EV, Battery & Charging News: PlugShare, ChargeNet, GreenPower Delivers, Workhorse Group, Orange EV, Konnected Kerb & Vibracoustic

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are PlugShare, ChargeNet, GreenPower Delivers, Workhorse Group, Orange EV, Konnected Kerb & Vibracoustic.

PlugShare Hits 5 Million Check-in Mark

PlugShare, the world’s leading EV community and a part of the EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO) family since mid-2021, today announced that the platform has surpassed five million check-ins worldwide. Check-ins are how drivers review their charging experience on PlugShare to help inform the EV community. With more than 600,000 charging stations listed on the platform, PlugShare’s announcement comes on the heels of its recent user milestone of reaching over two million registered users globally. As part of this rapid growth, the number of stations featured on the PlugShare app increased by 50% over the last year.

As an interactive resource for EV drivers, PlugShare enables users to easily locate and navigate to chargers, filter results by their preferred network, charging speed or connector type (CHAdeMO, CCS, J-1772, Tesla), and share real-time charging station reviews around key factors like nearby amenities or performance of the charging equipment. This community feedback directly informs a station’s PlugScore rating, which reflects the charging experience of recent drivers. A greater number of user check-ins at stations enhances the accuracy of these PlugScores, providing an increasingly valuable service as millions of new EV drivers navigate their first EV charging experiences.

“PlugShare’s interactive feedback features and planning tools are an essential part of any EV trip, and this rapidly growing community makes it easier to incorporate charging into daily routines than ever before,” said Cathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo. “With over five million check-ins to date, EV drivers are relying on PlugShare for essential, real-time information on directions to chargers, pricing and reviews from fellow drivers – mitigating concerns from would-be and first-time EV drivers and further powering the mass transition to electric.”

PlugShare has experienced exponential growth alongside the increase in DC fast charging stations worldwide. As a result of this increase, PlugShare has added nearly as many DC fast charging station locations in the first half of 2022 as it did in all of 2021, and now lists over 100,000 DCFC stations on the platform globally — a staggering 50% increase in only one year. Furthermore, in Q2 of 2022, PlugShare’s total number of global charging station locations listed on the platform increased by 21.9% while the total number of chargers increased by 25%, marking the largest quarterly increase in the history of the platform.

“Providing valuable data and tools to help enhance the everyday EV driver’s charging experience is essential to our business, no matter where they’re charging,” said Dan Wheeler, Digital Marketing Director at PlugShare. “Our growth in overall users and engagement directly demonstrates how drivers increasingly utilize digital tools to make real-time charging decisions, and we are thrilled to see this influx in user contributions as we help to support the growth of EV adoption worldwide.”

In addition to aforementioned PlugShare features, registered users can utilize Pay with PlugShare, which allows drivers to pay for and activate public charging stations directly from the app. Users also have the option to subscribe to a paid monthly membership in order to unlock an ad-free experience when using the platform.

For more information and to find the location of EV chargers within the EVgo charging network, visit www.evgo.com and www.plugshare.com.

ChargeNet Gets ChargerHelp!

-ChargeNet Stations, an electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station development and software company, is now working with ChargerHelp! The partnership bolsters uptime for the ChargeNet Stations’ rapidly expanding network across quick-serve restaurant parking lots throughout California.

“Teaming up with ChargerHelp! means our restaurant franchisees have one more great reason to feel confident about our network having round-the-clock service and a clear system for repairs within 24-hours,” said ChargeNet Stations CEO and co-founder Tosh Dutt.

ChargeNet Stations is preparing to open its first set of fast, solar-powered EV charging stations at a South San Francisco Taco Bell®. ChargeNet Stations enables restaurants to store renewable energy for fast EV charging and affords restaurant franchisees the capability to save up to 20 percent on energy costs.

Customers get a 212+-mile-plus charge in 10 minutes, or less, for about $20, while enjoying a hot meal. The San Diego-based company is on track to open dozens more stations this year – all at quick-serve restaurants, most of which are in underserved communities.

ChargerHelp! is based in Los Angeles. Its EMPWR platform provides customers within the charging ecosystem visibility, insights, and data on EV station reliability. Its certified electric vehicle supply equipment technicians are dispatched when needed for 24/7 service on demand.

“There’s no doubt California is leading the country in EV adoption and as great companies like ChargeNet Stations focus on expanding their EV charging network, they and their partners want to trust their chargers are consistently in good working order for all drivers to use, at all times,” said ChargerHelp! CEO and co-founder Kameale C. Terry.

Both companies are part of the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator (LACI) program, and both are committed to diversity and inclusion. Each company also participates in the Workforce Development program, and, as well-funded start-ups, are creating hundreds of jobs across California.

To learn more about ChargeNet Stations, its quick serve restaurant opportunities, and open career positions, visit ChargeNetStations.com and on Twitter @ChargeNetStnUS.

To discover more about ChargerHelp!, including employment opportunities and training, visit ChargerHelp.com.

GreenPower Delivers to Workhorse Group

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (NASDAQ: GP) (TSXV: GPV) (“GreenPower”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission, electric-powered, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, announced the delivery of the first tranche of EV Star Cab and Chassis (EV Star CC) to Workhorse Group Inc. (Nasdaq: WKHS) (“Workhorse”) for the Production of Workhorse’s New Class 4 W750 Step Van Line.

On March 1st, 2022 GreenPower and Workhouse announced a multi-year supply agreement to facilitate the manufacturing and delivery of medium-duty Class 4 step vans into the North American market. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies committed to a 21-month schedule during which GreenPower will deliver 1,500 EV Star cab and chassis to Workhorse starting in July 2022 through to March 2024. The chassis are to be used in the production of Workhorse’s new Class 4 W750 step van line, which is slated to enter production later this year. The W750 will feature up to 150 miles of all-electric range, with a payload capacity of 5,000 lbs., as well as standard 60 kW DC fast-charging and optional 60 kW wireless-charging capabilities.

Workhorse will complete the manufacturing process and deliver finished step vans to its customers in the United States and Canada. The agreement includes deposits based on delivery thresholds and also contains a renewal option.

GreenPower’s EV Star Cab and Chassis is a purpose-built multi-utility zero-emissions vehicle with a battery pack of 118 kWh providing a payload of 7,000 pounds and a range of 150 miles. GreenPower’s EV Star Cab and Chassis accommodates a wide variety of mid and last-mile delivery needs while maintaining the benefits of being a zero-emission vehicle.

Workhorse has the exclusive rights in the U.S. and Canada to sell Class 4 step vans based on the GreenPower-supplied base vehicle. The finished Class 4 step vans will be available under the Workhorse brand with Workhorse after-sales and support service.

Orange EV Funding

Orange EV, the EV industry-leading manufacturer with the most heavy duty zero-emission trucks in operation in the United States, announced it has closed a $35 million institutional funding round led by S2G Ventures and CCI, an affiliate of Henry Crown and Company, to support and accelerate the company’s growth.

Founded in 2012 in Riverside, Missouri, Orange EV was the country’s first manufacturer to commercially deploy 100% electric Class 8 vehicles in 2015. The company’s focus has been on Class 8-yard trucks, which are used to move trailers and containers in distribution centers, manufacturing plants, warehouses, rail intermodals, ports, and other facilities where goods movement is mission critical. Now into its 2nd decade as an EV innovator, Orange EV continues to lead the industry with more than 450 heavy-duty electric yard trucks operating in 130 fleets across 28 states, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Orange EV trucks save companies money, are safer, 10x more reliable, and higher-rated by drivers and managers versus their diesel predecessors. As the cost of fuel continues to rise and as more businesses around the world set ambitious goals for eliminating fossil fuels, there is an increased demand to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles at scale. Orange EV yard trucks are proven to be the truck of choice to make immediate and permanent emissions reductions, preventing over 1,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per truck over a 15-year lifespan.

“Orange EV’s mission is to deliver electric vehicles that are better than legacy diesel ones in every way – for the earth, people, and the business bottom line,” said Kurt Neutgens, Orange EV Co-founder, President, and CTO. “With this funding, Orange EV will be able to further scale its impact through continued investment in manufacturing to meet the demand that is outstripping our current facilities, as well as advance R&D to develop and deliver other products which will further improve our customer’s operations while providing them significant savings.”

Yard trucks are one of the best, if not the best, electric vehicles for fleets to implement today, according to the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), as published in their March 2022 report. Orange EV has nearly singlehandedly created this trajectory for the industry.

“S2G Ventures is investing in the transition to the clean energy, low-carbon economy and we are excited for the positive impact Orange EV will make. The company has led the industry ever since its first truck was released in 2015 and now has the security to truly innovate and exert its leadership role in this market for a long time to come,” said Stephan Feilhauer, Managing Director, Clean Energy at S2G Ventures, “Orange EV’s trucks have a lower total cost of ownership than diesel, give their customers a tangible way to lower their carbon footprint, and dramatically improve their drivers’ experience, while also saving money along the way – this is what a successful energy transition looks like.”

Cowen served as exclusive placement agent for Orange EV.

Konnected Kerb Pilot in NYC

Konnected Kerb, the UK-based electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure specialist, today announces it has been selected to deliver on-street EV chargers for a ground-breaking project in New York to demonstrate how public access to EV charging can drive up EV ownership amongst the 50% of residents that park their cars on-street.[1]

This project forms part of the DOT Studio – a collaboration between the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) and Newlab, focused on applying emerging technologies to advance planning, policy, operations, and real-time management of transportation across New York City in line with the City’s Vision Zero and sustainability goals.

The findings from the pilot will inform wider EV charging rollouts across New York City, helping to realise its goal of installing 10,000 curbside chargers by 2030, and electrifying 20% of municipal parking bays by 2025.

Connected Kerb will receive funding to install its award-winning EV charging points and is currently exploring locations at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to deliver a ‘living lab’ that will demonstrate Connected Kerb’s ‘smart city’ infrastructure. This involves using the company’s the chargers – which also support a number of IoT (Internet of Things) and telecommunication applications – to showcase how the EV revolution can support the rollout of other cutting-edge public access technology in urban environments. Pilot planning and design is underway now, with the goal of launching by fall 2022.

Vibracoustic, a leading global automotive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) expert, has developed a cost-effective ride height and suspension leveling system that allows car manufactures to experience height leveling benefits of an air suspension with significantly less complexity and costs.

With air suspension applications growing in popularity among electric vehicles (EV) and at the same time, electric vehicles becoming more affordable, car manufacturers are facing new NVH challenges. One example is the significant demand for a more simple and affordable leveling system – to make this premium feature available for smaller vehicle segments. Vibracoustic has developed an all-new hydro leveling system that brings the benefits of ride height adjustability to new market segments. The patent-pending hydro leveling system can be tailored to front or rear-axle applications and is a cost-effective solution for ride height adjustability of lower segment cars including smaller EVs. Furthermore, it can also help increase the energy efficiency of EVs and therewith allow a smaller battery pack while maintaining the same range.

The fully operational prototype of a hydro leveling system delivers 40 mm of travel at wheel but can be adjusted for each vehicle. When used as rear-axle application it can compensate for trunk loading, deliver improved comfort, and maintain ground clearance for fully loaded vehicles, adjust the angle of stall for improved battery cooling of EVs, or provide a more comfortable loading / unloading position. Applied to both, front and rear-axle, it can additionally adjust ground clearance for speed bumps and driveways or lower the vehicle for high-speed driving to reduce drag and increase range

Currently, air springs and complex actuators are the only established automotive leveling solutions. While extremely effective, they are typically too complex and costly to fit to non-luxury or smaller vehicles. The hydro leveling will enable car manufacturers to include single or dual-axle variable ride height systems at significantly lower cost, backed by the rigorous engineering and testing processes of a global leader in NVH and air spring systems. Vibracoustic is already discussing upcoming applications with several car manufacturers, including all-new EV models.

The core of the hydro leveling system is a hydraulic actuator. The design of the actuator is based on the air spring technology and deep knowledge on rubber to metal components of Vibracoustic. The hydro leveling system is controlled by a dedicated electronic control unit (ECU) including software developed by Vibracoustic. It incorporates height sensors and a powerpack (pump, tank, valves). The system offers a leveling speed of 10 mm per second in two-corner applications, operating when the vehicle is static. As a next-generation suspension system, the hydro leveling prototype system has been thoroughly tested for durability and functionality while integrated into a popular European C-segment vehicle. Leveraging its ‘whole system’ approach to product development, the Vibracoustic engineering team was able to ensure excellent NVH performance.

Testing highlighted that the hydro leveling system in a C-segment vehicle substantially improved ride and comfort metrics of a loaded vehicle. Tested under rough road conditions of different amplitudes and frequencies, the system offered large comfort improvements at low frequencies of up to 15 Hz due to significant reductions in road-induced excitations.

Frank Müller, CEO of Vibracoustic, commented: “With our new hydro leveling system, we provide a simple and cost-efficient solution for smaller, affordable EVs while still offering essential benefits of more complex air suspensions. Therewith, we make premium-level features available for smaller vehicle segments. The hydro leveling system will perfectly complement our industry-leading air spring portfolio and increase driving comfort for an even wider range of vehicles.”