EV, Battery & Charging News: Toyota, Kenworth, LG, WAVE, Xeal, Fisker, Sylvatex & Keysight

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are Toyota, Kenworth, LG, WAVE, Xeal, Fisker, Sylvatex & Keysight.


Toyota & Kenworth Prove Potential of Class 8 FCEVs

Toyota Motor North America and Kenworth Truck Company are proud to announce they have proven the capabilities of their jointly designed heavy-duty, Class 8 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as a potential zero-emissions replacement of diesel-powered trucks with the completion of their operations in the Zero- and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) “Shore to Store” project at the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles basin and the Inland Empire.

The primary goal for Toyota and Kenworth’s participation in the project was to nearly match the performance of diesel-powered drayage trucks while eliminating emissions to provide a sustainable solution in heavy-duty transportation. The baseline for the Toyota-Kenworth T680 FCEV truck – codenamed “Ocean” – was a 2017 diesel engine operating about 200 miles a day. The T680 FCEV has a range of about 300+ miles when fully loaded to 82,000 lbs. (GCWR), and with no downtime between shifts for charging and the short 15- to 20-minute fill time, the FCEVs could run multiple shifts a day and cover up to 400 to 500 miles. Kenworth designed and built the Class 8 T680 FCEVs, while Toyota designed and built the powertrain’s fuel cell electric power system powered by hydrogen. The Ocean trucks reduced Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by 74.66 metric tons of CO2 per truck annually compared to the baseline diesel engine.

The success of the 10 trucks in serving real-world customers was a result of close collaboration among diverse project members, including Kenworth and Toyota, The Port of Los Angeles as the project lead, Shell for hydrogen fuel infrastructure and a grant from the California Air Resource Board (CARB). The program paves the way for further development and commercial opportunities for hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric transportation in California and beyond. Though officially concluding their duties in the ZANZEFF “Shore to Store” project on August 5, 2022, some of the trucks will remain in use as demonstration or working models, including one that will continue supporting Toyota operations in the lower LA Basin.

Although the overall ZANZEFF project is anticipated to conclude later this year, the recently concluded “Shore to Store” project funded under ZANZEFF was proposed with support from Toyota, Kenworth and Shell and funded with a $41 million grant awarded by CARB. The grant was part of the California Climate Investments, a California initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment.  “Shore to Store” provided one of the largest real-world, proof-of-concept test cases to show the practical application of hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology at scale in a framework for freight facilities to structure operations for future goods movement from the “Shore to the Store” in the world.

The 10 “Ocean” trucks for this project were operated by customers, including, among others, Toyota Logistics Services, Total Transportation Services, Inc. and Southern Counties Express. With the completion of this project, the door is now open for the technology to be adopted more widely for use in other heavy-duty applications, including increasing use of heavy-duty trucks in commercial transportation.

The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest container port in North America. The medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks across the state – like those in operation at the Port – only constitute about 3 percent of total vehicles in California, yet they are responsible for roughly 23 percent of the state’s on-road Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The Port of Los Angeles has announced that it hopes to transition drayage fleets to zero-emission powertrains by 2035 and recently announced the Clean Truck Fund to help support this transition. The port and the surrounding region were an ideal location to demonstrate the fuel cell electric heavy-duty trucks as part of transport operations.

Shell contributed to the project by building a total of three hydrogen stations (two ZANZEFF and one additional in the operating region), the first public provider in California to fuel heavy-duty trucks. With the set routes for the trucks’ drayage operations, the stations were regularly used, providing quick refueling to keep the trucks in operation.

“Shell anticipates a great use-case for hydrogen in Commercial Road Transport here in California and the success of the ZANZEFF project has been an important step in achieving commercialization,” said Wayne Leighty, Shell Hydrogen Mobility, Commercial Head, North America. “Collaborations across both the private and public sectors is key to advancing zero-emissions heavy-duty mobility, and we are grateful to CARB, Port of Los Angeles, and ZANZEFF members for their support.”

Toyota plans to produce fuel-cell powertrain modules at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky from 2023.

EV Registrations Growing Over 250%

Electric vehicles (EVs), once thought of as an industry outlier, have demonstrated their staying power, with new EV registrations growing more than 250% over the last five years. According to Experian’s Automotive Consumer Trends Report: Q2 2022 there are more than 1.7 million EVs in operation in the US today (compared with more than 400,000 EVs in Q2 2018). This number may seem small compared to the 284 million vehicles on the road, but data shows it is growing exponentially. Additionally, new EV registrations continue to ramp up, comprising 5.7% of all new vehicle registrations in Q2 2022, up from 1.5% in Q2 2018.

In addition to the growth of new EV registrations over the past five years, the data also shows the types of EVs consumers prefer is shifting, partly due to more models being introduced. For example, SUVs comprised just 17.84% of new EV registrations in Q2 2018, with sedans making up 81.89%. However, in Q2 2022 SUVs made up 59%, followed by sedans at 35.77% and sports cars at 3.28%.

“The types of electric vehicles consumers are gravitating towards mirrors that of the larger automotive industry, with the obvious exception of pick-ups due to limited availability. We can attribute part of the allure of electric vehicles to the newer variety of makes and models available,” said John Howard, Experian’s director of product management for automotive. “Leveraging this kind of data and trends can help all auto industry players understand the landscape and make informed decisions as we move to a more electric market.”

Multiple markets see significant EV growth

California still makes up the largest share of retail EV registrations at 36.6%, but there are other markets beginning to show significant growth. For example, Tucson, Arizona shows a growth rate of more than 82% year-over-year as of Q2 20221. Other markets with notable year-over-year growth rates include Orlando, Florida at 77%, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at 75% growth.

As growth continues in various markets, it is helpful to understand which consumers are most likely to purchase an EV. One way is to identify what kinds of vehicles consumers drive directly before purchasing an EV—their “transition” vehicle. The data shows consumers who drive a plug-in hybrid are more likely to transition to an EV, with 23.5% of plug-in hybrid owners selecting an EV as their next vehicle. In contrast, only 3.2% of gasoline vehicle drivers and 8.8% of gas hybrid drivers opted for EVs as their next vehicle.

“EVs are beginning to defy the stereotypes, because registrations aren’t just happening on the coasts, it’s expanding nationwide,” Howard continued. “Leveraging data that highlights trends like plug-in hybrids serving as a transitional vehicle will be essential knowledge for OEMs and dealers as more models are introduced and the automotive landscape continues to change.”

LG Partners with Mineral Suppliers in Canada

LG Energy Solution signed separate partnership agreements with three major critical mineral suppliers in Canada. The latest arrangements to secure lithium and cobalt from Snow Lake Resources Ltd. (LITM:NASDAQ) (“Snow Lake“), Electra Battery Materials Corporation (NASDAQ: ELBM; TSX-V: ELBM) (“Electra”) and Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL) ( OTCQB: AVLNF) (“Avalon”), are in line with LG Energy Solution’s strategic vision to reinforce its key battery materials supply chain in North America.

In a ceremony held on September 22 (EST) in Toronto, Canada, LGES signed a binding term sheet with Electra. Under the terms, Electra will supply 7,000 tons of cobalt sulfate for three years starting in 2023. Electra is known to be the only supplier capable of refining cobalt sulfate in North America.

LGES also signed two non-binding Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with Avalon and Snow Lake to secure a stable supply of lithium. Under the terms of the MoUs, Avalon will supply LGES with lithium hydroxide (11,000 tons per year) for five years initially, starting in 2025. LGES will also be provided with Snow Lake’s lithium hydroxide (20,000 tons per year) for ten years once the production starts in 2025.

Impossible Mining Renamed Impossible Minerals

Impossible Mining reemerges as Impossible Metals. After careful consideration of the fractious debate surrounding seabed critical minerals, along with the novel approach to harvesting metals in a way that keeps the ecosystem intact, and processing metals using naturally occurring bacteria, Impossible Mining has decided to formalize its differentiation from traditional mining practices, renaming the company, Impossible Metals.

The company is a pioneering voice in sustainable seabed mineral extraction and the staunchest supporter of strict scientific protocols generated by environmental scientists. Its efforts are receiving considerable media attention in publications like TIME Magazine, Politico, GreenBiz, and The Sun – each echoing the important role that sustainable mineral extraction will play in our transition to a green economy.

“Removing the reference to mining signals our departure from more traditional mining practices – the destruction of habitat, the large-scale significant impacts, the long term environmental liabilities, and the use of harmful chemicals in processing,” says Renee Grogan, Chief Sustainability Officer. “We are signaling our commitment to delivering critical battery metals to the market in a way that leaves behind the impacts of traditional mining.”

Impossible Metals will debut its name change as one of the small number of startups invited to exhibit and compete at TechCrunch Battlefield at Disrupt in San Francisco on October 18-20.

WAVE’s 500kW Charging at Port of LA

Ideanomics a global company focused on accelerating the commercial adoption of electric vehicles (EV), is pleased to announce the successful testing of WAVE’s 500kW at the Port of Los Angeles. This first-of-its-kind high-power, ultra-fast wireless charging system fully charged a class 8 electric truck in less than 15 minutes, heralding a future where fleet operators could realize near continuous electric vehicle uptime.

“We’re showing that today, right now, electric heavy-duty vehicles can operate 24/7, “topping off” their charge while the work is happening,” says Robin Mackie, Ideanomics Mobility president. “The benefits of this technology are crystal clear – fleet operators become more efficient by cutting out vehicle downtime otherwise spent filling up or plugging a central depot.”

Construction and charger installation at the Port of Los Angeles is underway, and Ideanomics expects the first 500kW charger to enter service in 2023. Supported by an $8.4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant, the WAVE 500kW charger is being deployed as part of a consortium project.

To help further accelerate the deployment of wireless charging, Ideanomics is offering an innovative “As a Service” model. Enabled by the IRA, a leading e-commerce company is partnering with Ideanomics to deploy wireless charging and electric vehicles on a subscription basis. The customer pays a flat, predictable monthly fee instead of a big, upfront cost. This is the future of fleet electrification.

Xeal Partners with NRP Group

– Xeal, a leading provider of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations and smarter technology for the multifamily industry, announced an agreement with The NRP Group, one of the nation’s leading developers and builders of multifamily homes, to install more than 200 charging stations at the company’s U.S. properties.

The NRP Group partnered with Xeal based on the company’s ability to help The NRP Group achieve its current EV charging station goals while future-proofing its properties to meet upcoming demands, offering residents and visitors the most intelligent charging technology available.

“It’s important for The NRP Group to provide its residents and their visitors with EV charging technology that’s reliable with 100% uptime, and we believe a thoughtful EV charging strategy is critical to serve our communities,” said Bryan Glosik, Director of Energy and Water for NRP. “Preparation is always preferable to playing catch-up, and Xeal provides us with a solid investment in environmental responsibility and in the future of our portfolio. NRP has chosen to partner with Xeal in order to thoughtfully and responsibly execute NRP’s ESG strategy.”

Xeal’s charging platform leverages its patent-pending Apollo protocol, which uses encrypted tokens and distributed ledger technology for connectivity, eliminating the need for costly IT/network infrastructure and upgrades entirely, reducing capex and maximizing ROI.

The simple, user-friendly platform ensures residents can operate the decentralized networked charging stations through the Apollo technologies connectivity protocol. Xeal’s holistic power optimization technology also empowers owner/operators to install up to 3x as many charging stations without electrical upgrades and without installing costly IT infrastructure.

Fisker Partners with Wallbox for Charging

Fisker Inc. (NYSE: FSR) (“Fisker”) – passionate creator of the world’s most sustainable electric vehicles and advanced mobility solutions – and Wallbox (NYSE: WBX), a leading provider of electric vehicle and energy management solutions worldwide, name Wallbox as Fisker’s global partner for home EV charging solutions.

Fisker and Wallbox are partnering to offer Fisker EV owners Wallbox home EV chargers for purchase through the Fisker website in the U.S., Canada, and European launch markets. The Pulsar Plus, Wallbox’s best-selling charger worldwide and one of the smallest smart universal EV chargers, will be available to the North American market through Fisker.

In Europe, Fisker will be the first OEM to offer Wallbox’s Pulsar Max charger, providing localized charging solutions to drivers in seven European countries. Like Pulsar Plus, Pulsar Max delivers top charging speeds and offers the full Wallbox energy management suite, including solar charging, so users can enjoy their EVs to the fullest.

Both chargers display customized Fisker and Wallbox logos and can be installed in homes, offices, and multi-unit dwellings to provide straightforward and efficient charging.

Fisker and Wallbox also plan to offer home installation services provided by Wallbox in Europe. In the U.S. and Canada, installation services will be provided by COIL, a recent Wallbox acquisition.

Wallbox Pulsar Plus smart chargers will be available to Fisker Ocean reservation holders starting November 2022 in the U.S. and Canada. Wallbox Pulsar Max smart chargers will be available to Fisker Ocean reservation holders starting November 2022 in our European launch markets: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and The United Kingdom. Pricing to be announced.

Sylvatex New EV-Grade CAM

Advanced materials technology company Sylvatex (SVX) is announcing a new production method that delivers premium EV-grade CAM at dramatically lower costs and allows for a broader material input supply base to enable demand growth. The Company’s simpler and more sustainable approach to CAM production is expected to enable a 25 percent reduction in CAM cost, a 40 percent reduction in plant capital requirements, and up to an 80 percent reduction in energy usage.

SVX recently closed its Series A funding of $8.4 million, with Catalus Capital serving as the lead investor, along with Amplify Capital and How Women Invest, and others to support commercializing and scaling its technology. The Company has also received additional grant financing from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and others. SVX continues to collaborate with battery industry experts and collaborators at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.

To meet increasing EV demands, about 100 additional CAM plants (or 5 million additional tons) will need to be in production by 2032. Today’s cathode production methods would require $200 billion in manufacturing capital deployed and 20 billion gallons of water consumed annually – the equivalent water use of 182,000 American homes. SVX’s new method brings sustainability to cathode manufacturing by eliminating water use while delivering substantial cost reductions and using 80 percent less energy.

In less than twelve months, the Company has scaled its technology a hundred-fold from bench-scale to pilot-scale. SVX is collaborating with several top-tier EV automotive manufacturers and supply chain partners on qualifying materials and further scaling processes. SVX expects its technology to be deployed in cathode production worldwide and sees new promise in the domestic market after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. SVX’s technology also enables flexibility on raw material inputs, such as transition or recycled metal oxides, which reduces geo-political and other supply chain risks while lowering the cost of the EV battery.

Keysight Tech For Battery Testing

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced a collaboration with Jiyun Technologies to develop and deliver a tailored, compact battery test system for electric vehicles (EVs).

Range limitations and safety concerns remain consumer obstacles for purchasing electric vehicles. To address these concerns and facilitate the rapid launch of new electric vehicles, solid testing and performance verification of battery systems is paramount. Keysight and Jiyun Technologies have joined forces to address these concerns.

Keysight delivered the tailored battery test system to Jiyun Technologies, which includes the company’s regenerative power supplies (RPS7900 Series), Data Acquisition System (DAQ973A), Controller Area Network Interface (CAN) Bus communication interfaces and other hardware products. The dedicated test software leveraged in the battery test system was adopted from Keysight’s PathWave software portfolio, and the custom system can reach a maximum output voltage of 1000V, a current level of up to 540A and a maximum power level of 180kW.

Keysight optimized the battery test system to be compact while meeting the needs of the tailored battery pack testing. In addition to collecting basic information such as battery voltage, current and thermal data, the battery management system (BMS) is also integrated into the communication structure to efficiently gather data and provide access to all parameters through a single software instance.

Keysight also delivered a solution based on regenerative power components to achieve 90% power efficiency that reduced operational costs while minimizing heat dissipation, as well as reducing the associated costs of required cooling systems.

EVgo Intros Autocharge+

EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO) (EVgo), the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs), tannounced the launch of Autocharge+, setting a new standard for EV convenience by enabling streamlined charging for EV drivers across the country. With Autocharge+, which is available at all EVgo DC fast charging locations, drivers with compatible EVs are able to start a charging session in seconds by simply plugging in – eliminating the need to swipe a credit card, tap an EVgo Program Card (RFID), or open an app to initiate a session.

Autocharge+ arrives on the heels of EVgo’s recently announced availability of Plug and Charge for all General Motor EVs with fast charging capabilities on the EVgo network. The launch makes the convenience of Autocharge+, previously deployed for EVgo’s fleet customers, now available to all drivers with a compatible CCS EV.* Many CCS EV models are Autocharge+ compatible, including the Cadillac LYRIQ, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford F-150 Lightning, Genesis GV60, GMC Hummer EV, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Hyundai Kona Electric, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia Niro Electric, Kia EV8, Mercedes-Benz EQS, Polestar 2, Subaru Solterra, Toyota bZ4x, and Volvo XC40 Recharge.

Autocharge+ is available exclusively to EVgo customers. To take advantage of the new feature, existing and new customers will need to enroll their EV in the EVgo app by navigating to the vehicle section, adding or selecting their EV, and request to enroll**. Note that to complete enrollment, drivers must then plug into an EVgo charger.