EV, Battery & Charging News: Nikola, EVWG, EVgo, GM, Faraday Future, Amprius & Ford

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are Nikola, EVWG, EVgo, GM, Faraday Future, Amprius and Ford.

J.B. Hunt Buys Nikola Class 8 & Awarded Grants

Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via the HYLA brand, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (Nasdaq: JBHT), one of the largest supply chain solutions providers in North America, today announced an agreement in which subsidiary J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. will purchase 13 Nikola zero-emission Class 8 trucks as the transportation company focuses on its sustainability efforts and reducing the intensity of its carbon emissions.

Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via the HYLA brand, today announced an additional $16.3 million has been awarded to Nikola to support seven open-network hydrogen refueling stations.

Nikola has now received $58.2 million in awards granted to support seven hydrogen refueling stations, which includes the recently announced $41.9 million Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) grant award, collectively representing six hydrogen refueling stations located along Calif. freight corridors within the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, and Mojave Desert AQMD.

Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via the HYLA brand, announced that Nikola and its dealer network, with most of the agreements between fleets and dealers directly, have surpassed 200 sales orders for the Class 8 Nikola hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The 202 sales orders for the purpose-built heavy-duty trucks represent 18 end customers.

The trucks recently started series production in the Nikola Coolidge, Ariz. manufacturing facility. Deliveries are expected to begin later this year, with some following the satisfactory completion of a demonstration program.

The recent awards include:

  • EnergIIZE West Sacramento California Energy Commission: $3.3 million*
  • Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee: $1.6 million
  • SacMetro AQMD: $7 million
  • South Coast AQMD: $4.4 million

*Conditionally awarded pending final approval.

The additional awards build on the strategic partnership with Voltera to develop up to 50 HYLA stations throughout North America over the next five years.

New Members of EVWG

The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) today announced the members of the Electric Vehicle Working Group (EVWG), a collection of electric vehicle (EV) industry experts and leaders who will help guide the widespread adoption of EVs across the country and solidify America’s position as a global leader of clean energy jobs and manufacturing.

The EVWG, which will make recommendations directly to the secretaries of Energy and Transportation, includes experts with experience and knowledge across the entire EV ecosystem, including manufacturers of vehicles, components, and batteries; public utility representatives; local and regional elected officials; state energy planners; and labor officials representing transportation industry workers.

The committee also includes leadership from the U.S. departments of Energy and Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. General Services Administration, and the U.S. Postal Service.

“The adoption of electric vehicles continues to evolve at a lightning pace,” said Gabe Klein, executive director of the Joint Office. “The thought leaders we’ve assembled for the EVWG understand the unique challenges and opportunities of this evolution and will align efforts across government and industry to ensure we work together to build an electrified transportation future that benefits all Americans.”

Areas of focus for the group will include facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles among low- and moderate-income individuals and underserved communities; assessing the costs of vehicle and EV battery manufacturing and shortages of raw materials for batteries; identifying charging infrastructure, grid capacity, and EV cybersecurity needs; addressing grid capacity and integration; and identifying charging infrastructure regulatory issues.

EVgo & GM Over 1,000 Fast Chargers

EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO) (“EVgo” or the “Company”), one of the nation’s largest public fast charging networks for electric vehicles (EVs), and General Motors (GM) have surpassed 1,000 fast charging stalls as part of their longstanding collaboration to expand fast charging infrastructure. First announced in 2020 and expanded upon in 2021, the collaboration will lead to the development and installation of 3,250 DC fast charging stalls in major metro markets.

“As GM advances its vision of an all-electric future, it’s imperative we expand public charging infrastructure to complement the rapid expansion of our breakthrough EV portfolio. Together, these two efforts are making ‘EVs for everybody’ a reality”

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To date, EVgo and GM have opened fast charging stalls across nearly 230 locations in 39 markets covering 27 states, with the majority featuring high-power 350kW fast charging. EVgo and GM are working together to broaden access to public charging where EV drivers already spend time, such as grocery stores, retail centers and city centers, while also serving the need for customers who are unable to charge at home or work, such as renters and those living in multifamily dwellings.

“The availability of fast charging infrastructure is key to widespread EV adoption and consumer confidence in all-electric transportation. That is why we’re working with GM to build convenient and reliable fast charging stations across the country to serve current and future EV drivers,” said Cathy Zoi, CEO at EVgo. “Today, we’ve hit a major milestone in our joint efforts to electrify the transportation sector and we look forward to further expanding our charging footprint with GM in the coming years to realize our vision of Electric for All.”

EVgo is one of GM’s preferred EV charge point operators within its holistic Ultium Charge 360 initiative. Beyond collaborating to expand public charging access, EVgo and GM are also working together to further improve reliability and enhance customer experience through a comprehensive action-oriented plan, including enhanced health checks across the network and customer education through GM’s dealer network to help new EV buyers navigate public charging for the first time. The companies also helped to launch Plug and Charge in 2022, a feature that allows drivers to start a session simply by plugging in, no additional payment authentication needed.

FF Launches Phase Two

Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIE) (“FF,” “Faraday Future,” or “Company”), a California-based global shared intelligent electric mobility ecosystem company, announced the official launch of the second phase of its co-creation delivery, and will deliver the FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance to the first users. This marks a significant milestone for the Company as FF initiates the second phase of its three-phase delivery plan.

FF has also successfully completed all compliance testing of the FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance. FF remains committed to safety and the FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance vehicles meet the highest standards, providing users with top-notch safety features.

The first co-creation delivery process of the FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance will begin in the second week of August. A delivery ceremony is planned to be held in the middle of August to honor and celebrate this momentous occasion with the first user.

As FF begins the delivery process to its initial users, the Company simultaneously launches the selection and signing process for the second group of users that will also join the Company’s developer co-creation project. This exciting opportunity opens the doors for more potential users to become part of the FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance experience.

The Company plans to recruit co-creation participants on the basis of a recommendation and invitation system along with the launch of the second phase of developer co-creation delivery. Potential developer co-creators must receive at least one recommendation from an existing FF developer co-creator or an FF pre-order holder. Furthermore, only those who pass the Company’s evaluation will have the opportunity to become developer co-creators and subsequently qualify as vehicle owners in the second phase of developer co-creation. The Company has now initiated the selection process for developer co-creators participating in the first Developer Co-creation Festival at Pebble Beach, California during Monterey Car Week.

“The FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance is the epitome of our commitment to innovation and forward-thinking mobility solutions,” said Xuefeng Chen (XF), Global CEO of FF. “We are thrilled to start the delivery process to the first users and embark on this transformative journey with our users and shaping the future of electric mobility together.”

“We are delighted to officially launch the second phase of co-creation delivery, after the successful launch of our first phase of co-creation delivery,” said YT Jia, Founder and Chief Product and User Ecosystem Officer of FF. “We have signed up many outstanding individuals from various industries to participate in our developer co-creation project who will help us by providing their valuable feedback. We believe this demonstrates the pioneering nature of our co-creation delivery strategy. With the commencement of the second phase of co-creation delivery, the highly intelligent and luxurious FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance will be delivered to our co-creation users. This milestone achievement marks a significant moment for FF in its nine-year history.”

“The launch of the FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance represents a turning point in FF’s growth. As we are entering the revenue stage of process from our main business endeavor, we look forward to unlocking new possibilities and creating meaningful impact in the electric vehicle market,” added XF.///

– BorgWarner has secured a contract with a global automotive thermal and energy management solutions supplier to deliver high voltage coolant heaters (HVCH) for use on a series of three electric vehicle (EV) platforms for a major OEM. The heater will be added to the supplier’s heating and cooling module and will be used to provide heat to the battery pack and cabin in battery electric vehicles (BEV). The business win with the supplier marks the first collaboration between the companies on a complete vehicle thermal management system.

Amprius Intros Silcon Anode Platform

Amprius Technologies, Inc. (“Amprius” or the “Company”) (NYSE: AMPX), a leader in next-generation lithium-ion batteries with its Silicon Anode Platform, is continuing to pioneer innovative battery technology with its newest ultra-high-power-high-energy lithium-ion battery. Leveraging the company’s advanced material system capability, the cell achieves an impressive discharge rate of 10C while delivering 400 Wh/kg energy density, a major advancement for electric aviation encompassing both crewed and uncrewed aerial systems – a market projected to be collectively over $49 billion USD by 2025.

tput brings unprecedented benefits to the electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industries, providing unmatched propulsion power and energy to meet the rigorous demands during takeoff, cruise, and landing. Moreover, it extends flight range by as much as 50% and increases payload capacity. The new cell’s groundbreaking capabilities extend to high-performance EVs, potentially enabling them to achieve 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) acceleration below 1.5-seconds, redefining performance standards in the EV industry, projected to reach $67B by 2025.

“Commercial opportunities in electric mobility are profoundly impacted by their power and energy requirements,” said Dr. Kang Sun, Chief Executive Officer of Amprius. “Our new cell delivers impressive specific power and energy density performance, approximately 200% higher than traditional graphite cells, while achieving a 10C discharge rate, significantly expanding application possibilities and driving cost-effectiveness.”

With an impressive power density of 3500 W/kg in standard discharge conditions and a maximum power exceeding 4400 W/kg at lower depths-of-discharge, the cell’s usable discharge capability is extended. It supports high current pulses at low states of charge without going below the lower cut-off voltage, namely 3000 W/kg at 30% depths-of-discharge. The combination of high energy density and high-power density reduces battery weight and volume, leading to extended range, reduced charging frequency, and lower operating costs.

In addition, the new ultra-high-power cell boasts an ultra-fast charging (UFC) capability, reaching 80 percent charge in approximately six minutes or less, transforming mission-critical operations with swift turnaround times.

Amprius remains dedicated to providing batteries that are a key component required to advance electric mobility. Amprius expects to have samples of this cell available for customers by the end of 2023 with the commercialization of the new cells slated for early 2024.///

Ford Motor Company has resumed production of the F-150 Lightning following a six-week shutdown to expand and retool the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center plant to triple manufacturing capacity of the award-winning electric truck.

With the expansion, Ford will have ability to produce the F-150 Lightning at an annualized rate of 150,000 units by this fall.

While the temporary shutdown of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center limited customer deliveries this summer, the facility is now ready to accelerate the ramp-up process to unlock supply and help meet demand for the truck. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is scheduled to build more than 70,000 F-150 Lightning trucks in calendar year 2023 with production for U.S. customers expected to ramp in the fall.

“We are all looking forward to getting these F-150 Lightning trucks into the hands of our customers – from the U.S. to Norway,” said Debbie Manzano, director of manufacturing, Ford. “This milestone is the result of a lot of hard work and collaboration.”

New tooling supports Ford’s drive for high quality. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center now utilizes equipment to automatically measure and validate exterior body fit for margin and flushness precision. It’s the first time such tools have been deployed in Ford’s North American plants. A third station was added to validate wheel alignment and headlamp aim for driver assist technology.

Training for 1,200 additional manufacturing employees will continue for three weeks. Incoming operators are shadowing experienced employees in a buddy system for rapid onboarding.

Battery pack production is also ramping up at the Rawsonville (Mich.) Components Plant and the Van Dyke (Mich.) Electric Powertrain Center is increasing production of EV power units to match the scale of F-150 Lightning assembly at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.

The capacity increase at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center supports shorter order-to-delivery times for customers with a focus on building high-demand trim levels like XLT, which accounts for over 50% of new orders. Lightning Pro units are now available for retail customers in limited quantities, with these units allocated for loyal reservation holders who have been waiting to order since launch.

Recently adjusted pricing, while still above launch pricing, has helped to drive a threefold increase in web traffic and a sixfold increase in customer orders as Lightning becomes more accessible to a broader segment of shoppers.

The increased capacity also opens up the opportunity to broaden the number of trim levels offered across the lineup, addressing customer wants since reveal.

“We have learned a lot from our first-ever EV truck customers, including a preference for technology and visual differentiation,” said Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer, Model e. “We continue to refine the F-150 Lightning lineup to make the jump to an EV truck an easy choice for customers.”

The 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year winner, F-150 Lightning is the smartest, most innovative F-150 that Ford has ever built, with the freedom of an available 9.6-kilowatt smart power plant on wheels with Pro Power Onboard, available Consumer Reports top-rated Active Driving Assistance System, Ford BlueCruise, and Built Ford Tough capability.

By addressing affordability with new pricing, helping to reduce wait times and taking a leadership approach to charging infrastructure, Ford aims to lead the industry in creating a customer-focused transition to EV adoption. The company is engineering its second generation of electric vehicles building on the success of its first generation, which includes F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit.