Electric Vehicle Battery & Charging News: GM, Nikola,Chargepoint, EVgo, FREYER, NI,SDG&E, Soletrac,Volvo & Electrify America

IN EV, battery and charging news are GM, Nikola,Chargepoint, EVgo, FREYER, NI,SDG&E, Soletrac,Volvo and Electrify America.

GM Readies for Rebates

GM’s CEO announced that out of the gate GM’s vehicles are going to be eligible for the $3,750, and  have full qualification in the next two to three years, getting up to the $7,500. •The company plans to bring a Chevrolet Equinox EV to market in 2024 with a starting price of around $30,000. With the help of federal discounts, it could be the cheapest EV on the market in a few years.

Nikola & Chargepoint Parnter for Freight Charging

Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, and ChargePoint Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CHPT), a leading electric vehicle (EV) charging network, today announced a partnership to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for fleets across the U.S. The collaboration will enable Nikola and the Nikola Sales and Service Dealer Network to resell ChargePoint’s comprehensive portfolio of charging infrastructure and software solutions to its fleet customers, ensuring a solid technology interface and integrated sales approach between the two companies. Sysco Corporation (NYSE: SYY), the leading global foodservice distribution company, received its first series-produced battery electric Freightliner eCascadia. With one of the largest private fleets in the United States, Sysco is leading the future of sustainability for foodservice distribution.

Sysco Gets First E-Truck

Sysco’s first zero-emission Class 8 truck was presented to Marie Robinson, Sysco’s EVP and chief supply chain officer at the Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) Manufacturing Plant in Portland. The company’s first Freightliner eCascadia is expected to operate in Sysco’s Riverside, California site, which will receive additional eCascadias in the coming months.

EVgo Intros Promotion for Tesla Drivers

EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO) (EVgo), one of the nation’s largest public fast charging networks for electric vehicles (EVs), unveiled a new promotional charging plan exclusively for Tesla Model S, 3, X and Y drivers and announced that Autocharge+ is available for Tesla drivers with the CCS Combo 1 Adapter at nearly all EVgo DC fast charging locations.

All Tesla drivers can enroll in the new limited time Tesla Plus Promo plan via the EVgo app and drivers with the CCS Combo 1 Adapter can enroll in Autocharge+ for automatic session initiation and billing. Capable of charging up to 250kW and compatible with most Tesla vehicles on the market, the new adapter unlocks access to high-power charging for Tesla drivers on the EVgo network —and gives them a seamless charging experience with the added benefit of the EVgo app that allows drivers to monitor their charging sessions, view real-time charger availability, reserve chargers and more.

The new promotional plan gives Tesla drivers a free three-month trial of the EVgo Plus subscription plan, which offers access to lower charging rates and free charger reservations at select stations with EVgo Reservations™. While this offer is available exclusively for Tesla drivers, both new customers and existing Tesla EVgo customers can sign up for the promotion via the EVgo app. This limited time promotion is valid through December 31, 2022.

FREYER Buys Site in Coweta County Georgia for Giga Battery Plant

FREYR Battery (NYSE: FREY) (“FREYR”), a developer of clean, next-generation battery cell production capacity, has announced the selection and purchase of a site in Coweta County, Georgia for its planned Giga America battery plant. The company selected the Bridgeport Industrial Park site through a rigorous evaluation process based on key operational, logistical, and financial criteria, including the suitability of the site to co-locate modular upstream and downstream projects with the Giga America cell manufacturing facility.

FREYR is planning to initiate detailed project engineering of Giga America in the coming months. The initial phase of Giga America is planned to be a cell production module of approximately 34 GWh based on the next-generation of 24M’s U.S.-based SemiSolid™ production platform at an initial projected capital cost of $1.7 billion. The company is also evaluating value accretive upstream and downstream modules as well as additional cell production lines that are expected to bring total capital investments to more than $2.6 billion through 2029. Upon completion of all the contemplated construction phases, the Giga America complex is expected to be one of the largest battery cell manufacturing developments globally.

NI Intros EV Battery Cycler

NI (NASDAQ: NATI) announced its flexible and highest performing EV battery cycler, the High Power System-17000. The 150kW battery cycler is NI’s highest voltage cycler designed to support existing EV architectures while leaving room for future higher-voltage variants as technology continues to evolve. Featuring unprecedented synchronization capabilities and a modular design, the HPS-17000 helps battery labs upgrade performance with scalability, increased layout flexibility, and lower cost of maintenance.

Built to serve the modern battery test lab, the HPS-17000 complements NI’s portfolio of battery cyclers, offering a solution that is ideal for testing in a fast-paced environment that needs to be scaled and easily serviced. With this addition, NI continues to bring flexibility to customers locked into big, stand-alone racks that force them into rigid layouts that limit the scalability of their labs.

“The HPS-17000 pushes the performance boundaries of NI’s cycler portfolio even further, providing our customers with all the tools they need to test their EV batteries at the scale they require,” said Piet Vanassche, Chief Engineer of NI’s EV test systems. “By using NI’s software capabilities, hardware design expertise and modular approach, customers can scale their labs, maximize uptime and improve their test performance with a sub-ms dynamic response, and future-proof their battery validation labs.”

To serve applications beyond battery cycling such as inverter testing or dynamometer applications, this high-power system has standardized power- and application-specific breakout sections in the cabinet, which also lowers the cost of service across applications, making it possible for local service technicians to act quickly should a malfunction occur.

Time-Sensitive Networking technology allows multiple HPS-17000 to synchronize down to the microsecond, so cyclers positioned tens of meters apart can reliably operate in parallel, giving engineers more freedom to reconfigure their test setups and move equipment around the lab to maximize asset usage and optimize their test. This synchronization also extends to high-accuracy current and voltage sensor units so battery design and test engineers can readily correlate cycler actions with external measurements, at microsecond-level resolution, helping them set up, execute, and report on the test faster and with less effort.

NI’s power electronics portfolio for battery test includes grid simulators, plus cell-, module-, and pack-level cyclers. With the addition of the HPS-17000, NI further enables test performance to meet the fast-growing demand for EV batteries.

SDG&E & GM Working on V2G Bi-Directional Charging

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and General Motors (GM) today announced an agreement to investigate the feasibility of integrating bidirectional Electric Vehicles (EVs) into the electric grid as a local energy resource. Following GM’s announcement of its newest business unit, GM Energy, the study will examine the hardware, software, processes and construction considerations necessary to accelerate wider adoption of Vehicle-to-Grid Integration (VGI) capabilities, which include:

  • Documenting best practices for Vehicle-to-Home or Building projects so that the benefits may be clearly communicated to customers.
  • Developing systems that help enable utilities and vehicle manufacturers to leverage cloud-based energy management platforms and distributed energy resources, such as EVs, to create a Virtual Power Plant. A Virtual Power Plant is a collection of energy resources that can be interconnected and operated together via cloud-based software.
  • Exploring the integration of EVs in microgrid environments to increase grid resiliency for communities. A microgrid is a smaller power grid that uses technology like energy storage or EV batteries to provide power to specific communities or facilities in the event of an outage.

“Vehicle-to-Grid technology can help transform our energy system and provide tangible, positive benefits to our customers in Southern California,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “EVs can help us improve community and grid resiliency in the face of climate change as we work with the state and partners to meet our shared climate goals.”

Under the new agreement, GM and SDG&E will study three VGI capabilities: Vehicle-to-Home (V2H), Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), and a Virtual Power Plant, which can leverage distributed energy resources such as EVs, batteries and chargers to help the grid meet demand.

“Through GM Energy, working with companies like SDG&E will play an important role in accelerating new technology and energy management solutions to market for customers,” said GM Vice President of EV Growth Operations Travis Hester. “As GM continues on its journey towards an all-electric future, expanding the capabilities of EVs represents a significant opportunity to help strengthen grid resiliency and mitigate the impact of disruptions.”

SDG&E and GM are signatories to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) memorandum of understanding (MOU). The agreement is designed to bring together resources from DOE National Labs, state and local governments, utilities and private entities to unlock the potential of bidirectional charging to increase energy security, community resilience, and economic growth while supporting the nation’s electric system.

“Bidirectional charging holds tremendous potential for increasing the country’s energy security and grid reliability in addition to supporting economic opportunities for communities throughout the nation,” said U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions Commercialization Executive Rima Oueid. “We are excited to see yet another V2X initiative undertaken by our MOU partners to accelerate adoption of this innovative technology.”

On average, cars are parked 95% of their useful life, according to research from University of California Los Angeles professor Donald Shoup. Per data from Veloz, California is home to 1.2 million EVs, the largest concentration in the nation. Starting in 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California are required to be zero-emissions.

Ideanomic’s Energica & Soletrac Partner

Ideanomics (Nasdaq: IDEX), a global company focused on accelerating the commercial adoption of electric vehicles (EV),  announces that Energica, through its Energica Inside business unit, and Solectrac are starting technical collaboration on a new generation of electric tractors. Energica Inside will support Solectrac with battery pack development, Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) development, and prototype assembly and testing.

Collaboration between Solectrac and Energica Inside on battery pack development is expected to boost run-time, meaning customers can do more with their electric tractors per charge. Thanks to its industry-leading battery pack technology, Energica motorcycles offer more range than any other electric motorcycle on the market. Energica’s VCU is expected to further enhance the overall performance and efficiency of Solectrac’s next-generation electric tractors.

Volvo Trucks Use Fossil-Free Steel

As the world’s first truck manufacturer to do so, Volvo has begun using fossil-free steel in its trucks. The first electric trucks with fossil-free steel are now being delivered to customers.

In September this year, Volvo Trucks started series production of heavy-duty electric, 44 tonne* trucks, as the first global truck manufacturer to achieve this. Some of the electric trucks will also be the first trucks in the world that are built with fossil-free steel.

The fossil-free steel is produced by the Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB and is made by using a completely new technology with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is a significantly lower climate impact and an important step towards a net-zero emissions value chain. Among the customers that will have fossil-free steel in some of their electric trucks are Amazon and DFDS and, through the transport company Simon Loos, Unilever.

Electrify America Invests in ZEV Programs in Low-Income Areas

Electrify America announced a nearly $3 million additional investment to support four community-based organization awardees promoting Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) education and awareness in low-income and disadvantaged communities throughout California. This effort is part of the company’s broader commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, and supports the existing plan to invest $200 million in California ZEV infrastructure and education programs in the state through mid-2024.

The announcement builds on four years of previous multimillion-dollar funding investments with community-based organizations (CBOs) and non-profit organizations (NGOs) throughout the state in low income and disadvantaged communities, aimed to support a more equitable transition to electric vehicles and zero tailpipe-emission driving. This year’s investment will build off of previous year’s engagement efforts to support digital and in-person education, electric vehicle (EV) ride and drive programs, events, potential EV incentives and financing workshops, and grassroots community engagement.

Additionally, this year the community-based organizations will also focus on home charging education as well as awareness and engagement around Electrify America’s $25 million Green City investment to bring charging infrastructure to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and help to start to electrify the tens of thousands of drayage trucks that enter the Port Complex every single day.

Through 2021, Electrify America has invested a total of $400 million in California, with $197.3 million of that in low-income, disadvantaged and underserved California communities by providing education, access, charging infrastructure and services to promote ZEV driving, including $18 million in education and marketing.

“In the exciting race to electrify our transportation system, many communities have not had equitable access to the resources and information that can help establish adoption of electric vehicles,” said Gabriela Herrera Gugiu, corporate social responsibility senior specialist, Electrify America. “We believe it’s our responsibility to help create a future where zero emission vehicles can be accessible and affordable to Californians and communities across the country.”

Investment recipients a part of today’s announcement include Breathe SoCal, Ecology Action, Plug In America, and Valley Clean Air Now.

More than 100 non-profit, private and public entities from across California were invited to submit proposals to support brand-neutral ZEV education and awareness in disadvantaged and low-income communities. Additional information on the selected California-based organizations and the multi-lingual campaigns that Electrify America will support includes:

  • Breathe Southern California: Breathe SoCal is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes clean air through education, research, technology, and advocacy. Breathe SoCal will host ride-share driver EV educational sessions, a ride-and-drive EV event at a farmer’s market, and a miniature EV competition for families. This type of direct engagement with community members will inform future opportunities to promote EV adoption. Activities will take place in and around the Long Beach-Wilmington area where the Green City initiative is centered. https://breathesocal.org/.
  • Ecology Action: Ecology Action helps people act now to reduce emissions at scale to ensure a thriving people and planet. They are committed to transportation justice and have helped advance sustainable transportation in underserved and low-income communities for nearly two decades. Their efforts in this initiative will focus on ride and drive events throughout the Central Coast and beyond, EV showcases, EV purchase support guidance and EV webinars intended to drive community awareness broadly across the state. Learn more about their EVs for Every One campaign at https://evsforeveryone.org/.
  • Plug In America: Plug In America help consumers, policy-makers, auto manufacturers and others to understand the powerful benefits of driving electric by providing practical, objective information to help consumers select the best plug-in vehicle for their lifestyles and needs. Plug In America founded National Drive Electric Week, the world’s largest celebration of the plug-in vehicle, which welcomed over 180,000 attendees across 324 events in 2019, spanning all 50 states. They will support California-based EV education and engagement through ride and drive programs across California, EV test drives in rural communities, including the regions surrounding Green City efforts. https://pluginamerica.org/.
  • Valley Clean Air Now (VCAN): VCAN is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to quantifiably reducing air emissions in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the region with some of the worst air quality and most severe poverty in the United States. VCAN and key partners such as Charge Across Town will continue their comprehensive campaigns that offer San Joaquin Valley low-income and disadvantaged community groups an opportunity to test-drive ZEVs and to provide hands-on help with qualifying for ZEV incentives through Community Clean Car Clinics and Tune In & Tune Up events, which will occur through this funding. Additionally, VCAN will recruit new car dealers to join the Clean Cars 4 All program, as well as additional community and government collaborations designed to reduce barriers to ZEV ownership in disadvantaged communities. The organization will also focus on potential EV incentives, education, and home charging education and awareness.  https://valleycan.org.

Building on this $3 Million investment in California to Drive ZEV Awareness and Education in Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities, Electrify America also announced in May that it has entered into a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) to build a solar photovoltaic renewable energy generation project in San Bernardino County, California. The new solar project called Electrify America Solar Glow™ 1 is expected to generate 75 Megawatts (MW) at peak solar capacity and produce enough 100% renewable energy annually to help offset the energy currently delivered to Electrify America’s customers charging on its extensive network.

Additionally, Electrify America is also investing in clean technology innovations in the state to support sustainable and reliable operations, including more than 100 battery energy storage systems at charging stations in California to help stabilize the grid and maintain pricing, while having the potential to maximize renewable energy use from the power grid.