EV Battery & Charging News: Hannon, NEVI, ChargePoint, AcBel, Sila, Volcon, Workhorse, REE, Itron & Mobility House

In electric vehicle, charging and battery news are Hannon, NEVI, ChargePoint, AcBel, Sila, Volcon, Workhorse, REE, Itron & Mobility House.

Hannon Heat Pumps for EV Solutions

Hanon Systems (KS:018880), a leading global automotive thermal management supplier for electrified mobility, reaffirmed its commitment to build a clean energy future through innovative electric vehicle (EV) solutions such as its industry-leading heat pump systems and components.

EV driving range continues to be a concern among consumers and automakers alike, particularly in winter conditions. The challenge surrounds the amount of battery energy required to heat the cabin for occupant comfort, and maintain the optimal temperature of the battery and power electronics in cold conditions.

Hanon Systems is addressing these challenges and more with its innovative and award-winning suite of heat pump solutions for EVs.

“Heat pumps are fast becoming mainstream electric vehicle technology due to their ability to help maintain driving range in winter conditions where occupant and battery heating is required,” said Dr. Uli Stuhec, vice president and chief technology officer of Hanon Systems. “Hanon Systems is a pioneer in thermal management for electric vehicles with an extensive heat pump product offering.”

Internal testing of warm-up performance compared Hanon Systems to a leading competitor simulating winter conditions in a controlled environment at two ambient temperatures: -20degC (-4degF) and -7degC (19degF). At 20 minutes into the test, the Hanon Systems heat pump air outlet temperature outperformed the competition by approximately 9degC (17degF) at both temperatures, which directly correlates to faster occupant comfort. In addition to achieving a faster warm-up, the Hanon Systems heat pump consumed 28% less power at -20degC (-4degF) and 40% less power at -7degC (19degF). Power consumption of the heat pump system is a significant contributor to electric vehicle driving range.

Winter performance testing of EVs by third-party and industry sources further support the notion that colder weather degrades battery performance, which directly correlates to a decrease in driving range. In a recent report by the Korea Ministry of Environment, the top 4 vehicles tested were equipped with Hanon Systems heat pump systems and achieved greater than 90% driving range with the heater-on at -7degC (19degF), compared to operation at 25degC (77degF).

Such results are not by coincidence. Hanon Systems has an extensive heat pump product offering, robust patent portfolio and multiple technology awards that span a period of more than two decades. Initial system design and pre-development heat pump programs with global automakers began in the early 2000s, resulting in production of the first generation system in 2014. Since then, the company has introduced industry-first solutions into serial production, including an 800V (high voltage) electric compressor and components designed for R744, an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional refrigerants.

Dr. Stuhec added: “We have proven ability to deliver heat pump solutions with outstanding heating performance and energy efficiency; it is a testament to our legacy, technical expertise and trust by our customers. As we expect future legislation will continue to evolve the industry, we are already actively engaged in developing thermal EV solutions such as those that use natural refrigerants to meet thermal management market needs.”

NEW NEVI EV Charging in Kentucky

The Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear and the Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt celebrated the groundbreaking of the first NEVI EV charging site in the Southeastern United States, at Circle K in Richmond, Kentucky, along the widely traveled Interstate 75 corridor. The site will be built with ABB E-mobility Terra 184 chargers, which are Build America, Buy America (BABA) compliant, meet the NEVI technical minimum standards, and are “NACS-ready”. Each charger can provide up to 180 kW of power to Circle K’s customers, allowing them to charge quickly and get back on the road.

ChargePoint & AcBel Partnner

ChargePoint (NYSE: CHPT), a leading provider of networked charging solutions for electric vehicles (EVs), and AcBel Polytech Inc. (“AcBel”) (TWSE:6282), a leading power supply manufacturer under Kinpo Group, today announced an agreement to jointly develop EV charging solutions. AcBel will begin to co-design hardware for ChargePoint’s portfolio of EV charging solutions – bringing products to market faster and at a lower cost, while maintaining ChargePoint’s high quality and reliability standards.

The agreement expands ChargePoint’s existing manufacturing agreement with AcBel. By combining AcBel’s 40 years of expertise in power design and Kinpo’s electronic manufacturing capabilities, ChargePoint believes the partnership will bolster its research and development capabilities, enabling it to bring new products to market faster and at a lower cost. By harmonizing the processes of engineering, design, development and production with AcBel and Kinpo, ChargePoint will have an end-to-end solution enabling ChargePoint’s engineering team to focus on future innovation.

“This collaboration with AcBel represents a significant milestone in the evolution of our product development strategy, and is a key component of our focus on execution and operational excellence,” said Rick Wilmer, CEO of ChargePoint. “With Kinpo Group, we have a trusted manufacturing partner, and now with this expanded partnership we have a development partner who we believe will enable us to bring our portfolio of world-class EV charging solutions to market faster while driving significant product cost and operating expense savings – all with no compromises to our leading quality, reliability, and durability standards.”

Jerry Hsu, Chairman of AcBel, stated, “This year marks a year of transformation for AcBel. The collaboration with ChargePoint not only demonstrates AcBel’s expertise in design for EV business, but also shows a great example of utilizing our group resources from different aspects. Furthermore, this is just the beginning, and there will be more projects and cooperation among AcBel, Kinpo and ChargePoint.”

Andrew Chen, CEO and General Manager of Kinpo Group, commented, “Combining Kinpo’s communication and automation production technology with AcBel’s power design capabilities and ChargePoint’s market-leading position, we believe this strong alliance will significantly increase Kinpo Group’s activity in the EV charging market.”

Sila Helps Develop Work Force

Sila, a next-generation battery materials company, announced its new plan for workforce development through a first-of-its-kind education program geared towards training the future battery workforce in Moses Lake, Washington. The program–focused on providing hands-on training for technical, mechanical, electrical, and software skills–will prepare students for new employment opportunities at its silicon anode manufacturing plant, Sila Moses Lake. Sila made the announcement at a community roundtable at Sila’s Moses Lake plant featuring Governor Jay Inslee, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and Senator Maria Cantwell.

Sila’s nano-composite silicon anode, Titan SiliconTM, was the first commercial next-generation battery material to enter the market. To produce Titan Silicon at automotive quality and scale, Sila has developed proprietary process technologies and customized reactors, and utilizes best-in-class manufacturing systems. To create a pipeline of local talent versed in these technologies, Sila will collaborate with two local educational partners–Big Bend Community College and Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center, which is part of the Moses Lake School District–to create new multi-course curricula and training programs that include onsite facility visits, coaching by industry experts at Sila, and hands-on training with newly-developed, mock equipment.

“Sila has always been focused on moving our breakthrough science and innovation out of the lab and into the real world, and this program is a clear extension of that. We’re helping create real jobs and real educational opportunities that will allow students to get the skills they need for the clean energy jobs of the future,” said Chris Dougher, VP of Operations at Sila.

Sila will provide each school one million dollars to offset the cost of equipment and curriculum development. Training for enrolled students, developed with Sila, will support students’ success in careers related to manufacturing and material science, including knowledge of process controls and automation for a chemical plant, building and using human machine interfaces, effective communication, quality control, safety and regulations, as well as critical thinking. At the end of the program, students will receive a certification for entry-level operational and technical positions in a manufacturing environment.

Volcon Shows Off-Roader Stage

Volcon Inc. (NASDAQ: VLCN) (“Volcon” or the “Company”), the first all-electric, off-road powersports company posted a video to its website receiving the first two Stag production units at its headquarters in Round Rock, Texas.

After one final quality check, the first Stag will go to the United States Army Corp of Engineers next week to be evaluated for military and humanitarian aid purposes as part of the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) the Company announced last year. The second unit will be used for demonstration and education purposes for dealers.

“We are thrilled to see the Stag production units here in Texas, it’s not only a testament to work this team has put in but shows how quickly things can progress when you focus on a simple formula; to build vehicles and deliver them,” said CEO, John Kim.

As production continues to ramp, the Company plans to communicate additional updates as they occur. For more information on the Stag or Volcon’s developmental process, please visit Volcon.com.

Riverview Int’l Trucks to Sell Workhorse

Workhorse Group Inc. (Nasdaq: WKHS) (“Workhorse” or “the Company”), an American technology company focused on pioneering the transition to zero-emission commercial vehicles, today announced it has added Riverview International Trucks (“Riverview”) as its latest vehicle dealer, bringing the Company’s total dealer count in California to five.

With locations in West Sacramento and Redding, Riverview is a family owned and operated full-service heavy-duty truck dealership that has been serving Northern California since 1981. Riverview’s customer-first approach has allowed it to forge longstanding partnerships with leading businesses in California. Customers have relied on Riverview for over four decades to provide quality vehicles from leading OEMs as well as full-service lease, contract maintenance, and daily truck and trailer rentals.

Through this partnership Riverview will be offering the full suite of Workhorse’s commercialized product line, including the W4 CC, W750, and W56, to current and potential customers throughout the region.

REE 1st Demo P7-C Arrives in US for Upfitting

REE Automotive Ltd. (Nasdaq: REE), an automotive technology company and provider of full by-wire electric trucks and platforms,  announced that its first demo P7-C fully by-wire chassis cab has arrived in the U.S. and has completed its upfitting at Knapheide in Quincy, Illinois. Knapheide, North America’s most popular manufacturer of work truck bodies and truck beds, upfitted the P7-C with its KUV body, known to create optimized organization for the technician by dividing the storage space into manageable compartments that are externally accessible from either side of the body. By working together, REE and Knapheide will allow fleets the flexibility they need when selecting a body for their fully by-wire electric vehicles.

“With REE’s first of its kind fully by-wire vehicle technology and Knapheide’s proven excellence with work truck bodies, we believe that REE and Knapheide will be able to provide the right body and equipment solutions for vocational fleets across North America,” said Tali Miller, Chief Business Officer of REE Automotive. “Once upfitted, vocational fleets will be able to experience and drive REE vehicles on their routes and use it in their everyday activities. This is where we believe REE vehicles will really shine.”

“As the most popular choice in North America for work truck bodies, we are happy to work with REE and its Authorized Dealer Network to put our world class bodies on their fully-flat, full by-wire chassis,” said Chris Weiss, Vice President of Engineering for Knapheide. “We are committed to making the upfit process seamless for fleet owners and providing them with a tailored experience that will result in a customized vehicle solution they’re excited to drive.”

FIX from Itron & Mobility House

Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI), which is innovating new ways for utilities and cities to manage energy and water, and The Mobility House, a leader in the battery charging and clean energy space, unveiled the Fast & Flexible Interconnect (FIX) program, which enables reliable charging of electric vehicle (EV) fleets in constrained distribution systems. The first-of-its-kind program is designed to help utilities and grid operators address interconnection delays and infrastructure challenges associated with EV fleet electrification.

The adoption rate of electric vehicles continues to rise steadily, with light commercial vehicles projected to increase from 24,000 in 2021 to 3.8 million in 2030, and substantially increasing strain on the electric grid. The FIX program will revolutionize EV charging management, providing low cost, reliable, rapid-to-implement alternatives to traditional distribution load assessment and infrastructure upgrade methods which are currently not fast enough to meet customer needs or national transportation electrification goals. With FIX, transportation electrification goals are achieved more quickly and at lower costs than traditional methods of distribution load assessments and infrastructure upgrades.

The FIX programs suite of applications combines Itron’s Grid Edge Intelligence solutions, including its Optimizer portfolio and distributed intelligence capabilities, with The Mobility House’s industry-leading charging and energy management system, ChargePilot®, and simulation capabilities.

Utility goals and challenges vary widely, which is why FIX offers three varying program strategies:

  1. Passive approach – Utility companies can provide pre-determined grid constraints and use load forecasting within the FIX program to meet the needs of fleet operators and distribution grid operators. Combined with ChargePilot, utilities avoid straining the grid by setting a fixed usage limit and adapting charging schedules to respect that limit.
  2. Active approach – Using Itron’s Grid Edge Intelligence solutions and The Mobility House’s load management capabilities, utilities can combine firm capacity, which refers to a reliable electrical supply, with flexibility capacity, which allows them to adapt and adjust the amount of additional electricity available for use, based on real-time data from the distribution grid. The goal is to provide the most effective and optimized charging capabilities for electric vehicle fleets while relieving strain on local utility-side infrastructure.
  3. Dynamic approach – Offers an advanced and adaptive solution for charging electric vehicle fleets, with a focus on grid awareness, optimization and flexibility for both fleet operators and utilities. With Itron’s EV Optimizer solution, constraints are discovered and load limits are measured while load capacity is forecasted in real-time

With the FIX program deployed, EV charging can safely exceed the capacity of an electric panel board and utility infrastructure limitations within specific parameters, allowing utilities to plan and install components while accommodating charging requests with more flexibility.

“As a result of widespread EV fleet adoption, utilities and grid operators are facing greater complexity related to grid preparedness,” said Don Reeves, senior vice president of Outcomes at Itron. “By integrating Itron’s Grid Edge Intelligence solutions with The Mobility House’s ChargePilot in a complete package, we enable site-level control with utility infrastructure.”

“Our combined solution gives utilities the power to turn electric vehicles into grid assets,” said Greg Hintler, CEO North America at The Mobility House. “With our programmatic approach to addressing distribution constraints, we can create EV infrastructure abundance and ensure a quicker transition to zero emissions transportation for all.”

The FIX program is available to utilities and grid operators in North America beginning Q1 2024. For