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Hyundai Invests $2 Billion in Savannah Georgia Region
Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution (LGES) will invest an additional $2 billion in their battery cell manufacturing joint venture (JV) at the Metaplant in Bryan County, raising the JV’s total investment value to more than $4.3 billion. This expansion will create another 400 new jobs.
The 30 GWh facility will be able to support the production of 300,000 units of EVs annually at full operations. Hyundai Mobis will assemble battery packs using cells from the plant, then supply them to the Hyundai Motor Group’s U.S. manufacturing facilities for production of Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis EV models.
WPC for LEVs
The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the leading global standards development organization for wireless power standards, is turning its attention to the emerging and rapidly expanding Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) market for its next wireless charging standard and to provide consumers and manufacturers alike with improved safety and convenience.
The WPC recently announced its new global standard for mobile devices with the Qi2 standard and will be launching its Ki standard for cordless kitchen appliances in 2024. The growing popularity of eBikes and electric scooters and the lack of a global charging standard for their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries is an opportunity for the WPC to apply its expertise to establish a universal wireless charging standard that ensures safety, convenience, and interoperability.
“A lack of a charging standard for this sector can easily lead to poor user experience and significant safety issues such as fires. A standard – like Qi2 or KI – assures consumers that their devices are safe, efficient, and interoperable with other brands,” says Paul Struhsaker, executive director of the Wireless Power Consortium. “Consumer demand for convenience and efficiency is driving universal standards. Furthermore, standards provide consumers safety and reliability – from mobile devices to LEVs.”
Most eBikes and eScooters have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, the same batteries that power smartphones and laptops, and can fail when damaged, overcharged, or operated in extreme temperature conditions. Batteries for LEVs though are much bigger— up to 100 times larger —than the ones in personal electronics and pose a greater risk.
The popularity of LEVs surged during the pandemic and the corresponding drop in prices made them more affordable. However, inconsistent manufacturing standards and the availability of after-market chargers that may not be compatible with the battery is leading to more fires and injuries. The dominant problems with battery charging today for LEVs include:
- The absence of a universal standard for chargers.
- The connectors on the charging cable for LEVs wear out and break.
- There exists no mobile charging alternative.
About the Wireless Power Consortium
The Wireless Power Consortium leads the world in ensuring consumers, retailers, and manufacturers that they can rely on universal, interoperable standards and certifications for wireless power. Through rigorous testing and certifications, the global body is dedicated to ensuring safe, efficient, and interoperable wireless charging and wireless power.
Hybrid Solar from Scania For Research
A unique hybrid truck with a solar panel covered trailer is being tested on public roads, as a result of a two-year research collaboration involving Scania, Uppsala University, Eksjö Maskin & Truck, Midsummer, Ernsts Express, and Dalakraft. The solar energy decreases operational costs and local emissions significantly because of the truck’s self-produced energy.
“Scania’s purpose is to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system. Never before have solar panels been used to generate energy to a truck’s powertrain like we do in this collaboration. This natural energy source can significantly decrease emissions in the transport sector. It is great to be at the forefront in the development of the next generation’s trucks,” says Stas Krupenia, Head of the Research Office at Scania.
The truck is used in a research project to examine the generated solar energy, and how much carbon emissions decrease via the solar panels. The researchers developed new, efficient, and lightweight solar panels for trucks. They also study how trucks can interact with the power grid, and bring forward new models for what will happen if several trucks like this one are connected to the power grid.
“This is an exciting project where academia and industry together try to decrease the climate impact from truck transports. The results from this unique truck will be very interesting,” says Erik Johansson, Project Manager and Professor of physical chemistry at Uppsala University.
5,000 kilometers prolonged driving range annually.
The truck’s 18-metre trailer is almost completely covered in solar panels, equivalent to a house equipped with similarly powerful panels. The solar energy gives the hybrid truck a prolonged driving range of up to 5.000 kilometers annually in Sweden. In countries like Spain, with more sun hours, the vehicle can double the amount of solar energy and thus driving range compared to Swedish circumstances.
The project also includes researched on new, lightweight tandem solar cells, that are based on a combination of Midsummer’s solar cells and new perovskite solar cells. These enable a higher efficiency in the transformation of sunlight to electricity. Such a solution could double the solar energy generation, compared to the current energy generated by the panels.
“Our research towards efficient and light solar cells will be truly important, especially when it comes to applying them in future trucks,” Johansson continues.
“Thin film panels excellent for commercial vehicles.”
“Our solar panels are excellent for applications that make commercial vehicles sustainable. We see great potential to decrease the emissions from heavy vehicles with electrification. Electricity generated by solar panels will save fuel and carbon emissions. We want to be a partner to count on, and that is enabled by this ground-breaking project,” says Erik Olsson, Head of Corporate Development, Midsummer.
Daniel Sandh, CEO Eksjö Maskin & Truck, agrees: “The fuel is presently an increasing cost for haulage companies, and everything we can contribute with to lower this cost will benefit the society long-term.”
One part of the project was to evaluate the charging’s impact on the electricity grid and whether it would be possible to sell the surplus. The possibility of two-way charging is not entirely straightforward and the legislation is unclear.
“We thought we would be able to buy the trucks surplus, unfortunately that is not possible at the moment. But the solar cells becoming part of the truck’s energy supply is fantastic. As an electricity trading company, we see that all renewable energy sources are needed to cope with the energy transition,” says Sverker Ericsson, Electrical Trade Engineer at Dalakraft.
560 horsepower plug-in hybrid with 100 sqm of solar panels.
The truck will now be tested by operating on public roads by the haulage company Ernsts Express AB. “The whole industry is facing big challenges in general, and with fuel in particular. Electrification from renewable electricity is the future. It makes this project even greater for the green haulage company to be a part of,” says Lars Evertsson, CEO Ernsts Express.
The solar powered truck has been developed in a research project party funded by government agency of innovation Vinnova, to develop trucks with low climate impact thanks to solar energy. The truck is a 560 horsepower plug-in hybrid. On the 18-metre trailer, an area of 100 square meters is covered by thin, lightweight and flexible solar panels with a maximum efficiency of 13,2 kWp (kilowatt peak). They are estimated to deliver 8,000 kilowatt hour (kWh) annually when operated in Sweden. The batteries have a total capacity of 300 kWh, with 100 kWh on the truck and 200 kWh on the trailer.
Model 1 CalVans Ford E-Transit
Model 1 Commercial Vehicles, the nation’s largest bus and transportation services dealer, has signed an unprecedented contract with the California Vanpool Authority (CalVans), which purchased 403 new Ford E-TransitⓇ vans. CalVans is a public transit agency that meets the needs of California commuters by offering a vanpool program. It connects residents in areas with low population density with employment centers and is especially critical to meeting the needs of the farming community and its workers.
CalVans’ fleet of Ford E-transit vans was upfitted by Forest River Bus. The fleet includes both 12-person and 9-person passenger vans upfitted for different configurations and route needs, including ADA compliance and room for passenger bags and tools. The ADA passenger units are fully tested and certified by Forest River Bus, BraunAbility, Q’Straint and Freedman Seating Company to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) requirements.
Before the purchase of the Ford E-Transit units from Model 1, CalVans’ fleet of nearly 1,000 vehicles included many traditional-fuel units that had exceeded the recommended lifecycle or were reaching end-of-life. CalVans struggled to find parts to maintain old gas-fueled models or traditional unit options to meet timing demands. While many vehicle dealers were still recovering from pandemic-related supply chain issues, Model 1 was investing not only in EV inventory, but in EV infrastructure, product support and technical training. Model 1 was poised to meet CalVans’ timing and deliver an entire fleet of Ford E-Transit vans.
“It’s encouraging to see adoption of electric vehicles happening at a significant scale,” said Tony Matijevich, President of Model 1. “We hope the move by CalVans – and their collaborative approach with Model 1 – emboldens other agencies and organizations to make the commitment to EV units.” Matijevich noted that Model 1 has units in stock as other organizations and agencies are expanding their fleets and considering EV.
“CalVans could not be more excited to lead the way in electric mobility,” said Steve McShane, CalVans Board Chair. “This single move will grow our fleet by more than 40 percent and save millions in miles not traveled in the next year – greenhouse gas- and gas-free,” he explained.
STMicroelectronics Supplies BorgWarner for Volvo
STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, will supply BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA), a global leader in delivering innovative and sustainable mobility solutions, with the latest third generation 750V silicon carbide (SiC) power MOSFETs dice for their proprietary Viper-based power module. This power module is used in BorgWarner’s traction inverter platforms for several current and future Volvo Cars electric vehicles.
Vanner Converter for Sic
Vanner Inc. is pleased to announce the beginning of serial production of our latest 17.1 kW, 600VDC to 24VDC liquid-cooled converter with Silicon Carbide Solid-State Switching (SiC) for ZEV and hybrid vehicles.
This technology builds on our legendary 300 ampere 600VDC to 24VDC air-cooled converter. Named the Hybrid Beltless Alternator™ (HBA™), the 300-ampere air-cooled converter has been in serial production since 2011 and has been used by OEMs New Flyer, Gillig, Nova, ENC and Tata. It is a main product for Vanner. Stringent testing and validation were performed, including 2010 vehicle validation in the desert of Death Valley, California.
There is an increasing need for more accessory electrification, extended vehicle range, and the need for a reduction in converter size. Vanner designed a 17.1 kW, 600-ampere converter with SiC switching for highest efficiency. This converter is liquid-cooled to minimize the footprint for a converter this size. It is IP67 rated. In 2022 Desert Thermal Endurance Testing was conducted.
600 ampere 600VDC to 24VDC Liquid-Cooled SiC Converter
“Vanner Inc. introduced our air-cooled DC to DC converter in 2011. It has an electrical efficiency between 92% – 96%. This compares to belt-driven alternators that can have efficiencies as low as 50%. With our new converter using Silicon Carbide (SiC) and our engineering implementation, electrical efficiency operates between 96% -98%. This near 100% efficiency is especially important when heavy duty zero-emission vehicles are looking for efficiency gains to extend their operating range,” said Alec Cook, VP Engineering and CTO, Vanner Inc.
- Liquid-Cooled Hybrid Beltless Alternator (LCHBA) for hybrid vehicles
- Liquid-Cooled Electric Beltless Alternator (LCEBA) for battery and fuel cell vehicles
When combined with a Vanner 80-Series Equalizer with Model Based Battery Monitoring (MBBM™), the converter will automatically adjust its output to optimize 12/24VDC battery charging based on Vanner algorithms that continuously calculate State-of-Charge and State-of-Health. These products offer a CAN communication interface besides being compatible with our Dashboard diagnostic software.