EV, Battery & Charging News: Nano One, Toyota, BASF, ACE, MOBI, GreenPower, LG, Stellantis, Renesas, Mullen & Orange

In electric vehicle battery and charging news are Nano One, Toyota, BASF, ACE, MOBI, GreenPower, LG, Stellantis, Renesas, Mullen and Orange.

Nano One Partners with BASF for One-Pot CAM with Niobium

Nano One Materials Corp. (TSX:NANO) (OTC:NNOMF) is a clean tech company that has developed a patented, scalable, low-carbon industrial process for the low-cost production of high-performance lithium-ion battery cathode materials. The technology is applicable to electric vehicles (EVs), energy storage, consumer electronics and next-generation batteries to help with the global push towards a zero-emission future.

On May 31Nano One Materials announced that it has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with globally active chemical company, BASF to co-develop a process with reduced by-products for commercial production of next-generation cathode active materials (CAM). The process will be based on BASF’s HED-family of advanced CAM and will use Nano One‘s patented One-Pot process and metal direct to CAM (M2CAM®) technologies.

The JDA plan has various phases and stage gates and is the result of evaluating Nano One’s processes and products and represents a significant milestone in the business relationship between BASF and Nano One.

A week prior, Nano One Materials announced it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Johnson Matthey (JM) Battery Materials Ltd. (JMBM Canada) for roughly C$10.25 million.

JMBM Canada’s team has over 360 years of collective experience in R&D, pilot-to-commercial scale cathode production and product qualification, and quality assurance systems expertise for manufacturers of Tier 1 automotive lithium-ion cells. JMBM Canada also includes a 2,400 ton per year LFP production plant located in Candiac, Quebec, occupying approximately one-tenth of the 400,000 square foot property.

On March 13Nano One provided a corporate update, revealing that it has working capital of approximately $48.6 million and cash of approximately $48.7 million, a healthy treasury to execute its business strategy.

Nano One also revealed that it has successfully completed Phase One of its advanced lithium-ion battery cathode materials coating development agreement with the world’s leading supplier of niobium products and technology, CBMM. Nano One has successfully demonstrated how CBMM’s niobium forms a protective coating on its single nanocrystal NMC cathode active material. The success on this first milestone not only provides yet another demonstration of the flexibility of the company’s patented One-Pot process, it strengthens the supply chain relationship between CBMM and Nano One.///

ACE Patents Very Large Format LFP Cell

Advanced Cell Engineering (ACE), a developer and licensor of next-generation high energy density battery cell technology, has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its very large format (VLF) cell. The patent filing represents a key milestone in the company’s “Project Magnus,” in which ACE will finalize cell design and chemistry for a highly efficient, 1-meter cell-to-pack prismatic cell. This is ACE’s fourth patent application in the last six months.

The VLF cell, when coupled with ACE’s patented Advanced LFP (lithium iron phosphate) chemistry, will enable EV manufacturers to build vehicles offering greater range. Advanced LFP offers significantly higher energy density in any cell format than the existing LFP offerings on the market today. When used in the VLF cell, ACE’s Advanced LFP technology will achieve even greater energy density thanks to the cell’s very efficient design.

ACE’s VLF battery cell will reduce the size, weight, and complexity of an EV’s battery system. Today’s EVs contain thousands of small cells assembled into a number of modules, which are in turn assembled into a battery pack. The ACE VLF cell will eliminate the need for the module structure by integrating  80-100 1-meter prismatic cells directly into the battery pack which is then installed into a vehicle’s chassis. ACE expects the cell design to be available for licensing in early 2023.

MOBI Battery State of Health Standard

With the global electric vehicle (EV) market projected to reach a value of $725.14 billion by 2026, there is increasing need to understand the performance, or State of Health (SOH), of batteries. Defining, measuring, and accessing battery SOH is a key step toward enhancing visibility in the battery supply chain, enabling circular business models, improving road safety, and breaking down the barriers to widespread primary and secondary EV market adoption.

MOBI and its members released the Battery SOH Standard today to accelerate the use of battery health as a key parameter in various business applications and regulatory frameworks. Widely accepted definitions and measures of battery SOH will unlock new circular business models by giving stakeholders new tools to ensure EV batteries are produced, distributed, maintained, and recycled in a safe and sustainable way, opening the door to an array of second and third-life battery uses such as the creation of decentralized energy storage systems. The ability to access SOH data will enable EV owners to easily check whether a battery needs to be recharged or replaced, eliminating range anxiety and empowering more buyers to purchase new and used EVs with confidence.

The Battery SOH Standard is a foundational component of the MOBI Battery Initiative, which focuses on the creation of a comprehensive, CARB-compliant framework for an industry-wide secure data management system that can be used to improve the visibility and sustainability of the global battery value chain per the requirements of the EU Battery Directive. The standard is also a key to the Battery Passport, which will be used to track batteries throughout the value chain using key attributes such as SOH.

In addition to producing the SOH Standard, MOBI is developing a W3C-compliant decentralized battery identity number (BIN) standard for the Battery Birth Certificate and Battery Passport (managed by the battery Self-Sovereign Digital Twin™). In the battery value chain, MOBI’s Integrated Trust Network can be used as the blockchain-based identity trust anchor and Citopia marketplace enables verifiable credentials for peer-to-peer SOH data sharing.

The MOBI Battery SOH standard was made possible by the contributions of Accenture, ASJade Technology, Aucnet Inc., Amazon Web Services (AWS), Blockedge, CarIQ, CEVT, DENSO, Ford, General Motors, Henshin Group, Hitachi America, Ltd., IoTeX, Information Technology Institute, ITOCHU, NuCypher, peaq, Reply, and USAA.

National Grid Off-Peak Rebates in Mass.

National Grid is expanding its Off-Peak Charging Rebate Program in Massachusetts with ev.energy, a global provider of managed electric vehicle (EV) charging software. The program allows customers to receive a discount on their charging by connecting their vehicle or home charger to National Grid’s new mobile app called Charge Smart MA. National Grid electric customers in Massachusetts will have the ability to earn money back on their monthly bill by plugging in their vehicles during off-peak hours and tracking their charging.

GreenPower WV Factory to Produce in September

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (NASDAQ: GP) (TSXV: GPV) (“GreenPower”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission, electric-powered, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, today announced the company’s timeline to begin manufacturing zero-emission, all-electric school buses in its newly-acquired facility in South Charleston, West Virginia.

“GreenPower will take possession of the West Virginia manufacturing facility in August and production will begin in September,” said Fraser Atkinson, CEO and Chairman of the Board of GreenPower. “The facility will be instrumental in ramping up production of our all-electric school buses, the BEAST and Nano BEAST, in time to meet the demand created by EPA’s Clean School Bus Program and state legislative mandates.”

Wireless EV Charging Wanted

new research study conducted by Qualtrics, an independent market research firm, found that car buyers want wireless charging as an option on their new electric vehicle (EV). The study, commissioned by WiTricity, aimed to understand how wireless charging is perceived to change the EV ownership experience. Among the 1,053 American adults who were surveyed, nearly half already own at least one EV and the other half intend to purchase an EV in the next two years.

“As EV shoppers become more mainstream, they also become less willing to put up with early-adopter headaches,” said WiTricity CMO Amy Barzdukas. “It makes sense that EV shoppers want to remove one of the last remaining frustrations in EV ownership – the plug. Wireless charging eliminates the hassle of charging by ensuring it’s an automatic and seamless process.”

Wireless Charging is More Desirable Than Full Self-Driving and Other Amenities

Wireless charging sits atop the list of features EV shoppers want. In fact, wireless charging is rated 34% higher than full self-driving capabilities. Wireless charging is also more appealing than popular upgrades such as premium audio systems, park assist, acceleration performance, or unique interior or exterior design features.

Wireless Charging will be Most Used at Home

The research also found that EV buyers intend to use wireless charging where the Department of Energy says charging happens most – at home. More than three-fourths of EV buyers want to use a wireless charging pad in their garage or driveway – and a majority said they will use wireless charging at public locations, work, or shared living areas like apartments or condos.

Wireless Charging Appeals to All Demographics

Every generation surveyed agrees that wireless charging technologies are appealing, however, they identify different reasons for that appeal. Nearly three-fourths of Baby Boomers like not having to physically plug in as the primary appeal, while Millennials are more interested in having access to the latest technology.

Wireless Charging Expands Access

With interoperability top of mind, nearly half of EV shoppers identify wireless charging as a solution to not having to find the right plug at public charging stations – a frustration that 40 percent of current EV owners identify as a current challenge with public charging. Boomers in particular show interest in wireless charging outside the home with 46 percent concerned about accessibility with public charging stations – as public charging stations are often inaccessible to those with mobility issues.

It is clear that wireless charging is set to transform the EV ownership experience, reducing barriers for adoption and improving the public charging landscape with interoperability.///

Stellantis & LG Battery Form NexStar Energy in Windsor, Ontario

Stellantis and LG Energy Solution  announced NextStar Energy Inc. as the official name of its battery joint-venture company. Danies Lee has been appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of the new company. NextStar Energy will be Canada’s first large-scale lithium-ion battery production plant.

Stellantis and LG Energy Solution committed to invest more than $5 billion CAD ($4.1 billion USD) to establish automotive battery operations in Windsor, Ontario, with support from the municipal, provincial and federal levels of the Canadian government. The manufacturing facility is targeted to have an annual production capacity in excess of 45 gigawatt hours (GWh) and will create an estimated 2,500 new jobs in Windsor and the surrounding areas. Plant construction activities are expected to begin later this year with production operations planned to launch in the first quarter of 2024.

“I am extremely humbled by this appointment and look forward to putting in place the senior leadership team of NextStar Energy who will help me achieve our vision of producing leading-edge lithium-ion battery cells and modules to meet a significant portion of Stellantis’ vehicle production requirements in North America,” said Lee, CEO NextStar Energy.

NextStar Energy will play an important role in the Stellantis Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, which aims to have more than 50% BEV sales in North America by the end of the decade.

Lee has held a series of global and regional sales and marketing roles for the promotion of lithium-ion batteries at LG Chem since 2001. He was responsible for U.S. market sales and was based in San Jose, California, from 2015 to 2018. Most recently, he oversaw the sales and program management of key EV battery programs for the North American market. Lee will be moving to Windsor, Ontario, in the coming months. He holds a master’s degree in international studies from Korea University, as well as an MBA from Duke University.

The closing of the battery joint-venture company is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Renesas’ CDD

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced an AUTOSAR-compliant complex device driver (CDD) software module for designers of automotive battery management systems (BMS) in electric vehicles (EVs). The new software pairs with Renesas’ industry-leading ISL78714 Li-Ion battery management IC to speed design and optimize performance of next-generation systems.

The CDD software is designed to work with Renesas’ Winning Combination BMS reference design hardware kit, which includes the ISL78714 IC and the RH850/P1M MCU. The CDD includes configuration and integration of required microcontroller abstraction layer (MCAL) modules provided by Renesas for the RH850 MCU. It provides an entire low-level software solution for collecting battery cell voltage and temperature measurements and controlling cell balancing functions of the ISL78714. Configurable parameters determine the number of cells in the BMS system and the desired rate of battery cell data collection.

The CDD software has a simple but full-featured API that allows the end-user’s application software to receive battery cell measurements in real time. Software interfaces and protocol management needed to operate the ISL78714 are built into the CDD software and operate on top of existing lower-level SPI, GPIO, and General Purpose Timer (GPT) drivers included in the MCAL modules. The CDD software provides customers with a practical architecture for simplifying their software design and allows them to focus efforts on their unique application features.

The new ISL78714 CDD software follows ISO26262 ASIL D (the highest level of automotive functional safety) development processes. The RH850/P1M MCU and MCAL modules also achieve ASIL D. The ISL78714 CDD software, as a template for successful ASIL D software development, is an enormous asset. Customers who desire assistance with their design can work under contract with Renesas partner TATA Elxsi to develop their system.

“As the EV market continues to expand rapidly, battery management is a critical element in the success of new vehicles,” said Niall Lyne, Vice President of the Automotive Analog Power and Video Business Division at Renesas. “The Renesas ISL78714 IC combined with our new CDD software helps our customers get the best performance possible out of their battery management systems, reduces their development schedule, and simultaneously eases the difficult process of meeting stringent ASIL D safety requirements.”

“The unique features of the Renesas ISL78714 battery management IC, combined with the new CDD software, offer a powerful platform to develop our integrated BMS,” said Chris Klesyk, Vice President, Battery Management for Our Next Energy. “This technology partnership is foundational for ONE’s immediate BMS needs and offers a path for future enhancements.”

Availability

The new CDD software and the Renesas BMS reference design hardware kit (ISL78714BMS5XBEKIT1Z) are available now to qualified customers.

Class Action Against Mullen Automotive Forming

Mullen Automotive class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors who lost money in Mullen (NASDAQ: MULN). Shares of Mullen Automotive dropped 10% on April 6, 2022, after Hindenburg Research published a report alleging that the company misrepresented test results for its solid-state battery technology, exaggerated its business relationships, and overstated its ability to manufacture and sell its branded products. If you purchased or acquired Mullen Automotive shares between June 15, 2020, and April 6, 2022, please reach out to Gibbs Law Group to discuss your legal rights and options.

To speak with an attorney regarding this class action lawsuit investigation, click here or call (888) 410-2925.

On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, Hindenburg Research released a scathing report accusing development-stage electronic vehicle (EV) manufacturer, Mullen Automotive, of overstating its business deals, production timeline, and battery technology, among other things. According to Hindenburg Research, Mullen falsely claimed that two electric cargo vans it would be manufacturing were its own, when they are actually Chinese EVs called the Qiantu K50, rebranded with a Mullen logo. Previously, in December 2018, Mullen and Chinese auto manufacturer, Qiantu, announced that they signed an agreement to sell and assemble cars in North America and Mullen subsequently put its logo on Qiantu’s K50 vehicle and re-branded it as the “DragonFly.” Mullen’s then-CTO Frank McMahon announced at an auto show that sales for the DragonFly would begin in 2020. But following the reveal, Mullen allegedly defaulted on its payment obligations to Qiantu, and Qiantu terminated their agreement in October 2019, yet Mullen continued marketing the vehicle as its own product, despite lacking the finances or technology to commercially produce these vehicles on its own, per the Hindenburg report.

As reported by Hindenburg, in a February 2022 press release, Mullen made sweeping claims about its solid-state battery testing, claiming that its battery cell “yielded 343 Ah at 4.3 volts,” which the company claimed is almost double that of other top EV companies. In response, the CEO of the company that performed the test results explained that these results were actually recycled from a previous testing cycle and asserted: “[w]e never would have said that. We never did say it and certainly wouldn’t have said it based on the results of testing that battery,” as alleged in the Hindenburg report.

The Hindenburg report further claims that Mullen has mispresented the nature of its business relationships with several companies. For example, Hindenburg spoke with a senior executive who claimed that Mullen’s 2020 joint venture with NextMetals Ltd to manufacture its solid-state battery technology “didn’t exist at all,” and was a complete fabrication.

Following the news of the Hindenburg report, Mullen Automotive stock dropped 10%, on April 6, 2022, causing significant harm to investors.

What Should Mullen Automotive Investors Do?

If you invested in Mullen Automotive, visit our website or contact our securities team directly at (888) 410-2925 to discuss how you may be able to recover your losses. Our investigation concerns whether Mullen Automotive has violated federal securities laws.

Toyota Intros Home Storage Battery System in Japan

Toyota Motor is introducing the O-Uchi Kyuden System, a home storage battery system based on its electrified vehicle battery technology. Pre-orders for the system have started, and sales in Japan will begin in August through home builders and general construction companies.

The O-Uchi Kyuden System uses electrified vehicle battery technology such as Toyota’s battery control to provide a rated capacity of 8.7 kWh and a rated output of 5.5 kWh. This ensures safety and provides a supply of electricity to the entire home not just in normal situations, but even during power outages caused by natural disasters.

Orange Intros e-TRIEVER 2022

Orange EV, the manufacturer with the most zero-emission trucks in operation in the United States, today announced the new e-TRIEVER™ brand for its Model Year 2022 all-electric terminal trucks. The e-TRIEVER builds upon the T-Series’ exceptional foundation while continuing Orange EV’s commitment to innovation and delivering trucks that meet the demanding needs of heavy-duty, goods movement operations.

Orange EV commercially deployed its first all-electric yard truck in 2015.  Five million miles, 1.5 million hours, and 400 trucks later, Orange EV is recognized as the leading manufacturer of Class 8 electric truck solutions.

Trusted by more than 130 fleets across the United States and Canada, Orange EV electric trucks are proven to deliver 98-99% average uptime and a lower total cost of ownership, with many customers experiencing a 3- to 4-year payback on a 10-year expected life. The e-TRIEVER extends this excellence, bringing all the benefits fleets depend upon – including zero tailpipe emissions – while adding next-generation technology.

The e-TRIEVER features DTS™ (Digital Truck Systems) designed to integrate with autonomous control systems along with advanced digital cab architecture, improved sensing, remote diagnostic capabilities, and an optional IntelliBoom™ package that captures 5th wheel load weight, boom lift cycles, and kingpin presence and retention data.  The basic specifications for the Model Year 2022 4×2 e-TRIEVER remain unchanged from the prior Model Year 2021 4×2 T-Series:

  • GCWR: 81,000 lbs.
  • Speed: Up to 25 mph
  • Battery Capacity: 180 kWh or 100 kWh
  • Charge Rate: Up to 70 kW
  • Range: Up to 24 hours on a single charge
  • Motor: Brushless AC induction
  • Transmission: None; direct drive
  • Available now for purchase, lease, or rent
  • Custom builds delivered in 90-120 days

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