In this Article
UN 38.3 Safety Cert for Factorial Solid-State Batteries
Factorial Inc. (Factorial), an industry leader in the development of solid-state battery technology for electric vehicle (EV) applications, announced it has received the United Nations (UN) 38.3 safety certification for its large format automotive solid-state batteries. This marks a milestone achievement, making Factorial the first Li-metal solid-state battery maker to successfully receive certification that covers 100+Ah cell.
The UN 38.3 standard is a globally recognized requirement for the safe transportation of lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries. It involves a series of rigorous tests, which are performed by a third-party agency, including crush, thermal, vibration, shock, external short circuit, altitude simulation, and forced discharge. These tests ensure the batteries can withstand various conditions without any hazardous risks and are mandatory for batteries that are transported by air, sea, or land. and was performed by a third-party agency.
“Receiving the UN 38.3 safety certification shortly after our CES preview of 100+Ah cell, is a huge accomplishment and signals that we are on the right track to building safer high energy density batteries,” said Siyu Huang, CEO of Factorial Energy. “This certification further demonstrates our focus on not only performance, but safety. We look forward to delivering 100+Ah batteries to our partners with the safety certification accomplished.”
Factorial is revolutionizing the battery industry with its proprietary FEST® (Factorial Electrolyte System Technology) solid-state battery, providing safer and up to 50% higher energy density batteries compared to lithium-ion batteries. This UN 38.3 certification enables Factorial to ship its 100+Ah cells globally to customers and partners, bringing the product another step closer toward achieving automotive qualification.
Albermarle Corp. to Deliver Lithium to Ford for EVs
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), a global leader in providing essential elements for mobility, energy, connectivity and health, today announced a definitive agreement with Ford Motor Company to deliver battery-grade lithium hydroxide to support the automaker’s ability to scale electric vehicle (EV) production.
Albemarle will supply more than 100,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide for approximately 3 million future Ford EV batteries. The five-year supply agreement starts in 2026 and continues through 2030.
Both Albemarle and Ford are committed to supplying the U.S. EV supply chain via lithium hydroxide domestically produced in the United States or originating in a country with a U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
NI Intros Software Battery Labs
NI, formerly known as National Instruments, announced the launch of its Software-Defined Battery Lab solution. Designed for electric vehicle battery validation labs, the new offering marks a critical milestone in NI’s comprehensive testing capabilities covering the entire, sustainable battery lifecycle from research and development to validation, production, second-life, and remanufacturing.
The Software-Defined Battery Lab is the industry’s first battery test solution that supports EV manufacturers and battery suppliers in tackling the pressing challenges of time-to-market, cost, and battery performance through an open and flexible approach. Through software, the solution allows battery validation and data management and analysis of battery data, while being open and flexible to scale for global validation testing and adapt to the ever-evolving innovations in battery technologies.
The Software-Defined Battery Lab draws parallels from the concept of Software-Defined Vehicles, which is revolutionizing how engineering teams bring vehicles to market and continuously improve their performance. As battery technologies evolve and scale, companies can accelerate test system development, maximize reuse of battery testing investments, and connect battery data to improve performance through changes to software.
“We’re in the nascent stages of the battery revolution,” said Drita Roggenbuck, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Transportation Business Unit at NI. “Companies are faced with driving down battery costs, improving performance, innovating endlessly, and scaling. At a time when new vehicle programs are as short as ever, and battery validation and production must scale immediately and continuously through the end of the decade, NI’s Software-Defined Battery Lab offers the step function change needed to improve time to market and battery performance through test systems and test insights.”
Unlike fragmented or closed-vendor approaches to battery testing, NI’s solution allows battery manufacturers to own their test strategy to maximize capital investment reuse, allow test customization, and establish vendor independence.
The Software-Defined Battery Lab builds upon NI’s core battery testing capabilities, which are based on NI’s proven software and hardware platform, to address unique challenges of large-scale battery validation. The key components of the solution encompass a comprehensive set of software, instrumentation, and services needed to build out robust testing and data management capabilities, including:
Battery Test Development and Execution Software: Battery Test Software powered by PAtools streamlines testing processes and helps users to interpret and act on accurate and reliable test results. NI’s Battery Test Software provides proven battery testing capabilities out-of-the-box while also allowing customization and extensibility through LabVIEW and other common test software.
Lab System and Data Management Software: The newly announced NI SystemLink Enterprise software is a scalable enterprise solution for managing labs, improving test operations, and analyzing test results to extract meaningful insights from test and measurement data. It offers lab management functionality including:
- Test request tracking and scheduling
- Tester status, utilization, and health monitoring
- Test software management and deployment
- Battery data aggregation, visualization, and analytics
Battery Cycler Offering and Third Party Integration: NI’s extensive battery cycler portfolio offers high-performance, easy-to-use, safe, and reliable solutions needed for any phase of battery development. NI’s newest cycler, HPS-17000, provides up to 150 kW power and is ideal for testing in a fast-paced lab environment that needs to be scaled and easily serviced. NI’s open software allows integration with third party cyclers to increase development efficiency and enable reuse.
Battery Measurement and Control System: The NI battery measurement and control hardware is built on NI’s software-connected, modular hardware platforms. These systems can be quickly reconfigured and customized to meet rapidly changing test requirements, including integration with third-party components. The real-time operating system provides deterministic operation, while built-in timing and synchronization allows to easily scale up channel and measurement capabilities.
Global Engineering Integration and Support: NI’s global presence of engineering services and extensive partner network ensures local support and solution delivery to meet a wide range of application requirements.
Carrar Partners with Gentherm
-Carrar, a developer of thermal management solutions for electric vehicles, has partnered with Gentherm NASDAQ: THRM), the global market leader of innovative thermal management and pneumatic comfort technologies for the automotive industry and a leader in medical patient temperature management systems, enable the delivery of electric vehicle (EV) battery modules with two-phase immersion thermal management solution that fully control liquid level, vapor, and pressure at all times.
Gentherm will supply the valves that enable the thermal management system to control the levels of liquid and vapor and pressure inside the battery modules and packs, whether the vehicle is traveling at high speed, over challenging terrains, or undergoing ultrafast charging.
Carrar’s two-phase immersion technology keeps the temperature of EV batteries stable at any ambient temperature through ultrafast charging, extending battery lifetime, extending driving range and acceleration, and improving safety by preventing thermal runaway.
Blue Bird Opens Center in Fort Valley Ga.
-Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, celebrated the grand opening of its Electric Vehicle (EV) Build-up Center on the grounds of the company’s main U.S. manufacturing plant in Fort Valley, Ga. Blue Bird transformed a nearly 40,000 sq.ft. facility to meet increasing demand for electric school buses. The opening marks an important milestone as the company continues to expand its electric school bus production capacity from 4 to 20 vehicles a day.
U.S. and Canadian school districts are increasingly transitioning their bus fleets to electric, zero-emission vehicles to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, improve student and community health, and save on rising fuel costs. School districts continue to benefit from significant public funding sources to accelerate the adoption of electric school buses and the supporting charging infrastructure. Presently, there are more than $10 billion in federal, state, provincial, and local funding earmarked for zero- and low-emission school buses. This includes the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which provides a total of $5 billion over five years for clean school bus transportation.
“Based on the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law alone we anticipate thousands of additional electric school bus orders valued at an estimated $1 billion over five years,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Our new EV Build-up Center reflects Blue Bird’s steadfast commitment to school districts across the U.S. and Canada to meet increasing demand and deliver clean, safe, and reliable student transportation when they need it.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) anticipates that 30 percent of all model year 2027 school buses will be electric-powered. This figure is projected to increase to 45 percent for model year 2032 school buses, according to the EPA’s newly proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Blue Bird’s EV Build-up Center will enable the company to increase its long-term production capacity to 5,000 electric school buses a year.
Blue Bird’s EV Build-up Center is part of a multi-million dollar investment in the upgrade of Blue Bird’s Fort Valley, Ga., manufacturing site. The new facility will feature a dedicated assembly line for electric school buses. Highly-trained technicians will install electric batteries and other components to turn the vehicles into emission-free electric school buses.
Blue Bird remains the proven clean transportation leader with nearly 1,000 electric-powered, zero-emission school buses in operation today. The company will assemble Vision and All American electric school buses at the EV Build-up Center. These zero-emission vehicles can carry between 77 and 84 students for up to 120 miles on a single charge.
Blue Bird’s EV Build-up Center includes InCharge Energy ICE-30 chargers and mobile carts to flexibly charge electric school buses prior to customer delivery. Based on the charging infrastructure, newly-assembled buses at the EV Build-up Center will take four hours to fully charge.
Blue Bird is the only U.S.-owned and operated school bus manufacturer in the United States. The shift to clean student transportation helps Blue Bird sustain approx. 2,000 good-paying jobs.
LG & Hyundai to Make Batteries in U.S.
LG Energy Solution (LGES) and Hyundai Motor Group announced an EV battery cell manufacturing joint venture in the U.S.
LGES and Hyundai Motor Group signed a memorandum of understanding to produce EV batteries in the U.S. and further accelerate the Group’s electrification efforts in North America. The signing ceremony took place in LGES’s headquarters in Seoul on May 26 with the attendance of Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution and Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company.
LGES and Hyundai Motor Group will each hold a 50 percent stake in the JV, which will involve the investment of over USD 4.3 billion (KRW 5.7 trillion).
“Two strong leaders in the auto and battery industries have joined hands, and together we are ready to drive the EV transition in America,” said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “By further advancing our product competitiveness and global operational expertise, LG Energy Solution will commit our best efforts to offering the ultimate sustainable energy solutions to our customers.”
“Hyundai Motor Group is focusing on its electrification efforts to secure a leadership position in the global auto industry. We will create a strong foundation to lead the global EV transition through establishing a new EV battery cell plant with LG Energy Solution, a leading global battery producer and long-time partner,” said Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company.
The annual production capacity of the new joint venture is at 30 GWh, able to support the production of 300,000 units of EVs annually. The facility will be in Bryan County, Savannah, Georgia adjacent to Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, currently under construction.
Starting construction in the second half of 2023, the joint venture plans to start battery production at the end of 2025 at the earliest.
Hyundai Mobis will assemble battery packs using cells from the plant, then supply them to the Group’s U.S. manufacturing facilities for production of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis EV models. The new facility will help create a stable supply of batteries in the region and allow the Group to respond fast to the soaring EV demand in the U.S. market.
With this JV, LGES now has seven battery plants currently operating or being constructed in the U.S., where the company is concentrating most of its resources to expand the production capacity. By ramping up its local production, LGES aims to provide innovative products both in scale and with speed, thereby expediting the clean energy transition in the U.S.
LGES and Hyundai Motor Group have long been partners in the field of electrification having worked on the supplies of EV batteries for vehicles, including Elantra Hybrid, Kona Electric, and IONIQ 6 dedicated EV. The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, LPi hybrid vehicle introduced in 2009, was the Group’s first electrified model. In 2021, both started construction of the Indonesia battery cell JV which is set to start production in the first half of 2024.
LGES and Hyundai Motor Group aim to further strengthen the ties going forward with the EV battery cooperation.
PGT Delivers with Nikola Trucks
PGT Trucking, Inc., a leader in flatbed transportation, delivered its inaugural shipment of low-greenhouse-gas steel via Nikola’s Class 8 battery-electric vehicle from Nucor’s new Brandenburg, KY plant to a nearby fabricator, as part of its sustainable shipping solutions program.
To commemorate this first-ever shipment of low GHG intensity steel by a Class 8 zero-emissions truck, the companies welcomed team members, media and local officials to Nucor Brandenburg for a behind-the-scenes look at the sustainable equipment and commodities that are transforming the steel and transportation industries.
“PGT Trucking is proud to partner with companies like Nikola and Nucor who share a common vision and commitment to a greener future,” said Gregg Troian, PGT Trucking President. “We are confident that these relationships will help guide PGT’s Future of Flatbed® initiatives, allowing us to reach our goal of a 35% reduction in emissions of our company-owned equipment by the year 2025.”
Participants heard formal presentations from Troian; Nikola Global Head, FCEV Market Development Jason Roycht; Nucor EVP of Plate & Structural Products Al Behr; and Nucor Steel Brandenburg GM Johnny Jacobs. Attendees were then taken on a guided and interactive tour of the Nikola Class 8 battery-electric semi-truck and charging station.
“For more than five decades, Nucor has been built on the sustainable model of producing steel with a low carbon footprint,” stated Behr. “Even though we are one of the cleanest steelmakers in the world, we know we need to continue to lower our greenhouse gas intensity. This partnership with PGT and Nikola is just one example of the innovative ways Nucor is working to reduce its carbon emissions.”
Nucor has installed charging stations at multiple mills, including Brandenburg, to enable the use of battery-electric flatbed trucks. It is estimated that a short-haul delivery made using this truck will reduce carbon emissions by 40% and create a 20% savings in energy cost, per trip.
According to a study by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), if 50% of the heavy-duty regional haul tractors were replaced with battery-electric trucks, the industry could save an estimated 29.4 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.
Stellantis Invests in Lyten for 3D Graphene & Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Stellantis N.V. and Lyten, Inc. announced that Stellantis Ventures, the corporate venture fund of Stellantis, invested in Lyten to accelerate the commercialization of Lyten 3D Graphene™ applications for the mobility industry, including the LytCell™ Lithium-Sulfur EV battery, lightweighting composites, and novel on-board sensing. Lyten, a pioneer of three- dimensional (3D) Graphene, will leverage the unique tunability of the material to enable enhanced vehicle performance and customer experience while decarbonizing the transportation sector.
Lyten’s tunable materials platform has demonstrated significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and will advance the transition to sustainable mobility.
Unlike traditional lithium-ion batteries, Lyten’s Lithium-Sulfur batteries do not use nickel, cobalt, or manganese, resulting in an estimated 60% lower carbon footprint than today’s best-in-class batteries and a pathway to achieve the lowest emissions EV battery on the global market. Raw materials for Lithium-Sulfur batteries have the potential to be sourced and produced locally, in North America or Europe, enhancing regional supply sovereignty. This technology will meet the needs of industries seeking lightweight and energy-dense batteries that are free from supply chain disruptions.
Stellantis launched Stellantis Ventures in 2022 as a venture capital fund committed to investing in early and later-stage startup companies developing innovative and sustainable technologies within the automotive and mobility sectors. Stellantis Ventures, powered by an initial €300 million in funding, is a key component of the Company’s Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, which sets out core targets for Stellantis, including deep emission cuts to slash CO2 in half by 2030, benchmarking the 2021 metrics, and achieving carbon net zero by 2038 with single-digit percentage compensation of the remaining emissions.