EV, Charging & Battery News: Volvo, Nikola, Rivian, StoreDot, Rheinmetall, Hyundai, Cadillac & Hyundai

In electric vehicle charging and battery news are Volvo, Nikola, Rivian, StoreDot, Rheinmetall,
Hyundai, Cadillac and Hyundai.

Volvo Trucks NA & UMN Extreme Weather Testing

Volvo Trucks North America is working with the University of Minnesota (UMN) to conduct extreme weather testing for its Class 8 VNR Electric model to analyze the impact of ambient temperature on a truck’s battery life. UMN has teamed up with Murphy Logistics Solutions (Murphy) to test the battery-electric trucks in Minnesota with cold winter temperatures and H-E-B Grocery Company (HEB) in Texas to test during periods of intense summer heat. The extreme weather testing project, which will demonstrate the capability of the Volvo VNR Electric using real-world fleet routes, is part of a Battery Efficiency for Sustainable Trucks (BEST) Project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technology Office.

The project will track the results of two Volvo VNR Electric engineering trucks with a six-battery configuration that are rated to provide up to 275 miles of range. Volvo Trucks is analyzing the battery-electric trucks’ performance on different routes in extreme temperatures with varying terrains and payload weights to better understand the challenges these factors present to help customers improve route planning and optimization.

Murphy and HEB will operate the battery-electric trucks on freight routes that exceed 250 miles in a day utilizing drivers in their fleets who have been trained by the Volvo Trucks electromobility team to utilize regenerative braking and other safe driving practices designed to maximize vehicle range. The VNR Electric trucks will leave the warehouse at the beginning of the day with a 100% state of charge (SOC) and will ideally return near empty (~10% SOC) at the end of their routes to take full advantage of useable energy in the battery.

Similar to battery-electric passenger cars, heavy-duty battery-electric trucks can experience range reductions during extreme temperatures due to battery chemistry where the chemical and physical reactions in the battery can occur more slowly, reducing the BEV’s range. To combat that, a dedicated Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS) is included with the Volvo VNR Electric model to manage and maintain the optimum battery temperature range. The BTMS is a dedicated heating and cooling system connected to the batteries with the purpose of avoiding the chemical reaction slow down or potential cell damage in extreme conditions. This in turn provides long life and excellent performance from the batteries under a variety of weather conditions that the vehicle encounters in real world conditions.

The other significant factor is the use of auxiliary power to either cool or warm the passenger cabin. If the ambient temperature is significantly above or below 70-71°F — the average temperature people keep their homes — the driver is more likely to turn on the heat or air conditioning, which draws energy from the battery.

In addition to the severe weather testing, UMN has developed an Intelligent Energy Management System (EMS) connected solution tool to help fleets understand how driving style can impact range, as well as how to take advantage of more energy efficient routing and decrease the cost and time required for on-route battery charging. The tool uses a machine learning-based algorithm to dynamically inform drivers about available range and minimum charging requirements, taking load and ambient conditions into consideration. The EMS also enables higher efficiency and longer range through advanced eco-route planning. To date, the EMS tool has helped Murphy and HEB achieve more than 20% increase in range.

Once the research project in both climates is complete, UMN will publish the results in a series of conference and journal papers, in addition to sharing information with U.S. DOE and Volvo Trucks in the form of a final project report.

The two Volvo VNR Electric trucks participating in the field tests are supported by the Volvo Trucks commercial support teams and are maintained and serviced by Nuss Truck & Equipment, the local Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle Dealership in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Volvo Trucks has a robust network of certified EV dealer partners across North America that have completed the required facility upgrades and rigorous training to service and maintain the Volvo VNR Electric model to ensure peak vehicle uptime, performance, and productivity.

Fire at Nikola HQ Suspicious

Behind Nikola Phoenix headquarters, a fire occurred which affected multiple battery electric trucks. No one has been injured. Foul play is suspected as a vehicle was seen in the area of the affected trucks just prior to the incident and an investigation is underway. The Nikola team applauded the Phoenix and Tempe Fire Departments for taking quick action and staying on top of the situation.

Rivian to Adapt to NACS Charging

Rivian Automotive, Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement with Tesla to provide Rivian drivers access to Tesla’s Supercharger network across the United States and Canada. Central to its mission to electrify and decarbonize transportation, Rivian will also continue to expand its own Rivian Adventure Network.

An adapter will be available to enable Rivian’s award-winning R1T and R1S to charge on the Supercharger network as early as spring 2024. Rivian will incorporate North American Charging Standard (NACS) charge ports as standard in future R1 vehicles starting in 2025, as well as in its upcoming R2 platform.

Transportation is responsible for over a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting the urgent need to electrify the sector and preserve our world for future generations. By enabling drivers to charge their vehicles at a greater number of locations, this collaboration and others like it are important to help accelerate EV adoption.

StoreDot Increases Battery Performance

StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) high energy battery solutions for electric vehicles, has obtained outstanding battery performance feedback for the first evaluation and integration A-Samples testing phase of its XFC electric vehicle battery cells.

The comprehensive testing programs took place over the past six months by 15 leading global automotive brand manufacturers from EuropeAsia, and the US, as well as several of StoreDot’s strategic ecosystem partners. Feedback from partners that have completed tests showed that the cells exceeded expectations, with those still conducting tests expected to report similar results.

The aim of the testing and evaluation programs was predominantly to replicate StoreDot’s unique extreme fast charging specifications based on its partners’ use case and test procedures. When the OEMs and partners replicated StoreDot’s results, they reached an energy density greater than 300Wh/kg, at a charging rate higher than 4C, achieving over 1000 consecutive XFC charging cycles.

The programs encompassed two main paths: The first included XFC datasheet and specification verification based on StoreDot’s rigorous testing procedures, and the second covered specific EV-OEM test protocols for critical performance and safety parameters relevant to their use cases.

The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, surpassing StoreDot’s target specifications. Some OEM partners have already progressed to phase two of the testing programs, which involves the initiation of B-Samples programs tailored to their own form-factor and specific requirements, enabling future implementation in each OEM EV architecture.

Amir Tirosh, StoreDot COO: “We are hugely confident in our XFC technology – the ability to charge the cell from 10%-80% in just 10 minutes – based on our own rigorous testing procedures. However, receiving such positive feedback from global EV manufacturers gives us even more assurance in our groundbreaking product. Our partners are extremely pleased with the results of our battery cells, showcasing unprecedented energy density levels, and charging times that will prove to be a game-changer for the entire industry. The testing results confirm the value proposition that XFC is critical in eliminating range and charging anxiety, while at the same time empowering OEMs to design EVs with smaller pack sizes that can charge in minutes. Using standard Li-ion manufacturing lines either owned by the partners themselves or with subcontractors, this success enables us to promptly begin selective collaboration on B-samples with our partners.”

StoreDot continues to foster a growing network of strategic global partnerships and investors, encompassing the entire battery ecosystem. Notably, it has received investments from renowned global automotive manufacturers such as Daimler, Ola Electric, Polestar, VinFast, and Volvo Cars.

Last year, StoreDot unveiled its ambitious ‘100inX’ strategic technology roadmap, outlining three generations of StoreDot technologies: Silicon dominant XFC, semi-solid state, and post-lithium architecture. This roadmap reiterates that the anticipated milestones will be delivered over the next decade, with 100in5 targeted for 2024, 100in3 for 2028, and 100in2 for 2032.

Rheinmetall Intros Heat Pump foe EVs

Rheinmetall offers a new heat pump for electric vehicles as a plug and play solution. The compact component is completely pre-assembled and filled. The intelligent cold and heat management of the new refrigerant system can not only increase the range of vehicles and the service life of the materials, but also the comfort for the car occupants. It was developed for the precise air conditioning of the interior and the intelligent conditioning of batteries in electric vehicles and drive components.

Due to the ever-increasing demands on the complex thermal management of modern electric vehicles, the number of individual components and connections for the cooling and refrigerant circuit is increasing sharply. This is where the new refrigerant system from Rheinmetall comes in, by helping to save important installation space thanks to its compact design as a complete system. The system solution is designed for 400 and 800 volt applications. It delivers up to 8 kW nominal cooling and up to 11 kW heating capacity for battery and hybrid systems. It is available as a plug and play solution and thus facilitates the electrification of drives in commercial vehicles, construction machinery and boats, in particular because the complete system can be integrated into both new and existing vehicle platforms.

As an active element in the vehicle’s thermal management, the new compact heat pump ensures precise conditioning of the battery and electric motor and also takes care of air conditioning in the interior. The cooling or heating takes place via a connected coolant circuit made of water and glycol. The optimized thermal management system from Rheinmetall makes an important contribution to economical, efficient and convenient electromobility, in particular through the most precise, intelligent control possible, so that the service life of the components and the range of the vehicles can be significantly increased.

With the complete package of a plug and play solution for refrigerant systems, Rheinmetall has taken another step into the future market of electromobility, which has high growth potential.

Hyundai Tests IONIQ 5N

Hyundai Motor Company is testing the performance capabilities of IONIQ 5 N at the Nürburgring circuit for its world premiere in July.

“The Nürburgring is where every N model is honed to the Nth degree, so our first high-performance, all-electric N model must also prove itself here,” said Till Wartenberg, Vice President and Head of N Brand & Motorsport at Hyundai Motor Company. “IONIQ 5 N just completed its 10,000 km durability test on the Nordschleife, which is an important milestone that proves the vehicle’s high endurance and racetrack capability. And yet, we just began our second 10,000 km test to push IONIQ 5 N’s limits.”

Maximizing endurance in racetrack conditions

Hyundai N brand has long used the Nürburgring Nordschleife track to validate motorsport-bred technologies on N brand vehicles.

Powerful braking backed by industry-leading regenerative braking

Regenerative braking from the motors provide primary braking force with hydraulic brakes providing additional braking force if necessary. Hyundai N engineers designed this unique regenerative braking system.

Redefining sound and gearshift as precision driving tools

Many performance enthusiasts have been outspoken about their dissatisfaction with the lack of driver feedback behind the wheel of many EVs. That’s why N engineers developed N Active Sound + and N e-Shift.

In conjunction with the Nürburgring test, N brand released ‘Hyundai N | IONIQ 5 N Teaser – Episode 3.

Reaching into the heart of car culture at Goodwood Festival of Speed

IONIQ 5 N will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Cadillac ESCALADE IQ Electric Coming

Cadillac released a preview video of the all-new ESCALADE IQ before its official reveal on Aug. 9 in New York City. SUV, ESCALADE IQ is the brands first electric full-size SUV.

Hyundai Details EV Plans

President and CEO Chang laid out the ‘Hyundai Motor Way’ roadmap for success in the electrification era, emphasizing the company’s advantages as a legacy automaker and its proactive pursuit of leadership in EVs.

Chang explained how the company’s second-generation dedicated EV platform, under the new Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA), will replace its Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) going forward. The next-generation platform will be used on 13 new dedicated EV models from Hyundai Motor Group’s automotive brands Hyundai, Kia and Genesis through 2030. With IMA, the company expects to standardize modules and parts between the models to further expand economies of scale and significantly reduce EV development complexity and costs.

The vehicle development system implemented by the IMA represents a significant advancement compared to the current system, enabling maximum cost reduction through economies of scale. In the existing system, auto parts can only be shared among vehicles that share the same platform. However, with the IMA development system, over 80 common modules can be utilized across different segments, irrespective of vehicle type, allowing for versatile combinations. This breakthrough allows for greater flexibility and efficiency in the development process, paving the way for significant cost savings.

In the second-generation platform, the scope of vehicle development extends beyond the mid-sized SUVs covered by the current E-GMP system. It encompasses nearly all vehicle classes, ranging from small and large SUVs to pickup trucks, along with the flagship models of the Genesis brand.

Hyundai Motor plans to apply a range of battery solutions, including next-generation NCM batteries and LFP batteries, for the second-generation platform. The company is also exploring different form factors of batteries to enhance versatility. To further extend the driving range, Hyundai Motor intends to implement cutting-edge technology that enables battery charging and discharging while driving, utilizing an independent power bank. In addition, the integration of an AI-based battery management system will ensure real-time monitoring and diagnosis of battery conditions, ensuring enhanced safety by preventing thermal runaway.

In addition to these hardware improvements, the modular architectures and next-generation platform  will enable software architecture compatibility in support of Hyundai Motor’s software-defined vehicle (SDV) strategy. The company aims to build an app ecosystem through the application of an open operating system and controller integration, including Level 3 and higher autonomous driving capabilities, high-performance semiconductors and over-the-air (OTA) update advancements.