EV Battery & Charging News: LG, Nikola, EVpassport, Lomiko, Chargie, StoreDot, Electrokart & Nexeon

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are LG, Nikola, EVpassport, Lomiko, Chargie, StoreDot, Electrokart and Nexeon.

DoE Fact of Week Ev Needs

Sixty percent of the 33 million EVs expected by 2030 are projected to be in suburban areas, according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Of the remainder, 20% will be in rural locations and another 20% in urban areas. The charging network needs for EVs are different depending on whether EV owners live in rural, suburban, or urban areas. While electricity from public DC fast chargers would be the most utilized in urban areas (40%), in rural and suburban areas, Level 1 (L1) 120V AC and Level 2 (L2) 240V AC chargers in single family homes are expected to meet the majority of EV electricity needs (82% and 64%, respectively). Although DC fast charging receives a lot of attention, increasing the availability of L1 and L2 charging is critical for the overall transition to EVs.

LG Energy Factory in Arizona Begins in 2023

The construction of a major battery manufacturing complex in Arizona, announced by LG Energy Solution (KRX: 373220) last year, is on track to be completed in two years with the first round of hiring expected to begin at the end of this year. The company provided progress updates on its USD 5.5 billion (KRW 7.2 trillion) stand-alone facility during a stakeholder meeting on April 3 at Combs High School in San Tan Valley near the town of Queen Creek where the complex is located.

The attendees included Brian Oh, Head of Mobility & IT Battery Division at LG Energy Solution; Hyung Kim, Head of ESS Battery Division at LG Energy Solution; Richard Ra, President of LG Energy Solution Arizona; Gov. Katie Hobbs of ArizonaSandra Watson, President and CEO of Arizona Commerce Authority; Mike Goodman, Supervisor and Chairman of Pinal CountyJulia Wheatley, Mayor of Queen Creek, and other members of state government and local community officials.

The complex consists of two manufacturing facilities which are the company’s first stand-alone cylindrical and ESS battery plants in North America. The cylindrical battery plant, called LG Energy Solution Arizona, will produce 46-Series batteries for electric vehicles (EV). A crucial part of the company’s innovative product portfolio, 46-Series cylindrical batteries demonstrate LG Energy Solution’s advanced technological leadership throughout various applications for EVs. As the company plans the first mass production of 46-Series batteries at its Ochang plant in Korea in the second half of this year, which is the earliest among major global battery manufacturers, LG Energy Solution Arizona is expected to continue the momentum and reinforce the manufacturing capability.

The ESS battery manufacturing facility, called LG Energy Solution Arizona ESS, will produce lithium iron phosphate (LFP) pouch-type batteries for energy storage systems (ESS). It is one of the first ESS-exclusive battery production facilities in the world. By situating its stand-alone ESS battery facility in North America, the world’s biggest ESS market, LG Energy Solution aims for a timely response to the fast-growing needs for locally manufactured batteries on the back of the U.S. clean energy policies, providing ESS batteries with enhanced competitiveness in cost, battery life, and safety.

When fully operational, the complex’s average annual production capacity is expected to reach 53GWh (cylindrical batteries 36GWh, LFP ESS batteries 17GWh).

During the construction progress updates and site tour, Richard Ra, President of LG Energy Solution Arizona, said the project has been well underway since the groundbreaking last November, with initial land preparations completed and steel beams now being placed at the site. With the construction going as planned, the manufacturing facility for cylindrical EV batteries is expected to be completed in late 2025, and the facility for LFP pouch-type ESS batteries in the following year.

Once the construction is complete, both facilities are expected to start production in 2026. To secure high-quality workforce that will operate the state-of-the-art manufacturing complex, the company will also commit to hiring and fostering the next-generation battery professionals in the area, creating several thousand new quality jobs. “We expect the recruitment of our [launch team] members to begin late this year, and a full-scale recruitment to follow from the second half of 2025,” said Ra.

LG Energy Solution has another stand-alone facility in Michigan, which was built a decade ago and is currently undergoing expansion that would quintuple its average annual production capacity. The company also has five other joint venture facilities in the U.S. with major automakers, including General Motors, Honda, and Hyundai Motors Group, representing its full-fledged efforts to provide IRA-compliant batteries that will expedite the clean energy transition in the country.

With the Arizona complex, the company has now secured the most diverse and competitive product portfolio, which encompasses pouch-type and cylindrical batteries for EVs and LFP batteries for ESS, in North America.

“By further expanding our product portfolio and offering diverse options to our customers, we will continue to strengthen our market competitiveness,” said David Kim, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “We also expect to keep growing in the global market by maximizing customer value through unmatched technology leadership.”

Nikola Corp Delivers Trucks

It was a productive Q1 for Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via the HYLA brand, as the company produced 43 and wholesaled 40 Class 8 Nikola hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. In addition, the Nikola team has commenced the return process for the BEV “2.0” trucks to customers.

“We are on track for a successful 2024 by continuing the momentum set in 2023,” said Nikola CEO Steve Girsky. “It’s about more than just setting goals. It’s about following through on our commitments. This includes not only the production and sale of our hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks but also the start of returns for our battery-electric trucks to customers.”

All trucks wholesaled to Nikola dealers are destined for end customers. The three remaining hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in finished goods inventory at the end of the quarter have already been allocated and will be delivered in early April.

“We anticipate further sales growth in future quarters as our HYLA hydrogen fueling solutions come online. This includes our recently celebrated first modular refueling station in Ontario, Calif., as well as our first Canadian refueling station in Edmonton, Alberta,” continued Girsky. “It’s rewarding for our team to see us out on the field, leading the effort for the decarbonization of the industry.”

The Nikola hydrogen fuel cell and battery-electric vehicles are assembled in Coolidge, Ariz.

NOTE: Nikola has not completed its quarterly review process or the preparation of its financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024. Nikola will announce information regarding Q1 2024 financial results soon.

EVPassport & Associa Partnership

EVPassport, the most reliable EV charging network in the United States, and Associa, the leading provider of community management services throughout North America,  announced a strategic partnership to provide next-generation electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at Associa-managed communities throughout the United States. Under the agreement, Associa will implement EVPassport’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform across its national portfolio of managed communities, delivering a reliable, frictionless charging experience to over five million residents.

“Both EVPassport and Associa aim to provide innovative turnkey solutions that make people’s lives easier—and encourage sustainable living,” said Hooman Shahidi, Co-founder and CEO of EVPassport. “Our partnership with Associa helps close the demand gap for reliable EV charging and reaffirms our commitment to continued innovation—specifically in the areas of customer service and engagement. This is an exciting opportunity for EVPassport as we move into our next phase of growth and build the most reliable and easy-to-use charging network.”

With the new partnership, Associa-managed communities will have access to EVPassport’s innovative and reliable hardware, exclusive cloud-based software, and connected infrastructure technology, through the EVPassport IaaS platform. The demand for reliable, easy-to-use EV charging has surged in recent years amid record-setting EV sales. With EVPassport, Associa-managed communities and the residents they serve benefit from an end-to-end solution that prioritizes the customer experience through high reliability and a frictionless, app-less charging experience.

“Investing in EV charging is becoming a necessity for communities who are committed to upholding their property values, increasing their marketability, and perpetuating sustainability,” said Jason Salmonson, Senior Vice President, Integrated Services at Associa. “We proudly welcome EVPassport to our roster of world-class partners, furthering our commitment to bringing industry-leading technology solutions to our communities. We selected the EVPassport IaaS platform for its ability to provide an easy-to-use charging experience for our communities while delivering great economic value that helps advance community engagement while aligning with our ESG initiatives.”

Associa is a leading community management service company delivering complete and comprehensive turnkey management services and an array of solutions and resources to provide an exceptional experience to thousands of communities. In 2021, the company founded Associa Green, an environmental initiative to help families live healthier, more sustainable lives.

EVPassport provides an end-to-end EV charging solution for managed communities and properties that helps increase occupancy, strengthen tenant satisfaction and retention, and improve charging equity. The company utilizes an innovative business model that allows for charging infrastructure to be installed under an IaaS model that provides the lowest cost of entry and a lucrative revenue share model to deliver managed communities with the fastest ROI.

Since EVPassport’s inception in 2020, the company has scaled its network to 35 states, Canada, and Mexico. It has deployed thousands of chargers while delivering 99.97% uptime. This news comes on the heels of EVPassport raising $200 million to support the rapid growth of its IaaS platform.

For more information about EVPassport, visit www.evpassport.com.

Lomiko  Phase 2 Pouches

Lomiko Metals Inc. (TSX.V: LMR) (“Lomiko Metals” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has successfully completed Phase 2 of the single-layer pouch cell battery testing of its La Loutre graphite material with Polaris Battery Labs, LLC (“Polaris”). In Phase 1, Polaris completed half-cell coin battery testing, confirming good material electrochemical performance metrics compared to industry standards. (please see press release dated January 10, 2024.)

In Phase 2, cathode and prepared anode were combined into a single-layer pouch cell format to undergo electrochemical testing to demonstrate technical performance as a full rechargeable battery. Note that the single-layer pouch cells provide a format that is similar to those used in industry while not requiring large amounts of active material. The coated spherical graphite material (eSPG) provided for the originated from coated purified samples generated by the Corem Innovation Centre in Quebec, Canada. These samples were micronized and spheronized by ProGraphite in Germany. The samples are deemed representative of the La Loutre deposit.

The single-layer pouch cells constructed with our graphite anode and standard cathode material demonstrated that our graphite performs well under basic test conditions: cSPG16 and cSPG20 samples from La Loutre reveal strong performance of the La Loutre cSPG with better discharging capacity compared to commercial graphite in North America today. Both samples were put through a brief life cycle analysis for 25 cycles at C/2 and performed well. Please see highlights of the study below.

Concurrent with these studies, Lomiko is also working on the “NRC Study” announced on July 27, 2023, which aims to advance pre-feasibility level battery trials with its La Loutre natural flake graphite concentrate.

Belinda Labatte, CEO and Interim Chair of the Board, stated: “With the growing number of OEMs focused on lithium-ion batteries, graphite material testing needs to resemble real-life usage conditions. Lomiko has completed a number of metallurgical and electrochemical performance tests and will continue this process with National Research Council in 2024 and 2025. The Polaris studies, now concluded, confirm the electrochemical performance results are suitable for graphite anode materials and battery manufacturing. Lomiko has now successfully demonstrated the full value chain from ore to battery anode material on samples from the La Loutre project.

“The importance of natural flake graphite supply was once again delineated with the Biden Administration announcement on March 20, 2024: by 2032, more than half the new cars sold in the United States would likely be zero-emissions vehicles in order for carmakers to meet the new standards for tailpipe pollution reduction. These zero-emission vehicles today require approximately 100 kg of graphite per vehicle.”

Polaris Single Layer Pouch Cell Study

Pictures of the pouch cells made with Lomiko cSPG are shown pictured in Figure 1.

In Phase 2, Polaris constructed single-layer cells using the coated graphite materials paired with a cathode source. NCM111 was selected for this analysis. Preliminary cycling results indicate consistent performance with internal standard references, showing a relative capacity fade rate over 25 cycles at C/2 of less than 0.1% per cycle.

Initial cycling data suggests consistent performance with internal baseline performance metrics for an NCM111 cathode in a single-layer cell using commercially available natural graphite as the anode material. Figure 2 shows a plot of an internal performance reference for an NCM111 vs. natural graphite single-layer cell in comparison to the single-layer cell using graphite batch SPG16. C/20 and C/10 data represent a boost in performance of ~1.5%, ~2.4% at C/5, and ~3.3% at C/2 versus the commercial reference. Further, SPG16 single-layer cells also demonstrate a lower degree of capacity loss at C-rate switches and more steady capacity at C-rate versus the commercial reference.

As observed in Figure 3, initial cycling data indicates consistent performance versus a commercial reference.

In conclusion, both SPG16 and SPG20 perform well as compared to commercial graphite reference material for charge and discharge capacities, first cycle loss coulombic efficiency, and gravimetric capacity. With these electrochemical performance results produced by Polaris, Lomiko has now successfully demonstrated the full value chain from ore to battery anode material on samples from the La Loutre project.

Bourier Property

Lomiko announces that in connection with its previously announced amended option agreement (the “Option Agreement”) with Critical Elements Lithium Corporation (“CELC”) on the Bourier project (see news release dated January 25, 2022 for more details) and the successful earn in of 49% announced on December 20, 2023, and amendment of the terms of the second option under the Option Agreement (the “Second Option”), that it will not proceed with the exercise of the second option. The Company believes that further value creation may occur as development of lithium assets in the proximity of Bourier are developed.

The Bourier project site is located near Nemaska Lithium and Critical Elements south-east of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory in Quebec, which consists of 203 claims for a total ground position of 10,252.20 hectares (102.52 km2).

Qualified Persons – La Loutre Graphite

Mr. Oliver Peters, a Principal Metallurgist with Metpro Management Inc., is a Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101. Mr. Peters is satisfied that the analytical and testing procedures used are standard industry operating procedures and methodologies, and he has reviewed, approved and verified the technical information disclosed in this news release, including sampling, analytical and test data underlying the technical information.

About Lomiko Metals Inc.
The Company holds mineral interests in its La Loutre graphite development in southern Quebec. The La Loutre project site is within the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (KZA) First Nation’s territory. The KZA First Nation is part of the Algonquin Nation, and the KZA traditional territory is situated within the Outaouais and Laurentides regions.​ Located 180 kilometers northwest of Montreal, the property consists of one large, continuous block with 76 mineral claims totaling 4,528 hectares (45.3 km2).

Chargie 96 EV Charging in Tulare

Chargie, a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, announced it has deployed 96 EV charging stations at a multifamily property in Tulare, California, developed by Ginder Development Corporation. The Riviera, an apartment community with 168 units and 306 parking spaces, is now equipped with state-of-the-art level 2 EV chargers for its residents and visitors.

Key features of the deployment:

  • RebateFunded: The project received funding for all 96 chargers through Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready program, which provides EV infrastructure solutions for multifamily, public sector, and commercial properties. Charge Ready is the largest utility-led electric vehicle charging program in the country.
  • Networked Design: The deployment features networked EV chargers, which allow Chargie to monitor station availability, diagnose issues quickly, troubleshoot remotely, and more.
  • Scalable Infrastructure: The EV charging infrastructure is designed with scalability in mind, allowing for additional EV chargers to be added as the demand for electric vehicles continues to grow.

“We pride ourselves on offering smart and efficient apartment homes that meet the needs of modern residents today,” said Giorgio Russo, vice president of operations at Ginder Development. “Chargie’s turnkey design, installation, and management of these new EV charging stations help us deliver on that promise.”

Ginder Development is a diversified real estate development, construction, and property management company based in Fresno, California. The firm specializes in several phases of project development, including financial planning, site acquisition, general contracting, and property management.

“The ability for residents to charge their EVs right at home is game-changing. It offers the convenience and reliability drivers are looking for and can be a deciding factor for those thinking about switching to an EV,” said Chargie CEO Zach Jennings. “With nearly 100 chargers installed, this project at The Riviera is a great example of a property preparing for future EV adoption.”

In addition to the design, installation, management, and maintenance of EV charging infrastructure, Chargie’s turnkey solution also includes comprehensive management of rebate, incentive, and grant funding applications for its clients.

StoreDot Slicon Fast Charging 2,000 Cycles

StoreDot, the pioneer and global leader of silicon-dominant extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs) has hit a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the world’s first company to achieve more than 2,000 consecutive XFC cycles, with the silicon dominant battery cells maintaining over 80% of their initial capacity. This means EV drivers can fast charge their cars in minutes every day, without worrying about the health of their battery.

These exceptional results, showing high energy density, are from cells achieving at least 330Wh/kg and 860Wh/L at stack level. The cells were charged consecutively from 10% to 80% in 10 minutes, demonstrating a charge rate of 4.2C, while discharged at a rate of 1C.

Battery cycle life is measured by the number of charge and discharge cycles a battery can undergo before its capacity drops below an industry standard, 80% of the original capacity. Such achievement of battery cells capable of withstanding 2,000 cycles while meeting the 80% capacity retention benchmark, represents a huge industry milestone, with the results far surpassing current and upcoming EV durability regulations. These results leave margins for other ageing factors in the real world, translating to longevity and extended battery life, offering EV owners with a high market value.

In March 2022, StoreDot announced it had achieved 1250 cycles with smaller cells. Since then, the company has been scaling up and validating its technology while testing it with over 15 EV car brands using EV cell capacity of 30Ah which has now exceeded the outstanding 2000 XFC cycles mark.

This landmark achievement is another major milestone on StoreDot’s path toward commercialization, proving the maturity, stability, and durability of its game-changing XFC technology.

TL Electrokart Intro E Pro Kart

TL Electrokart, the world’s leading electric kart manufacturer since 1996, is excited to announce a new race division and the beginning of sales for the world’s first CIK-FIA homologated electric pro kart built and designed in-house: the OTL E Pro Kart.

OTL was founded in Italy in 1996 as one of the original manufacturers of electric go-karts. In the nearly 30 years since, the company has solidified itself as the world’s leading provider of all-electric high-performance go-karts for the family entertainment industry. Their Junior, EGK, Storm and Superleggero rental karts are featured in 300+ karting centers throughout the world, including all 88 locations of industry giant K1 Speed.

Now, the OTL E Pro Kart marks the Italian company’s debut in the world of professional outdoor go-kart racing and is the culmination of decades of go-kart design and manufacturing experience.

Nexeon Silicon Anode  Breatkthroughs

Nexeon, a leader in next-generation silicon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries,  announced a major step forward with the groundbreaking of its first commercial production facility. This milestone positions Nexeon to deliver on its commitment to supply high-performance, cost-effective silicon anode material at commercial volumes starting in 2025.

Nexeon’s silicon anode materials significantly increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, a key factor in extending the range, and improve charging performance of electric vehicles. The company’s second-generation “drop-in” technology allows battery manufacturers to easily integrate higher silicon content into their existing production processes without requiring additional capital expenditure.

“Breaking ground on our first commercial production facility is the culmination of many years of dedication and technical accomplishments by the Nexeon team. It marks a key moment in our growth and reflects the commercial interest customers have shown in our technology,” said Scott Brown, CEO of Nexeon. “By beginning construction on our first commercial production site, we are on track to deliver the game-changing benefits of silicon anode materials to the global battery market.”

The exclusive partnership with OCI, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of silane outside of China, provides a secure and cost-effective supply of a key material for Nexeon. The dedicated pipeline for silane delivery streamlines production and minimizes transportation costs – while aligning with Nexeon’s sustainability mission. Additionally, OCI has the capability to scale production alongside Nexeon, ensuring a reliable supply of raw materials far into the future to meet growing market demands.

“We are thrilled to partner with Nexeon in this endeavour,” said Yoo-Shin Kim, President (CEO) of OCI. “This collaboration leverages the strengths of both companies, combining OCI’s expertise in advanced materials with Nexeon’s leading silicon anode technology. Together, we will deliver high-quality, cost-competitive solutions that accelerate the future of battery technology.”. OCI will produce silane by utilizing by-products from an existing manufacturing process used for semiconductor materials, further compounding cost-competitiveness.

Nexeon’s groundbreaking ceremony signifies a significant leap forward in the commercialization of silicon anode materials. With a secure supply chain and a state-of-the-art production facility on the horizon, Nexeon is poised to revolutionize the lithium-ion battery landscape and unlock a new era of energy performance.

Attending the groundbreaking ceremony were: Nexeon CEO Scott Brown, Jeonbuk State Vice Governor Jonghun Kim, Gunsan Mayor Imjune Kang, National Assembly Member Youngdae Shin, Jeonbuk State Council Taechang Kang and Dongku Kim, OCI CEO Yooshin Kim, and SC Engineering EVP Dae-sik Wang. This ceremony is the first step to implementing an eco-friendly project to produce lithium-ion battery materials, marking Gunsan City as a hub for innovation.

In addition, management of SKC, SJL Partners, BNW and Shinhan Securities (investors in Nexeon) joined the groundbreaking ceremony, adding their support for the event.