonious and BMW-typical driving experience. Moreover, they make use of test surfaces on frozen lakes with their low road friction coefficient in order to achieve particularly fine tuning of suspension control systems. The steering application undergoes meticulous tuning as do the numerous functions of the Dynamic Stability Control system (DSC) and the accurately regulated interaction between friction brake and deceleration by means of energy recuperation.

The winter programme also focuses in particular on the components of the all-electric drive system. The BMW i7’s electric drive, high-voltage battery, power electronics and charging technology all originate from the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology, which already provides for sustainable driving pleasure in the BMW iX. Above all, it is the motor, the battery and the temperature control system of the BMW i7 that prove their high level of maturity in extreme sub-zero temperatures in the north of Sweden.

With the BMW i7, the brand’s current model offensive in the luxury segment is being continued in a particularly progressive way. For the first time, it is possible to experience a luxury sedan that is characterised by elegance, ride comfort and supremacy without restriction and in conjunction with a purely electric drive system. The BMW i7 is based on the same vehicle concept as all further model variants of the BMW 7 Series. This integrated development also guarantees locally emission-free driving with the characteristic combination of both sporty and comfort-oriented handling properties along with the exclusive spaciousness of a BMW luxury sedan.

Valmet Intros Modular Battery Platform

Valmet Automotive introduces its own Modular Battery Platform product family with the first product, the Modular Power Pack. With this platform, Valmet Automotive offers a benchmark electrification solution to off-highway and truck & bus OEMs as well as integrators. The Modular Battery Platform provides a unique combination of performance, integration flexibility, lifetime and competitive pricing.

The Power Pack copes with all potential power application needs in off-highway categories such as agriculture, forestry, construction, mining and all others. It also serves the truck & bus industry and industrial electrification applications. The Power Pack is based on an advanced cell-to-pack battery concept with a high power density. Furthermore, the LTO cells ensure high reliability, durability and safety, supporting the demanding applications in the off-highway industry.

The Power Pack is a result of more than 2 years of intensive product development, testing and validation according to all relevant industry standards, with the involvement of some well-known industry players. It is a solution, optimized for all applications requiring high peak power, fast charging, and long cycle life. The robust and durable Power Pack is designed to perform in harsh as well as in very cold environment.

The Power Pack is available in two versions, equipped differently but with the same housing. One version includes the Battery Management Unit (BMU) and serves all 48V applications. The other version is working with an external Power Distribution Unit (PDU), which includes the BMU, to support all high-voltage applications.

With a focus on safety and quality, the Power Pack offers an impressive number of benefits, including a simple Plug & Play installation and flexible integration, that allows the distribution of modules even in different orientations over various locations in the machine or vehicle. This enables the most efficient use of available space and makes it easy for the OEM without the need for a specific battery system compartment.

– Valmet Automotive is taking decisive steps as a Tier 1 battery system supplier. We have developed the Modular Power Pack as an industry benchmark solution and will start marketing it under our own name, says Jyrki Nurmi, SVP EV Systems, Valmet Automotive.

Within the industries the Power Pack is already creating high interest. The series production start is planned for Q3/2022.

With the electrification being the leading industry trend, Valmet Automotive’s Modular Battery Platform will offer solutions to customers of various industries with low to high production volumes. It enables OEMs to execute their electrification strategies by saving development and project costs as well as production line investments while being able to take full advantage of a fully proven battery system.

Valmet Automotive has an outstanding expertise in industrialisation and production and is constantly expanding its footprint with high-volume battery plants. The ever growing and experienced engineering force for module and battery development can rely on various inhouse testing facilities which cover almost the full product validation scope. By introducing the Modular Power Pack, based on dedicated inhouse specification, Valmet Automotive is executing the strategy to significantly grow as a full scope Tier-1 system supplier.

Li-Cycle Partners with Arrival

-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, announced a collaboration with Arrival (NASDAQ: ARVL), a global company that is on a mission to make air clean by replacing all vehicles with affordable electric solutions produced by local microfactories

Through this newly established collaboration, Li-Cycle and Arrival will work together on thought leadership initiatives and R&D efforts to improve lithium-ion battery recycling, while also working together to improve the efficiency of the EV battery supply chain in the U.S. and Europe.

“Ensuring end-to-end sustainability for electric vehicles is something we are very passionate about at Arrival. This is why we are so thrilled to partner with Li-Cycle to drive sustainability in the EV industry through the advancement of EV lithium-ion battery recycling,” said Deepen Somaiya, Global VP of Sustainability for Arrival. “Arrival is changing the fundamentals of the automotive industry with our new method for the design and production of EVs, and we see Li-Cycle’s cutting-edge, commercial lithium-ion recycling technology as an extension of that transformational approach. We look forward to working together with them to create sustainable, end-to-end solutions that will help us drive radical impact.”

By utilizing Li-Cycle’s breakthrough, commercial lithium-ion battery recycling technologies, end-of-life batteries from Arrival’s EV fleets in the U.S.A and Europe can be transformed into battery grade material that could be used in the production of new batteries for new Arrival vehicles. Li-Cycle’s technologies will facilitate Arrival’s ability to minimize the lifecycle impact of batteries, improving its recycling and resource recovery infrastructure. At the same time, Arrival will support Li-Cycle’s ability to advance its patented technologies in line with next generation battery technology, while also continuing to improve its resource recovery efficiency.

BorgWarner Joins CEBA

BorgWarner, a global product leader in delivering innovative and sustainable mobility solutions for the vehicle market, has joined the Clean Energy Buyers Alliance (CEBA) as a “large energy buyer” member to support its commitment to environmental sustainability and vision of a clean, energy-efficient world. The alliance of large clean energy buyers, developers and service providers seeks to unlock the marketplace for energy consumers to lead a rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous and zero-carbon energy future.

ZEV partners with SRPMIC

ZEV has teamed up with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC, “Community”) to address carbon emissions in the SRPMIC and throughout the Valley. SRPMIC recognizes the impact we all have in this fight against climate change, and there is no better time than now to work with local technology innovators to bring low-cost solutions to commercial fleets. SRPMIC sees the value in building a sustainable environment by making the necessary investments to deliver on near-term and long-term sustainability goals, including those who can accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions from fleet vehicles.

The SRPMIC Department of Transportation and ZEV have conducted a complete fleet assessment, reviewing fleet operations, vehicle use cases, routes, loads and HVAC requirements. Results from the assessment will help SRPMIC define charge infrastructure, rapid charge requirements along routes and other power requirements, including the option for Solar day-time charging. The team also worked with Salt River Project (SRP) to evaluate charger power infrastructure, and other incentives to reduce installation costs. “I’m excited to be a part of a team that introduces electric vehicles to this great Community. It’s important to be part of a solution that helps reduce carbon footprint and provide clean air to breath,” said David Crownover, Director, SRPMIC, Director of Transportation. These partnerships go a long way in controlling the economics during this important transition to electrification. Post assessment, ZEV will deliver a full warranty on the new electric powertrain, along with vehicle services to support and optimize vehicle operations through a robust fleet management service.

StoreDot’s New Patents

StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs), has revealed new patented technology that will allow battery cells to regenerate while they are in use, through a seamless background repair mechanism.

The newly developed system includes a suite of software algorithms with corresponding hardware, furthering StoreDot’s leadership in advancing the entire battery ecosystem. The self-repairing system identifies a cell or string of cells that are underperforming or overheating, temporarily disabling them in order to proactively recondition them back to 100% performance, without the driver experiencing any driving interruption or loss of performance in their electric vehicle. This advancement of a ‘self-healing’ approach to electric vehicles will play a major role in prolonging battery life and driving range, as well as improving safety by preventing overheating or any danger of thermal runaway.

A recent granted global patent, ‘Recovering defective branches and/or cells of battery packs by deep discharges’, covers the novel method of how this innovation should be implemented in various EV battery pack scenarios, while the vehicle is either charging, resting or driving.

Dr Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot CEO “It’s important for us at StoreDot to encourage the global uptake of electric vehicles, so that we can all live in a cleaner, zero-emissions world. Alongside the development of our leading silicon-dominant XFC cells, StoreDot is committed to broadening its portfolio to advance the entire battery eco-system. This latest patented technology is a unique way of repairing individual cells, or groups or cells, when they are in operation is a novel advancement to self-repairing electric vehicles. This approach is truly transformative with huge real-world benefits for electric vehicle owners, improving performance, safety and the longevity of their vehicles. It also plays a crucial role in eradicating range-anxiety, which remains the main barrier to electric vehicle ownership.”

This self-repairing cells system is the latest in a string of StoreDot innovations, designed to benefit the entire battery ecosystem. The company recently had patents granted for technologies that deliver electric vehicles a constant range throughout the life of their vehicles, as the battery deteriorates. It has also made available, through open-source, hardware, and software advancements of a ‘booster’ technology that allows cells to receive a higher charging current, giving faster charging times even in limited charging infrastructure scenarios.

These sit alongside StoreDot’s rapid advancement in extreme fast charging lithium-ion batteries for use in the automotive sector. The Company is in advanced talks with leading global car makers and remains firmly on track to deliver volumes of XFC batteries, which provide a 50% reduction in charging time at the same cost, by 2024. The Company demonstrates a clear technology roadmap where it is already working on its next generation XED, extreme energy density solid state cells with planned mass production in 2028.

Punch Powertrain Intros Propulsion Tech Kit

During the yearly CTI Symposium in Berlin, Punch Powertrain launches its E-Propulsion Technology Kit, offering automobile producers an exceptionally wide range of e-drive configuration options. This approach enables customers globally to compose customized e-propulsion applications to meet their business and consumers’ needs.

The features in the E-Propulsion Technology Kit are a result of thorough product innovation, specifically in the field of sustainable powertrain technology. The kit consists of building blocks of an Electric Drive Unit (EDU): a transmission, electric motor and power electronics, which are highly scalable and modular, and can be applied by customers either separately or as part of an integrated system.

The ingenious integration of the building blocks delivers state of the art efficiency with optimized functionalities, weight, and costs. Such versatile and customer-oriented approach offers infinite customization possibilities.

In response to sustainability objectives, the global demand for electrically powered vehicles is rapidly increasing. Worldwide, governments are imposing regulations to guide the transition from traditional internal combustion engines towards electric engines. By 2035 most vehicles will be bound to be powered purely electrically or driven at least by a (plug-in) hybrid solution.

By offering seamlessly integrated combination options, Punch Powertrain is able to deliver solutions for a broad market and to vehicle manufacturing plants globally. The modular building blocks can be tailored to all types of electric vehicles in the automobile sector for both commercial and personal mobility purposes. Ranging from small vehicles such as passenger cars, SUVs or high-performance sports cars, to delivery vans, and even trucks, agricultural and industrial vehicles with a weight of up to 44 tonnes. By selecting the different ‘bricks’ to suit their demands in terms of transmission, e-motor, and inverter, clients can build a highly customized integrated drive system.

Punch Powertrain has a strong track record in designing and manufacturing automatic and hybrid transmissions, including integrated electric propulsion systems, and dedicated single speed transmission units. In addition, they have acquired vast expertise in the field of inverters. The fully in-house developed and integrated technologies are characterized by high efficiency, compactness, and top-level performance. The Punch Powertrain E-Propulsion Technology Kit is composed of cutting-edge technology sub-components such as highly scalable e-motors and associated power electronics that meet a broad specification range.

“By combining this extensive in-house transmission experience with EV technology, we are able to configure and size EDUs in a highly flexible and agile way, which positions us as a preferred partner to our customers”, says Sebastien Mazoyer, Head of Business Unit Electric Vehicles at Punch Powertrain. “This cutting-edge design process results in the most power dense, efficient and future-proof solutions that at the same time ensure a deeper level of integration between the e-motor, inverter and transmission. A feature that really differentiates Punch Powertrain’s E-Propulsion Technology Kit from other approaches”.

In addition to fully integrated propulsion solutions, Punch Powertrain also delivers transmissions and inverters as individual subsystems to automobile manufacturers who assemble their own e-drive systems.

Mercedes Benz Partners with Factorial and Stellantis

On its way towards a fully electric future, Mercedes-Benz is joining forces with Factorial to jointly develop next-generation battery technology with the aim of testing prototype cells as early as next year. The goal of the partnership is to start with the cell and extend development to include entire modules and integration into the vehicle battery.

Stellantis N.V. and Factorial Energy (Factorial) announced today the signing of a joint development agreement to advance Factorial’s high-voltage traction solid-state battery technology. The agreement also includes a strategic investment from Stellantis.

Mercedes-Benz aims to integrate the technology into a limited number of vehicles as part of a small series within the next five years. With its investment, Mercedes-Benz obtains the right to delegate a representative to Factorial’s Board of Directors.

The technology

Solid-state batteries are currently one of the most promising technologies in the field of electric mobility. The decisive difference is the use of an electrolyte made of solid material instead of the commonly used liquid electrolyte. The electrolyte is needed to transport ions back and forth between the electrodes when charging and discharging the battery. Solid electrolytes enable a significantly optimized safety of the battery as well as the use of new types of anodes, such as lithium-metal anodes. These offer an almost doubled energy density compared to today’s Li-ion battery cells. As a result, they promise an increase in range while at the same time ensuring short charging times.

EO Charging’s Patents

EO Charging (“EO”), a leading provider of technology-enabled turnkey solutions for electric vehicle (“EV”) fleets, has announced the filing of a new technology patent that will transform the smart charging of EV fleets. EO’s new ISO 15118-compliant EV chargers and software will unlock the future integration of commercial EVs into the smart grid (“V2G”) and leverage AI and Machine Learning (“ML”) to provide both public and private fleets of cars, vans, trucks and buses with a more secure and cost-effective charging solution.

Since its introduction in 2014, functional implementations of the ISO 15118 standard have been predominantly used by DC charge point operators. Bringing learnings from operators already using Plug&Charge capable DC chargers across Europe, EO has harnessed the same communication technology but applied it in a fleet scenario where AC chargers are more widely utilised. EO can now perform smart AC charging on legacy fleet vehicles that are not compliant with the 15118 standard.

The new technology works by permitting a two-way exchange of information between EV and AC charging unit, removing the need for third-party telematics providers and reducing the hassle of large-scale fleet electrification. The EV charger automatically authenticates a vehicle’s ID, allowing the built-in software to assess state of charge (“SOC”) and regulate the charge session based on the vehicle’s operational requirements and the depot’s real time energy profile.

As more businesses and governments around the world invest in fleet electrification, pressure is growing on global electricity grids to meet charging demands. EO’s patented technology will help ease this pressure, using smart grid communication (V2G) to avoid peak grid consumption hours. In turn, this will also make fleet charging more cost effective for businesses by shifting charging patterns to when electricity is at its cheapest. A live trial of the new technology is scheduled with EO’s largest fleet customer in early 2022, for which EO has installed and manages more than 4,400 chargers in almost 70 depots, across 7 countries in Europe.

EO Charging previously announced an agreement for a business combination with First Reserve Sustainable Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FRSG), which is expected to result in EO Charging becoming a public company listed on the NASDAQ exchange.

ZF Connect for Rescue Connections

The new digital solution ZF Rescue Connect networks rescue forces with each other during their operations and provides them with all important status information of the deployed vehicles and equipment in real time. “With ZF Rescue Connect, we are offering the first comprehensive, manufacturer-independent connectivity solution for rescue forces in Europe,” explains Florian Freund, responsible for the ZF Rescue Connect development. “Delivering a scalable digital solution based on our pan-European ‘Internet of Things’ cloud makes the ZF digital service so valuable and affordable for widespread use,” says Dr. Gahl Berkooz, Head of the ZF Digital Venture Accelerator and Data Monetization.

The digital solution is specially designed for manufacturers of emergency vehicles, rescue equipment and mission-specific software. Manufacturer-independent solutions can also be beneficial for organizations with security tasks as well as for state and federal authorities. ZF Rescue Connect supports emergency services and decision-makers alike in dealing with everyday tasks as well as major incidents, reducing total cost of ownership and accelerating and focusing response.

The solution is based a European cloud platform, which the technology group ZF operates together with other well-known industry partners, such as MP-BOS GmbH and Eurocommand GmbH, for the rescue organizations. Here, all data about accident victims, the rescue forces deployed, the rescue vehicles and the rescue equipment converge can be accessed by the operations center via a ‘dashboard’. Small electronic transmitters and receivers connect the people, vehicles and equipment to the cloud via mobile network communications.

Rescue workers involved in the operation carry their personal ‘ZF CrewTAG’ with them so that they are visible on a digital map during the entire operation. The accident victims each receive a ‘ZF LifeTAG’ from the first arriving rescuers until they are safely cared for. The emergency vehicles and important equipment are equipped with corresponding On-Board Units. ZF offers the transmitters and receivers either as original equipment for vehicles and rescue equipment or as a manufacturer-independent retrofit solution. Solutions from other suppliers can also be integrated into the cloud via standardized communication interfaces. The central ‘dashboard’ clearly summarizes the information for the incident command in real time and facilitates informed decision-making according to the current situation.initial realizations to mature digital products and services.

AWS Supports Rivian

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that electric vehicle maker Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider, deepening the companies’ existing relationship. Across its enterprise, the automaker applies AWS capabilities in analytics, compute, containers, and machine learning to help streamline its business and improve the performance of its customers’ electric vehicles—for battery range, driving experience, and owner experience—while simultaneously innovating the technological foundations for customers’ electric vehicle fleet management and more efficient vehicle charging. Rivian applies these innovations across its vehicle lines, including custom-built electric delivery vans (EDVs) for Amazon.com. Through these developments, Rivian aims to accelerate the consumer and commercial shift to electric vehicles and make transportation cleaner and more sustainable in accordance with its goals under The Climate Pledge.

AWS powers Rivian’s software-defined vehicle (SDV) architecture and over-the-air software updates, in which new and improved functionality can be delivered remotely. SDV architecture treats the entire vehicle as a single, fully integrated system that is connected to the cloud to allow for remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and rapid testing and deployment of new software-powered capabilities to enhance customers’ enjoyment. Rivian uses Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to manage and orchestrate software updates, and Amazon CloudFront (AWS’s content delivery network service) to allow deployment of updates at scale. Rivian plans to continuously improve features like infotainment options and fleet management resources over the lifetime of its vehicles. Rivian’s Battery Data Science Team also uses AWS Managed Services to scale its analytics capabilities and more rapidly gain insights from its research, development, and vehicle test fleet.

In addition, Rivian uses AWS analytics, database, storage, and security capabilities to enhance visibility and agility throughout its vertically integrated business model, under which the company manages all of its design, production, distribution, sales, and vehicle servicing internally. Rivian built a data lake on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and uses AWS Glue (a serverless data integration service that makes it easy to discover, prepare, and combine data for analytics, machine learning, and application development) so that its teams can easily share data and gain insights that it believes can lead to structural cost and operational advantages over traditional automakers with less integrated business functions.