EV Battery & Charging News: sker, EnergyHub, Fermata Energy, VW, StoreDot, VinES, Ryder, y BrightDrop, BorgWarner, Stardust Power, Pickering & ProLogium

In electric vehicle battery and charging news are Fisker, EnergyHub, Fermata Energy, VW, StoreDot, VinES, Ryder, y BrightDrop, BorgWarner, Stardust Power, Pickering and ProLogium.

Fisker Ocean Wins 2023 Red Dot Best EV

Fisker Inc. (“Fisker”), driven by a mission to create the world’s most emotional and sustainable electric vehicles, today announced that the Fisker Ocean is the 2023 Red Dot Product Design Award winner for Best Electric Vehicle.

The Red Dot Design Award, first awarded in 1955, is one of the most internationally sought-after seals of quality for good design. An international jury of over 50 design experts evaluated the all-electric Fisker Ocean against global competition on four key design qualities: product function, aesthetics, ease of use, and responsibility / sustainability. The jury awarded the Fisker Ocean Best Electric Vehicle 2023.

“We are particularly proud to win knowing Red Dot judged us on ‘the quality of responsibility: is the product sustainable or durable?’” Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker said. “We built our company to make the world’s most emotional and sustainable vehicles. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move the world toward cleaner and more sustainable mobility, and every design choice Fisker makes supports that mission.”

EnergyHub Partners with Fermata Energy

Grid-tied electric vehicles are batteries on wheels that can support grid resilience. To accelerate the deployment of vehicle-to-grid installations, EnergyHub, the industry’s leading grid-edge DERMS provider, and Fermata Energy, the leading V2G services provider, have partnered to accelerate utilities’ access to EVs as mobile distributed energy resources (DERs).

As vehicles and buildings rapidly electrify, utilities are racing to develop strategies that service this increase in load reliably and affordably. In addition to upgrading infrastructure, utilities are creating programs to manage electricity demand using energy storage and other DERs. The fastest growing sources of energy storage are EV batteries.

Forward-looking utilities are leveraging EVs as mobile energy storage assets to support grid resilience. To do this and meet grid performance standards, utilities and fleet EV operators need better data, insights, and forecasting of when and how EVs can send energy stored in their batteries to the grid.

The partnership between Fermata Energy and EnergyHub enables utility clients to enhance network resilience and reliability, integrate more renewable power, and relieve major stress points in the distribution network.

Via the partnership, EnergyHub’s EV solution – EnergyHub EV – delivers utility signals to the Fermata Energy AI-driven V2G platform, which then analyzes those utility data and other sources, including customer driving patterns and utilization, weather, utility rates, and more. Fermata Energy’s platform then sends simplified alerts to its fleet customers about opportunities to earn revenue from the local utility by discharging energy stored in the EV battery to the grid or to the fleet customer’s building. The fleet customer always has the choice of whether to take advantage of these events and earn revenue while their EVs are parked.

VW EV Battery GigaFactory in St. Thomas Ontario

The Volkswagen Group is pushing ahead with its ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy in North America. Its battery company PowerCo SE aims to build its largest gigafactory to date in St. Thomas, Ontario/Canada with an annual production capacity of up to 90 GWh in the final expansion phase. The planned investment of up to €4.8 billion / CAD$ 7 billion until 2030 has the potential to create up to 3,000 highly skilled jobs at the factory and tens of thousands more indirect jobs in the region. The announcement was made today in the presence of Canada’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, the Honourable François‑Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Ontario’s Premier, the Honourable Doug Ford, the Honourable Victor Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Joe Preston, Mayor of the City of St. Thomas.

StoreDot Partners with VinES

StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging high energy battery solution for electric vehicles, has concluded a joint development agreement with VinES, a transformative energy solution provider and a member company of Vingroup, the largest private conglomerate in Vietnam. The agreement follows the already announced strategic investment of VinFast into StoreDot (Series D, January 2022); marking a new milestone in the cell technology development between both companies and helping them to promote advanced battery technology and prepare to introduce XFC battery solutions for the green mobility market, including VinFast’s smart electric vehicles.

The agreement will see both companies embark on a collaboration to jointly research, develop and offer extreme fast charge (XFC) battery cells in different form-factors, in preparation for XFC battery mass production and supply. StoreDot will license and share its proprietary XFC technology whereas VinES will provide and contribute its know-how and experience with multiple form factor development, manufacturing, validation and global supply chain network.

The first generation of this XFC battery cell is expected to be commercially available in 2025 and immediately adopted by VinFast vehicles.

Chevy Bolt EVs for Schilling

Schilling Hard Cider, the second-largest hard cider producer in the U.S., is electrifying its sales force with the roll-out of eight custom-branded 2023 Chevy Bolt EVs. Schilling Cider is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. Its first carbon inventory was completed in 2021, and the company will continue to conduct carbon inventories annually and set carbon reduction goals. Switching to all-electric cars is a top priority, and the company’s new fleet will significantly reduce its carbon emissions.

Ryder to Deploy BrightDrop Vans for Lease & Rental

Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), a leader in supply chain, dedicated transportation, and fleet management solutions, announced its plan to introduce 4,000 BrightDrop Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 electric vans to its lease and rental fleet through 2025, with the first 200 to be ordered this year. Today’s announcement underscores the company’s ongoing efforts to meet rising demand across the transportation and logistics industries for commercial electric vehicles (EVs). The expanded offering will enable Ryder customers to test and broaden their EV footprint, enhance the driver experience, and accelerate their sustainability initiatives.

The Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 electric vans boast a range of up to 250 miles on a full charge, and can support a payload of about 2,000 to 3,400 lbs. With Zevo 600’s cargo capacity of over 600 cubic feet and Zevo 400’s cargo capacity of over 400 cubic feet, BrightDrop’s electric vans offer the benefits of an electric powertrain with ample cargo space.

Ryder plans to deploy model year 2023 Zevo 600 electric vans in its rental fleet in California, Dallas-Fort Worth, and New York City later this year. The new 2024 Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 models for lease and rental customers are expected to be available as early as summer 2023 and into the first quarter of 2024.

BorgWarner Invests $42 Million in SC Plant

BorgWarner announced today its plan to invest $42 million into the expansion of its Seneca, South Carolina production facility. The investment will be allocated to building and equipment upgrades as well as the development of new manufacturing lines to launch the production of 3GWh of annual battery module capacity, contributing to the growth of the company’s battery module and pack production in the U.S.

BorgWarner has announced its plan to invest $20 million into expanding the capabilities of three existing Michigan-based facilities and developing a new electric vehicle (EV) battery service center. As a result of the investment, BorgWarner is slated to create approximately 186 jobs, including engineering, manufacturing and service positions.

Stardust Power New Battery Lithium Refinery in Central US

Stardust Power Inc. (“Stardust” or the “Company”), an American developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle (“EV”) supply chain, announced today its plan to build a new battery-grade lithium refining facility in the Central United States. When fully operational, Stardust’s factory is expected to produce 50,000 metric tons per year of high-quality battery-grade lithium, supporting the expansion of domestic manufacturing and helping to secure U.S. energy independence.

For Stardust, the refinery’s strategic central U.S. location will ensure it is well-positioned from both upstream and downstream perspectives, with offtake agreements negotiated with lithium miners and a lithium refinery in close proximity to the expanding universe of gigafactories in the South and Midwest. The Company is targeting facility construction beginning by 2024, with production starting in late-2025.

Stardust’s focus is to support America’s energy independence. Lithium is essential to the global electrification transition, the critical resource required for EV batteries, among others. Today, up to 85% of lithium resources are sent to China for refinement and then sold to manufacturers; the U.S. currently has only one lithium producing asset in Nevada, which produces approximately 5,000 metric tons per year vs. the estimated 500,000 metric tons per year of unrefined lithium required to power EVs. With the current development of approximately 25 gigafactories across the U.S., there is an acute need for national lithium refining capacity to develop in lockstep with battery production to build supply chains that are logistically sound and cost effective.

Stardust’s strategy is likewise centered on sustainability, favoring lithium brine deposits, including spent brine sources, over hard rock deposits, and open pit methods of mineral extraction. Stardust’s use of direct lithium extraction technologies is more environmentally sound, and the refinery will also feature sustainable, low-carbon power sources. With these factors at play, Stardust intends to become one of the most sustainable, cost-effective suppliers of battery-grade lithium in the U.S.///

Pickering New Battery Simulation Modules

Pickering Interfaces, the leading supplier of modular signal switching & simulation solutions for use in electronic test & verification,  announced the latest version in its 41/43-752A range of battery simulator modules. Ideal for EV battery stack emulation in BMS test applications, the 41/43-752A-111’s increased voltage isolation (now 1000V) will be essential as the EV industry shifts from 400V to 800V architectures.

Targeting EV (electric vehicle), electric aircraft and other automotive, aerospace and energy storage applications, the battery simulator modules only occupy a single PXI or PXIe slot. The 41-752A-111 (PXI) and 43-752A-111 (PXIe) are 2, 4 or 6-channel battery simulators capable of supplying up to 7 V and 300 mA per channel. The channels are fully isolated from ground and from each other, allowing series connection to simulate batteries in a stacked architecture. The 1kV isolation barrier allows the module to be used as a lower power version of a battery stack, representative of those used for vehicle propulsion.

Each channel on the modules can sink up to 300 mA to simulate a battery under charge and provide independent power and sense connections, allowing the simulator to sense a remote load and correct for wiring losses. Designed to respond to dynamic loads, the battery simulator minimizes the need for local decoupling capacitors at the load. The module also can independently read the voltage at the load and current for each channel, either programmatically or via a manual soft front panel.

Modules can be combined with other Pickering PXI switch and simulation modules, including high voltage switching, fault insertion, thermocouple simulation, and RTD simulation, as well as with other vendors’ PXI modules, such as a CANbus interface, to create a fully flexible BMS (battery management system) test system. The 41/43-752A can also be used as a 6-channel fully isolated power supply with independent sense lines on each channel.

Simulation Product Manager at Pickering, Paul Bovingdon comments: “With most of the EV industry expected to shift from 400V to 800V architectures by 2025, unlocking significantly faster charge speeds and helping address range anxiety, the 41/43-752A-111’s increased voltage isolation will be vital to support BMS test with battery stacks of up to 1kV.”

Pickering provides extensive software support for all its products, allowing users to design their applications with the operating system and programming languages (C/C++, .NET, Python, LabVIEW/LabWindows, MATLAB, etc.) of their choice, making integration with their system seamless. Users can choose between all Microsoft-supported Windows versions, popular varieties of Linux, and other real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tools such as VeriStand, LabVIEW RT and QNX.

All modules are covered by Pickering’s standard three-year warranty.

ProLogium Certification

On April 12, 2023, ProLogium, a leading next-generation solid-state battery (SSB) manufacturer, announced that it has been certified the ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 quality management system (QMS) by SGS. This means its comprehensive R&D, manufacturing and quality management systems have now been validated as meeting the high standards of automotive OEMs.

This is the first time ever a solid-state lithium ceramic battery maker has been awarded IATF 16949, a demonstration that oxide SSBs are no longer lab concepts, but standard products that can be mass produced with scalable manufacturing processes. At the awarding ceremony, Stephen Pao, Knowledge Deputy General Manager of SGS Taiwan Ltd., presented the certificate to James Chou, ProLogium’s representative and Vice President of the Overseas Manufacturing Center.

Automotive quality standards are crucial as defects in the supply chain may have an impact on the automobile user’s experience and safety. The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) introduced the IATF16949, a universal standard that meets global quality requirements, including those of ISO 9001, German and U.S automotive industry associations, as well as major top-tier automakers. As such, the IATF16949 ensures that all parts suppliers comply with a unified standard that fulfills commitment to customers. The quality system has now become a prerequisite for suppliers looking to participate in the global automotive supply chain.

Solid-state batteries are recognized as a promising next-generation battery technology because of their outstanding electrical and safety performance. However, despite considerable investment, the high threshold of commercialization still poses a challenge for their popularization. According to SGS, only companies with actual sales records and more than one year of production experience are eligible to apply for IATF 16949 certificate, making it extremely rare for next-generation battery companies to become certified.