EV, Battery & Charging News: Xcel, Nikola, Polestar, ChargePoint, WiTricity, FLO & Freewire

In electric vehicle battery and charging news are Xcel, Nikola, Polestar, ChargePoint, WiTricity, FLO and Freewire.

Xcel Adds EV Bucket Trucks to Fleet

Xcel Energy is taking the next steps in its journey toward electric transportation by becoming the first energy company in the nation to add all-electric bucket trucks to its fleet. Xcel Energy crews will use these new, quiet, zero-emissions trucks as they maintain the electric system and respond to outages after storms.

“We’re proud to be the first energy company in the United States to add all-electric bucket trucks to our fleet,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president, and CEO of Xcel Energy. “By adding these clean energy vehicles to our fleet, Xcel Energy is demonstrating its commitment to leading the clean energy transition by becoming a net-zero energy provider for all our customers’ energy needs – electricity, heating and transportation, while also helping shape the electrification of the truck industry, which complements our overall vision to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.”

Xcel Energy was one of the first energy companies to put forward a plan to electrify all its light-duty vehicles and 30% of its medium and heavy-duty fleet by 2030. This directly supports the company’s vision to power 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2030, allowing everyone in the communities we serve to experience the benefits of electric transportation, whether they own an EV, take transit, or benefit from improved air quality.

The truck’s technology is being delivered by Terex Utilities and Navistar, manufacturer of International® trucks, two years ahead of industry projections. The truck features two electric sources: one for the drive train and one for the lift mechanism. It has a 135-mile driving range and the ability to operate the bucket for a full workday on a single charge.

Xcel Energy crews will use these trucks in real working conditions during a six- to 12-month pilot. Their feedback will help ensure the trucks become a dependable, preferred work truck, and help Xcel Energy and the industry better prepare for the electric vehicle transition. The company currently has 1,000 aerial bucket trucks in its fleet.

The vehicle will be showcased on June 6 in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Electric Utility Fleet Manager’s Conference. Xcel Energy will roll out the first truck in the Twin Cities in late June. The second truck will be delivered to our Denver fleet at the end of 2022.

NYTVIP for NKLA Trucks

Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy infrastructure solutions, announced that its Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicle (BEV) has been deemed eligible for the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program (NYTVIP).

NYTVIP provides vouchers, or discounts, to fleets across New York State that purchase or lease medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEV). With this approval, purchasers of the Nikola Tre BEV can now qualify for an incentive valued at up to $185,000 per truck, with a scrappage requirement.

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), NYTVIP helps make it easier for fleets to adopt zero-emission vehicle technologies by significantly reducing up front cost.

Polestar Delivers to Hertz

Polestar, the Swedish electric performance car manufacturer, has begun delivering new Polestar 2 electric cars to Hertz as part of the agreement announced in April 2022, under which Polestar will supply the global car rental giant with 65,000 cars over the next five years.

The partnership between Polestar and Hertz is one of the largest single orders for electric cars ever made. The start of deliveries signifies Polestar’s operational capability as a relatively mature brand in a space heavily populated by early-stage start-ups.

Polestar Will Reveal 3 SUVs in October

Polestar, the Swedish electric performance car company, has announced that the world premiere of its next car, the Polestar 3 electric performance SUV, will be in October 2022. Polestar 3 is the company’s first SUV.

The launch of the car marks Polestar’s entrance into one of the highest margin and growth segments in the automotive industry, particularly in the United States.

Polestar 3 will, over time, offer autonomous highway piloting powered by the best-in-class LiDAR sensor from Luminar and centralized NVIDIA computing power. At launch, Polestar 3 will feature a dual-motor drivetrain and a large battery, with a range target of over 600 km / 372 miles (WLTP).

The confirmation of the world premiere comes with a new film and a first undisguised image of the car. Customers can expect to order Polestar 3 in initial launch markets from the day of the premiere. Production is expected to begin in early 2023, and Polestar 3 will be manufactured in the United States and China.

“Polestar 3 is the SUV for the electric age. Our design identity evolves with this high-end large luxury EV, with a strong, individual brand character,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “With this car, we bring the ‘sport’ back to the SUV, staying true to our performance roots.”

Thomas Ingenlath adds: “This is a major milestone for our company, one that boosts our growth trajectory and takes us into our next phase.”

Polestar plans to launch a new car every year for the next three years, starting with Polestar 3, and aims to increase its presence to at least 30 global markets by the end of 2023. This supports Polestar’s plans to grow ten-fold from global sales of approximately 29,000 in 2021 to approximately 290,000 by the end of 2025.

Polestar intends to list on the Nasdaq in a proposed business combination with Gores Guggenheim, Inc. (Nasdaq: GGPI, GGPIW, and GGPIU), which is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

ChargePoint Publishes Report

-ChargePoint (NYSE: CHPT), a leading electric vehicle (EV) charging network, announced the publication of its 2022 Charging Forward report, providing businesses, fleets, and residential property owners with a broad look at how they can participate in the new fueling network. The report reviews the EV industry over the last five years, ChargePoint’s predictions for the next five years and beyond, and the key factors ChargePoint believes are driving EV adoption across North America and Europe.

This year’s Charging Forward revisits bold predictions made in the 2017 edition when ChargePoint offered its five-year market outlook, successfully projecting industry growth and a broader commitment to electric vehicles at a global level. According to BloombergNEF data, global passenger EV sales more than doubled from 2020 to 2021, and as of last year, every one in ten new vehicles sold was an EV.

“We believe mobility is in the midst of its greatest transformation in generations, and mass EV adoption is closer today than ever before,” said Colleen Jansen, chief marketing officer, ChargePoint. “Charging Forward provides business, fleets, property owners, and drivers with a broad look at how the market has grown, where it stands today, where ChargePoint believes it’s going in the next five years, and responds to many of the common myths facing the industry. As more industries and consumers embrace EVs, we believe the greater the need for hardware and software solutions that ensure everyone who needs to charge has access.”

In the last five years, automakers have embraced the shift toward electric mobility, making significant investments to develop and produce new EV models. In the same time period, ChargePoint grew its network in line with driver demand to simplify the transition to electric mobility. Today, a driver plugs into the ChargePoint network every second or less. Additionally, major fleet operators have invested in fleet electrification, driving growth in sessions delivered on the ChargePoint network to electric fleets by more than 200% since 2017.

Charging Forward also outlines the company’s predictions for the coming years, including a global tipping point for EV adoption within the next decade, rapid growth in home charging adoption, as well as broader positive impacts that ChargePoint anticipates the shift to electrification will have on everyday lives.

Siemens Buys into WiTricity

Siemens invests $25 million and acquires a minority stake in U.S.-based WiTricity, a wireless charging technology company. Siemens and WiTricity will work together to drive innovation in the emerging market for wireless EV charging. This market is expected to reach $2 billion by 2028 in Europe and North America alone, according to Siemens’ calculations. The two companies seek to bridge the gaps in the global standardization of wireless charging for electric passenger and light duty commercial vehicles, to enable interoperability between vehicles and infrastructure, as well as support market penetration. In addition, both parties will collaborate to advance the technical development of wireless charging systems.

FLO Factory in Michigan

FLO, a leading North American electric vehicle (EV) charging company, announced plans to open its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Michigan in late 2022 to accelerate execution of its U.S. market strategy. FLO expects that the facility in Auburn Hills, north of Detroit, will make a major contribution to Michigan’s electrification future. FLO plans to produce more than 250,000 EV chargers by 2028 for the U.S. market. The facility is expected to create 730 direct, indirect and induced jobs by 2028.

FreeWire & USDOT

Thursday, June 9th, the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Energy, and the White House hosted FreeWire Technologies and other major electric vehicle (EV) and charging equipment companies for Charging Forward: a Two-Day Electric Vehicle Symposium at the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters. The two-day event showcased the latest in EV charging technology with focused discussions on accelerating an equitable electrified future.