EV Battery and Charging News: INFINITI, GM, Orange EV, REE, Nuvvee, BorgWarner, Mullen & Ascend Elements

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are GM, INFINITI, Orange EV, REE, Nuvvee, BorgWarner, Mullen and Ascend Elements.

INFINITI EVs Productions in Canton, Mississippi

INFINITI confirmed one of the global assembly locations that will build all-electric vehicles in its future.

The Nissan Vehicle Assembly Plant in Canton, Miss. is one of the locations that will produce INFINITI models that deliver on the company’s Ambition 2030 vision to empower mobility and beyond for a cleaner, safer and more inclusive world.

Nissan Motor Corporation, Ltd. will invest $500 million to modernize and transform the plant, incorporating the latest in EV manufacturing technology and automation in advance of building all-electric models for the company.

“By 2030 we envisage that the majority of INFINITI models sold globally will be electrified,” said Peyman Kargar, Chairman of INFINITI Motor Company. “In confirming one of the future locations where our new generation of electric products will be built, we progress towards achieving this goal.”

REE’s Barel Speaks at Investor Conferences

REE Automotive Ltd. (NASDAQ: “REE”), an automotive technology leader and provider of electric vehicle platforms, announced that it will participate in a series of investor conferences in the first quarter of 2022. Daniel Barel, REE co-founder and chief executive officer and David Goldberg, REE chief financial officer, will discuss REE’s production progress on its newest fully-flat P7 platform for commercial fleets, go-to-market strategy with top partners for platforms and full vehicles, and strategy for developing a full ecosystem from charging infrastructure to Data-as-a-Service to accelerate fleet electrification plans.

Ten Years of Orange EV

Orange EV, founded in 2012, is celebrating 10 years of industry leadership and unparalleled milestones in the electric truck industry. From its first commercial deployment of a Class 8 all-electric terminal truck in 2015, Orange EV has accelerated deployments every year over the last six years to become the manufacturer with the most zero emission trucks in operation in the United States, according to a recently published research report by CALSTART, a leading clean-tech transportation nonprofit consortium.

Chosen by more than 100 fleets in 24 states, Orange EV has deployed over 370 trucks into mission critical operations. “From the beginning, Orange EV committed to working closely with every customer to not only deliver a complete truck, service, and charging solution, but also to incorporate feedback to continually improve truck performance and uptime,” said Kurt Neutgens, Orange EV Co-Founder, President and CTO. “As a result, uptime for our latest Orange EV yard trucks averages 98-99%, compared to legacy diesel uptime in the 75-80% range reported by our customers.”

Orange EV’s turnkey solution, with purpose-built chargers and trucks, is matched to align with the customer’s duty cycle to maximize financial and operational benefits. This complete offering not only simplifies deployments and avoids many of the infrastructure and supply chain challenges that other EV manufacturers have faced, but it also streamlines problem-solving. If issues arise, the fleet makes just one call to Orange EV, which has designed, produced, and supports the entire system.

Nuvve Partners with 2021.A Aps for AI

Nuvve Holding Corp. a global cleantech company electrifying the planet at the intersection of energy and transportation through its intelligent energy platform, announced plans to form a joint venture with 2021.AI Aps (2021.AI) to integrate their artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Grace, to Nuvve’s GIVe (Grid Integrated Vehicle) V2G platform. The joint venture – which will be named Astrea AITM – will leverage Nuvve’s extensive e-mobility and energy expertise and 2021.AI’s proven AI platform to broaden and optimize the services offered by Nuvve’s V2G technology today.

2021.AI has developed a platform that handles the full life cycle of AI development and operation, including robust security, privacy, and governance features. The integration with Nuvve’s software will enable forecasting and optimization models for the e-mobility and energy sectors through AI, deep learning, machine learning, and neural networks. This will allow Nuvve to provide robust, predictive analysis and energy insights to both EV and utility customers.

“Partnering with 2021.AI to integrate AI will take our platform to the next level, offering even greater benefits to our customers and the electric grid as a whole,” said Gregory Poilasne, chairman and CEO of Nuvve.

An example use case to be developed by Astrea AITM is using predictive modeling to forecast a fleet driver’s behavior and understand the highly specific level of energy needed for that driver’s EV to perform its daily driving duties. Based on that highly accurate forecast, Nuvve’s system will be able to provide various grid services for longer periods of time and charge to those forecasted amounts. This will help improve the efficiency and performance of EV fleets while contributing even more services to the grid to increase capacity and resilience.

FLO Certified

FLO is pleased to announce that it has officially obtained certification from California’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) for its compliance under the California Type Evaluation Program (CTEP) for its CoRe+TM and SmartTwoTM Level 2 models of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

This significant milestone allows FLO’s clients in California to benefit from a certified energy billing process based on actual measurement in kWh of electricity transferred during every charging session. FLO also supports billing options such as a per charge flat fee and time-based billing. Additionally, FLO obtained its Registered Service Agency certification from DMS, which facilitates station deployment and improves customer experience allowing California station commissioning and calibration services to be performed by a single expert organization.

EV Owners Have Issues with Charging—

A survey by EV driver consumer group Plug In America found that 54 percent of respondents had issues accessing public infrastructure, with broken chargers cited as the most common issue. While policymakers and media alike have raised the issue of charging station reliability, the performance data which they and the public need to assess returns on public investment in EV charging stations has so far been lacking, which poses a problem for the many drivers who would consider a switch to EVs were it not for scarce information about the availability and reliability of charging infrastructure.

“No driver should have to put up with broken chargers, and no community should be left behind in accessing reliable stations,” said Louis Tremblay, President and CEO of FLO. “This legislation will help California make sure its investments in infrastructure are providing the public benefit promised to drivers.”

FLO and ChargerHelp! have long believed that consumer perceptions about the charging experience drive EV adoption. FLO and ChargerHelp! expect that reliability standards will improve the charging experience and, thus, encourage drivers to adopt EVs, which would be a positive development for both the charging industry and the state’s climate goals.
The bill, dubbed by the sponsoring EV charging companies the “EV Charging Reliability Transparency Act” (Act) aims to help policymakers and the public understand the performance of California’s investments in EV infrastructure, and whether there are inequities in driver access to reliable stations.

“For a decade, we have watched California, and then the nation, focus its attention on getting charging stations in the ground to build the EV market,” says Kameale C. Terry, ChargerHelp! Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “But that is only one half of the equation – we need to ensure chargers are in good working order for all drivers to use, at all times.”

The Act builds on an existing foundation of policy in the state. In 2021, the state released the Zero-Emission Vehicle Market Development Strategy, which calls for the measurement of charging station performance. In last year’s state budget, led by Assemblymember Ting, the Legislature required tracking of “downtime” as part of a US$785 million allocation to deploy zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

“Dependable charging stations encourage greater adoption of EVs. Through last year’s budget, we became the first state to require reliability data for our charging stations,” said Assemblymember Ting. “My AB 2061 is a critical next step because disclosure of reliability data helps ensure the equipment drivers plug into is functional and, therefore, accessible to all Californians.”

In 2018, the state also passed legislation to require equitable deployment of charging infrastructure, but it stopped short of ensuring equitable access to reliable stations, which could leave EV drivers in areas where stations are not maintained at a disadvantage.

“We have a duty to ensure the public is receiving the benefit of accessing reliable public chargers that are funded by public funds,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “Ensuring high reliability of stations will help drive EV adoption and help the state meet its climate goals”.

In addition to requiring accountability through data disclosure, the Act requires the Energy Commission to consistently analyze this data and consider tools to improve infrastructure reliability if it decides it is undermining EV adoption.


BAE Systems, a leader in electric propulsion, has been selected by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to supply up to 340 electric drive systems for its new fleet of low emission transit buses. BAE Systems will provide 220 electric drive systems to New Flyer of America Inc., with an option for 120 additional systems, over the next three years. Incorporating the company’s latest technology for future zero-emission platforms, the Series-ER (Electric Range) systems will deliver significant emission reductions and fuel savings across the fleet.

A major feature of Series-ER is the Modular Accessory Power System (MAPS), a next-generation component that uses advanced materials for increased electrical efficiency. This order of electric-hybrid applications will benefit from BAE Systems’ newest technology, which is also designed to be integrated on battery-electric and fuel cell powered buses.

BorgWarner News

BorgWarner, a global product leader in delivering innovative and sustainable mobility solutions to the vehicle market, is empowering a leading Chinese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to launch a new, high-end battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform by providing its 800V silicon carbide (SiC) inverters. The inverters will be featured on two of the company’s subsidiary brands targeted at mid- and high-end segments in the global market. The first vehicle model using the platform is expected to roll out in the first quarter of 2023.

BorgWarner has secured a contract with a major global OEM to supply high voltage generator inverters to be used in an innovative electrified architecture to charge the main batteries. The silicon carbide (SiC) based inverter is designed to provide high levels of continuous current and advanced cooling strategies to manage the application’s challenging thermal demands.

BorgWarner’s high voltage SiC generator inverter is designed to provide high levels of continuous current and advanced cooling strategies to manage challenging thermal demands, and is designed to be used in an innovative electrified architecture.
BorgWarner’s high voltage SiC generator inverter is designed to provide high levels of continuous current and advanced cooling strategies to manage challenging thermal demands, and is designed to be used in an innovative electrified architecture.

“BorgWarner is extremely proud to secure this contract and continue building upon our collaborative and long-standing relationship with this customer,” said Dr. Stefan Demmerle, President and General Manager, BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems. “We are eager to continue providing scalable, energy efficient and sustainable mobility solutions to support our customers as they shift toward fully electrified vehicle technology.”

The power-dense inverters use BorgWarner’s Viper family of scalable power modules coupled with enhanced thermal designs to allow continuous operation at 70% of peak current, whereas typical applications provide only 40-50% of peak current continuously. Additionally, the use of SiC power switches helps make these inverters more efficient than traditional silicon-based inverters.

BorgWarner’s inverter performance, robustness, scalable design, overall value, customer relationship and global manufacturing footprint are all factors that led to the business win. The inverter’s production is slated for 2024.

BorgWarner Inc.  announced that it has completed its acquisition of AKASOL AG. The combination of BorgWarner and AKASOL is expected to significantly strengthen the company’s commercial vehicle and industrial electrification capabilities, which positions the company to capitalize on what it believes to be a fast-growing battery systems market.

Volvo Group Joins Drive to Zero

CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero program and campaign (Drive to Zero™) welcomes the Volvo Group, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks, buses, construction equipment and engines, as its newest pledge partner.

By signing the Drive to Zero pledge, the Volvo Group joins Drive to Zero’s current network of 130+ manufacturers, fleets, governments, infrastructure providers and other market leaders committed to accelerating zero-emission commercial vehicles. Pledge partners agree to work strategically and collaboratively to support and grow mechanisms to speed the early market for zero-emission commercial trucks and buses. Drive to Zero’s goal is to drive market viability for zero-emission commercial vehicles across key segments in urban communities by 2025 and achieve full market penetration by 2040.

Mullen Competes with Mustang Mach-e & Tesla Model Y

Results from a comprehensive 6-month EV market exploration study and conceptual benchmark test indicate that the Mullen FIVE is conceptually highly competitive with the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mach-E. Results will support Mullen’s U.S. Department of Energy’s ATVM Loan Application for $450M.

Mullen Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) (“Mullen” or the “Company”), an emerging electric vehicle (“EV”) manufacturer, announces results from a detailed EV market study and conceptual benchmark comparison of the Mullen FIVE against two industry-leading competitors, the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mach-E.

In the second half of 2021, Mullen commissioned consulting firm GO GROW, LLC (“GO”) to design and develop a comprehensive, consumer-facing, market exploration of the Electric Vehicle category and to field and test a future-seeing, conceptual execution, and benchmark comparison of the Mullen FIVE Crossover product offering against industry-leading competitors, the Ford Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

The study used an online, monadic methodology and contained a robust sample size of nearly 4,000 respondents (U.S. adults age 18+ / Household Income $50,000+) recruited from a nationally representative database. Respondents were queried on their opinions and interest in the EV category as well as their awareness, trial, purchase and consideration of the competitive set. This was followed by a detailed comparative exploration whereupon each respondent was exposed to one of three conceptual executions, the Mullen FIVE, Tesla Model Y or Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The study revealed that the Mullen FIVE generated very strong metrics across the continuum of test variables, both relative to the competitive benchmarks and on an absolute basis. Despite being an industry newcomer, test results demonstrated that Mullen was performing at a highly competitive level relative to both industry leaders, Ford and Tesla. Based on respondents’ verbatim comments, the basis of Mullen FIVE’s success appears to be largely a function of the vehicle’s attractive design as well as its performance and feature set.

“The Mullen FIVE is a fantastic EV and it felt great when we received an overwhelmingly positive response to the FIVE at the 2021 LA Auto Show World Debut,“ said David Michery, CEO and chairman of Mullen Automotive. “But it’s absolutely incredible to see this further corroborated scientifically through this extensive market study conducted by GO. The findings from this study will play a key role in our application with the U.S. Department of Energy’s AVTM program.”

“I’ll be candid, I’ve been doing this a long time and tend to have a good sense for how these tests net out. The results of this study pleasantly surprised me. I’d say the Mullen FIVE did very well indeed, from besting both rivals to soundly beating one in particular when it comes to design and style,” said Andrew Lasher, GO principal of Consumer Insights. “This study is excellent ‘proof in concept’ for the FIVE.”

Mullen has recently announced a string of key partnerships with Comau, ARRK, Dürr, and DSA Systems for automotive engineering, manufacturing, vehicle production systems, and Over the Air (OTA) and vehicle system diagnostics, respectively. The Company expects these strategic developments to play a crucial role in bringing the FIVE to market with the latest technology and least amount of time. Mullen FIVE was also named “Top Zero Emission SUV” by the ZEVA® Awards at the Los Angeles International Show in November 2021, where it made its debut.

The FIVE is built on an EV crossover skateboard platform that offers multiple powertrain configurations and trim levels in a svelte design that is “Strikingly DifferentTM” and exciting to experience in person. Learn more about the Mullen FIVE at MullenUSA.com.

AJR Trucking and MDB Transportation Ordered 15 Kenworth T680E and 10 Kenworth K270E Battery Electric Vehicles from Inland Kenworth – Montebello

Kenworth Truck Company announced that Jack Khudikyan, owner of AJR Trucking and MDB Transportation, has ordered 15 Kenworth T680E and 10 Kenworth K270E battery electric vehicles from Inland Kenworth – Montebello. It marks the largest Kenworth battery electric vehicle order placed to date.

AJR Trucking is a leading United States Postal Service contract carrier based in Los Angeles, and MDB Transportation provides transportation services including dedicated, port and rail, LTL and full truckload.

According to Khudikyan, this order is a major step forward for both companies to significantly reduce its emissions. In 2016, AJR Trucking and MDB Transportation began adding compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Kenworth T680s to reduce carbon emissions. Combined, the two companies operate more than 80 natural gas-powered trucks and continue to phase out its diesel trucks as operations allow.

“Several years ago, we made the decision to begin adding trucks that run on alternative fuels to reduce our carbon footprint and to better assist our customers in meeting their sustainability goals,” said Khudikyan. “It’s important to do what’s right for the environment, and we’re on a mission to one day achieve net zero emissions between the two companies. This order of Kenworth Class 6 and Class 8 battery electric vehicles will assist us in meeting that goal.”

AJR Trucking will use the K270Es to provide regional postal services in the greater Los Angeles area. The T680Es will operate in MDB Transportation’s drayage operations at the Port of Los Angeles. To offset the cost of the Kenworth T680E and K270E battery electric vehicles, the companies qualified and received voucher incentives through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).

HVIP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment particularly in disadvantaged communities.

“Jack and his team at AJR Trucking and MDB Transportation are real leaders when it comes to addressing the impacts of climate change,” said Charles Peterman, Inland Kenworth vice president – new truck sales. “We applaud his commitment to operating in a more sustainable way as his companies will become some of the first to put these new trucks into real-world service.”

“This is a significant milestone for Kenworth, AJR Trucking, and MDB Transportation,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “We take pride in Jack’s commitment to invest in Kenworth’s battery electric models and be an early adopter of this new technology.”

Designed for pickup and delivery, regional haul and drayage applications, the T680E is available as a day cab as either a tractor or straight truck in a 6×4 axle configuration. The new model is offered in 54,000 lb. and 82,000 lb. gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR), features 536 hp continuous power and up to 670 hp peak power and 1,623 lb.-ft. of torque, and has a top speed of 70 mph.

The zero emissions vehicle has an estimated operating range of 150 miles, depending on application. The T680E uses the industry standard SAE CCS1 charge port and can be fully charged in approximately three hours. Kenworth’s Class 8 battery electric vehicle features Meritor’s Blue Horizon 14Xe™ tandem electric powertrain with smooth shifting and operation.

The Class 6 K270E and the Class 7 K370E cabovers are designed for pickup and delivery, as well as short regional haul operations. The electric powertrain is available with high-density battery packs of 141kWh, 209kWh and 282kWh that deliver up to 100-, 150- and 200-mile range, respectively, with zero emissions. The Kenworth battery electric vehicles utilize a DC fast-charging system capable of fast re-charge in as quick as one-hour. Regenerative braking in stop-and-go city conditions recharges the batteries and extends brake life.

The K270E and K370E offer two direct-drive motors rated at 355 hp and 469 hp, depending on the application. The highly efficient design provides enough torque to start the load from a stop on a 20 percent grade and the power to maintain 40 mph on a 6 percent grade while fully loaded.

Two Electric Blue Bird School Buses for Fairfax Schools

Fairfax School District introduced two zero-emissions Blue Bird school buses to its fleet this school year. The school district’s Blue Bird electric school buses were purchased from the Agency of Natural Resources Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund. This pilot program is managed by the Vermont Energy Investment corporation, which is testing how well electric school buses work in Vermont’s climate and terrain.
-ElDorado National (California) or ENC, a subsidiary of REV Group® and an industry leader in heavy-duty transit buses and emission-free technology, announces the first order for six Axess Battery Electric Bus (BEB), to First Transit, the leader in university mobility solutions, for operation at Emory University in Atlanta.

“Their expertise in electric powertrains helped us engineer an innovative electric solution for our transit and shuttle bus customers.”
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Emory University Selects ENC Axess BEB for Atlanta

Emory University selected the ENC Axess BEB for its first battery electric bus order to be in service on its campus in Atlanta, Georgia. The new buses will join an existing ENC fleet of 36 low-floor shuttle buses that has successfully served the university for over ten years.

Ascend Elements & Koura Process for Battery Recycling for Battery Grade Graphite

Ascend Elements, a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered materials company and Koura, an Orbia business and one of the world’s largest producers of fluoroproducts and technologies, announced the launch of a proprietary process technology yielding battery-grade graphite material from spent lithium-ion batteries. Orbia is serving as a development partner to Ascend Elements to scale the company’s technology for commercial production. Orbia has also backed the company through several investment rounds.

“With this advancement, we just made the case for battery recycling a lot more compelling. Increasing the value of the extracted materials improves the economics of recycling, which creates an incentive for even more recycling”
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With sales of plug-in electric vehicles expected to grow at a 30% compound annual rate through 2030, Ascend Elements’ technology is a game-changer in the battery recycling and sustainable materials spaces. With consistent yields of over 99.9% pure graphite and energy capacity and cycle life on par with virgin battery-grade graphite anode material, Ascend Elements’ Hydro-to-Anode™ process technology has the additional benefit of extending recycling and manufacturing throughput beyond cathode active materials to anode materials as well. This innovation dramatically increases the value of every lithium-ion battery recycled using the Ascend Elements process.

“With this advancement, we just made the case for battery recycling a lot more compelling. Increasing the value of the extracted materials improves the economics of recycling, which creates an incentive for even more recycling,” says Michael O’Kronley, Chief Executive Officer of Ascend Elements. “The ability to recover graphite for use in batteries helps solve another critical material challenge in the battery supply chain and minimizes the need for mining new materials.”

“Orbia is committed to developing and deploying sustainable solutions across all our business in pursuit of our purpose of advancing life around the world,” says Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia. Bharadwaj continued, “Ascend Elements is a perfect development partner for our Koura business given our focus on renewable technologies and the incredible material opportunities in the lithium-ion battery space.”

High-purity graphite is a mineral included on the United States critical minerals list, according to U.S. Executive Order 13953. To lessen reliance on foreign entities, U.S. material manufacturing and recycling companies are charged with making this mineral more available within the North American supply chain. Other minerals on the list include lithium and cobalt; both of which are reclaimed in the Ascend Elements recycling and manufacturing processes. Ascend Elements is currently producing battery-grade graphite in its facility located in Westborough, Massachusetts.

General Motors’ Climate Equity Fund

General Motors announced it will expand on its philanthropic commitment to equitable climate action by doubling its Climate Equity Fund, dedicating a total of $50 million to help close equity gaps in the transition to electric vehicles and other sustainable technology. This is in addition to the company’s commitment to invest $35 billion globally in EV and AV programs, research, technology, manufacturing and charging infrastructure.

The news comes as General Motors builds awareness and excitement for EVs as a key part of tackling climate change.

“As the effects of climate change take hold across the globe, it has never been more urgent to ensure inclusion and equity guide our sustainable solutions,” says Kristen Siemen, GM chief sustainability officer. “Doubling our Climate Equity Fund will help meet this urgency with deepened engagement at the community level, where we believe our support will have the greatest impact in accelerating the transition to an inclusive zero-emissions future.”

Since creating the Climate Equity Fund eight months ago, GM has supported 21 nonprofit organizations that are helping to implement inclusive solutions for a zero-emissions, carbon-neutral future. These solutions, led in part by the following grantees, align with GM’s three climate equity social outcomes and prioritize impact at the community level:

1. Clean Energy Jobs: Supporting the current and future workforce through education, training and hands-on experience.

Valley Clean Air Now
The Greening of Detroit

2. Sustainable Transportation: Increasing EV accessibility and adoption so more consumers can enjoy the benefits of affordable EV ownership while helping to develop ubiquitous charging solutions.

Clean Fuels Ohio
Forth Mobility Fund
GRID Alternatives

3. Community Climate Action: Community-level action that helps residents mitigate, build resilience toward and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
WE ACT for Environmental Justice

GM encourages nonprofits focused on implementing community-based solutions for a zero-emissions future to apply for grant funding. More information and application resources can be found here.

Organizations must be a U.S.-based 501c3 organization in good standing. GM prioritizes programs that benefit underserved populations and community-based organizations. Projects are evaluated based on three social outcomes:

Increasing the number of adults prepared for clean energy jobs.
Increasing access to more sustainable transportation, including but not limited to, EVs and EV infrastructure.
Community-level programs aimed at mitigating local climate effects, adaptation and community resilience.

In early 2021, GM announced that it plans to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040 and is working toward a transition to 100% zero tailpipe emissions for new light-duty vehicles by 2035. The company plans to introduce more than 30 electric vehicle models globally by 2025.