EV Battery & Charging News: Tesla, Toyota Tri-gen, Lightning eMotors, Accelera, Daimler, Chargie, Honda, Autonomy & Catalyze

In EV, battery and charging news are
Tesla, Toyota Tri-gen, Lightning eMotors, Accelera, Daimler, Chargie, Honda, Autonomy and Catalyze.

Tesla in CA & @Hilton Hotels

Tesla recently surpassed Toyota as the top-selling car brand in California.

Through an expanded agreement with Tesla, Hilton announced that, beginning in early 2024, up to 20,000 Tesla Universal Wall Connectors are slated to be installed at 2,000 hotels in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, making Hilton’s planned EV charging network the largest of any hospitality company.

With at least six chargers at each of the selected hotels, Hilton will become the first choice for the dramatically increasing number of travelers who drive electric vehicles. This announcement follows the recent launch of Tesla’s Universal Wall Connector, a product designed to seamlessly charge any North American vehicle model, expanding Tesla’s efforts to make great charging available to all EVs.

FuelCell Energy & Toyota Tri-gen

FuelCell Energy, Inc. and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (Toyota) have announced the completion of the first-of-its-kind “Tri-gen system” at Toyota’s Port of Long Beach operations. The Tri-gen system, owned and operated by FuelCell Energy, produces renewable electricity, renewable hydrogen, and water from directed biogas. FuelCell Energy has contracted with Toyota to supply the products of Tri-gen under a 20-year purchase agreement.

ri-gen is an example of FuelCell Energy’s ability to scale hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology, an increasingly important energy solution in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions. Tri-gen will enable Toyota Logistic Services (TLS) Long Beach to be the company’s first port vehicle processing facility in the world powered by onsite-generated, 100 percent renewable energy and represents the types of innovative and bold investments the company is making as part of its environmental sustainability strategy.

“By utilizing only renewable hydrogen and electricity production, TLS Long Beach will blaze a trail for our company,” said Chris Reynolds, Chief Administrative Officer, Toyota. “Working with FuelCell Energy, together we now have a world-class facility that will help Toyota achieve its carbon reduction efforts, and the great news is this real-world example can be duplicated in many parts of the globe.”

FuelCell Energy CEO Jason Few said, “FuelCell Energy is committed to helping our customers surpass their clean energy objectives. By working with FuelCell Energy, Toyota is making a powerful statement that hydrogen-based energy is good for business, local communities, and the environment. We are extremely pleased to showcase the versatility and sophistication of our fuel cell technology and to play a role in supporting Toyota’s environmental commitments.”

FuelCell Energy’s innovative fuel cell technology will support Toyota’s operations at the port through an electrochemical process that converts directed renewable biogas into electricity, hydrogen, and usable water with a highly efficient, combustion-free process that emits virtually no air pollutants.

  1. Tri-gen produces 2.3-megawatts of renewable electricity, part of which will be off-taken by TLS Long Beach to support its operations at the port, which processes approximately 200,000 new Toyota and Lexus vehicles annually.
  2. The FuelCell Energy Tri-gen system can produce up to 1,200 kg/day of hydrogen which will provide for TLS Long Beach’s fueling needs for its incoming light-duty fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) Mirai, while also supplying hydrogen to the nearby heavy-duty hydrogen refueling station to support TLS logistics and drayage operations at the port. Hydrogen production can be ramped up and down based on needs/requirements.
  3. 1,400 gallons of water will be co-produced per day from Tri-gen’s hydrogen production process and will be used by TLS Long Beach for car wash operations for vehicles that come into port prior to customer delivery. This will help decrease the use of constrained local water supplies by approximately half a million gallons per year.

By supporting TLS operations at the Port of Long Beach, Tri-gen’s carbon neutral products are expected to reduce more than 9,000 tons of CO₂ emission from the power grid each year.

“Renewable hydrogen is an important fuel for the future of the Port of Long Beach and the shipping industry,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “The renewable hydrogen generated by the ‘Tri-gen’ system that Toyota commissioned, and similar projects, is part of our multi-strategy approach to help fuel the transition of equipment like locomotives, harbor craft, cargo-handling equipment and trucks to zero emissions.”

Tri-gen will also help to avoid more than six tons of grid NOx emissions, which are harmful to both people and the environment, and has the potential to reduce diesel consumption by more than 420,000 gallons per year by using hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks in port operations.

Additionally, excess electricity not used by TLS will be delivered to the local utility, Southern California Edison, under the California Bioenergy Market Adjustment Tariff (BioMAT) program, adding a renewable, resilient, and affordable baseload electric generation resource to the electric grid.

Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV), a leading provider of zero-emission, medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle (EV) technology for fleets, announced it has achieved International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 certification for its companywide quality management system. ISO is the leading international standard that specifies the requirements for a quality management system (QMS).

“Over the past decade, Lightning vehicles have amassed over 5 million zero-emission, real world miles, and our current-generation vehicles demonstrate our relentless investment in quality by delivering customer uptime that competes with mature gasoline and diesel fleets.”

“This certification further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to quality across our systems and processes and is a clear milestone for Lightning as we continue to mature and scale the organization to meet increasing demand for commercial electric vehicles,” said Lightning eMotors’ vice president of quality Troy Mai. “But this is just the beginning. We must now be diligent to maintain our processes as we nurture our culture of continuous improvement.”

The ISO 9001 audit evaluated Lightning’s processes against seven key parameters: engagement of people, customer focus, leadership, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making and relationship management. The resulting certification demonstrates Lightning’s commitment to its customers’ quality expectations and to its overall quality culture.

“I have always believed a segment-leading product is not possible without rigorous quality processes and highly skilled and dedicated people behind it, so I’m proud to see our investments have been recognized with ISO 9001 certification,” commented Tim Reeser, CEO and cofounder of Lightning eMotors. “Over the past decade, Lightning vehicles have amassed over 5 million zero-emission, real world miles, and our current-generation vehicles demonstrate our relentless investment in quality by delivering customer uptime that competes with mature gasoline and diesel fleets.”

All ISO 9001 accredited certifications are issued by independent, third-party registrars that are recognized by an independent accreditation body. Lightning’s audit was carried out by DNV, a respected registrar in the automotive, environmental and energy sectors.

“Lightning eMotors had a very successful initial audit, with only minor findings that were quickly addressed. The ISO 9001:2015 certificate was issued, and we look forward to our continued partnership,” said Ismael Belmarez, technical manager, Business Assurance North America for DNV.”

ISO 9001 certification recognizes Lightning’s prioritization of quality control and furthers its reputation as a leader in the commercial fleet vehicle sector. To learn how to electrify your fleet with Lightning eMotors, please visit lightningemotors.com.

Accelera & Daimler Localize

Accelera by Cummins, the zero-emissions business unit of Cummins Inc. [NYSE: CMI], Daimler Trucks & Buses US Holding LLC [a Daimler Truck Group Company; DAX: DTR0CK; “Daimler Truck”] and PACCAR [NASDAQ: PCAR] are partnering to accelerate and localize battery cell production and the battery supply chain in the United States. The planned joint venture will manufacture battery cells for electric commercial vehicles and industrial applications, creating highly desirable U.S. manufacturing jobs in the growing clean technology sector. Total investment is expected to be in the range of $2-3 billion for the 21-gigawatt hour (GWh) factory.

Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Truck and PACCAR will each own 30% of, and jointly control, the joint venture, which will initially focus on the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery technology family for commercial battery-electric trucks. The LFP battery cells produced by the joint venture will be able to offer several advantages compared to other battery chemistries, including lower cost, longer life, and enhanced safety, without the need for nickel and cobalt raw materials. Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Truck and PACCAR expect to see growing demand for battery technology throughout this decade and U.S. customers will benefit from a state-of-the-art dedicated battery cell factory. EVE Energy [SZSE:310004] will serve as the technology partner in the joint venture with 10% ownership and will contribute its industry-leading battery cell design and manufacturing know-how. EVE Energy is a global leader in the manufacture of LFP battery cells for the vehicle industry and is publicly traded on the Shenzhen stock exchange.

This strategic joint venture enables its owners to create the necessary scale for access to cost effective and differentiated battery cell technology, ultimately creating value for commercial vehicle customers in North America. “We have the responsibility to decarbonize in a way that is best for all of our stakeholders and the planet. This requires working closely with key partners. Today’s announcement reflects that action. Not only are we advancing a key technology solution for our customers, but accelerating the energy transition in the United States,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins Chair and Chief Executive Officer.

Chargie for Bell Partners

Chargie, a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, and Bell Partners, Inc., one of the nation’s leading apartment investment and management companies, today announced a partnership to bring reliable EV charging infrastructure to multifamily properties owned and managed by Bell Partners, Inc. Under the partnership, Chargie will design, install, operate and maintain EV charging stations across Bell Partners’ nationwide portfolio of apartment communities.

The transition to electric vehicles has gained considerable momentum in recent years, driven by the desire to reduce carbon emissions and embrace more sustainable transportation options. This collaboration between Chargie and Bell Partners aims to accelerate the growth of electric mobility by expanding the availability of convenient and reliable EV charging infrastructure.

NACS Charging for Honda EVs

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it has reached an agreement with Tesla, Inc. to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) for the charging port of its EV models that will go on sale in North America starting from 2025.

In 2025, Honda is planning to launch a new EV model in North America equipped with a NACS port. From that point forward, Honda will continue adopting NACS standards for its models.

EV models the company will launch in North America before 2025, which will be equipped with a Combined Charging System (CCS) port, are also being developed to be compatible with the NACS through the use of a charging adaptor.

In North America, Honda recently announced that it has agreed to establish a joint venture among seven automakers* to build a high-powered charging network for EVs with the aim of building a reliable charging infrastructure. In addition to this initiative, Honda has agreed to adopt the NACS to enable its customers to use Tesla Supercharger stations, which will significantly enhance charging convenience.

Honda will continue offering a reliable and convenient charging environment for its customers to achieve widespread EV adoption and support Honda’s efforts to realize carbon neutrality.

Autonomy Buys EV Mobility

Autonomy™, the nation’s largest electric vehicle subscription company, and EV Mobility, LLC., the leading all-electric vehicle car-sharing platform announce they have entered into an agreement whereby once certain conditions are met Autonomy will acquire the technology, assets and customer accounts of EV Mobility. The acquisition will accelerate flexible (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly) access to an EV to a broader market by making an electric vehicle available to anyone with a valid driver’s license, credit card, and smartphone.

Autonomy has been providing a growing fleet of vehicles to EV Mobility over the last 12 months. “We like and understand the business, and this acquisition will allow us to scale quickly while increasing margins – it’s really that simple,” said Scott Painter, Founder and CEO of Autonomy.

EV Mobility operates a profitable, B-to-B car-share business that partners with high-end property owners and luxury hotels to provide flexible (hourly/daily) access to an EV as an amenity to their customers. The hotel/property owner covers the monthly cost of the vehicle, insurance, and charging infrastructure. Hourly usage fees are all processed by the customer directly in the EV Mobility app, with a revenue split between the property owner and EV Mobility. The result is a potential 2-5x revenue increase per vehicle with little to no downside risk.

EV Mobility’s core technological innovations, including keyless remote activation of accounts and hourly billing, align closely with Autonomy’s product roadmap. “EV Mobility represents an immediate benefit to Autonomy in reducing the time, cost, and risk of entering the car-share space,” said Martin Prescher, CTO of Autonomy.

EV Mobility is currently under contract with some of the leading hotel operators and high-end property owners in the US, such as Marriott International, Evolution Hospitality, Kor Group, Westgate, Brookfield, Olympus Property, Align Residential, Presidio, Zlife, AMC, Evans Hotels and The Proper Hotels. These partnerships represent thousands of physical locations that can manage multiple (2-5) vehicles each. This pipeline represents a strong “order book” that provides predictable demand for thousands of cars over the coming quarters. “The potential of de-risking our growth by having an installed base of stable property owners as partners holds the promise that we can properly allocate resources to meet the existing demand and scale efficiently,” said Redic Thomas, CFO of Autonomy.

“We are excited to join forces with Scott, Georg, and the experienced team at Autonomy. We believe that they have unlocked flexible, simple, and affordable access to an EV with a powerful brand and extraordinary technology,” said Ramy El-Batrawi, Founder of EV Mobility.

The financial details of the cash and stock agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in Q4, 2023, and will be subject to all regulatory and compliance conditions being met.

Catalyze Solar for Plains

Catalyze, a clean energy transition company that finances, builds, owns, and operates solar, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging systems for commercial and industrial customers,  announced an agreement with Plains All American (Plains) to construct a 6.6 MW DC solar facility and 5 MWh energy storage system at Plains’ Patoka Terminal in Vernon, Illinois.