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Ascend Breaks Ground on Battery Recycling Plant in KY
Ascend Elements began construction of its largest electric vehicle battery recycling and engineered materials manufacturing facility with a ceremonial groundbreaking today. Leaders of the fast-growing startup were joined by Gov. Andy Beshear, local business and community leaders, and EV battery industry executives during the midday event in Hopkinsville, Ky. The facility will help meet North America’s growing demand for lithium-ion battery materials, specifically engineered precursor (pCAM) and battery-ready cathode active materials (CAM). When finished, the Apex 1 facility will produce enough pCAM and CAM to equip 250,000 EVs per year.
FreeWire Fast Chargers at Phillips 66 Gas Stations
Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) announced the installation of FreeWire ultrafast electric-vehicle chargers at its flagship fuel station near its headquarters in Houston, marking the debut of ultrafast EV charging at a convenience fuel station in the city.
Phillips 66 and FreeWire unveiled plans earlier this year to deploy FreeWire’s ultrafast, battery-integrated technology to meet the growing demand from EV drivers for high-speed, on-the-go charging. Phillips 66 will leverage its network of approximately 7,000 Phillips 66®, Conoco® and 76® branded U.S. sites and other strategic locations. The chargers are the first commissioned FreeWire chargers in Texas.
The introduction of the EV chargers reflects Phillips 66’s commitment to working to meet the world’s growing energy needs while reducing its environmental footprint. The company has focused its Emerging Energy and Sustainability business strategy on four pillars: renewable fuels, batteries, carbon capture and hydrogen.
ZEVX EO from CARB
ZEVX, Inc., today announced the attainment of its EO from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for it’s battery electric commercial powertrain kit. The EO covers early Mercedes Sprinter vans, 2500-3500 load capacity. The EO comes from CARB Aftermarket Division, enabling ZEVX to accelerate kit delivery and installation through it’s authorized service provider (ASP) network.
CARB EO is required for alternative fuel vehicle conversion applications, thereby providing large scale fleet operators immediate opportunities to repower existing fleet assets to EV powertrains. ZEVX worked diligently with CARB officials and engineering to develop a comprehensive technical package to meet stringet kit composition, installation and operational requirements. ZEVX began their work with CARB late 2021 after receiving initial EPA approvals.
“This EO paves the way for immediate sales of our ‘ATHENA’ powertrain kit in California and fifteen other states. The Mercedes Sprinter is the first platform through review, leveraging our proprietary powertrain configuration, ZEVX is working quickly to deliver new document packages for the F250-F450, E450 and Chevy Express. The vehicle platforms will enable fleet operators and owners to accelerate powertrain transformation and meet CO2 reduction metrics”, said Charles Maury, Founder and Chief Design Officer at ZEVX, Inc.
The ZEVX ATHENA Sprinter battery electric conversion kit includes a custom 62 kWh battery pack, delivering a range of 100-120 miles using customer data. ZEVX developed a highly configurable battery pack that delivers industry leading volumentric density with active thermal management to meet operating conditions from Arizona to Michigan.
“ZEVX is excited to reach this important milestone. The product team has worked tirelessly to deliver high quality products and documents to meet strict CARB requirements obtained through this EO. CARB represents a critical regulatory agency tasked with governing CO2 emissions that directly impact current and future generations.” Said James Johnson, Director, Government Relations.///
Borla Sound Coming to EV Drivers
Borla Exhaust, a world-leader in performance exhaust systems, partnered with AudioControl, known in the vehicle aftermarket industry for its high-performance audio solutions, to bring the Borla Active Performance Sound™ System to life. David Borla, VP, Marketing and Sales at Borla, had a vision to bring the sensory excitement that driving enthusiasts have grown to expect from Borla, now to EV drivers. Electric Vehicles lose an element of driver excitement with the loss of audible exhaust. With its many years of audio processing expertise, AudioControl was able to develop state-of-the-art technology needed for Borla to add that excitement back to the EV driving experience.
Years in the making, Borla’s Active Performance Sound System, utilizes a proprietary Borla algorithm that takes into consideration the vehicle’s speed, power, RPM, torque and load with zero latency. It was developed using professional recordings of actual Borla equipped internal-combustion (ICE) vehicles. Multiple microphones capture all characteristics of ICE audio, including idle, ramps to redline, cruising, throttle lifts, “burbles & pops” and more. Using real-time data from the EV’s internal computer, the Borla System generates a hyper-realistic ICE soundtrack that perfectly matches the EV motor status and other vehicle dynamics. The System perfectly pairs with a mobile app where drivers can select from multiple Borla sound technologies including ATAK®, S-Type and Touring all with full control over volume and other characteristics.
Mobis to Supply Chassis for Mercedes-Benz
Mobis begins to supply chassis modules for Mercedes-Benz AG, with luxury and performance automotive brands. The module technology and quality competitiveness of Mobis are now highly recognized by global automakers. Mobis becomes the first non-European supplier for chassis module for the OEM.
Mobis is now fully operating its new production facility in McCalla, Alabama. The company has built the new site for mixed-model production of chassis modules for 4 different electric SUVs.
The chassis-module is a generic term for the parts assembled under the car body, e.g., the steering, braking and suspension system. It also refers to the set of parts for these systems assembled on the frame.
Mobis has been accumulated over the past 20 plus years for the module development and assembling experience worldwide. Last several years of R&D and pre-production periods for this new project became a good example of the customer’s satisfaction.
Following the client’s development plans step by step, Mobis strived to concentrate its own R&D efforts with Mercedes-Benz AG to provide the best chassis module solutions. Now the technology and quality control capability of Mobis are recognized by the most prestigious automotive brand worldwide.
In the process of landing this contract, Mobis held multiple technical briefings and touring sessions with the customer and showed the entire mass production process of the module assembly in Korea and Europe.
CLEAResult Funded for REACH
CLEAResult’s proposed electric vehicle (EV) charging project received a $2 million Reliable, Equitable, and Accessible Charging for multifamily Housing (REACH) grant from the California Energy Commission last month to help speed up affordable access to EV infrastructure in the state. The multifamily project will deploy at least 100 Level 2 EV charging ports to serve 300 multifamily households and leverage CLEAResult’s experience delivering EV charging projects with utilities and Community Choice Aggregators across the country to reach their adoption goals, especially for income-qualified residents.
CLEAResult will first complete engineering design and construction for the project, then install the chargers in each community and operate them for the first five years. This timeline ensures that the project model is set up for long-term sustainability from the start. The team will also prioritize engagement opportunities with property managers and residents early on to make sure everyone’s input is received and value is being added equitably in each community.
Blink Commits to US manufacturing
Blink Charging Co. (Nasdaq: BLNK, BLNKW) (“Blink” or the “Company”), a leading owner and operator of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and services today, following a roundtable discussion with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, its commitment to establish a new manufacturing facility in the United States, which will create new jobs and increase charger production capacity to meet growing market demand.
Blink has launched its search to locate a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the United States that will provide up to 200,000 square feet of space, with future potential growth, and will create an estimated 300 additional jobs for highly skilled workers such as engineers and manufacturing personnel to Blink’s current workforce. The brand-new facility will utilize the latest technology to manufacture both DCFC and Level 2 Chargers. The facility will have initial production capacity of 10,000 DCFC, and 20,000 to 40,000 Level 2 (AC) chargers.
Blink employs over 300 staff in the U.S. with its headquarters in Miami Beach, FL with other offices and facilities in Tempe, AZ, Bowie, MD, and Los Angeles, CA. With its international staff, Blink boasts nearly 600 employees worldwide with overseas offices in the Netherlands, UK, Greece, Belgium, and India. Along with its internal staff, Blink works with a diverse group of suppliers and contractors supporting another 700 estimated jobs nationwide. The addition of jobs at the new facility reinforces Blink’s commitment to American manufacturing, bringing the estimated total number of the company’s workforce in the U.S. to nearly 600 employees over the next several years.
ENTEK Gets Infrastructure Funding
ENTEK has been selected as part of the first set of projects funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the electrical grid and for materials and components currently imported from other countries..
Responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing and processing of the critical materials used to make lithium-ion batteries will strengthen American supply chains, accelerate battery production to meet increased demand, and secure the nation’s economic competitiveness, energy independence, and national security.
USDOE Awards Sila $100 Million
The US Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it has awarded Sila, a next-generation battery materials company, $100 million to fund the build-out of its 600,000+ square foot facility in Moses Lake, WA and scale manufacturing of its breakthrough silicon anode materials. Sila’s rollout plan, across its 160-acre campus, estimates the production of 20 GWh of capacity by 2026, enough to power 200,000 electric vehicles. Automaker Mercedes-Benz will be the facility’s first commercial customer and has selected Sila’s anode materials to power its electric vehicles, starting with the G-Class series.
Sila is a recipient of the first set of projects funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the electrical grid, with a focus on domestic processing of materials and components currently imported from other countries. The funding announced today by the Department of Energy is the first phase of over $7 billion in total provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the battery supply chain. DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) is responsible for strengthening and securing manufacturing and energy supply chains needed to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and support a clean and equitable energy transition. MESC will manage the portfolio of projects with support from DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office.
“The U.S. federal government’s support of clean energy research and development is second to none. Funding from the DOE was instrumental in the early days of Sila and supported our product development. We’ve been able to make good on that investment with our breakthrough chemistry. Now the DOE is taking another big step by supporting our move into automotive scale manufacturing,” said Gene Berdichevksy, Sila Co-Founder and CEO. “Offering federal resources to advance domestic production of proven technologies will help the U.S. assert ourselves as leaders in the global EV market. With our Moses Lake facility, we’re committed to delivering revolutionary battery material that is better, lowers cost, and accelerates our electric future. And the DOE’s grant and support proves its long-term commitment to the same.”
Sila expects to hire and train 150 – 300 technologists at its Moses Lake facility and is working with local high schools, vocational training programs, and community colleges to train and recruit talent for this location. Production lines at the facility will start up in the second half of 2024, with full start of production to be underway in the first half of 2025.
Sila’s proprietary silicon anode material is a replacement for current graphite material in Li-ion batteries and increases the energy density of batteries by 20%, without compromising cycle life, power, safety or other performance parameters. As automakers transition their fleets to electric, Sila’s drop-in replacement has the ability to boost overall battery performance while lowering battery cost per kWh, which is critical in meeting consumer expectations regarding cost, range, charge time, and acceleration. Sila materials will be crucial in achieving the ATVM Loan Program’s goal of improving the fuel economy of the US fleet through the accelerated adoption of electric vehicles.
Chargie Vendor for SCE Charge Ready Program
Chargie, a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, has been selected as a turn-key vendor for Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready Program. As the largest utility-led electric vehicle charging program in the nation, Charge Ready provides EV infrastructure solutions for multi-family, public sector, and commercial properties.
The Turn-Key Installation option of Charge Ready offers full-service solutions to eligible residential multi-family properties located in top quartile disadvantaged communities (DAC) within the SCE service area. For properties that qualify, this includes the design, purchase, installation, and operation of EV charging equipment. Chargie will perform select services to deploy and manage EV infrastructure at these properties, helping the utility achieve its goal of adding more than 30,000 new chargers throughout the service area.
TerraWatt Charging for I-10 to El Paso
TerraWatt Infrastructure, a company powering electrified fleets with the most reliable network of charging centers, announced it is developing the first network of high-powered charging centers for heavy-duty and medium-duty electric trucks along the Interstate 10 (I-10) highway, stretching from the Port of Long Beach – Los Angeles, California to the El Paso, Texas area. By investing in the necessary charging infrastructure, TeraWatt is enabling and accelerating the transition to zero-emission long-haul freight.
“Long-haul trucking electrification represents a significant opportunity to reduce transportation sector emissions, but hinges on the rapid scale up of specialized charging infrastructure,” said TeraWatt CEO, Neha Palmer. “Our real estate and energy infrastructure development platform uniquely positions TeraWatt to solve the ‘charging problem’ for trucking operators, making freight electrification achievable within their operations.”
The I-10 Electric Corridor will consist of multiple facilities, called TeraWatt Charging Centers, that will be spread across California, Arizona, and New Mexico. TeraWatt Charging Centers will be purpose-built to serve heavy-duty and medium-duty electric fleets, featuring dozens of direct current (DC) fast chargers, pull-through charging stalls, on-site driver amenities, and reliable operations including resiliency generation and zero carbon electricity options. TeraWatt will offer access to these sites both for the purposes of long-haul and local electric trucking operations.
The TeraWatt Charging Centers are located approximately 150 miles apart to support the mileage range of commercially available electric trucks. These sites are located less than one mile from the nearest highway exit for ease of access, and range in size between four to 100 acres, depending on location.
With TeraWatt, trucking companies have a dedicated partner to manage all operations related to charging infrastructure along the I-10 corridor. TeraWatt will operate and maintain its Charging Centers to the highest standards of reliability as well as incorporate advanced technology as commercially appropriate, such as battery-backed renewable energy and megawatt charging stations. TeraWatt is partnering with local and state governments and utilities, and plans to leverage various grants and incentives, which will provide additional benefits to charging customers.
TeraWatt will be releasing more details about its I-10 Charging Centers. To receive updates, join TeraWatt’s mailing list here: https://terawattinfrastructure.com/electric-corridor
Rock Tech Lithium to Supply Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz AG finalized a supply agreement with Canadian-German-start-up Rock Tech Lithium Inc. to secure high-quality lithium used in battery production as part of a direct sourcing approach. Starting in 2026, including a qualification period, this allows the Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker to get its battery partners supplied with raw material to rapidly scale up its production of fully electric vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz plans to go all electric by the end of the decade, wherever market conditions allow, requiring the brand with the three-pointed star to open new sources of raw materials with new partners. As part of the agreement, Rock Tech Lithium plans to supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to Mercedes-Benz battery partners from a converter based in Guben, Brandenburg, Germany. Lithium hydroxide is needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries which are used in Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles.
“This significant amount of lithium sourced directly from Rock Tech will help Mercedes-Benz to advance localization of European production of state-of-the-art battery cells. Together with additional sourcing partnerships in the future, the on average 10,000 tons of lithium per annum will play a key role in securing the lithium supply for our battery production in Europe, to help achieve our ambitious electrification goals”, said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Research & Development and Procurement.
“Lithium hydroxide from Rock Tech offers Mercedes-Benz the opportunity to support two strategic goals: localized and reliable sourcing as well as production under high sustainability standards. We are very pleased to have found a partner that will take important steps with us towards a more resilient lithium supply chain and demonstrates trust in us to deliver an important part of their strategy and of the e-mobility transformation”, Markus Bruegmann, Chief Executive Officer of Rock Tech Lithium.
The strategic partnership between Rock Tech and Mercedes-Benz was announced during a German-Canadian summit in Toronto in August this year following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Mercedes-Benz AG and Canada to explore deeper cooperation across all stages of the automotive value chain, focusing on natural resources development.
The supply agreement provides that both companies will cooperate in creating a roadmap to achieving CO2 neutral production of lithium hydroxide by the end of 2030. Additionally, it requires that all lithium hydroxide supplied by Rock Tech shall be sourced from mining sites audited by the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurances (“IRMA”).
Responsibly mined and processed raw materials provide the foundation for a sustainable all-electric Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet. Respect and protection of human rights as well as of the environment are decisive criteria for choosing sourcing partners. In close cooperation with its suppliers the Stuttgart-based luxury car maker with the three-pointed star is therefore working on finding levers for the consistent reduction of CO₂ as well as joining forces in order to reduce the amount of rare earth metals per electric drive significantly.