EV, Battery & Charging News: Blink, EVCS, Hyzon, Fermata, BorgWarner, Magna, Orange, REE, NOVONIX & Nikola

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are Blink, EVCS, Hyzon, Fermata, BorgWarner, Magna, Orange, REE, NOVONIX and Nikola.

Blink Charging for Raiders Fans in Vegas

Blink Charging Co.  a leading global manufacturer, owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and services, today announced it has been named as the official EV charging provider for Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, providing much-needed reliable EV charging solutions for drivers.

As demand and popularity for electric vehicles surge, the installation of Blink’s chargers across Allegiant Stadium stands poised to empower both fans and employees, offering them the convenience of charging their EVs. These chargers, operational 24/7, will provide EV owners with the flexibility to utilize Allegiant Stadium’s charging facilities at any time. Whether attending a major game, shopping at the Raider Image, enjoying a concert, participating in an event at the stadium, or simply passing by and in need of a quick charge, users can access these amenities seamlessly.

Following two significant sustainability-related announcements earlier this year, this agreement marks yet another stride towards environmental stewardship at Allegiant Stadium. In July, the stadium proudly unveiled its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a prestigious international recognition denoting excellence in the green building practices. This distinction places Allegiant Stadium among the elite seven professional football stadiums to achieve such an honor. Moreover, in October, the stadium reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability by becoming the inaugural professional football stadium powered entirely by renewable energy.

Blink will equip Allegiant Stadium with its powerful Series 8 charging station, a Level 2 80-amp charger offering flexibility and convenient built-in features. Specifically crafted for commercial use, this station is an impeccable fit for stadium environments. Designed with user convenience in mind, the Series 8 charging station allows drivers to seamlessly make payments using credit cards or digital wallets, eliminating the necessity for memberships, RFID cards, or mobile apps. Its compact form, coupled with multiple mounting options, ensures effortless installation while integrating to the Blink Network. This makes the Blink’s Series 8 an optimal charging solution for various commercial settings that require a physical credit card reader. Furthermore, housed within a NEMA 3R outdoor-rated enclosure, this charging station offers flexibility for indoor or outdoor installations. Equipped with a standard 18-foot charging cable, (or the optional 25-foot upgrade) the Series 8 effortlessly reaches around any vehicle, ensuring accessibility and ease for all users.

EVCS & Energy West Granted $14.6 M

EVCS, one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging network operators on the West Coast, and Energy Northwest, a joint operating agency in Washington state, are excited to be the recipients of $14.6 million from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program by the US Department of Transportation. The recently announced award will fund the development of more than 50 chargers across 12 charging locations, covering over 500 miles along Highway 101 in western Washington and coastal Oregon.

This major initiative will enhance EV charging infrastructure in rural and disadvantaged communities in the US West Coast, including on Indigenous Tribal lands. Highway 101 is known for its rural but heavily traveled tourist area. The new charging sites on Highway 101 will help accelerate EV adoption among local residents and also support EV drivers heading to tourist destinations like the Olympic National Park or the coastal region of Washington and Oregon. A combination of DC Fast and Level 2 chargers will be installed at 10 sites in western Washington and two in northern Oregon.

EVCS, under contract to Energy Northwest, will plan, design, construct, own, and operate the new charging stations across all locations. Consistent with EVCS’ leading role as one of the largest public EV fast charging networks on the West Coast, all new chargers will be accessible to the public, with the ability to benefit from EVCS’ wide range of customer offerings such as monthly subscription plans.

Hyzon & New Way Truck JDA for Refuse Vehicle

Hyzon Motors Inc. (Hyzon) (NASDAQ: HYZN), a leading hydrogen fuel cell technology developer and global supplier of zero-emission heavy-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), and privately held New Way Trucks (New Way), today announced a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to develop a fuel cell powered refuse vehicle for the North American market.

Hyzon and New Way plan to start the advanced phases of truck development, with the initial base FCEV prototype ready for refuse collection equipment integration. Hyzon will be responsible for the supply and integration of its advanced fuel cell technology and integrated powertrain, while New Way will be responsible for the supply and integration of the prototype’s Sidewinder XTR automated side-load refuse body, thereby combining both companies’ expertise to develop a sustainable refuse collection solution. The development process is expected to leverage Hyzon’s real-world experience developing, assembling and deploying a hydrogen fuel cell refuse truck in operation since October 2023 in Australia with REMONDIS Australia, the Australian operation of one of the world’s largest recycling, service and water companies.

Across North America, Hyzon estimates that about 120,000 refuse trucks are currently operational, consuming a total of over 953 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. The integration of FCEVs into refuse collection fleets in North America provides an opportunity to help decarbonize the industry and reduce noise pollution from diesel trucks. Moreover, Hyzon expects fuel cell powered refuse trucks to deliver performance levels on par with both diesel and natural gas trucks.

Initial customer trials for the parties’ first North American prototype truck are planned to begin in the first half of 2024 with a mix of public and private refuse fleets. Additionally, Hyzon is targeting initial commercial vehicle deliveries in 2025 on the back of potential successful trials. Upon trial deployment, the trucks are expected to achieve up to a 125 mile driving range, 1,200 refuse cart lifts per route, an unladen weight significantly lighter than an equivalent battery electric truck, and a refueling time of 15 minutes based on performance observed to date in the REMONDIS trial. The Hyzon refuse trucks deliver competitive daily operational performance when compared to combustion engines.

Through trials, Hyzon’s goal is to demonstrate to customers and the industry that fuel cell-powered refuse vehicles can be the primary choice for any refuse management company interested in minimizing its carbon footprint and modernizing its fleets.

Fermata V2X for BorgWarner

Fermata Energy, a pioneer in intelligent bidirectional technology solutions,  announced the integration of its Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) services platform with bidirectional EV chargers manufactured by BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA). Together, the companies are accelerating ongoing efforts to integrate bidirectional charging capabilities with a variety of automotive OEMs. This announcement underscores Fermata Energy’s commitment to a global renewable energy ecosystem and promotes wider accessibility while lowering the electric vehicle Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) through intelligent bidirectional charging technology.

The integration of Fermata Energy’s software with BorgWarner’s hardware, includes both of their UL certified 60kW and 125kW chargers. The announcement is a major step towards accelerating the availability of intelligent bidirectional technology for a much broader range of medium- and heavy-duty transportation use cases. It also paves the way for broad use in the North American market by enabling Fermata Energy’s innovative platform to optimize V2X bidirectional charging commands with a Combined Charging System (CCS) communication protocol.

Fermata Energy is actively working with various automotive OEMs to embed bidirectional charging capabilities, showcasing its technological prowess and dedication to innovation in the bidirectional charging market. For example, in November, Fermata Energy announced a strategic research project with Toyota Motor North America and San Diego Gas & Electric Company. In 2022, Nissan approved Fermata Energy’s FE-15 bidirectional charger as the first ever bidirectional charger for use with the Nissan LEAF in the U.S. without impacting the vehicle’s battery warranty.

With a history of successful V2X projects over several years showing considerable economic benefits, Fermata Energy is well positioned to partner with automotive OEMs in unlocking the greater asset value of EVs, and ultimately selling more vehicles faster. Today’s announcement also grants fleet operators access to diverse value streams across numerous utility service territories to accelerate the adoption of bidirectional technology and transition to renewable energy.

Magna Supplies NA OEM Rear eDrive Systems

Magna is growing its electrification customer base with a newly awarded contract from a North America-based OEM to supply a specialized primary rear eDrive system for one of the company’s high-end niche vehicle platforms. The award reinforces Magna’s commitment to supporting the automotive industry’s short and long-term transformational needs.

The highly complex system, a variant of Magna’s 800V eDS Duo, delivers exceptional power and performance offered by only a few vehicles on the road today. Boasting 726 kW of power and 8,000 Nm of torque, this solution integrates two e-motors, two inverters, and two gearboxes into a single package.

Magna’s responsibilities encompass the design of the gearbox and housing, the cooling system, and the integration of the e-motors and inverters to ensure reliability, efficiency, and continuous power levels.

The system will be manufactured at Magna’s facility in Ramos, Mexico, with serial production scheduled to start within the next few years.

Orange EV Opens New HQ in Kansas City

-Orange EV held a ribbon-cutting event on Friday, January 26, to celebrate the grand opening of their new 440,000 sq ft headquarters and production facility. The event was attended by customers, local stakeholders and supporters, and dignitaries including Laura Kelly, Kansas Governor, David Toland, Kansas Lieutenant Governor, and Tom Borroughs, Mayor Pro Tem of Kansas City, Kansas.

“Orange EV’s investment of more than $37 million will create 185 new jobs right here in Kansas City benefiting families throughout Wyandotte County,” said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. “Between Panasonic and now Orange EV, we are home to a growing EV and battery sector that will uplift our state and power the future of transportation.”

Orange EV was founded in 2012, producing its first pure-electric yard trucks in a 2,000 sq ft facility. The company subsequently outgrew its facilities three times expanding to 12,000 sq ft, then 52,000 sq ft, and now 440,000 sq ft, chronicling not only the company’s success but also the transportation industry’s familiarization with and adoption of heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs).

The numerous benefits of electric yard trucks over diesel are now well-established, but three factors stand out:

  1. Diesel yard trucks consume significant fuel, an average of 8,000 gallons a year. Electricity is typically a fraction of the cost of diesel, providing up to 90% savings.
  2. Yard trucks generally stay on site so are always within easy reach of charging. The ability to opportunity charge during breaks significantly reduces fueling downtime, increasing operational efficiency.
  3. Electric trucks are safer, healthier, and more comfortable for drivers. Orange EV’s zero-emissions vehicles are smoother and quieter to operate, have better cab climate controls (cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter), and regenerative braking reduces stopping distance and time by up to 50%.

Orange EV commercially deployed its first pure-electric heavy-duty (HD) yard truck in 2015 and now has more than 1,000 HD electric trucks deployed in 36 states across the U.S. According to the latest CALSTART report “Zeroing in on Zero-Emission Trucks,” the yard truck vehicle segment is making the fastest transition to electric, and Orange EV has deployed more heavy-duty trucks than all other manufacturers.

Orange EV credits its exponential growth to staying close to its core mission and values.

“From the beginning, we set out to build a truck that was better in every way than the diesel. To do that, our engineering teams work closely with service, sales, and customers in an evaluative and iterative process of continual improvement. As a result, our trucks average more than 98% uptime compared to 75% for comparable diesels,” said Kurt Neutgens, Orange EV co-founder, President, and CTO. “We also are committed to building trucks that are better for the environment. Our zero-emission trucks are a win-win: the right thing for the planet and the right thing for the business bottom line. Customers can come out ahead by more than $500,000 per truck after 10 years of operation, without incentives.”

Orange EV has also remained customer-focused, developing manufacturing, sales, and service models that cut out go-betweens, allowing for a more direct customer experience. The Orange EV coordinated, turnkey solution includes trucks, chargers, training, and service.

“Unlike other companies where fleets have to navigate through dealers and third-party suppliers, at Orange EV we know that time is precious and have developed an efficient, customer-centric ecosystem,” said Wayne Mathisen, Orange EV co-founder and CEO. “From the beginning, Orange EV has designed and built our own trucks, chargers, and battery packs, and we have direct-to-customer sales and service teams. When a customer has an issue, our mobile service teams go straight to the customer’s site to solve it directly and solve it fast.”

Orange EV delivers trucks and chargers within about 90 days from order. In their new production facility, Orange EV has the capacity to produce more than 200 trucks per month in a single shift, keeping pace with the increasing demand for both e-TRIEVER electric yard trucks and also Orange EV’s new HUSK-e trucks specifically designed for rugged, fast-paced port and rail operations, moving loads up to 180,000 lbs at speeds up to 32 mph.

Announced in July 2023, IONNA, the joint venture to build a high-powered EV charging network across North America, has received approval from regulatory authorities, and is now officially commencing operations. IONNA is a joint venture of seven of the world’s foremost automakers: BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis. With Seth Cutler, newly appointed as the Chief Executive Officer, IONNA targets to become one of the most accessible and reliable high-powered charging networks in North America with plans to deploy at least 30,000 chargers.

REE Delivers

REE Automotive Ltd. (Nasdaq: REE) (“REE” or the “Company”), an automotive technology company and provider of full by-wire electric trucks and platforms,  announced that it has begun customer deliveries of its P7-C electric chassis cab following Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification, making it the first to certify a fully x-by-wire vehicle.

REE is the first to certify a fully steer-by-wire, brake-by-wire and drive-by-wire vehicle. The Powered by REE™ P7-C medium duty electric commercial truck has met the FMVSS requirements and has achieved EPA approval.

REE has initiated customer deliveries of the first batch of P7-C demonstration trucks for multiple fleets evaluations in North America via its fast-growing Authorized Dealer Network. Pritchard EV, a leading dealer in the U.S., is the first to receive the P7-C demonstration truck for a roadshow with its large fleet customers. Additional REE authorized dealers and leading fleets are expected to receive additional P7-C demonstration units in the coming weeks.

REE’s P7-C is eligible for the U.S. federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit (Internal Revenue Code 45W), which allows customers to receive a tax credit of up to $40,000 per vehicle. The Company is also in the process of initiating eligibility for various state incentives, which could bring the total incentive to over $100,000 per vehicle, depending on the customer’s location.

“I believe our REEcorner is a true gamechanger, allowing us to build electric trucks that fleets will want to buy, and drivers will love to drive as we continue to see a strong demand for our work trucks,” said Daniel Barel, CEO and co-founder of REE Automotive. “I am incredibly proud of the team at REE for completing certification of the automotive industry’s first ever fully x-by-wire vehicle. Our customers have been eagerly waiting for our vehicles to be ready to deliver and now our first demo trucks are on their way to dealerships for customer evaluations.”

Benefits of REE’s proprietary REEcorner™ and x-by-wire technology can enable:

  • Superior maneuverability and volumetric efficiency
  • Enhanced safety with fail operational design via redundancies in hardware and software
  • Improved ergonomics with low step-in height and driver-centric cabin
  • Improved serviceability
  • More efficient maintenance and lower spare part inventory management
  • Improved residual value
  • Future-proofed, autonomous-ready and OTA upgrade capable
  • Modular design and quick time to market
  • Optimal energy efficiency

“Achieving this certification milestone is a testament to REE’s dedicated team and our determination to bring this technology to market safely,” said Richard Colley, REE’s VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs. “The federal and state incentives that the P7-C will be eligible for will help accelerate fleet electrification in the US, helping to improve public health and meet ambitious climate goals.”

NOVONIX to Supply Synthetic Graphite to Panasonic Energy

Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., a Panasonic Group Company, announced it has signed a binding off-take agreement with the leading battery materials and technology company NOVONIX Limited (“NOVONIX”; Queensland, Australia) for the supply of synthetic graphite, the main component of the anodes of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs). In line with Panasonic Energy’s Medium- to Long-term Strategy to strengthen its North America-focused supply chain and reduce its environmental impact, the synthetic graphite will be utilized by Panasonic Energy’s EV battery manufacturing facilities in the U.S., with shipments scheduled to start in 2025 from NOVONIX’s facility in Tennessee.

By 2031, Panasonic Energy aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire lithium-ion battery supply chain for EVs by 50% compared to 2022 levels. The majority of emissions arise from resource mining, raw material processing, and logistics. Therefore, in addition to reducing the carbon footprint generated during battery manufacturing through the carbon neutralization of all factories, Panasonic Energy actively addresses environmental impact reduction in the upstream supply chain. This agreement will allow Panasonic Energy to leverage NOVONIX’s innovative environmental technology and procure 10,000 tons of graphite from NOVONIX’s North American operations over a period of four years, a strategically important step in the reduction of the environmental impact of its supply chain.

There are two types of graphite for lithium-ion batteries: natural graphite and synthetic graphite. Synthetic graphite offers enhanced battery durability, allowing for reliable performance during repeated charging and discharging cycles. Synthetic graphite is traditionally produced by means of lengthy high-temperature treatment in an Acheson furnace, lasting 30 days per production cycle, with temperatures reaching up to 3,000℃. However, this production method poses challenges due to its high energy consumption and resulting CO2 emissions, and companies are actively developing innovative production methods to
overcome these drawbacks.

NOVONIX’s proprietary graphitization furnaces are the first of its kind for large-scale production, enabling efficient mass production of synthetic graphite in just around three days per cycle. This innovation is expected to reduce the levels of CO2 emitted during the production of synthetic graphite compared to conventional Acheson furnaces. It represents a significant contribution towards Panasonic Energy’s goal of halving its carbon footprint, and demonstrates the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

In the North American market, encompassing the U.S. as the world’s second-largest for new car sales, Panasonic Energy aims to facilitate the widespread adoption of EVs by providing high-quality and high- capacity batteries that offer extended driving range. The company will leverage its expertise and experience to take the lead in the lithium-ion battery industry. Through strategic partnerships, it will accelerate its efforts towards achieving zero emissions and helping build a sustainable society.

Nikola Board Does Not Approve Milton’s Board Nominees

Nikola Corporation, a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, said today that its Board of Directors has rejected a slate of five dissident nominees proposed by an entity controlled by former Executive Chairman Trevor Milton for election as directors at Nikola’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

On January 26, 2024, Nikola received a notice from M&M Residual, LLC, Mr. Milton’s entity, declaring its intent to nominate a slate of five directors for its eight-member board: Cole Cannon, Derek Johnson, Hans Peterson, Paul Southam and Dave Sparks.

The Board of Directors reviewed the director nominees and rejected the slate and does not endorse their nomination. The director nominees have no public company experience, add no skills or experience to the board, and indisputably lack the depth of experience that the current Nikola board members bring to the Company. Additionally, it is the Company’s belief that the director nominees lack the expertise or knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of a zero-emissions trucking and energy infrastructure business.

Mr. Milton was criminally convicted of one count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud as it relates to the Company, and on January 17, 2024, was sentenced to 48 months in prison, followed by supervised release for three years. On October 20, 2023, Mr. Milton was found liable in an arbitration with the Company, resulting in an award to the Company of $165 million plus interest, which includes a $125 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission from December 2021. This judgment remains unpaid, and Nikola is vigorously seeking all legal avenues to recover monies owed to the Company by Mr. Milton.

Mr. Milton is separated from the Company entirely and has had zero involvement in Nikola’s day-to-day operations since September of 2020; however, Nikola continues to suffer harm created by Mr. Milton’s business decisions from over three years ago in his role as Founder and Executive Chairman.

Nikola’s current Board of Directors comprises a diverse group of reputable, leading experts in their respective fields – from trucking to startups to technology to energy, as well as customer service – all integral aspects of Company business. Each member holds specific and relevant industry experience that has driven forward strategic initiatives to help support Nikola’s long-term financial strength. This in turn delivers on our commitment to create long-term value for our stockholders.

In short, the hydrogen ecosystem is a series of complex systems that require complex answers. Nikola’s board of directors has the expertise and experience necessary for the Company’s success, and our team stands firmly behind them.

These experts include:

  • Nikola President and CEO, Steve Girsky, who is a former vice-chairman of GM and Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and has 30-plus years of business experience;
  • Steve Shindler, a former CEO and CFO in the Nextel organization, also with more than 30 years of success in his field;
  • Mary Petrovich, Senior Operating Executive for The Carlyle Group and former Chairman and CEO of two highly successful Carlyle portfolio companies in industrial and transportation sectors, with more than three decades of experience;
  • Andrew Vesey, President and CEO, North America, Fortescue Future Industries, with more than 40 years of energy business experience;
  • Bruce Smith, Chairman and CEO of Detroit Manufacturing Systems, a tier 1 automotive supplier, with 30 years of deep automotive and supplier leadership positions and relationships;
  • Michael Mansuetti, president, North America, Robert Bosch LLC, with decades of experience in the technology and supplier sectors;
  • John Vesco, with more than three decades of executive leadership for prominent transportation and supply chain organizations, including Hub Group and Schneider; and
  • Jonathan Pertchick, former CEO and Managing Director of TravelCenters of America (TA), with decades of successful company transformation on his resume.

Nikola’s Board of Directors strongly opposes the nominations made by Mr. Milton and will disclose its director nominees when its proxy statement is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Nikola stockholders are not required to take any action at this time.///

Daimler Truck North America LLC (DTNA) today announced that it has delivered two battery-electric Freightliner eCascadias manufactured in Portland, Oregon, to customer, Goodwill Industries of New Mexico (GINM), a local nonprofit organization with a mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services to New Mexico residents.

This week, state government officials including Governor Michelle Grisham, alongside GINM representatives, unveiled the eCascadias with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and press conference. These electric Class 8 tractors will join GINM’s fleet of trucks in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and represent the first zero-emission, heavy-duty tractors added to their fleet and the first eCascadias operating in the state.