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Nikola Battery Production Moved to AZ
Nikola announced that it is moving its battery manufacturing from Cypress, Calif. to its Coolidge, Ariz. manufacturing facility. The move, which the company expects to complete by early Q3, brings Nikola’s truck assembly, fuel cell power module assembly, and battery module and pack production under one roof and includes battery line automation geared toward improving quality and increasing efficiencies.
LG Energy Solution (LGES; KRX: 373220) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Honda) today announced the formal establishment of the joint venture (JV) which will produce lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV) produced by Honda.
The JV will begin construction of a new battery plant early this year with the goal of completion by the end of 2024 and starting mass production of advanced lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025. The plant aims to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40GWh. All batteries produced by the new JV will be supplied exclusively to Honda plants in North America to power battery-electric vehicles sold in North America.
The new plant will be located approx 40 miles southwest of Columbus in Fayette County, near Jeffersonville. LGES and Honda have committed to investing $3.5 billion and creating 2,200 jobs to establish the new production facility. The companies’ overall investment related to the JV is projected to reach $4.4 billion.
Zeta Gets DOE Funding
Zeta Energy Corp. was selected to receive $4 million in Federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding is part of the ARPA-E Electric Vehicles for American Low-Carbon Living (EVs4ALL) program, which seeks to develop more affordable, convenient, efficient, and resilient electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Zeta’s batteries offer much higher performance (energy capacity, specific power, and shelf life) at a significantly lower cost, and with no cobalt or nickel. Zeta’s technology combines a carbon nanotube anode with a sulfurized carbon cathode. It is widely known that sulfur offers superior potential for holding lithium ions and is also lightweight, abundant, and economical. However, in the past, a problem known as the “polysulfide shuttle effect” held back development of lithium sulfur batteries because they were not long lasting – the sulfur would, in essence, dissolve into the electrolyte after a few cycles. Zeta Energy’s technology solves this problem, enabling the energy density and economy benefits of lithium sulfur batteries while also making the batteries long lasting. In short, Zeta’s batteries will enable companies to make far more efficient electric vehicles and other battery powered products. Furthermore, since Zeta’s technology relies on widely available and abundant materials, it helps to localize the battery supply chain, making it simpler and more secure.
As noted by ARPA-E, “Zeta Energy will create a new anode with a high Li content that is also highly accessible and rechargeable. The complementary physical and chemical features of the cathode and anode will enable transformational high charge rates and long-term stability while also minimizing performance losses at low temperatures.”
Allison to Provide Testing for Nikola
Allison Transmission has partnered with Nikola Corporation, a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, to conduct testing of its Class 8 battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) at Allison’s state-of-the-art Vehicle Electrification + Environmental Test (VE+ET) Center.
“We’re proud to collaborate with Nikola as they develop innovative, next-generation vehicles designed to reduce emissions and optimize performance,” said David Proctor, General Manager, Allison Vehicle Electrification + Environmental Test Center. “Our facility has the capabilities to support external customer test and validation programs for vehicles powered by every major propulsion type, which reinforces Allison’s commitment to taking a leadership role in the development of alternative fuel options for the commercial vehicle industry.”
The two companies collaborated to test BEV and FCEV performance through controlled thermal environments and dynamometer road simulations, capable of simulating a wide range of duty cycles. The tests utilized Nikola’s hydrogen refueling equipment along with a constant flow of hydrogen supplied by the facility to allow for uninterrupted test runs. Evaluation of the vehicles included monitoring battery management and HVAC testing which leveraged solar simulation to replicate extreme temperatures.
The Vehicle Electrification + Environmental Test Center provides several benefits for OEMs including the ability to conduct testing in a safe, controlled, consistent environment which enables secure, dependable, repeatable results. At the facility, Allison simulates real world applications and climate conditions, allowing OEMs to reduce product development and validation timelines to bring innovative technology and vehicle systems to market faster and more efficiently. In addition, conducting testing in a condensed timeframe that is not dependent on seasonal climate and road conditions results in reduced costs compared to on-road testing.
“Leveraging the capabilities of Allison’s VE+ET Center has been a key enabler for Nikola to accelerate our product development cycle and confidently bring to market our Tre BEV early last year,” said Nikola Head of Vehicle Validation, Adam Tarleton. “We are looking forward to continued collaboration with Allison on our Tre FCEV product to deliver an industry leading, best-in-class hydrogen FCEV with the performance, quality and reliability the commercial truck segment demands.”
The 60,000-square-foot VE+ET Center is the only one of its kind in the Midwest, offering the ability to conduct year-round testing in one centralized location. The facility offers dedicated test cells and suites for customers, which provide the capabilities and collaboration necessary for new product development.
For more information on the VE+ET Center, please visit allisontransmission.com/veet.
Autel Intros Rose Gold Color Choice
Autel announced a new color option, Rose Gold, for its award-winning Autel MaxiCharger AC home chargers. Customers can now choose from three color finishes, Dark Gray, Silver, or Rose Gold, for their MaxiCharger AC Lite Level 2 Smart Charger.
The MaxiCharger AC Lite Level 2 charger provides up to 50 Amps of output, enabling drivers to gain up to 37 miles of range per charging hour, a charging speed that is nine times faster than Level 1 chargers.
The Autel Charge app makes charging and monitoring quick, convenient, and cost-effective. Use the Autel Charge app, compatible with Android and Apple devices, to customize charging to fit your lifestyle and family’s needs. Charging options include Charge and Go, Remote Start and Stop, RFID-card charging access, and day and time scheduling to take advantage of lower, off-peak utility rates.
Safe and Durable Charging
The Autel MaxiCharger AC Lite is designed for indoor and outdoor installation. The MaxiCharger’s NEMA Type 4X rating ensures it can withstand all weather conditions, including rain, snow, hail, sleet, and high dust. Engineered with safety in mind, the MaxiCharger features built-in surge, over-current, over-voltage, and over-temperature protections.///
Aligning with its goals to provide energy solutions for customers while working toward making cleaner energy sustainable and resilient for all, Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) has recently entered into an agreement with WattTime to provide certain health and environmental impact data to Toyota and Lexus customers with eligible vehicles to enable them to find ideal charging times to reduce emissions when charging at home. By using this data to make more informed decisions on charging times, customers are empowered to do their part to help reduce power plant emissions that impact human health and climate change.
ECO Charge for Toyota & Lexus
Leveraging the power of the Remote Connect feature within the Toyota and Lexus apps, Toyota and Lexus BEV and PHEV customers will be able to manage their home charging experience, via the ECO Charging feature, to select the most efficient times to charge their vehicles.
“With the integration of WattTime data in the Toyota and Lexus apps, we are providing customers an easy and accessible way to identify times when they can charge their vehicle that help reduce environmental impact,” said Steve Basra, group vice president, Connected Technologies, Toyota Motor North America. “The Toyota and Lexus apps offer a seamless and simple solution for our customers, and we’re confident this will enhance their electrified vehicle ownership experience.”
WattTime is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 that provides information to everyone from power utilities to individual users on the best forecasted times to pull electricity from the grid for the smallest carbon footprint. As part of its agreement, Toyota will be the exclusive automotive manufacturer to also provide customers with WattTime data related to human health. Using that data, customers will be presented with recommended charging schedules that, if used, can potentially reduce the health impact of the electricity being pulled from the local utility.
“Our electrified vehicle customers select our vehicles not only to enjoy a best-in-class customer experience, but also to make a positive impact on our environment and society,” said James George, general manager, Toyota EV Charging Solutions. “We will continue to provide solutions both now and in the future in support of Toyota’s goal of creating a carbon neutral society.”
“With the help of WattTime data, Toyota and Lexus have pioneered a feature in their phone apps to help customers identify when they can charge their electric vehicle with electricity coming from some of the cleanest power plant options available,” said Gavin McCormick, executive director of WattTime. “It’s a powerful step to protect the planet – and everyone on it.”
Customers who own eligible vehicles can download the Toyota or Lexus app and register their vehicle, and then they can choose to opt-in to the Remote Connect service through the app. The Toyota and Lexus apps will take the electricity forecast data from WattTime and combine it with the customer’s own charging and mobility requirements to propose a charging schedule through the ECO Charging feature. The optional schedule will be presented to them through the customer’s existing account on their app. Customers may use the data to align their charging schedule with the times of day that will offer the best potential for a reduced carbon footprint and impact on health.
The ECO Charging feature is available now on the Toyota and Lexus apps, both of which are available for download for iPhone® or Android™ smartphones.
Last year Toyota launched the all-new BEV crossover, the bZ4X. Toyota also offers PHEV vehicle options with the Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime. Lexus’ all-new RZ 450e BEV will go on sale early this year. In addition, Lexus offers PHEV options in the NX 450h+ and the forthcoming RX 450h+.
*ECO Charging requires a trial or subscription to Remote Connect. Remote Connect depends on certain factors outside of Toyota’s and Lexus’ control in order to operate, including 4G network availability, a cellular connection and GPS signal. Without any one or more of these things, operability may be limited or precluded. Services subject to change at any time without notice. Trial period begins on original purchase or lease date of new vehicle. Paid subscription required after trial (if applicable).
Xos, Inc., a leading technology company which provides fleet services, software solutions, and manufactures Class 5 through Class 8 battery-electric commercial vehicles, today announced it has launched its mobile fleet management application, Xosphere Go™, for customers and authorized Xos dealers to manage their Xos vehicle and chargers on the go. Xosphere Go is available to all owners of Xos battery-electric vehicles and is free to download on iOS and Android devices