EV, Battery & Charging News: Romeo Power, Wrightspeed, PG&E, GM, Blue Arc EV, Allison Transmissions, Hino Trucks, GenZ Ev, Flux Power, DENSO, Electreon & Qmerit

In electric vehicle battery and charging news are Romeo Power, Wrightspeed, PG&E, GM, Blue Arc EV, Allison Transmissions, Hino Trucks, GenZ Ev, Flux Power, DENSO, Electreon & Qmerit.

Romeo Power & Wrightspeed Partner for Powertrain in a Crate

Romeo Power and Wrightspeed,  announced that they are working together to leverage Romeo Power’s high-capacity battery packing and module technology along with Wrightspeed’s high torque, high-efficiency powertrain system to accelerate electrification in the bus, and medium and heavy duty truck market.

There are over one million existing buses and trucks that are candidates for repowering to zero emission full battery electric right now, and at a much lower upfront cost than purchasing expensive new battery electric vehicles. Wrightspeed is developing “Powertrain in a Crate™” kits that are chassis-specific and can be installed locally where fleets operate, creating jobs and new technology opportunities for those supporting school bus, work truck and other fleets. By using Wrightspeed’s Route™ traction drive technology, the repowered vehicles will be more efficient and provide higher torque than new vehicles based on single speed remote mount systems.

Together, the companies intend to develop and sell repower kits to the addressable market. “Romeo Power’s advanced electrification solutions for complex commercial vehicle applications is a perfect fit for our Route™ powertrain system. We are particularly impressed by their high level of safety, packaging density, and modularity,” said Alan Dowdell, Acting CEO of Wrightspeed. “We are proud to team up with Romeo Power and set a new standard in performance and efficiency for electric buses and trucks.”

Romeo Power and Wrightspeed together bring a unique combination of real-world, on-road experience and powertrain technology to accelerate electrification safely. After vehicles are selected and inspected, they will be rapidly decontented of the diesel or gas powertrains. The bespoke powertrain kits including traction drive axle with motors, inverters, battery modules and new dash with telematics will then be added to the vehicle. After thorough testing, the vehicle will be qualified to re-enter the fleet as a safe, quiet, efficient zero-emission bus or truck.

“Wrightspeed’s medium and heavy-duty “Powertrain in a Crate™” kits are a great way for our battery technology to help quickly and locally convert legacy diesel and gas vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles” said Susan Brennan, Romeo’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are as excited about Wrightspeed’s technology and business model as we are about our new partnership.”

The battery packs will be manufactured at Romeo Power’s new state of the art facility in Cypress, California, where production is scheduled to begin later in 2022. The balance of the “Powertrain in a Crate” solution will be assembled in Wrightspeed’s 110,000 square foot Alameda, California facility. The complete system will be shipped and installed near fleets locally with training and support from both Romeo Power and Wrightspeed.

PG&E & GM Partner for Vehicle-to-Home Power Pilot

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and General Motors (GM)  announced a breakthrough collaboration to pilot the use of GM electric vehicles (EVs) as on-demand power sources for homes in PG&E’s service area.

PG&E and GM will test vehicles with cutting-edge bidirectional charging technology that can help safely power the essential needs of a properly equipped home. EVs play a critical role in achieving California’s goals for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and already provide customers with many benefits. Bidirectional charging capabilities add even further value by improving electric resiliency and reliability.

“We are really excited about this innovative collaboration with GM. Imagine a future where everyone is driving an electric vehicle—and where that EV serves as a backup power option at home and more broadly as a resource for the grid. Not only is this a huge advancement for electric reliability and climate resiliency, it’s yet another advantage of clean-powered EVs, which are so important in our collective battle against climate change,” said PG&E Corporation CEO Patti Poppe.

By the end of 2025, GM will have more than 1 million units of EV capacity in North America to respond to growing demand. The company’s Ultium Platform, a combined EV architecture and propulsion system, enables EVs at scale, for every lifestyle and price point.

“GM’s collaboration with PG&E further expands our electrification strategy, demonstrating our EVs as reliable mobile sources of power. Our teams are working to rapidly scale this pilot and bring bidirectional charging technology to our customers,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra.

How the Pilot Will Work

PG&E and GM aim to test the pilot’s first vehicle-to-home capable EV and charger by summer 2022. The pilot will include the use of bidirectional hardware coupled with software-defined communications protocols that will enable power to flow from a charged EV into a customer’s home, automatically coordinating between the EV, home, and PG&E’s electric supply. The pilot will include multiple GM EVs.

Following lab testing, PG&E and GM plan to test vehicle-to-home interconnection allowing a small subset of customers’ homes to safely receive power from the EV when power stops flowing from the electric grid. Through this field demonstration, PG&E and GM aim to develop a user-friendly vehicle-to-home customer experience for this new technology. Both teams are working quickly to scale the pilot with the goal of opening larger customer trials by the end of 2022.

Blue Arc EV Debuts Electric Delivery Vans

Blue Arc™ EV Solutions, a new go-to-market brand of The Shyft Group (NASDAQ: SHYF), makes its debut  alongside a trio of initial product offerings—an industry-first commercial grade purpose-built EV chassis; a fully reimagined from the ground up all-electric Class 3 delivery walk-in van; and a fully portable, remote-controlled charging station, the Power Cube™.

“We created Blue Arc not just for companies looking to evolve their parcel delivery fleets to electric power, but for the people – for our customers and the drivers,” said Shyft CEO Daryl Adams. “Blue Arc is the electric mobility company that can deliver end-to-end holistic EV solutions and meet sustainability and performance goals with a full ecosystem of electric-powered solutions. We are ready to charge ahead and bring the EV promise to reality for future generations.”

Adams announced the new Blue Arc brand at NTEA Work Truck Week in Indianapolis, along with the news that North Carolina-based Randy Marion Dealer Group will be the first dealer in the U.S. to offer Shyft’s new all electric Class 3 delivery vehicle. With a 50-year heritage in specialty vehicle chassis manufacturing and body building for last mile delivery, Shyft leverages coast-to-coast manufacturing and service infrastructure, primed to deliver EV solutions at scale.

“We’re extremely excited to offer Blue Arc EV solutions to our customers,” said Brad Sigmon, VP of Sales at Randy Marion Automotive Group. “The EV walk-in delivery van is going to be one-of-a-kind in the market because nobody else currently has the capability to manufacture both the chassis and the bodies like Blue Arc.”

Shyft’s proprietary battery-powered chassis features customizable length and wheelbase, making it well-suited to serve a wide range of medium-duty trucks and end uses. It’s an all-new design built from the ground up to accommodate the usage and duty-cycle demands of commercial vehicles.

“I am extremely proud of the Blue Arc team that has engineered this ecosystem of EV products from the ground up leveraging years of experience in the last mile industry,” said Eric Fisher, vice president and general manager, Blue Arc EV Solutions. “This all-new EV chassis and delivery van offers purpose-built, customer-focused work trucks that increase speed, efficiency and impact on our customers’ bottom line.”

The chassis’ modular design will accommodate multiple weight ratings and classifications, based on build-out and usage. The lithium-ion battery packs provide an approximate range of 150 to 175 miles with the opportunity to enhance range through expanded battery options. With a high degree of configurability, the all-electric chassis is adaptable to last-mile delivery, work truck, mass transit, recreational vehicle and other emerging EV markets.

The Blue Arc delivery van is a 100% battery-powered Class-3 electric commercial delivery vehicle, designed for high-frequency, last-mile delivery fleets. A spacious cargo area features 635-800 cubic feet of storage and offers a choice of vocational packages specifically designed for functionality. The delivery van also features an integrated solar roof package and lightweight aluminum honeycomb shelving package 175lbs lighter than today. The lightweight aluminum and composite body design offer higher durability against scratches and dents. With vehicles ranging from 14’ to 18’ in length and a payload capacity of up to 5,000 lbs., Shyft customers can maximize productivity and minimize cost of ownership, including fuel and maintenance costs.

Blue Arc plans to integrate the latest in proven vehicle and driver safety technology such as 360° cameras, large in-dash HD camera displays, lane departure and proximity sensors, and keyless and automated entry. Designed with the driver’s comfort and productivity in mind, the delivery van is easy to drive and easy to enter and exit for last-mile deliveries with multi-stop routes.

Vehicle prototypes are expected to reach customers for route testing in the coming months, supported out of the Shyft R&D facility in Plymouth, Mich. Shyft expects to begin building the chassis and electric delivery vans at a plant in the southeastern United States by mid-2023.

The Blue Arc ecosystem also includes the Power Cube, a fully portable remote-controlled charging station with onboard energy storage to serve a variety of commercial vehicle needs. Understanding that lack of EV infrastructure is one of the roadblocks to adoption, the Power Cube offers a unique solution, providing a mobile, customizable, commercial grade EV charger that does not need to be connected to the grid. It has a fast and flexible deployment model that’s customizable for customer needs with varying configurations. This unique solution carries power onboard and can have vehicles up and charged in 1-2 hours. The Power Cube is also sustainable, supplemented with wind and solar power with panels that track the sun for maximum exposure and charging.

The Shyft Group plans to debut the Blue Arc Power Cube next month – more information will be available soon.

Allison Transmission Integrates with Hino Trucks

Allison Transmission, a leading designer and manufacturer of conventional and electrified vehicle propulsion solutions, is pleased to report that Hino Trucks has completed the vehicle integration, and commenced testing and validation of Allison’s next generation eGen PowerTM 100D fully electric axle in its XL series heavy duty battery electric vehicles (BEVs), as Hino progresses towards start of production.

“When evaluating the electric axles available in today’s competitive market, Hino selected the Allison eGen Power 100D due to its outstanding benefits including electromechanical sophistication, a next generation controls system and industry-leading packaging,” said Glenn Ellis, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, Hino Trucks. “Allison continues to be a true partner throughout the vehicle validation and development process. We appreciate their willingness to adapt and refine the e-Axle to meet our needs, and we’re thrilled to partner with Allison to bring Hino’s new, highly differentiated fully-electric heavy duty trucks to market.”

Allison and Hino will jointly host a select group of customers for a Ride & Drive of the eGen Power 100D-equipped Hino XL battery electric tractor at Allison’s Global Headquarters tomorrow, during NTEA’s Work Truck Week.

“The next generation of our eGen Power 100D are now being built at our Auburn Hills, MI electric axle development and manufacturing facility,” said Rohan Barua, Vice President, North America Sales, Global Channel and Aftermarket, Allison Transmission. “Allison’s extensive investments and experience in electric hybrid technology allow us to be well positioned to commercialize a broad portfolio of fully electric propulsion solutions, including electric axles. We’re proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Hino as we evolve our eGen family of electric propulsion solutions to meet the unique needs of our OEM and fleet customers.”

One of the most powerful electric axle systems in the world, the fully integrated eGen Power 100D features two electric motors, each capable of generating 454 kW of continuous power, with peak combined power of 652 kW. The e-Axle integrates a two-speed gearbox within the central housing, enabling the high torque required to get heavy loads moving, while also offering the benefit of superior efficiency at cruise speed. The eGen Power 100D supports a 10.4-tonne or 23,000-pound gross axle weight rating and includes differential lock functionality. The performance and efficiency advantages directly translate to wide-ranging duty-cycles and increased range capability, optimizing the economic value the e-Axles deliver to end users.

Through Allison’s global network of authorized distributors and dealers, Hino and its customers will have access to the training, service and aftermarket support needed to keep their vehicles running smoothly.

GenZ EV Solutions & ADS-TEC Show Battery-Buffered Charge Systems

GenZ EV Solutions (“GenZ EV”), an American company dedicated to integrating the world’s best technologies, services and investment solutions to help businesses navigate the transition into the era of eMobility, and ADS-TEC Energy (NASDAQ: ADSE) will debut their ultra-fast, battery-buffered charge system during the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention. ADS-TEC Energy, a leader in battery technologies, storage solutions and fast-charging systems, recently designated GenZ EV as distributor of its technologies for the automotive industry across the Americas.

Flux Power Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLUX), a developer of advanced lithium-ion battery packs for commercial and industrial equipment, announced that it will participate in the upcoming MODEX 2022, the world’s largest manufacturing and supply chain tradeshow, taking place from March 28 to 31, 2022, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Flux Power will showcase its complete product line at booth C5688, which includes lithium-ion solutions for Class I-III material handling equipment and introduce two new products for the three-wheel forklift segment and the Autonomous Mobile Robot and Automated Guided Vehicle spaces.

Flux Power Chief Technical Officer Paulus Geantil will also be presenting an educational seminar titled, “Why Lithium-ion Chemistry Matters When It Comes to Powering Your Equipment Fleet”. The seminar will take place on Monday, March 28 at 3:45 pm Eastern Time in Theater E.

“MODEX is the largest and most anticipated event in the manufacturing and supply chain industries, and we look forward to showcasing our complete product line to new and existing customers,” said Ron Dutt, Chief Executive Officer of Flux Power. “As a company dedicated to leading the adoption of clean, safe, and innovative lithium technology platforms, we are very happy to also be unveiling the newest additions to our industrial and commercial energy solutions for three-wheel forklifts and AGVs / AMRs as we continue expanding into new applications.”

EV-Arc Solar Chargers at DENSO Maryville TN

DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, has deployed five EV ARC™ solar-powered charging systems from Beam Global (Nasdaq: BEEM, BEEMW), a leading clean technology provider, at its Maryville, Tennessee, location. The charging systems, which have been installed at buildings across campus, are available to all DENSO employees with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

In addition to providing employees with convenient vehicle charging options, the EV ARCs make and store their own electricity to deliver clean and renewable energy. They also monitor how much carbon is saved compared to combustion engine vehicles with each use. Together, these capabilities contribute to DENSO’s Two Great Causes: Green – achieving carbon neutrality by 2035 – and Peace of Mind – creating a safe and seamless world for all.

Sion Power & Licerion Electric Hybrid Lithium-Metal Cell Batteries

Sion Power Corporation (Sion Power), a leader in next-generation rechargeable batteries, has reached a development milestone with its Licerion® Electric Vehicle (EV) technology demonstrating more than 2500 cycles to 70% of initial capacity. The results were achieved by a multilayer R&D pouch cell, charged in 180 minutes (C/3 rate), and completely discharged (100% depth of discharge) in 45 minutes (4C/3 rate).

“Finding a practical balance between specific energy, energy density, and cycle life is a large part of battery development,” says Tracy Kelley, CEO of Sion Power. Mr. Kelley goes on to say, “This excellent R&D achievement demonstrates the headroom of our technology when it comes to developing products for commercial trucking and automotive applications.”

Licerion is a versatile hybrid lithium-metal cell technology that utilizes several levels of lithium protection and can be paired with common cathode materials, including LFP and NMC. The current version of Sion Power’s 6 Ah large-format Licerion EV cell has exceeded 800 cycles as validated by an independent test laboratory under the identical conditions of C/3, 4C/3. The same 6 Ah cell can also be fast-charged to 80% capacity in less than 15 minutes. The Licerion-EV, 17 Ah cell has been independently verified with an actual (not projected) specific energy of 400 Wh/kg and energy density of 780 Wh/L.

Greenland Tech Partners with NuEnergy for 2nd Life Battery Solutions

Greenland Technologies Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: GTEC) (“Greenland” or the “Company”), a technology developer and manufacturer of electric industrial vehicles and drivetrain systems for material handling machineries and vehicles,  announced it entered into an exciting new strategic partnership agreement with Princeton NuEnergy Inc. (“PNE”), a technology developer focused on developing innovative and sustainable second-life battery solutions and closed-loop lithium-ion battery recycling.

Under the strategic partnership, the two companies will collaborate to create a safe and sustainable recycling solution for end-of-life lithium-ion batteries used in Greenland’s electric industrial vehicles including electric forklifts, electric loaders and electric excavators to further minimize their environmental footprint. Greenland and PNE will co-market and cross-promote to drive brand awareness, give each organization access to a larger audience, and demonstrate technology leadership for both Greenland and PNE. Greenland and PNE will collaborate in identifying, negotiating, and supporting battery manufacturers by providing battery-grade recycled material with the aim of developing a revenue stream for PNE, while reducing the cost of battery procurement for Greenland.

Hino USA Grant from NEDO to Support Fuel Cell Vehicles at California Ports

Hino USA (Novi, MI) announced that it has been awarded a grant provided by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese governmental agency, to promote new technology for energy and environmental sector, along with Hino Motors, Ltd. The grant supports the demonstration of Hino’s Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell trucks in real world operations in California ports. This joint study will run through March 2026 and is a collaboration project with Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Toyota Tsusho America Inc., Mitsui E&S Machinery Co. Ltd. and PACECO CORP, along with Hino.

Electreon ASPIREs to Demo Wireless Charging Road in Detroit

Electreon (TASE: ELWS.TA), the leading provider of in-road wireless electric vehicle charging technology for shared, commercial and passenger vehicles, and Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE), a National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center taking on the nation’s electrified transportation challenges to the widespread electrification of all vehicles, announced they are launching a joint demonstration project. Electreon’s in-motion (dynamic) wireless charging technology will be installed in ASPIRE’s research test track in North Logan, Utah, in summer 2022 to showcase the company’s technology for the first time in North America. The launch of the test bed comes in advance of Electreon’s first deployment on a public road in the U.S. in 2023 in Detroit––a partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), among many others.

The demonstration will consist of 50 meters of dynamic in-road wireless charging hardware installed in Utah State University’s (USU) test track. Corresponding vehicle side charging hardware will be installed on the Kenworth truck, and power management and charging communication systems will also be included. This site will function as a live demonstration facility for departments of transportation, other government officials, current and potential industry partners, as well as Electreon’s potential and prospective partners and clients to experience Electreon’s in-motion wireless charging as the technology moves to market deployment in the U.S. Electreon will also use this project as a test bed to conduct future vehicle integration programs with automakers. This project marks a significant advancement in Electreon’s and ASPIRE’s efforts toward providing sustainable mobility infrastructure for the nation and the world.

“So far, Electreon has already demonstrated its dynamic wireless charging technology in four operational pilots across Europe and now we are thrilled to kick off our first U.S.-based deployment with USU’s ASPIRE, displaying the viability of our in-road wireless charging infrastructure,” says Stefan Tongur, vice president business development for Electreon in North America. “We are excited at the prospect of advancing sustainable charging technology in hopes of supporting the U.S. movement toward an all-electric future. This project will allow us to engage with partners and clients to develop pilot and commercial projects in the whole nation and will allow for ongoing testing in advance of U.S. projects on public roadways, including the recently announced project in Detroit.”

This demonstration project collaboration with ASPIRE, in part, aims to validate dynamic wireless charging technology solutions for several upcoming pilot projects that include the Utah Inland Port Authority (Salt Lake City, UT), the Central Florida Expressway (Orlando, FL) and developing projects in several states across the nation.

“ASPIRE is excited to work with Electreon in demonstrating the electrified roadways of tomorrow,” said Regan Zane, ASPIRE Center Director. “The groundbreaking work that we are doing here exemplifies our commitment to creating solutions to the issues that are preventing us from electrifying transportation. We believe that our findings will provide the blueprint for the nation’s path to deep electrified vehicle adoption and resulting energy, economic and environmental benefits through low-cost ubiquitous charging infrastructure.”

Electreon and ASPIRE are also partnering on the demonstration project with Kiewit Corporation, one of the largest and most respected engineering and construction companies in North America. Kiewit will provide expert insight into installation and construction processes for electric roads.

“Kiewit is proud to continue our partnership with Electreon and ASPIRE for the deployment of this innovative technology,” says Mike Johnson, Kiewit Sr. Vice President of Infrastructure Markets & Strategy. “The ASPIRE demonstration will be essential in understanding construction considerations around installation and maintenance of dynamic and static inductive vehicle charging on public roads.”

The project also includes Kenworth Truck Company, which has delivered a Class 8 Kenworth T680 Classic to USU for the integration with the Electreon system at the test track.

Qmertit & Chargeway Intro Beacon for Car Dealers

Qmerit, the leading provider of implementation solutions for EV charging and other electric-powered technologies, and Chargeway, a software platform, mobile app and communication solution for the auto industry designed to improve the electric car customer’s understanding of electricity as a fuel, announced a new partnership to improve the electric vehicle experience and accelerate EV sales for auto dealers.

The Chargeway Beacon offers a turnkey solution for utilities to explain their “electric fuel” and provide auto dealers an easy way to visualize EV charging stations for every brand of vehicle. Qmerit provides turnkey home charging installation solutions that simplify the switch to EVs, powered by a proprietary digital services platform and national network of certified electricians.

Through the newly announced partnership, Qmerit’s digital services platform will be integrated with the Chargeway Beacon to create a more seamless customer experience, connecting EV charging education with a convenient home charger installation solution. This integration will also provide consumers with better accessibility to utility incentives to make electrification more affordable.

Ford Pro Intros One-Stop Shop of Home/Depot Chargers

Ford Pro is aiming to create a smooth transition for commercial customers into an electric future by providing a one-stop shop for fleet operations and investing in key areas of the business. The latest is the launch of six new home and depot chargers to its end-to-end portfolio of charging solutions.

In a market crowded with fragmented and consumer-grade products, customers are demanding complete solutions designed to meet the needs of commercial fleet operations. Ford Pro is pulling the wraps off a wide range of charging hardware – from home chargers to large-scale depot charging systems – all backed with integrated installation, software, service and Ford Pro FinSimple financing from America’s leader* in commercial trucks and vans.

Ford Pro charging hardware launches alongside the all-new 2022 Ford E-Transit shipping to dealers now and the all-new 2022 Ford F-150® Lightning Pro arriving this spring, providing compatibility for customers who may operate other electric vehicle makes with secure OEM data.

“We are investing heavily in products and services to help commercial customers accelerate into an electric future, which means helping to ensure our hardware and software can plug and play with other manufacturers, as we know many customers operate mixed-make fleets,” said Ted Cannis, Ford Pro CEO. “These chargers can be completely customized to unique commercial environments and can work even better when paired together with Ford Pro electric vehicles and Telematics to enable OEM-grade data transparency.”

Making electric vehicle adoption easier

According to a recent survey conducted by PSB**, the shift to electrification is causing great anxiety among fleet managers, with nearly half finding the setup of charging infrastructure to be a significant challenge for their companies, and a nearly equal number concerned about finding optimal charging solutions.

To address these concerns, Ford Pro helps customers implement complete electric vehicle charging from start to finish, a turnkey solution offering a full-service team of experts with decades of experience in commercial project development and installations. Ford Pro Charging seamlessly integrates hardware and software solutions precisely designed to manage their electric fleet charging requirements.

“It starts with sitting down with our customers to learn their business and how they plan to use their electric vehicles,” said Muffi Ghadiali, Ford Pro Charging general manager. “Regardless of the size of their business or the industry they are in, we’ll help them plan their charging infrastructure – whether it’s installing home chargers for employees or developing a large-scale depot system – to make the transition to electric seamless.”

Once the charge systems are up and running, Ford Pro will continue to support commercial electric vehicle customers with Ford Pro E-Telematics†† and cutting-edge Ford Pro Charging**/† software solutions so fleet managers can better track their fleets. This includes software for smart charging, pre-conditioning, remote monitoring, reimbursement management for home charging, and reporting to help save on energy costs, maximize vehicle efficiency and uptime.

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