EV Battery & Charging News: Orbia, ABS, Worksport, LeapCharger, Thor, Schneider, Ford & Stellantis

In EV, battery and charging news are Orbia, ABS, Worksport, LeapCharger, Thor, Schneider, Ford and Stellantis.

Granholm Visits Orbia LiPF6 in LA

As the culminating stop on visits to Louisiana manufacturing sites investing in clean energy development, U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited the Orbia Advance Corporation, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: ORBIA*) Fluorinated Solutions (Koura) fluorochemical production site in St. Gabriel, Louisiana on Friday, November 17. Granholm addressed a crowd of Orbia leaders and employees gathered at the St. Gabriel site to celebrate the business’ upcoming investment in North America’s first lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) production facility.

Granholm commended Orbia for being a ‘model for the nation’ in securing the North American supply chain for crucial electric vehicle (EV) battery materials, as reported by The Advocate. She was joined by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who underscored Orbia’s projects as accelerators for the state’s ambitious climate action agenda and nationwide EV production.

Orbia was a 2022 recipient of a $100 million DoE grant to partially fund the construction of North America’s first site for LiPF6 manufacturing, an electrolyte salt used in lithium-ion batteries. The new LiPF6 site will be constructed on the grounds of Orbia’s existing facility in St. Gabriel, leveraging a licensing agreement with LiPF6 technology leader Kanto Denka Kogyo. In addition, Orbia recently announced a joint venture with Solvay and plans to build a second site in St. Gabriel to manufacture intermediates used in the production of lithium-ion battery binding agent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).

Orbia Chief Executive Officer Sameer Bharadwaj commented, “We are in the right position at the right time to be a key enabler in North America’s energy transition. The economic opportunity in electrification is massive and the need is there to cut emissions drastically for the future. This facility will provide Inflation Reduction Act-certified LiPF6 to support the Biden-Harris administration’s vision of securing North America’s battery materials supply chain.”

Gregg Smith, President of Orbia Fluorinated Solutions, added, “With our vertically-integrated ‘mine to market’ position at Orbia, we are able to bring security of supply to our work with industry partners to convert fluorine into a wide range of advanced battery materials. These include electrolyte salts, binders and high-performance electrolyte additives for the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and energy storage systems. In partnership with the St. Gabriel community, we are proud to be recognized for driving decarbonization.”

“St. Gabriel has been an incredible community for us to grow in with its skilled workforce, proximity to major auto and OEM manufacturers, local support and strong U.S. incentives for building capacity as well as infrastructure for the clean energy transition. We intend to bring a combined 200 new jobs to the area through our battery materials projects in St. Gabriel, and invest in the local community that has given us so much through scholarships and training,” said Miki Oljaca, Vice President of Growth and Technology, Orbia Fluorinated Solutions.

Orbia’s LiPF6 production plant is expected to be operational by 2026, with production targets of 10,000 metric tons annually of battery-grade electrolyte salts. Orbia’s facilities will help the U.S. produce more than 1 million electric vehicles annually.

Komastu Buys ABS

American Battery Solutions (ABS), a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of advanced lithium-ion batteries, is excited to announce plans for its acquisition by Komatsu, a leading manufacturer of construction, mining, forestry and industrial heavy equipment. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Komatsu is planning to close the acquisition once all necessary procedures for the closing are completed.

While the acquisition will bring new markets to ABS products, ABS will continue to operate as an independent entity, retaining the company’s existing management team; Komatsu is committed to supporting ABS’ existing and new customers. ABS will continue to develop both custom and off-the-shelf solutions for on- and off-road mobility applications through the company’s Proliance and Alliance brands of products.

ABS has a team of nearly 200 employees with headquarters and engineering development in Lake Orion, Michigan, and manufacturing in Springboro, Ohio.

1Million Miles by Schneider BEV Fleet

Schneider National, Inc. (NYSE: SNDR), a premier multimodal provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services, announced  the carrier’s battery electric vehicle (BEV) fleet has hit the impressive milestone of hauling more than 1 million zero emission miles of customer freight.

Schneider currently operates one of the largest BEV fleets in North America at the company’s Southern California Intermodal Operations Center, featuring almost 100 Freightliner eCascadias and a charging depot about half the size of a football field.

The carrier’s first electric trucks began hauling customers’ freight in January. Since then, the fleet has grown to a total of 94 electric vehicles, including 92 battery electric trucks and two electric yard spotters. The eCascadias have avoided approximately 3.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of removing more than 330 gas-powered passenger vehicles from the road for a year.

“We are driven by our commitment to sustainability and innovation to be one of the first carriers to embrace electric as a powerful solution for hauling freight,” said Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke. “We believe in a future where clean technology helps transform the way we move goods and reduces our environmental footprint while still delivering on our promises of efficiency and reliability for customers. This milestone is just the first of many.”

Schneider has already hauled for major brands, including Goodyear and Frito-Lay North America.

“Frito-Lay’s strides in eliminating Scope 3 emissions were exemplified this year through our first-ever third-party electric vehicle shipment with Schneider,” said PepsiCo Foods North America Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer David Allen. “As the first to contract transport on Schneider’s eCascadia fleet, our collaboration serves as a blueprint for how Frito-Lay and PepsiCo are working alongside our transportation partners to build a sustainable food system and reach our PepsiCo Positive net-zero emissions goal by 2040.”

Schneider worked alongside Freightliner’s parent company Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) every step of the way as the eCascadia evolved, piloting a truck for six months in 2020-2021 through the Freightliner Customer Experience Fleet. Now, the company is proud to be the first to achieve 1 million zero emission miles with the eCascadia.

“Three years ago, we tested the Freightliner eCascadia with Schneider in real-world test applications, and now they have already delivered goods on 1 million fully electric miles with their electric fleet. This is an important milestone, not just for Schneider, but for the industry as a whole,” said DTNA Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing David Carson. “Not only that, but clean transportation in the form of zero emission trucks on the road brings our society closer to a better future.”

The South El Monte charging site features 16 350 kW dual-corded dispensers, allowing the carrier to charge 32 trucks simultaneously. The eCascadias achieve an 80% charge within 90 minutes and have a typical driving range of up to approximately 220 miles.

Each day, the zero emission trucks accelerate the company’s progress toward its goal of reducing per-mile emissions by 7.5% by 2025 and 60% by 2035, while also helping customers reach their own sustainability goals. Schneider is already more than halfway to its 2025 goal.

To commemorate the 1 million zero emission mile accomplishment, Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke will ring the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) closing bell on Tuesday, November 21.

Funding for 50 of Schneider’s 92 eCascadias was made possible by the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI), the first battery electric truck project jointly funded by the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.

For the additional 42 trucks outside JETSI, five are jointly funded by the U.S. EPA FY18 Targeted Airshed Grant and Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP), seven are funded by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, and 30 trucks are funded by HVIP.

Worksport Reaches Test Phase

Worksport Ltd. (Nasdaq: WKSP; WKSPW) (“Worksport” or the “Company”), is proud to announce that its groundbreaking COR battery system has officially transitioned into the Test Phase. This significant progression marks the beginning of intensive testing, anticipating a battery solution that is resilient, durable, and perfectly suited to the diverse challenges of today’s dynamic environments.

The Company’s COR system can be used both within a pickup truck bed and independently without a pickup once it is released. With a commitment to quality, toughness and innovation, Worksport’s Test Phase will see the COR battery system undergo:

  • Performance evaluations in extreme heat and cold climates.
  • Rigorous terrain trials including rough landscapes and standard road conditions.
  • Examinations in humidity, vertical drops, as well as splash water and spray situations.
  • Full-power performance assessments over extended durations.
  • Shock tests to account for unforeseen events.

This diligent testing process will ensure that the Company’s COR system will not only meet but exceed the expectations of the modern user, ensuring the system’s adaptability to both every day and extreme situations.

The commencement of the Test Phase aligns seamlessly with Worksport’s recent announcement of the COR system’s Alpha Release where the product will be placed in real-world scenarios. The invaluable feedback anticipated from this Alpha Release will serve as a cornerstone for additional improvements, advancing the Company closer to its ultimate goal — an official Mass Market Release of its COR battery system and the SOLIS solar cover.

“As we step into this crucial phase, we’re not just testing a battery, we’re challenging the conventions of what’s possible. Our dedicated team is committed to delivering a product that resonates with the promise of uncompromising quality and durability, and unmatched performance. This product could be in the vehicles, homes and businesses of millions around the world. It simply needs to be the best.” commented CEO Steven Rossi.

Thor Renders eRV Charging

THOR Industries (NYSE: THO) unveiled state-of-the-art 3-D renderings of an EV charging station concept designed to serve the comprehensive needs of electric recreational vehicles (eRVs), from small travel trailers towed by EVs to the largest Class A motorhomes, while enhancing an eRV traveler’s outdoor experience and mindset. The concept illustrates THOR’s efforts to support the development of pull-through eRV-compatible chargers in destinations popular with RV owners.

New LeapCharger Website

LeapCharger Corporation (OTC: LCCN) (“LeapCharger” or the “Company”), an electric vehicle (EV) charging company with disruptive and innovative technology providing eco-friendly and sustainable solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website. This strategic move by LeapCharger reflects a commitment to efficiently and clearly communicate with the public. Adding value and transparency are the main objectives, and this redone website is another step towards that goal.

The newly launched website provides customers a convenient and seamless experience, presently enabling them to download our APP on the Google PlayStore and soon on the Apple Store for iOs users. LeapCharger aims to cater to its loyal customer base’s evolving needs and preferences by making most of the same features readily available on our APP also accessible directly through our newly redesigned website. This strategic relaunch of our website enables the company to appeal to a broader audience and provide even more convenience to its valued users. The aim of the new website is ease of use and navigation, offering several advantages: dedicated customer support; location based services for our EV charging stations; updated corporate information; and the ability to pay for customers.

Ford Battery Plant in 2026

Ford issued this statement regarding the Blue Oval battery plant.

“While we remain bullish on our long-term strategy for electric vehicles, we are re-timing and resizing some investments. As stated previously, we have been evaluating BlueOval Battery Park Michigan in Marshall.

We are pleased to confirm we are moving ahead with the Marshall project, consistent with the Ford+ plan for growth and value creation. However, we are right-sizing as we balance investment, growth, and profitability. The facility will now create more than 1,700 good-paying American jobs to produce a planned capacity of approximately 20 GWh.

We still expect BlueOval Battery Park Michigan to be the first of Ford’s battery plants of this kind when it begins producing LFP battery cells starting in 2026.’

Stellantis NA Tech Center in Ontario

The first of 228 steel structural columns weighing over 800 tonnes have begun to take shape in the ongoing construction of the new cutting-edge Stellantis North America Battery Technology Centre located at the Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) in Windsor, Ontario.

Spanning an impressive 100,000 square feet, this state-of-the-art facility will soon house 35 walk-in climatic test cells for testing up to 63 packs, and 11 reach-in test cells for testing up to 132 cells. The facility will also perform testing through a climatic operation range of -40 degrees Celsius to +80 degrees Celsius.

The Battery Technology Centre will serve as the Stellantis North America hub for the development and validation of advanced Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) cells, modules and battery packs with a storage area capacity of 120 EV Battery Packs. The new Battery Technology Centre will also build on the ARDC’s academic partnership with the University of Windsor on various testing projects.

“At Stellantis, we recognize the pivotal role that battery technology plays in electrifying the automotive industry. Our forthcoming North America Battery Technology Centre in Windsor will be key to design, test and produce class-leading products that will meet our customers’ needs,” said Ned Curic, Stellantis chief engineering & technology officer. “With multiple walk-in climatic test cells, we will rigorously evaluate batteries for pack testing, environmental durability tests, life cycle tests, and systems validation. This comprehensive testing process ensures our EV batteries are built to withstand the test of time, performing optimally in various conditions and accelerates bringing cutting-edge electric vehicles to our meet the needs of our customers.”

The Battery Technology Centre is part of the major $3.6 billion CAD ($2.8 billion USD) investment Stellantis announced in May 2022, with support from all three levels of government, securing the future of its Windsor and Brampton assembly plants, and expanding the ARDC to accelerate the company’s move to a sustainable future.

Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2024 with full-scale operations scheduled to begin for the first quarter of 2025 and will create an estimated 55 new highly qualified positions that will consist of engineers and technicians onsite.

Just recently in September, Stellantis celebrated the grand opening of its Battery Technology Center for Europe, in Turin, Italy, as part of a global battery development and manufacturing network that will include six gigafactories.

These projects represent Stellantis’ steadfast commitment to advancing battery technology for the electric vehicles of tomorrow as part of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan and its long-term electrification strategy to invest $45 billion CAD ($35 billion USD) through 2025 in electrification and software globally.