EV, Battery & Charging News: GreenPower Motor Co., US Hybrid, Lear, ABS, Mitra Chem, Qmerit, Yolta Energy, GM, Paired Power, Aptiv, TerraWatt, Sensata Tech., Lightning eMotors, Blue Bird, Harbinger & Bosch

In electric vehicle, battery and charger news are GreenPower Motor Co., US Hybrid, Lear, American Battery Solutions, Mitra Chem, Qmerit, Yolta Energy, GM, Paired Power, Aptiv, TerraWatt, Sensata Tech., Lightning eMotors,Blue Bird, Harbinger and Bosch.

GreenPower Motor Co. Wins Award

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (NASDAQ: GP) (TSXV: GPV) (“GreenPower”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero emission electric powered vehicles serving the cargo, delivery, shuttle, transit, and school bus markets, announced the Nano BEAST Type A all-electric school bus has been awarded the School Transportation News Innovation Award for Best Green Bus Technology. The Nano BEAST (Battery Electric Automotive School Transportation) is the only purpose-built, zero-emission, Type A school bus on the market.

The School Transportation News Innovation Awards are awarded to those who promote school transportation products, and the applicants were voted on at the School Transportation Expo 2022.

US Hybrid Supplies GEP for Street Sweepers

Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX), a global company focused on accelerating the commercial adoption of electric vehicles (EV), announced that its subsidiary US Hybrid is supplying Global Environmental Products (GEP) with its proprietary electric and hybrid electric propulsion kits for use in the construction of 62 zero emission street sweepers. Once complete, GEP will provide the sweepers to New York CityCalifornia, the City of Helena, Montana, and Washington D.C.

“Together with GEP, we are providing customers across the U.S. with made-in-America zero-emission street sweepers featuring the best available technology pioneered by US Hybrid,” said Ideanomics Mobility President, Robin Mackie. “This order, one of the biggest to date, reflects a simple truth – zero-emission street sweepers are better for the planet, communities, and the bottom line. Also, each order supports the growth of America’s clean energy economy and green manufacturing jobs.”

This is another milestone in the decades-long strategic partnership. In 2009, GEP partnered with US Hybrid to launch the first hybrid electric street sweepers in New York City and has since provided additional units to customers in Japan. In 2021, GEP and US Hybrid deployed a first-of-its-kind, fully electric, supercharged street sweeper in New York, which made a splash by cleaning up iconic Times Square after the 2022 New Year’s Eve celebration.

“We care about our environment and believe in designing and building environmentally responsible products. Our long-standing relationship with US Hybrid ensures that we always have the most evolved, zero-emission technology available to us to ensure we can provide our customers state of the art zero emission technology they are looking for,” stated Walter Pusic, GEP president.

GEP will provide 17 electric street sweepers to California’s Department of Transportation. In addition, the company has signed a letter of intent to supply 30 plug-in hybrid electric street sweepers and seven all-electric street sweepers to New York City. Additional orders for GEP’s all-electric street sweepers include two for the City of South San Francisco, three for Washington D.C., and two for the City of Helena, Montana. All sweepers will feature US Hybrid’s proprietary technology.

GEP produces hybrid and fully electric street sweepers manufactured in San Bernardino, Calif. An all-electric street sweeper prevents nearly 90 metric tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere over its lifetime and is significantly quieter than sweepers powered by a combustion engine.

GM Picks Lear for Electric Tech

Lear Corporation ( NYSE: LEA), a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems, announced it has been selected by General Motors Co. to supply key electrification technologies for the automaker’s Ultium global electric vehicle platform.

“We are honored to have been selected to provide technologies to support GM’s vision for a zero-emissions future,” said Ray Scott, Lear’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Lear’s unique electrification engineering knowledge and molding and precision stamping capabilities, combined with our strategically located manufacturing facilities, perfectly positioned Lear to win this new business, which includes the largest award to date for our Connection Systems business.”

The technologies Lear will provide include:

  • Battery Disconnect Units (BDU) – BDUs are the primary interface between the battery pack and the vehicle’s electrical system. Lear’s patent-holding and PACE Award-winning BDU has first-to-market thermal management innovations that enable vehicles to charge faster and drive farther.
  • Intercell Connect Boards (ICB)– ICBs are the electrical and mechanical frames that hold together multiple individual battery cells to form an integrated battery module.
  • Wire Harnesses – Wire harnesses provide electric voltage and distribute power safely and efficiently throughout the vehicle.

Lear’s decades of experience with electric vehicle architectures, precision metal stampings, and connection systems, along with the overmolding

American Battery Solutions Buys Tiveni IP Portfolio

American Battery Solutions, Inc. (“ABS”), a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced battery systems for electrified mobility, announced  that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the complete IP portfolio of Tiveni, Inc., a battery systems innovator founded and led by original Tesla founder/CEO Martin Eberhard. The addition of Tiveni developed technologies will accelerate ABS’ deployment of low-cost, energy-dense, highly-crash-tolerant EV batteries. The acquisition includes a supporting patent portfolio protecting the cost/density/safety advantages included in Tiveni’s designs. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed by mutual agreement.

The transaction includes an IP portfolio of more than 100 assets, including 24 issued U.S. patents, and 143 pending applications, with broad coverage, core to EV battery systems and supply chain including 37 (U.S.), 16 (China), 32 (EU and UK national stage), and 2 pending PCTs. Additionally, it includes technology transfer and know-how to implement and deploy the Tiveni technologies, including all design, engineering and process documentation from more than 4 years of development. Key granted patents date back a few years giving a preferred priority date position.

ABS to Produce Proliance Intelligent Batteries

American Battery Solutions (ABS), a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of advanced battery technology, announced that will begin production of its proprietary high-voltage Proliance Intelligent Battery Series™ T350-50 line at the end of 2022. The Proliance line is the first standardized high voltage product in the ABS battery portfolio serving the rapidly growing fleet, commercial and off-highway vehicle markets, as well as the emerging marine EV market.

he Proliance battery offers a safe, high-energy density, long life solution at competitive market costs and will be on display in booth #2805 at The Battery Show 2022 in Novi, Michigan from September 13 to 15.///

Mitra Chem Ships Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) Cathodes

Mitra Chem, one of the only U.S. producers of iron-based Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) cathodes, announced that it has begun shipments of its commercial-grade LFP materials to a tier 1 global battery cell manufacturer for customer approval and qualification. The company produced the proprietary battery product materials out of its 15,000 sq ft Mountain View based facility where the company has been able to create an LFP cathode with performance exceeding industry standard materials produced primarily in China. Accomplishing these samples within an accelerated timeline of just four months was made possible by deploying the proprietary machine learning algorithms that the company’s co-founders developed.

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act has supercharged demand for U.S. made battery materials by offering consumer tax credits tied to domestically manufactured material usage. The company said it has additional requests for samples to cover the next seven months including nearly every global Tier 1 battery cell maker and multiple household name automotive OEMs.

“EV manufacturers and cell-makers want U.S.-made LFP cathodes and they want it now. Mitra Chem is one of the only companies outside China that has the plans and capability to produce these cathodes at scale. We have heard the feedback from customers and are rapidly scaling to meet this tremendous surge in demand,” said CEO Vivas Kumar.

The company also announced that it is set to begin commercial production by 2025.

As Tesla and other battery and electric vehicle companies move to better, safer, cheaper iron-based battery cathodes such as lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP), nearly 100% of industrialized iron-based cathode manufacturing still occurs in China . Mitra Chem will provide a critically needed alternative by building the first US-based large-scale LFP cathode production.

Qmerit Updates Digital Services

Qmerit, the leading provider of installation services for EV charging and other electrification technologies, announced an enhancement to its digital services platform for automakers, dealerships and fleet managers that seamlessly integrates available public incentives into the price-estimating process for EV home charging installation. This new feature can accelerate EV adoption by helping retail buyers and home-based fleet drivers take advantage of government and utility programs offering rebates, tax credits and other financial incentives for Level 2 charging installation.

Qmerit’s digital services platform provides automakers, dealerships and fleet managers with a co-branded portal where their customers and drivers can request a proposal for Level 2 home charging installation. With Qmerit’s new incentive functionality, each upfront estimate will include information on available federal, state and local incentives, helping homeowners make a more informed decision.

This enhancement means that in addition to the convenience Qmerit has always provided, automakers, dealerships and fleet managers can now link their customers and drivers to benefits such as federal tax credits, rebates from states, counties and municipalities, and charging discounts from utilities. The system can even point homeowners to local managed charging programs that help them save on their electrical bills while alleviating strain on the grid.

Yolta Energy Premieres Three News Products

-As the Inflation Reduction Act increases investments in and deployments of climate tech, Yotta Energy is debuting three new products that will not only propel the renewable energy industry forward by providing simplified solar, storage, and electric vehicle technologies but also position the company as a single, one-stop provider for clean energy services for commercial properties.

The company’s new solutions include the new Yotta DPI-208 and DPI-480, a native 3-phase microinverter for commercial solar and storage applications; Yotta EV a line of commercial EV chargers offering a simplified level 2 charging experience ideal for fleets; and Yotta REV a solar-powered EV Charging Station that can be deployed in less than 48 hours and deliver up to 510 miles of solar-powered charging daily and is grid optional.

“With the e-mobility market projected to grow to more than $1.5 trillion by 2028, we believe that the future of EV charging, solar, and energy storage will be synergistic for businesses,” said Omeed Badkoobeh, CEO of Yotta Energy. “To meet this demand and to strengthen the existing grid, Yotta is rolling out a suite of products, including commercial EV chargers and rapid EV charging solutions, to support these electrification goals and create a one-stop shop for all of our customers’ renewable energy needs. By introducing these solutions to the market, we are creating an ‘Energy Made Simple’ ecosystem.”

Developed to meet the rapidly growing market demand, all three products will be commercially available in Q1 2023 for installation throughout the continental United States and are built to deliver a higher return on investments (ROI) for customers wanting to deploy solar and electric vehicle technologies. In addition, because the electric vehicle charging stations use solar power, they are eligible for incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Yotta DPI-208, DPI 480 (Dual Power Inverter)

Yotta’s new DPI line of 3-phase micro inverters that can accommodate up to four High-Capacity PV Modules, each up to 525W+. The Dual Power Inverter also integrates directly with Yotta’s SolarLEAF Energy Storage Technology and is UL-1741 (SA) compliant. This utility-interactive microinverter has Reactive Power Control (RPC) technology that exceeds recent NEC Rapid Shutdown requirements. Yotta’s DPI can be installed 300 percent faster than other products on the market and has a maximum continuous output of up to 1800VA. Micro-inverters are a safe bet over high-voltage string inverters and eliminate the risk for DC arc faults.

Yotta EV (Commercial EV Charger)

Yotta’s commercial line of EV chargers include the single port and dual port charger designed for ease of installation, functionality, and reliability. These commercial charging solutions are rated at 48A (11.5kW) but can be adjusted to 40A, 32A, and 16A to accommodate more chargers into existing electrical infrastructure saving on costly upgrades. The single charger can be wall mounted or pedestal mounted using Yotta’ custom mounting solution. The dual charger comes with a 4.3” full LCD and robust mount with retractable cord system. Using Wifi or 4G, the chargers seamlessly connect to Yotta’s software management platform to reduce demand charges alongside solar+storage. By combining EV charging installation with solar+storage installation, end customers get the best value from a comprehensive solution.

Yotta REV (Solar Powered EV Charging Station)

REV is an integrated, scalable charging solution designed around solar production capacity that can be grid-connected or operate completely off-grid. REV has an East-West bifacial panel design that optimizes direct and indirect sunlight for maximum solar energy optimization. The charger is always connected and monitored via 4G or satellite and is designed to work year-round in all weather conditions due to Yotta’s patented core battery thermal technology.

This customizable solar-powered EV station has the ability to be deployed in remote, off-grid locations as well as within urban areas because of its 48-hour rapid deployment. Users have access to between 240 and 510 miles of solar charge daily and 50 to 300 kWh battery capacity. REV also qualifies for the recent Inflation Reduction Act incentives with its combination of solar + storage + e-mobility charging that utilizes Yotta’s power conversion and solar system design. Each REV station has a 10-year warranty and is operated via a remote fleet monitoring system.

“Our goal was to create the most aesthetic products that make solar energy extremely easy to use and functional,” said Emilio Collado, Head of Design at Yotta Energy. “To develop each of these products, we leaned on exhaustive customer feedback and user experience of consumers and businesses considering the purchase of EVs, needing to meet an increased demand for electricity, or seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This launch establishes Yotta as the single, go-to resource for clean energy products as the company grows and transitions into the e-mobility space.”

Beyond releasing these three new solutions, Yotta recently announced an award of $1.23 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop solar and energy storage technologies for an underserved community in Santa Ana, California. Yotta will also be participating in the RE+ event and will be exhibiting at booth #3648.

GM Joins NWF Climate Equity Collaborative

General Motors has announced that it has joined the National Wildlife Federation as a founding member of the new Climate Equity Collaborative, an initiative focused on addressing the disproportionate impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities and youth.

The Climate Equity Collaborative aims to engage communities, youth and nonprofits in designing and implementing equitable and inclusive climate solutions. Its key priorities include:

  • Elevating environmental justice and education within the broader climate conversation
  • Building on-ramps to the climate equity space for organizations that share the Collaborative’s values, starting with communities hit first and worst by the impacts of climate change
  • Strengthening the knowledge and leadership already existing among youth and vulnerable communities through engagement opportunities and resources
  • Driving investments to nonprofits and platforms that are advancing education, environmental justice and economic opportunity.

GM has donated $1 million to the Collaborative through its Climate Equity Fund, and it will codesign the initiative’s framework and roadmap. The National Wildlife Federation is serving as the convener alongside an ecosystem of sustainability leaders in the nonprofit, government and private sectors.

Other founding nonprofit partners include WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Children’s Environmental Health Network, and the Community and College Partners Program.

Kalyani Powertrains & Harbinger

Kalyani Powertrain Limited (KPTL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharat Forge Ltd. and a leading global supplier of critical chassis and powertrain components, joins hands with Harbinger Motors Inc. (Harbinger), a company revolutionizing the medium-duty commercial electric vehicle industry, to form a joint venture focused on developing electric drivetrain solutions for the commercial vehicle market.

The new JV, named ElectroForge, will leverage the strengths of both the partners to offer best-in-class drivetrains developed for the Class 3 through 8 markets, delivering superior efficiency and cost competency. The partnership will perfectly balance the forward-thinking innovation of Harbinger’s experienced EV team and the vast manufacturing knowledge and scalability of Bharat Forge.

Paired Power Intros Mobile Solar Canopy

-With recent reports indicating the United States needs 20 times more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations than what’s available , Paired Power announced the launch of its new, transportable solar canopy, PairTree, with built-in EV charging capabilities. With its modular, fast-install design, PairTree can be utilized with or without grid connection and gives customers quick and convenient access to the infinite renewable energy of the sun without the costly construction and infrastructure requirements of traditional solar canopy installations.

EV charging is one of the primary use cases for PairTree. It is designed to optimize EV charging loads to deliver up to 75 miles of daily range to an EV, well above the U.S. daily commuter national average of 30 miles, according to a 2022 McKinsey & Company Report. For greater resiliency and reliability, PairTree also supports the integration of up to 40 kWh of LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries. The addition of a battery can extend the EV’s daily range delivered to up to 230 miles. PairTree’s modular design is available in 5 kW units, using ten bifacial solar panels each, and can be equipped with customizable specifications, such as branding, lighting and media options, depending on the customer’s operational needs.

“With traditional solar canopies, locations can wait as long as two years to be connected to the local utility grid, just to use their chargers,” said Tom McCalmont, CEO and co-founder of Paired Power. “The installation of traditional EV chargers and solar canopies is a time and labor-intensive process, not to mention the disruption and delays of construction. We designed PairTree to eliminate these hassles and make the transition to solar and EV charging simple and scalable while also being modular enough to accommodate future needs.”

PairTree can be installed within a single workday with just two workers using standard hand tools and without lengthy permit approvals or heavy equipment. That is at least 30 times faster than conventional solar canopies, which require an extensive permitting and construction process. The solution is designed to fit a variety of applications, including EV charging access in locations that have either maxed out their local grid capacity or that lease their property and don’t want to invest in permanent infrastructure, such as workplaces and retail locations. PairTree also can provide emergency backup power and temporary power for events.

The ballasted steel foundation allows customers to avoid costly foundation work and permitting delays and can be deployed anywhere in the U.S. and globally as it can withstand various climates and environmental conditions. PairTree offers additional options of batteries or ground screws to secure the charger in high winds. Moreover, PairTree is designed to be installed side by side in multi-unit configurations for additional energy output to power additional chargers.

“One of the biggest benefits of PairTree’s solar canopy design and model is that you can start charging on day one,” continued McCalmont. “EV charging is no longer a fringe benefit for any location where a car might park; it’s quickly becoming a service that both average citizens and employees expect. There are various reasons why site owners don’t want to wait or might have restrictions on grid-connected EV charging or conventional solar canopies, and PairTree is the solution to bring any location quickly into the EV future.”

PairTree is also designed with minimal maintenance needed since there are no moving parts, and the cellular cloud connectivity gives Paired Power the ability to make updates and run diagnostics remotely – all of which are included with the purchase of PairTree. AC charging stations are offered to support Level 2 charging, and 120V outlet panels can be added to support emergency or temporary power. Customers also have access to online support and payment methods through the Paired Power app developed in partnership with EvGateway.

As part of its efforts to expand solar EV charging nationwide, Paired Power has installations from its family of products throughout Northern and Southern California. This announcement also comes on the heels of Paired Power’s first direct-DC off-grid solar PV electric farm tractor charging project that was completed in 2021 in central California.

Orders for PairTree can be placed now and are expected for general delivery starting in Q2 2023.

Aptiv Acquires Intercable Automotive Solutions

Aptiv PLC ( NYSE: APTV), a global technology company focused on making mobility safer, greener and more connected, announced a definitive agreement to acquire an 85% equity stake in Intercable Automotive Solutions, a subsidiary of Intercable S.r.l., for €595 million, subject to customary post-closing adjustments.

Based in Bruneck, Italy with manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, Intercable Automotive Solutions is an industry leader and pioneer in high-voltage power distribution and high-precision connection technologies. With over €250 million in 2022 estimated sales, the business designs and manufactures innovative solutions that address the most complex challenges in vehicle electrification. Their product portfolio includes seven generations of high-voltage busbar technology, solid-state electrical centers, battery cell interconnect systems, and other high-voltage power distribution solutions. Leveraging Intercable’s highly automated manufacturing processes, innovative product design, and strategic relationships with key European automotive OEMs, Aptiv will enhance its position as a global leader in vehicle architecture systems.

TerraWatt Funding

TeraWatt Infrastructure (“TeraWatt” or the “Company”), a company powering electrified fleets with the most reliable network of charging centers, announced that it has secured more than $1 billion of institutional capital to support the buildout of its fleet-focused charging centers and operations. Funds managed by Vision Ridge Partners have invested in TeraWatt alongside existing investors Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital, both of which have increased their commitments to the Company. The Company expects to use the over $1 billion committed to accelerate its next phase of development and expansion, which is focused on the buildout of a growing portfolio of charging centers and adding talent to the team to support this work.

“The future of electrified transport is at a critical inflection point, whereby solutions for large-scale EV charging infrastructure must be established to meet the increasing demand for electrification of all fleets,” said Paul Luce, managing director at Vision Ridge Partners. “We are thrilled to support TeraWatt, a distinctive platform with transformational permanent solutions for organizations seeking to continue operating their fleets while decreasing their carbon footprint. We look forward to working with Neha and the entire TeraWatt team to achieve our shared goal of decarbonizing road transport as we seek to generate strong returns for our investors.”

Launched out of stealth in May 2021, TeraWatt is accelerating the decarbonization of transport with a purpose-built platform that combines an EV charging-focused property portfolio, asset financing capabilities, project development, and charging and energy management expertise. The Company acquires properties in locations strategically relevant to fleets and develops the energy and charging infrastructure necessary to operate at scale. TeraWatt’s Charging Centers provide reservable and reliable space as well as high-power charging levels at optimal locations for commercial electric vehicle fleets.

Sensata Tech Debuts BMS

Sensata Technologies (NYSE: ST), announced it will debuted a new Battery Management System (BMS), the Lithium Balance n3-BMS, for high voltage applications at the Battery Show North America from September 13 – 15 in Novi, Michigan in booth# 2817.

The Lithium Balance n3-BMS is ideal for applications with power up to 1000 volts/2000 amps, especially for battery makers and manufacturers of electric trucks, buses, and other heavy commercial vehicles. The demand for ISO 26262 certified components is on the rise as battery packers and electric commercial vehicle OEMs prioritize functional safety in their platforms while striving for faster time-to-market. However, the ISO 26262 certification process is complex, costly and can take years to complete. An off-the-shelf, Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL C) certified solution like the Lithium Balance n3-BMS can reduce the development time and associated costs.

The unique layered software structure of the n3-BMS provides customers with the option to customize the battery management system with their own code and algorithms without impacting the ASIL C certification. The BMS software architecture consists of a “Base Software Layer” (BSW) and an “External Software Layer” (ESW) which are connected by an open API link layer. Since all the safety-critical functionalities of the BMS are in the BSW layer of the software, developers are free to implement their own software code and algorithms in the ESW without any risk to the ISO 26262 certification of the system.

Both the Lithium Balance n3-BMS and its previous generation, the n-BMS, are distributed systems that consist of up to 30 Cell Monitoring Units (CMUs) for monitoring individual cells and a Master Control Unit (MCU), which consolidates the information and controls the battery functions. The n-BMS’ MCU is fully compatible with the n3-BMS’ CMUs, so it is easy to upgrade from n-BMS to n3-BMS with the replacement of a single PCB board in a battery system of any size. For developers currently working on next generation, heavy electric vehicles that expect the need for an ISO 26262 certified system in the future, this provides a convenient and cost-effective pathway to achieve an ASIL C certified BMS with a simple upgrade (available early 2023).

Additional key features of the n3-BMS include:

  • Up to 1000V / 2000A
  • 24 – 360 cells in series
  • 3 CAN ports

Lightning eMotors Offers Second Gen Repower Program for Transit Buses

Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV), a leading provider of zero emissions medium duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle technology for fleets, announced it will now offer a second generation repower program for high-demand 40-foot transit buses. This new offering in Lightning’s growing lineup of Class 3-8 commercial electric vehicles will be available to municipal and private transit agencies throughout North America.

By repowering existing transit buses from diesel or CNG internal combustion to zero-emission battery-electric powertrains, Lightning will help transit customers electrify their fleets at less than half the cost and in one-third the lead time of acquiring new electric buses. Repowered buses will feature an up to 560-kWh battery system and deliver more than 200 miles of real-world range on a single charge.

While repowering diesel-powered commercial vehicles has been common practice for many years, due to the chassis and body often outlasting the powertrains, repowering these vehicles with electric powertrains presents a fast, affordable and environmentally responsible opportunity for many fleet operators.

Lightning eMotors is a proven manufacturer in the public transit market, having deployed over 300 new and repowered vehicles across multiple sectors, including full-sized transit, micro-transit, last mile delivery, emergency response, school buses and others. A leader in repowering commercial vehicles since 2008, Lightning produced the first repowered electric transit bus, deployed in Colorado for the city of Boulder in 2018. This first-generation vehicle is still in operation and continues to provide valuable proof-of-concept data over thousands of miles and service routes. Lightning has since become a preferred provider of commercial vehicle electrification via its certified repower programs for motor coaches, school buses and recreational vehicles with market leading partners including Blue Bird, Forest River, Collins Bus and ABC Companies.

Blue Bird Delivers Electric Buses

Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, delivered the first of three electric school buses to Chinle Unified School District (USD) in Arizona, the largest school district in the Navajo Nation. Chinle USD expands its all Blue Bird diesel-powered bus fleet with zero-emission vehicles to put student and community health first while reducing operating costs. Select Blue Bird customers reported an average 14 cents per mile in energy costs for electric buses, compared to approx. 49 cents per mile for their diesel buses.

Blue Bird will provide its most advanced zero-emission school buses to Chinle USD, including two Blue Bird Vision and one Blue Bird All American electric school bus. These first-rate electric vehicles (EV) carry between 72 and 84 students for up to 120 miles on a single charge. Depending on the charging infrastructure, the buses take between three and eight hours to recharge fully.

Chinle USD is the largest school district in the Navajo Nation in both student count and geographic area. It serves 3,300 students in eight schools, including the largest reservation high school in the United States. School buses travel more than 6,000 miles on routes characterized by mostly unimproved roads each day, as they pick up and safely transport students to and from schools.

“Beyond the potential that the electric school buses offer for cost efficiency and reducing our fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions, the impact that these EV’s have on student learning and access to world experience is notable,” said Quincy Natay, superintendent of Chinle Unified School District. “Many of our students live in high poverty households and may not have even ridden in electric vehicles. Now, they get to ride to school on a state of the art EV school bus. Our students are very curious, and our drivers have already begun explaining how the buses function differently than the previous diesel buses. Especially for children in remote communities, this is a great way to provide firsthand exposure to science, STEAM careers, environmental issues, and cutting edge technology.”

The school district received a Transportation Modernization Grant through A for Arizona to upgrade its school bus fleet with three electric vehicles. A for Arizona is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing student achievement in the state, especially in low-income communities.

“Students from low-income areas are disproportionately impacted by diesel pollution from school buses, since the majority of students from related areas ride the bus to school. Zero-emission transportation means cleaner air to breathe and healthier students,” said Britton Smith, senior vice president of electrification and chief strategy officer of Blue Bird Corporation. “We have served Chinle USD for more than 30 years. We could not be more pleased to help the school district transition to electric buses and clean student transportation.”

Rio Tinto to Supply Low-Carbon Products to Volvo

Rio Tinto and Volvo Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a strategic partnership where Rio will supply responsibly sourced low-carbon products and solutions to Volvo Group and the companies will work towards decarbonising Rio Tinto’s operations through piloting Volvo Group’s sustainable autonomous hauling solutions.

The multi-materials partnership will allow Rio Tinto, a leading global mining and metals company, to progress sustainability commitments in its operations and supply chains. It will support Volvo Group, one of the world’s largest transport and infrastructure providers, in its ambition towards a net-zero future. The partnership aims to secure supplies of materials including lithium, low-carbon aluminium, copper, and metallics.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said: “We look forward to partnering with Volvo to progress our contribution to a net-zero future, as we collaborate to deliver sustainable outcomes from the mine to the showroom floor. We will be working together to support the decarbonisation of Rio Tinto’s operations and deliver low-carbon materials for use in Volvo’s innovative product range, including electric and autonomous vehicles.”

Volvo President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Lundstedt said: “We are eager to partner with Rio Tinto, a true collaboration aiming to accelerate our ambitions towards a fossil-free, decarbonised future. By addressing the full value chain, from the use of low-carbon materials in our products, to providing our customers with sustainable autonomous hauling solutions, we can contribute to a better and more sustainable future.”

The companies will work together to strengthen the supply of responsibly sourced low-carbon materials such as RenewAlTM aluminium, aluminium produced using the ELYSISTM zero-carbon smelting technology, Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) certified aluminium and Copper Mark certified copper, and explore product development opportunities such as the supply of lithium for batteries.

ELYSIS is a technology company created through a partnership between aluminium industry leaders Rio Tinto and Alcoa, with support from Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec. ELYSIS is scaling up a revolutionary technology that enables the production of metal without direct carbon dioxide emissions during the aluminium smelting process, instead emitting pure oxygen. The technology uses inert anodes to replace the carbon anodes traditionally used during electrolysis, the process used to make primary aluminium. Learn more at www.elysis.com.

In 2020, Rio Tinto’s Kennecott and Oyu Tolgoi operations became the first producers to be awarded the Copper Mark, the copper industry’s independent responsible production programme. To achieve the Copper Mark – developed according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – Kennecott’s and Oyu Tolgoi’s copper was assessed against 32 criteria covering Environment, Community, Business and Human Rights, Labour and Working Conditions and Governance. Learn more at www.coppermark.org.

Harbinger Partners with Wabash

Harbinger, a revolutionary vehicle and technology manufacturer poised to transform the medium-duty commercial electric vehicle (EV) industry, announced a new collaboration with WabashNorth America’s leading manufacturer of trailers and truck bodies, that aims to leverage Wabash’s industry-leading expertise in composite materials in the last mile delivery space.

The persistent driver shortages that logistics providers now face are driving new demands for vehicles that are comfortable to operate in all climates. At the same time, stubbornly elevated fuel prices, widespread emissions reduction targets, and an increased public awareness of the impacts of climate change are raising the pressure on manufacturers to reduce vehicle weight, leading to competing engineering demands that cannot be satisfied using yesterday’s technology.

“Electrifying the medium-duty trucking industry will only happen with the commitment of manufacturers, distributors, and technology companies who are actively seeking innovative solutions to define the next frontier of the industry,” said John Harris, CEO of Harbinger. “We are working closely with industry leading partners like Wabash to bring the commercial electric vehicles to market that are so desperately needed to improve supply chain efficiency and reduce environmental impacts.”

With 13 primary manufacturing locations, over 6,000 employees, and over $1.8B in revenue in 2021, Wabash is attacking the challenges of electrification with scale and experience. The company has a comprehensive network of dealers, parts, services, and upfit capabilities to streamline the ownership experience for end users.

As the first company to develop an entirely new, vertically integrated electric platform for the medium duty segment, Harbinger’s vehicles offer improvements in safety, driver experience, and productivity, tuned to the needs of commercial fleet operators and specialty vehicle customers.

Bosch Volume Production of Electric Drive Units for Light Commercial Vehicles

Vans and medium-sized trucks are the beating heart of urban goods traffic. Powered electrically, they are locally emission-free, contribute to better air quality and reduce noise pollution for residents. Bosch is now starting volume production of a new drive unit for such light commercial vehicles, consisting of an electric motor and an integrated inverter. The inverter controls the electric motor and provides the connection to the high-voltage battery. “Bosch is driving forward e-mobility also in commercial vehicles. Compared to its predecessors, the new unit provides even higher power and torque density and is even lighter and more compact,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. Together, the motor and inverter weight is around 80 kilograms. Bosch has reduced electrical losses by more than 20 percent using new power semiconductors, which enables an inverter efficiency level of 97 percent, thereby increasing the vehicles’ range. Thanks to the flexible construction, it is also now even easier to integrate the drive module into existing and new vehicle models.

The electric drive will make its debut at the customer Daimler Truck, supplemented by a DC/DC converter and the vehicle control unit from Bosch for the drivetrain. The unit’s maximum power is 129 kW, while the continuous power is 100 kW. For a short time, the permanent-magnet synchronous machine can generate a peak torque of 430 Nm. Even at a vehicle weight of 8.5 tons, this ensures superior driving performance in every situation – including in hilly cities such as Tokyo, Rome, or San Francisco.

The Bosch engineers have based the design of the electric motor and the inverter on the technology used in the passenger car segment. This not only speeded up the development phase considerably, but also helped cutting costs. By embedding the electric drive module in the vehicles’ existent water-cooling circuit, an oil-based cooling circuit is no longer necessary. Furthermore, the high rotational speed of the electric motor ensures a single-speed transmission to be sufficient to meet all requirements. The smaller dimensions of the new electric drive mean that a battery made up of a single part can now be used. New microcontrollers offer considerably more computing power to process the complex control algorithms of the electric drive within milliseconds. In this context, the software is largely responsible for the behavior of the electric drive and can be tailored to customers’ specific requirements. The drive module will roll off the production line in Hildesheim, Germany, the Bosch lead plant for electric drives.

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