EV, Battery & Charging News: CALSTART, GreenPower, Splitvolt, Lightning eMotors, E-LIFT, AmpUp, Pansonic & StoreDot

In electric verhicle, battery and charging news are CALSTART, GreenPower, Splitvolt, Lightning eMotors, E-LIFT, AmpUp, Pansonic and StoreDot.

The Current State of ZEVs

CALSTART published its annual inventory of zero-emission buses, (ZEBs) “Zeroing in on ZEBs,” providing insight on the current state of ZEBs ahead of $5.25 billion in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Low-No Program. Full-size ZEBs have grown to 3,533 buses nationally, an increase of 27% since the 2020 count. The report notes that most ZEB fleets are small, ten or fewer, so the coming funding will be instrumental in scaling fleets.

“Early adopters such as large transit agencies in CaliforniaNew YorkFloridaKentucky, and Oregon continue to lead, but still are not at scale,” said Jared Schnader, director of Bus Programs at CALSTART. “Smaller transit agencies and regions that are not familiar with zero-emission technologies need additional resources and effort to begin their transition.”

California continues to lead in the deployment of full-size ZEBs, with New York and Washington rounding out the leaderboard in the totals by state. This year’s report also includes a breakdown of full-size and small buses, as small ZEB deployment increased by 51%.

Fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) appear to be gaining interest, with California and Massachusetts adding to their FCEB fleets and Texas and Washington transit agencies adopting FCEBs for the first time. The 2021 total for FCEBs is 169, up from 87 in 2020. Long routes and operational needs can drive this choice as one FCEB can meet the operational needs of two battery-electric buses (BEBs). Additional factors such as infrastructure, cost, and owner/operator preference also influence the choice in technology.

Additional points in the report:

  • Airports have adopted 131 full-size and 119 small ZEBs. This increase represents 35% and 19% growth from 2020, respectively.
  • New York significantly increased its orders of full-size ZEBs, from 77 in 2020 to 195 in 2021, all of which are BEBs.
  • Of the 67 transit agencies that have small ZEBs, 22 only have one bus. Fifty-eight public agencies have four or fewer buses.

“Zeroing in on ZEBs” is based on data gathered primarily through local, state, and federal award documents, press releases, phone interviews, and validated via sales information from bus manufacturers. As there is no centralized accounting of ZEBs, and transit agency plans for adoption can shift and/or be delayed, it is important to note that figures contained in the report should not be considered static.

GreenPower Delivers to TCI

GreenPower Motor Company, Inc. a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission, electric-powered, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, announced  that Transportation Commodities, Inc. (“TCI”) has taken delivery of four GreenPower EV Star Cab and Chassis (“EV Star CCs”).

TCI offers comprehensive transportation solutions across the United States and will deploy the EV Star CCs as part of their service fleet. The four units received funding from the most recent funding round of California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), which took place on October 28, 2021.

Splitvolt at CES presented a live demonstration of its family of electric vehicle (EV) related products, including innovative Splitvolt Splitter Switches, market-leading 240v Portable EV Chargers, Extension Cables and Adapters, now available for sale on www.splitvolt.com and on Amazon.

Lightning eMotors Lightning eChassis for Class 4 & 5

–Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV), a leading provider of medium-duty and specialty commercial electric vehicles for fleets,  announced the availability of the Lightning eChassis, an all-new rolling chassis purpose-built for commercial EV applications.

The Lightning eChassis, developed with Metalsa, will be available for class 4 and class 5 commercial electric chassis cab, stripped chassis, and cutaway chassis configurations. With the addition of the eChassis, Lightning eMotors becomes the first commercial EV manufacturer that can offer both the electrification of existing OEM chassis and purpose-built commercial electric vehicles.

The innovative design accommodates different battery sizes and configurations, different powertrain integrations and different wheelbases – allowing Lightning eMotors to support a wide variety of vocational applications and upfitter partners. Lightning’s eChassis will support an increased Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of approximately 1,500 pounds more, on average, than platforms on the market today, thereby providing customers the potential to increase passenger and payload capacity for electrified ambulances, shuttle buses, delivery and refrigerated trucks and work trucks.

Lightning eMotors expects pre-production units to be available starting in the second quarter of 2022 with production units expected before the end of the year.

“This collaboration with Metalsa will allow us to serve areas of the commercial vehicle market that are currently underserved with electrification options,” said Tim Reeser, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightning eMotors. “Bringing this solution to the commercial EV space represents another milestone in our strategy to offer our customers purpose-built, highly-customized zero-emission vehicles that deliver superior performance at a low price.”

Metalsa is a leading provider of structural components and chassis for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries. The company’s products are built to meet and exceed the industry’s highest strength, weight, safety and quality standards. Additionally, their proven background in high-volume manufacturing means they have experience to scale up in support of growing market demand.

At a time when the industry continues to face supply constraints, the Lightning eChassis will contribute to Lightning eMotors’ planned increase in production in 2022.

“One of the most exciting aspects of our partnership with Metalsa is the control it gives us over our chassis supply chain,” said Chelsea Ramm, Vice President, Global Supply Chain for Lightning eMotors. “Constraints on the automotive supply chain have impacted the entire EV market. The Lightning eChassis provides our customers with additional options and the flexible architecture to accommodate a variety of different powertrain needs and wheelbases.”

E-LIFT Charging Retracts

– E-LIFT, a Rotterdam-based smart hardware company that manufactures EV charging solutions for vehicles and boats, introduced their new customizable GS Pop-Up Station during the CES. The company will branch out into North America with their retractable charging station, which is unique of its kind. It is available with up to four plugs for simultaneous EV charging and several personalization options. Additionally, it can be equipped with sensors that link to E-LIFT’s Sustainable and Smart Energy Management System (SENSE).

The SENSE platform functions as the adaptive and modular management system for users’ mobility and energy needs in times of transition. Consumers can log into the system to remotely monitor and manage their mobility and energy consumption data, resulting in a cost-effective energy transformation that is beneficial for governments and companies looking to reshape their future with the use of renewable energy resources. The SENSE platform connects to the GS Pop-Up Station and the entire range of products in E-LIFT’s portfolio, which includes a variety of charging stations suitable to any setting, such as power generators, solar panels and batteries for energy storage.

This year E-LIFT will deliver solar panels and batteries to create a future-proof smart grid to meet the needs of local, regional and national communities. These products will dually function as a power source and power storage point, supporting a sustainable and smart energy ecosystem. Additionally, they will enable users to store excess energy for later consumption or sharing across homes, buildings and businesses.

With its smart grid, E-LIFT will leverage proven and new technology to help generate solutions for global environmental challenges. The company will facilitate the integration of renewable energy and mobility networks with greater intelligence to support international environmental goals and the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

AmpUp for Fleets

AmpUp, a leading electric vehicle charging provider, unveiled AmpUp Fleet Manager, the company’s new EV charging fleet solution. AmpUp Fleet Manager is designed to serve fleets small to large, scalable to meet client’s needs from a few electric vehicles to hundreds.

AmpUp Fleet Manager offers industry-leading features to maximize vehicle and maintenance efficiency, including:

  • Patented driver access and reservation feature
  • Adaptive load management and charger prioritization
  • Vehicle telematics and charge scheduling
  • Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) integration
  • Tailored optimizations for energy and operations

These features are being used or piloted with existing AmpUp customers, such as the University of Illinois and the St. Louis SiLVERS Project – a fleet project for seniors in partnership with General Motors, Ameren, The Department of Energy, and Forth Mobility.

Panasonic OneConnect in Tropos Motors ABLE

Panasonic in collaboration with Tropos Motors, a supplier of eLSVs (Electric Low Speed Vehicles), announces the integration of the Panasonic OneConnect vehicle monitoring and management platform into production orders of the Tropos Motors ABLE platform in North America and Europe in early 2022.

Following through on the 2020 strategic alliance announcement with Panasonic, Tropos Motors has gone into production with its ABLE vehicles now equipped with the Panasonic OneConnect global platform, to provide key monitoring insights and predictive controls for fleet operators to manage their vehicles efficiently, maximize up time and improve total cost of ownership.

“OneConnect delivers a flexible solution for connected vehicle management end-to-end, ideal for businesses using Tropos ABLE trucks,” said David Taylor, vice president OneConnect, Panasonic Smart Mobility. “The OneConnect platform’s engineering analytics allows light commercial and power sports vehicle manufacturers to customize and utilize vehicle data and insights that directly support their company’s and customers’ core objectives.”

The OneConnect platform is a complete end-to-end solution that can be used across multiple applications to monitor driver safety, cargo security, vehicle maintenance, cost and energy utilization, and other key business metrics. Key differentiating features of the platform include multi-tenancy for vehicle manufacturers to extend data access to partners via the Cloud; and configurability, which gives the vehicle manufacturers the control and flexibility to assign specific rules for individual vehicle lines including triggers for over the air updates, end user notifications and other connected services features. Capable of vehicle FOTA (over the air updates), OneConnect gives OEMs greater control over the Vehicle Control Modules.

“We continue to experience a growing demand and broader adoption of commercial electric vehicles industry-wide, especially in last mile delivery applications,” said John Bautista, CEO Tropos Technologies, LLC. “The integration of Panasonic’s OneConnect fleet management platform uniquely differentiates the Tropos ABLE vehicle platform in the industry, providing fleet customers zero-emissions option and requisite vehicle analytics and predictive maintenance notifications needed to effectively manage their fleets.”

StoreDot XFC Funded by VinFast

StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles, has announced the first close of its Series D funding round of up to $80 million, the majority of which have already been secured. The round is led by key strategic investors, strengthening StoreDot’s partnerships in the global automotive battery eco-system. The lead investor is the fast-growing flagship Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, VinFast, which plans to scale up manufacturing and deploy StoreDot’s Extreme Fast Charging in future EV architectures.

– The capital will be used for completion of StoreDot’s R&D and mass production scale-up of silicon dominant extreme fast charging (XFC) battery cells by 2024

– StoreDot is currently shipping cell samples for real-world testing by leading automotive manufacturers

Participants include bp ventures, a current StoreDot investor and active partner, underpinning its purpose of reimaging energy for people and our planet. In addition, Golden Energy Global Investment Ltd., a wholly owned company by EVE Energy’s founder, Dr. Liu Jincheng, will be one of the participants in the funding round.

The funds raised by this round will be used to complete StoreDot’s research and development for its silicon-dominant extreme fast charge (XFC) battery cells for electric vehicles and continue its progress on Extreme Energy Density cells based on Solid State technology for future deployment. This funding also enables the company to ramp up its California-based R&D center and commence scale up operations in key global locations, in readiness for full mass production of cells in 2024.