EV, Battery & Charging News: Schneider, Rivian, Qmerit, ViGIL, PG&E, Hyundai, SDK, FLO, GM, Ford & FreeWire

In EV, battery and charging news are Schneider, Rivian, Qmerit, ViGIL, PG&E, Hyundai, SDK, FLO, GM, Ford and

Schneider Delivering 100 Class 8 BEVs

Schneider (NYSE: SNDR), a premier multimodal provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services, will soon begin taking delivery of nearly 100 Class 8 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) at its intermodal operations in Southern California.

Schneider’s first Freightliner eCascadia, manufactured by Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), is set to roll off the assembly line at the Portland, Oregon, DTNA plant.

The carrier had previously reported orders for 62 eCascadias. Now the company will deploy an additional 30 BEVs from DTNA. As a result, Schneider will have one of the largest electric fleets in North America, marking a critical step in the company’s efforts to operationalize zero-emission vehicles into its truck fleet.

“The integration of nearly 100 zero-emission vehicles is an important milestone for Schneider as we are moving beyond the battery-electric truck testing phase to running an operation at scale,” said Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke. “In combination with rail movement, we can offer our intermodal customers meaningful emissions reduction value by utilizing BEV dray trucks.”

Battery-electric trucks are crucial in meeting Schneider’s sustainability goals of reducing CO2 per-mile emissions by 7.5% by 2025 and 60% by 2035. Schneider has already achieved more than half of its 2025 goal by reducing per-mile emissions by 5%. Battery-electric trucks will help further meet these goals.

Schneider has long pushed innovation in efficiency by running one of the most efficient fleets in North America.

The new eCascadias have the potential to avoid over 81,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per day. Over the course of a year, that is equivalent to removing 2,400 gas-powered cars from the road.

Schneider is already familiar with electric vehicle technology, having piloted an eCascadia for six months through Freightliner’s Customer Experience fleet. The drivers who tested the eCascadia reported really enjoying driving the truck.

Apex Clean Energy to Power Rivian Plant

Rivian and Apex Clean Energy  announced the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the renewable energy company’s proposed Goose Creek Wind farm in Piatt County, Illinois. As Rivian’s first large-scale procurement, the agreement supports the company’s long-term vision of enabling high-impact renewable energy projects that reduce its carbon footprint while also benefiting customers, communities, and the electrical grid.

This purchase, along with other renewable sourcing and on-site generation, will allow Rivian to power as much as 75% of its Normal, Illinois, plant operations with carbon-free energy on an hourly basis. The PPA will also contribute to the company’s commitment to power its Rivian Adventure Network and Waypoints charging with 100% renewable energy. Importantly, this is Rivian’s first major renewable energy purchase and a critical investment in Illinois—supporting homegrown jobs, economic development, tax revenues, and clean energy in the Prairie State.

“About a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, with nearly another third from electricity generation. We have a tremendous opportunity at Rivian to help tackle emissions beyond the tailpipe to support decarbonization of manufacturing and charging of electric vehicles,” said Andrew Peterman, Rivian Director of Renewable Energy. “Long-term success for us means helping to accelerate the transition to carbon-free energy across the entire economy, not just within Rivian’s own footprint.”

Rivian’s renewable energy strategy combines climate impact, community, and local ecological considerations. Working with The Nature Conservancy and its Site Renewables Right initiative, Rivian aims to support grid decarbonization while also promoting renewable developments that enhance the land, protect critical biodiversity, and improve local economies.

Within an hour’s drive of Rivian’s flagship Normal facility, Goose Creek Wind will put more carbon-free energy on the Central Illinois grid by tapping the region’s largest and most sustainable resource—the wind. Rivian promotes and relies on the growth of clean energy in Illinois, contributing to statewide efforts to increase the proportion of renewables from 11%—compared to the national average of 20%—and reduce marginal emissions of a carbon intensive grid.

Rivian has signed the Climate Pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

Apex is currently in the process of securing local permits and approvals for the 300 MW Goose Creek Project to be built and as a stipulation of the PPA. The project is slated to begin operations in 2024.

Autel Energy Partners with Qmerit

Autel Energy, a leading developer of residential and commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, has partnered with Qmerit, a nationwide network of certified EV charger installers, to provide customers with a seamless, stress-free home charger installation.

Qmerit offers a network of company-owned contractors, independent Certified Solutions Partners, and Certified Installers skilled in system implementation and integration. Via Autel’s website (Autelenergy.com), MaxiCharger customers can initiate the installation process with questions directed to gauge a customer’s home electrical status and installation needs. Qmerit uses that information to match the customer with the best installer. Qmerit’s network of certified electricians have installed over 260,000 EV home chargers and covers more than 2,600 locations in North America.

ViGIL Open for EVSE Testing

The Vehicle-Grid Innovation Laboratory (ViGIL) from DEKRA is now open and offering state-of-the-art testing and certification services for future mobility. The Concord, Calif., facility offers functional, conformance, and interoperability testing for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and charging infrastructure.

Created in partnership with the California Energy Commission, ViGIL seeks to transform the transportation sector by improving the interoperability of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. It also seeks to increase capacity and throughput of EVSE standards testing and expand testing for electric vehicle charging equipment. Meeting these challenges are critical, as California transitions to 100% electric vehicle sales by 2035, and to ensure a seamless charging experience for consumers.///

— StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), has had its game-changing technology successfully validated by leading independent battery lab Shmuel De-Leon Energy.

The internationally renowned experts in the field of energy storage and electric mobility subjected StoreDot’s production ready XFC batteries to a series of in-depth tests, confirming the technology’s commercialization viability and its superior fast charging and high-energy performance in comparison to any known XFC battery solutions for the EV sector.

The intensive independent test program was conducted at the Shmuel De-Leon Energy laboratories and covered energy density, charging rate, operating conditions and cycling. The results corroborated a sector-leading energy density of 300Wh/kg and 1000 consecutive XFC cycles for StoreDot’s proprietary technology that utilizes current deployed manufacturing equipment, which exceeded that of all other battery solutions tested.

PG&E Pre-Enrolling V2X

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced the launch of a pre-enrollment website for customers interested in joining the company’s three upcoming Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) pilot programs.

The new programs will offer customers financial incentives to integrate new bidirectional EV charging technology, which allows a customer’s electric vehicle to become a mobile battery, capable of storing electricity that can be used to provide onsite power or send power back to the grid during periods of peak electricity demand.

As outlined in its first ever Climate Strategy Report, released in June, PG&E aims to support three million EVs on the road in its service area by 2030, with goals of more than two million of them equipped with vehicle-to-grid capabilities.

PG&E will test the technologies in a variety of settings, including homes, businesses and with local PG&E microgrids in select high wildfire-risk areas. PG&E is anticipating enrolling approximately 1,000 customers with eligible electric vehicles and bidirectional charging stations in the residential pilot, 200 customers in the commercial pilot, and 200 customers in the microgrid pilot.

Pre-enrollment allows PG&E customers to express interest in participating, determine eligibility, and reserve a rebate and an opportunity to fully enroll in the programs in 2023 as more vehicles and other required equipment become more widely available.

“Bidirectional EV charging is a game-changer for both the energy and transportation sectors. These pilot programs will help determine how to maximize the cost-effectiveness of bidirectional charging technology in providing a variety of customer and grid benefits,” said Aaron August, PG&E’s Vice President, Utility Partnerships and Innovation.

Visit PG&E’s V2X pilot programs pre-enrollment website at www.pge.com/VGI for more information about the technology and to explore pre-enrolling in the programs.

Hyundai & SDK Battery Plant in Bartow, Georgia

Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) and SK On have selected a site in Bartow County for a new electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility that will supply Hyundai Motor Group’s plants in the U.S. One of the largest economic development projects in state history, stakeholders estimate it will create more than 3,500 new jobs through approximately $4-5 billion of investment in Bartow County.

Hyundai Motor Group and SK On recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the partnership for a new EV battery facility in the U.S., with the details of the partnership still in development.

Established in 2021, SK On is the lithium-ion battery subsidiary branch of SK Innovation and currently employs more than 2,000 Georgians at its SK Battery America facility in Commerce. In July, SK Battery America announced it would partner with the Work for Warriors Georgia program to hire veterans, servicemembers, and their families at their Georgia operations.

Subject to execution of relevant agreements and HMG and SK On’s final board decisions, the new facility will be located at Bartow Centre, a zoned manufacturing and industrial site located on Highway 411, and is aiming to begin operations in 2025.

FLO to Supply EVSE for GM Dealers

FLO, a leading North American electric vehicle (EV) charging network operator and smart charging solutions provider, has been selected as the supplier for General Motors’ Dealer Community Charging Program. This program will install up to 40,000 public Level 2 EV chargers in local communities across North America. This project is the single largest deployment of EV chargers across North America.

FLO will manufacture CoRe+ MAX™ chargers that will be provided to participating dealers. FLO’s CoRe+ MAX charger delivers a maximum power output of 19.2 kW, charges up to 2.7x faster than a typical Level 2 charging station and delivers the most power available to a Level 2 charger.

These new charging stations will join the FLO network and GM’s Ultium Charge 360 network and will be available to all EV drivers.

“GM is a long-term valued collaborator, and we are proud to support this extraordinary effort to grow access to public EV charging in thousands of local communities across North America,” said Louis Tremblay, FLO’s president and CEO. “Together, FLO, GM and GM dealerships will bring reliable charging to drivers from curbside to countryside.”

EverCharge Expands Hayward Plant

EverCharge, a leading provider of turnkey electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for fleet and multi-family homes, announced  that it is expanding its manufacturing footprint and opening a new 30,000 square foot production factory in Hayward, California.

With international supply chain shortages continuing to limit and delay production around the world, EverCharge is proud to be one of the few companies to manufacture their electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in North America.

As part of the opening, EverCharge is creating new opportunities for highly skilled local jobs and plans to double their factory workforce by mid-2023.

Spiltvot Intros Gen 2

Splitvolt today announced its next-generation Splitter Switch product that can save electric vehicle (EV) purchasers thousands of dollars. It includes cETLus safety certification, new components and a more stylized look. Its splitter switch is designed to make home EV charging simple, affordable and safe.

Instead of installing a new circuit to charge an EV at home, automatically sharing an existing 30 amp dryer circuit eliminates the cost, complexity and time associated with having an electrician install an additional 220 – 240 volt Level 2 charging circuit. Within minutes, anyone can easily get seven times faster home charging. Its built-in intelligence enables seamless power switching between the dryer and EV and includes several critical and unique safety features.

“One of the barriers to EV adoption has been convenient and affordable home charging. Normally it takes weeks of time, permits and costs thousands of dollars to have a new dedicated EV circuit installed,” said Dan Liddle, founder and CEO of Splitvolt. “The Splitvolt Splitter Switch avoids all of that hassle, is much safer and costs a fraction of the price. Just plug it in, and you immediately have 220v – 240v Level 2 fast home charging.”

Key features of the new product include:

  • Automatic power switching. Switches power between the dryer and the EV charger, using an existing circuit.
  • Internal safety circuit breaker. Ensures that the EV charger does not exceed maximum National Electrical Code (NEC) safe-charging limits or stress a home’s electrical wiring.
  • cETLus safety listed by Intertek (5021938). Conforms to UL STD(s) 60730-1 and certified to CSA STD E60730-1 for Splitter Switch models SPS C1-011, SPS C2-022 and SPS C2-032.
  • New look. Stylized, black design fits in well with home environments.
  • Real time power and status display. Enables real time charging information at a glance.
  • Manual override power-off switch. Provides an additional layer of protection.
  • Flexible ‘pigtail’ power cord. Allows placement of the splitter switch in an accessible and safe location.

The company will display the new product, along with its family of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, at booth# 4370 during CES from January 5 – 8, 2023.

Blue Oval Battery Park SK Construction on Schedule

Ford and SK On have broken ground at BlueOval SK Battery Park, where their joint venture – BlueOval SK – has invested $5.8 billion to produce advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles, slated to start production in 2025, creating 5,000 new jobs in Kentucky.

Construction is on schedule at the two massive battery manufacturing facilities capable of collectively producing more than 80 gigawatt hours annually.

“BlueOval SK Battery Park will be at the core of the electrification of the North American auto market,” said Jee Dong-seob, SK On president and CEO. “We expect SK On and Ford’s leadership in the global electric vehicle market to be solidified through BlueOval SK.”

Significant construction progress at BlueOval SK Battery Park brings Ford closer to its target of producing an annual run rate of 2 million electric vehicles globally by the end of 2026.

“Ford’s roots run deep in Kentucky, and BlueOval SK is going to help Ford to lead the EV revolution, bringing thousands of new, high-tech jobs to the Bluegrass State,” said Lisa Drake, vice president, Ford EV Industrialization, “Ford is building on more than a century of investment in Kentucky and its incredible workforce.”

BlueOval SK Battery Park will train 5,000 new workers at the new Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) BlueOval SK Training Center, located on the 1,500-acre BlueOval SK Battery Park site.

“At BlueOval SK Battery Park, we’re building the future – state-of-the-art batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles and a bright future for the workforce in Kentucky,” said David Hahm, BlueOval SK CEO. “In order to produce these batteries, we need a premier workforce that is trained in the latest battery and advanced manufacturing technology.”

The ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center is the only co-branded learning facility within the Kentucky Community College System and represents a $25 million investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“The partnership between Kentucky and Ford dates back more than a century, to the very dawn of the automobile industry,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said. “That bond grows even stronger today as we break ground on Ford and SK On’s BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County. As both the largest economic development project in our state’s history and part of the biggest investment ever by Ford, this project cements Kentucky’s status as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States.”

The curriculum within the 42,000 square-foot training facility will support battery knowledge, roles and skills. BlueOval SK will train employees in SK On’s proprietary technical, quality and manufacturing processes in the ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center’s virtual reality labs, industrial maintenance lab, work simulation lab and ergonomics techniques classrooms.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will begin construction of the ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center in 2023 and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Individuals interested in learning more about employment at BlueOval SK Battery Park should visit https://ford.gr8people.com/communities/9940/kentucky-workforce-of-the-future.

Construction at BlueOval SK Battery Park Remains on Schedule

Significant progress has been made at the  2.3-square-mile battery manufacturing campus. To date, crews have:

  • Moved 4.3 million cubic yards of soil, enough to fill 200 American football stadiums
  • Laid 283,000 tons of stone, equivalent to the weight of nearly 1,350 locomotives
  • Poured 66,000 cubic yards of concrete – enough to fill 356 backyard swimming pools
  • Installed 3,300 tons of rebar ties to reinforce the concrete, equivalent to the weight of more than 470 elephants
  • Installed 1,300 deep foundations, equal to the height of nearly 60 Empire State Buildings stacked end to end
  • Erected 7,900 tons of structural steel, equivalent to the weight of nearly 400 fire trucks

Continued Commitment to the Community

Through the campus construction process, Ford and its construction partners continue to engage with communities in Kentucky through donations, sponsorships and volunteer efforts, building on Ford’s 109-year commitment to the state.

Ford Motor Company provided nearly $40,000 and manpower from its construction partners, Barton Malow Company and Gray Construction, to the city of Glendale, home to BlueOval SK Battery Park. The team refreshed many of the city’s parks and sidewalks, some of which had not been replaced in more than 100 years.

Ford’s construction partners also installed handicap-accessible ramps throughout Glendale and supported various projects locally with United Way of Central Kentucky, Feeding America and Habitat for Humanity throughout Central Kentucky. Ford donated $42,000 to the Glendale Volunteer Fire Department, increasing the department’s budget by more than 50 percent. Ford also sponsored this year’s Glendale Crossing Festival.

“Ford has been a pillar of the community in Kentucky for more than a century and now Glendale will write the next chapter,” said Lisa Slaven, Hardin County Schools Transition Readiness Director. “As an educator and member of this community, I view the building of BlueOval SK Battery Park as synonymous with creating new learning opportunities and skill sets for the careers of tomorrow for our students, our community and Kentucky.”

FreeWire Buys Mobilyze

FreeWire Technologies, the leading provider of battery-integrated electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and energy management solutions, has acquired Mobilyze.ai, a platform that uses artificial intelligence to help site hosts strategically place fast-charging stations to maximize their return on investment. Mobilyze.ai’s EV charging analytics and prediction platform adds powerful capabilities to FreeWire’s suite of service offerings to help site hosts make data-driven decisions regarding charging station deployment. The Mobilyze.ai integration will give FreeWire customers more resources to meet their business objectives and support the rapid buildout of charging infrastructure worldwide.