EV, Battery & Charging News: Rivian, Toyota, Argonne, StoreDot, Sakku, Hyundai, HopSkip Drive, South 8, Sepion, Polestar, Blink, Kenworth & Acura

In electric vehicle, battery and charging news are Rivian, Toyota, Argonne, StoreDot, Sakku, Hyundai,
HopSkip Drive, South 8, Sepion, Polestar, Blink, Kenworth and Acura.

IL Gives Rivian $827 Package in Normal


IL Gives Rivian $827 Package in Normal

Rivian Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) announced it has received an $827M incentive package from the State of Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, which will allow the company to expand operations at its plant in Normal, IL. The funds from the incentive package will go towards expansion of the plant, improvements in public infrastructure and job training programs for Rivian’s workforce, leading up to the company’s production of its midsized SUV, R2. Rivian will be participating in several city improvement projects to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to investing in the Illinois economy and community.

The company announced in March that production of R2, the company’s much-anticipated midsize SUV, will begin production in the Normal, IL manufacturing facility. This new vehicle will deliver a combination of performance, capability and utility in a five-seat package optimized for big adventures and everyday use. The platform will underpin R2 vehicles. The existing plant in Normal will continue to produce R1S, R1T, and commercial electric delivery vehicles, and updates to the facility will begin in the coming months.

Rivian has invested more than $2 billion in Normal. In just three years, Rivian has also generated a value add of over $3.9 billion to the local economy, which has brought increased development to the area.

Since production began in 2021, Rivian’s Normal facility has manufactured over 100,000 electric vehicles.

Toyota CRADA with Argonne for Recycling Lithiu-Ion Batteries

Toyota Motor North America (‘Toyota’) announces that it has entered a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to investigate the development of a direct recycling process for lithium-ion batteries, which are prevalent in new electric vehicles. The focus of the research will be on cathode chemistries made of nickel, manganese, and cobalt.

“Having Argonne utilize our commercial battery products will help us evaluate the direct recycling process at an industrial scale, in addition to other battery recycling technologies to maintain a diverse portfolio of recycling options for a diverse array of battery platforms and chemistries,” says Nik Singh, Senior Scientist in the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA)’s Materials Research Department. “Toyota is in a unique position to bridge aspects of fundamental research with product evaluation, development and commercialization, to help its U.S. battery manufacturing achieve better circularity and supply chain security.”

For the project, Toyota will provide Argonne with both end-of-life and new Toyota batteries. Argonne will adapt and test its patent-pending direct recycling process with the batteries. Further, TRINA, Toyota’s in-house entity for exploring next-generation technologies, will lend its expertise to validate this “proof-of-concept” study.

“Based on preliminary projections, direct recycling can potentially offer significant cost and carbon footprint savings,” says Sarah Kennedy, Operations Manager of Toyota’s Battery Lifecycle Solutions Business Development team. “Toyota’s Battery Lifecycle Solutions entity will help identify the appropriate pathway for the potential future commercialization of this technology, pending the outcome of the CRADA, as the project is projected to deliver a net improvement in battery materials manufacturing costs, waste and carbon footprint.”

The collaborative project with Argonne is part of Toyota’s pursuit of designing a closed-loop battery ecosystem aimed at maximizing sustainability. In 2015, Toyota announced the Environmental Challenge 2050, a set of goals to achieve carbon neutrality across the vehicle lifecycle by 2050. For electrified vehicles, this includes battery recycling, whether after first use or after being repurposed or refurbished, to ensure that raw materials are extracted and put back into the production process.

Additional information about the project and Argonne’s research at its ReCell Center can be found here.

Argonne Partners wit Talon Metals for Domestic Nickel

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory is developing a new process that could dramatically increase the number of electric vehicle (EV) batteries produced from mined nickel ore. The effort is part of a new partnership with Talon Metals, a U.S. mining company that plans to produce high-grade nickel ore domestically.

Talon’s nickel production has valuable by-product minerals including iron compounds. The company wants to maximize recovery of these by-products instead of sending them to waste piles. The company recognized the potential to use them in production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes (positive electrodes), which are increasingly used in lithium-ion batteries.

Argonne and Talon have entered into a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement. They are developing a process that uses iron sulfides from Talon to synthesize LFP cathodes.

Researchers at Argonne’s Materials Engineering Research Facility (MERF) will develop, optimize and implement an LFP synthesis process and then test the cathodes’ performance in coin battery cells. Talon’s processing experts will collaborate with MERF scientists to calibrate the iron compounds’ purity and composition to enhance cathode production. The team’s objective is to make commercial-quality cathodes.

An effective new process can potentially reduce LFP manufacturing costs by eliminating traditional production steps. It could also improve domestic battery supply chains in a number of ways. There is currently limited domestic LFP cathode production. Argonne could potentially change that by enabling U.S. battery manufacturers and recyclers with a new LFP synthesis technology. Additionally, the process could make U.S. nickel mining and processing more profitable, encouraging more companies to embark on domestic nickel production.

StoreDot Demos XFC with Polestar

StoreDot, the pioneer and world leader in extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles, and Polestar, the Swedish electric performance car brand, today revealed a groundbreaking milestone by demonstrating pioneering battery technology that charges an electric vehicle in just 10 minutes.

The companies successfully charged a 77kWh battery pack powered by StoreDot’s extreme fast charging high energy (300Wh/kg) silicon-dominant battery cells, installed in a fully driveable verification Polestar 5 prototype, from 10% to 80% in under 10 minutes.

The vehicle saw a consistent charge rate of over 310kW for the entire test procedure and a peak of more than 370kW. All cell parameters including temperature, voltage and charged capacity were monitored throughout, with the battery pack never exceeding the target operating temperature set by engineers of both teams.

The demo showcases StoreDot’s ‘drop-in’ ability to be integrated in an existing car model. It also paves the way to extreme fast charging a car using available charging infrastructure, rather than using proprietary chargers.

This world first demonstration featuring a 10-minute charge with silicon-dominant battery cells in an electric vehicle showcased unprecedented charging speeds that will eliminate consumer charging anxiety, a major obstacle to widespread EV adoption.

A key advantage of the silicon-based anode technology is the ability to continue pushing both energy density and charging rate boundaries for several more battery generations. In contrast, conventional graphite anodes are already approaching their theoretical performance limits, restricting further advancements. StoreDot’s silicon design provides a crucial pathway to sustained innovation in areas like extreme fast charging.

The breakthrough was enabled by StoreDot’s advanced XFC battery cells and represents another major milestone on the company’s path toward commercialization, proving the maturity, stability, and durability of its game-changing technology, while paving the way for an industry-wide XFC battery adoption.

DOE Tools Calculates PHEV & BEV Savings

A new tool launched by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory enables drivers to estimate, at the ZIP code level, how much they save on fuel costs by driving a plug-in electric vehicle (either a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or a battery electric vehicle (BEV)).

The tool, Driving Electric: Local Fuel Savings Calculator, is freely available to the public. Drivers can enter their ZIP code or state, as well as any information they have about their vehicle size, model year, tank size, fuel economy and annual mileage. The tool then generates estimates of how much drivers can save.

“Driving a plug-in electric vehicle rather than a conventionally fueled vehicle results in fuel cost savings and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in more than 99% of U.S. ZIP codes,” said Yan (Joann) Zhou, principal transportation systems analyst in the Energy Systems and Infrastructure Analysis (ESIA) division at Argonne. “With this new tool, drivers can enter information about their vehicle, their location, annual mileage and local fuel prices and see how much they’re saving per mile, per tank and per year.”

The EV savings calculator is based on Argonne’s recently published technical report, Adoption of Plug-In Electric Vehicles: Local Fuel Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Across the U.S. With this report, scientists shed light on new information that previously was not well understood: How local factors like fuel and electricity costs can affect an individual’s savings — and how they can reduce GHG emissions — depending on where they live.

The researchers found that, compared to driving a gas vehicle of equivalent size, driving a BEV leads to significant savings of up to $2,200 annually. The largest fuel savings were found in areas with high gasoline prices, low electricity prices, preferences for larger vehicles and high annual mileage driven. Additionally, the researchers found that, compared to driving an equivalent gas vehicle, driving a PHEV leads to savings of up to $1,500 annually.

The report also examines the impact of GHG emissions, using a “well-to-wheels” approach, which considers the entire life cycle of a vehicle’s energy consumption. The investigators found that BEV drivers have the potential to save close to five tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per every 10,000 miles driven. “When more individuals choose to drive BEVs, they’re not only contributing to cleaner air — they can also enjoy significant cost savings for themselves,” said Xinyi Wu, a Transportation Systems Analyst in the ESIA division and lead author of the report. “With this tool, individuals can now see just how much they can save based on where they live and how much they drive.”

Sakku Dries Battery Making

Sakuu®, a leading provider of commercial-scale equipment and technologies to the battery manufacturing industry, has manufactured its high-energy, high-power Li-Metal Cypress battery cell using a fully dry manufacturing process.

Sakuu has overcome the industry known challenges of Li-Metal anode chemistries in both wet and dry electrode manufacturing, as proven in its commercial-grade battery cells delivering today:

  • 1,000 cycles at 100% DoD to 80% SOH @ 0.3C/1C
  • 800+ Wh/l Energy Density of active cell area
  • 3C Sustained Discharge, 10C Peak, with full recovery
  • 8C Pulse Discharge

Sakuu is reshaping the landscape of battery manufacturing through comprehensive process and product disruption. A recent analyst report from S&P Global indicated that Sakuu’s targeted energy density is expected to set a new standard in the industry for battery-cell energy density. Cypress has also recently achieved UN38.3 certification.

“The biggest challenge in battery manufacturing today is producing next generation batteries cost-effectively at scale to meet demand,” said Robert Bagheri, CEO and Founder of Sakuu. “Manufacturing Cypress in a fully dry process with the Kavian platform is a key step in enabling high-quality solid-state batteries to be produced in high volume in the future. Leveraging dry printing will enable battery technology innovation to accelerate the adoption of EV’s while eliminating range anxiety.”

Printing batteries on the Kavian platform with dry-process electrode technologies:

  • Eliminates all toxic solvents and materials, including NMP and PTFEs
  • Cuts factory floor space requirements up to 33%
  • Reduces utility costs up to 40%
  • Improves factory carbon footprints up to 40%

CSUDH & Toyota Partner for Transportation Equity

California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) today launched a multipronged program focused on transportation equity for the university and its surrounding communities based on the idea of “Mobility for All.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured notable attendees, including representatives for Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán; Congressman Robert Garcia; State Senator Steven Bradford; and Mayor of Long Beach Rex Richardson. The event was also attended by prominent local business leaders such as Jeremy Harris, President & CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, and leaders from the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), CALSTART, Sunstone Management, TCI Transportation, and AB InBev.


The new 18,000 square-foot facility will support production ramp-up, further product development, and warehouse kit inventory – while empowering a growing team dedicated to transforming the commercial fleet industry.


Nuvve Holding Corp. (“Nuvve”) (Nasdaq: NVVE), a global technology leader accelerating the electrification of transportation through its proprietary energy management and aggregation platform, and  Guangzhou Great Power Energy and Technology Corporation (“Great Power)” (NCY: 300438.SZ), a global leader in lithium-ion battery manufacturing and research and development, are pleased to announce a strategic partnership to accelerate stationary storage battery deployments and their integration with the grid.

Great Power, established in 2001 with a vision to become a global leader in battery storage technology, recognizes the potential of combining its stationary batteries with electric vehicle charging infrastructure to offer significant product differentiation and market advantage.  By leveraging Nuvve’s expertise in energy management, flexibility, monetization, and aggregation platforms, Great Power aims to expand its global footprint while enabling savings and new revenue streams for its customers.

LiNova Energy Funding

LiNova Energy Inc. (Linova) has raised $15.8 million in a Series A financing round that was led by Catalus Capital, who were joined by Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, Chevron Technology Ventures and a syndicate of investors. LiNova will use the funds to accelerate its mission to revolutionize the energy storage landscape with its polymer cathode battery.

This significant financial milestone will enable LiNova Energy to expand its research and development efforts, scale up operations, and accelerate the commercialization of its cutting-edge batteries. LiNova has developed a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode containing cobalt, nickel, and other critical materials.

LiNova also announced that it has entered into a joint development agreement with Saft, pursuant to which LiNova and Saft will work together to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft’s key markets. “We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft’s research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production. said Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft.

Catalus Capital, Chevron Technology Ventures, and Saft bring a wealth of experience and strategic resources to the table, which will be instrumental in guiding LiNova Energy’s growth trajectory.

As LiNova Energy moves forward, the company is committed to leveraging this investment to make significant strides in the battery technology sector, driving innovation, and delivering value to its customers and stakeholders.

Hyundai NorCAL ZERO Project Launches

Hyundai Motor Company (Hyundai Motor), today celebrated the official launch of NorCAL ZERO Project – a major initiative that is utilizing the company’s hydrogen fuel cell technology to bring zero-emission freight transportation to the San Francisco Bay Area and California’s Central Valley.

The dedication event held at Oakland’s FirstElement Fuel Hydrogen Refueling Station brought Hyundai Motor together with its project partners, including the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), GLOVIS America, Inc. (GLOVIS America), East Bay Municipal Utilities District, FirstElement Fuel (FEF), Papé, the University of California, the Port of Oakland, the City of Oakland and the community of West Oakland represented by the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP). Representatives from the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Energy Commission (CEC), all of whom provided grant funds to make this project possible, were also in attendance.

As part of the NorCAL ZERO Project, also known as Zero-Emission Regional Truck Operations with Fuel Cell Electric Trucks, Hyundai Motor deployed 30 Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell with a 6×4 drive axle configuration in California, which has been in commercial operation since last year. This delivery marks the single largest commercial deployment of Class 8 hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric truck in the U.S.

“The NorCAL ZERO Project in Oakland marks a significant step forward in realizing Hyundai’s vision for a global hydrogen society,” said Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Commercial Vehicle & Hydrogen Business at Hyundai Motor Company. “The project demonstrates how the transport energy transition is achievable today and will serve as one of the building blocks for Hyundai’s port decarbonization initiatives worldwide.”

HopSkip Drive Reports SmartPooling Saves CO2 Emissions

HopSkipDrive reported  that in the eight months since launching its product SmartPooling, school districts saved 160,000 pounds of CO2 as a result of reducing single occupancy rides and matching students together for transportation. School districts using this feature were able to more efficiently leverage supplemental school transportation options to smartly operate their systems. These districts then had more avenues to utilize their buses effectively and on dense routes, ultimately reducing inefficient supplemental rides by 280,000 miles.

Also announced by HopSkipDrive, a technology company solving complex transportation challenges where there is a heightened need for safety, equity, and care, is a new feature providing school districts with visibility into the sustainability impact of HopSkipDrive rides. With Green Vehicle Awareness, districts will gain insight into the number, and percentage, of HopSkipDrive rides and miles completed in hybrid or electric vehicles from within RideIQ, HopSkipDrive’s ride management system.

“Given more than a third of vehicle miles currently traveled on the HopSkipDrive platform are in clean vehicles (electric, hybrid, or fuel cell), and HopSkipDrive platform vehicles are 4.7 times more fuel efficient than a diesel bus, product features like SmartPooling and Green Vehicle Awareness demonstrate that the school transportation sector can quickly be a real driver of climate goals and wins,” said Joanna McFarland, CEO and co-founder of HopSkipDrive.

These two developments build on HopSkipDrive’s work to advance clean youth transportation. In February, the company announced the impacts of its RouteWise AI product, which leverages AI-powered machine learning software that analyzes a school district’s complete transportation landscape to deliver customized routing options, scenario plans, and recommendations to meet each district’s unique goals.

By improving route efficiency and increasing utilization of bus routes, as well as supplementing buses with small vehicles, a Colorado district reduced transportation carbon emissions by 31 percent.

More About SmartPooling

Available on HopSkipDrive’s RideIQ ride management system, SmartPooling is a comprehensive pooling offering which includes automatically matching new Riders with existing HopSkipDrive rides to reduce the cost and carbon footprint of every ride.

Once a new ride is built, RideIQ can effortlessly search the client’s existing rides to determine which ones can be combined simply by clicking a button, showing potential ride options for the client to choose from. Each suggestion provides important information about the pooling option, including the number of Riders, the adjusted pickup or drop-off time, and cost savings.

SmartPooling is powered by HopSkipDrive’s Student Centered Pricing option, in which clients pay a base fare per student plus a per-mile fee. Pricing remains consistent for single Rider trips, and districts begin saving with two riders in the vehicle. When three riders or more are pooled in a ride, HopSkipDrive applies a “full car discount,” reducing the overall cost as well as the emissions.

This helps school districts select the best ride for their students, and supports the shared goals of reducing transportation cost and climate impact.

More About Green Vehicle Awareness

Green Vehicle Awareness is a new product feature within RideIQ, allowing districts – many of whom are faced with new state sustainability reporting requirements – to easily and quickly see how many HopSkipDrive rides utilize environmentally friendly vehicles and the total mileage completed in those rides. As part of RideIQ’s Reports capability, HopSkipDrive clients can view the number of, and the percentage of, rides and miles driven by a green vehicle, in a selected period. Green Vehicle Awareness will be available in the coming weeks.

South 8 with LiGas Parteners with NanoGraf

South 8 Technologies (South 8), the developer of LiGas®, a liquefied gas electrolyte for advanced lithium-ion batteries, announced today that it is collaborating with NanoGraf to deliver higher energy, safer, and lighter batteries for soldiers in the battlefield. South 8’s $6.4 million subcontract with NanoGraf will support the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center (DEVCOM). South 8 will develop and deliver a high-rate injection system for its LiGas electrolyte to bolster domestic production of cylindrical lithium-ion batteries under the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)’s Family of Advanced Standard Batteries (FAStBat) initiative.

U.S. soldiers are often weighed down by more than 20 pounds of lithium-ion batteries when in the field, carrying multiple battery packs as backups in case of poor performance due to extreme weather or physical damage. The combination of South 8 and NanoGraf’s technologies has the potential to alleviate these common lithium-ion battery concerns, while also offering soldiers a lighter load. Together, South 8 and NanoGraf plan to develop a universal, accessible, domestically produced energy storage cell.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with NanoGraf and the Department of Defense through the FAStBat program. Our goal is to improve soldier safety, military capabilities, and the domestic lithium-ion battery supply chain,” said Tom Stepien, CEO of South 8. “While today’s lithium-ion batteries struggle with poor capacity in difficult climates, our LiGas electrolyte directly addresses significant pain points by enhancing range and performance in extreme environments, while minimizing fire risk during critical missions.”

South 8’s LiGas is a liquefied gas electrolyte that dramatically improves the energy performance, safety, charging speed, and cost of lithium-ion batteries. Applications include defense, aerospace, home and grid stationary storage, and electric vehicles. Using South 8’s LiGas technology, NanoGraf plans to prototype a high-energy, rugged, and scalable 18650 cell design that promises to lighten the load for soldiers in the field and reduce supply chain risks through planned North American production.

“We are committed to advancing battery innovation and helping to build a more resilient battery supply chain. We are enthusiastic about how our work with the DoD and South 8 will help achieve this goal,” said Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf. “Adding the safety and extreme temperature capabilities of South 8’s LiGas electrolyte to our silicon anode 18650 cells has the potential to yield a powerful product with unique benefits compared to other commercial cells.”

Today’s announcement builds on the successful completion of a joint project to test and ensure NanoGraf’s 3.8 Ah 18650 cell and South 8’s LiGas electrolyte can eliminate catastrophic failure when exposed to extreme temperatures or physical abuse.

“With thousands of DoD systems in the field, today’s successful and safe military operations require long-lasting, versatile battery technology,” said José Collazo-Castillo, Project Lead, Supply Resiliency for Soldier Power (SRSP) at the DEVCOM C5ISR Center. “We look forward to seeing how the combination of South 8 and NanoGraf’s technologies can help the U.S. build and produce higher performing, cross-compatible battery cell technology and help fortify the supply chain for the future of national security.”

The DIU’s FAStBat program issued the first of 10 awards in 2023, leveraging commercial technologies to standardize the development and procurement of materials and battery cells for common defense applications across domains such as soldier-portable systems, ground vehicles, and aviation. DIU’s FAStBat effort also helps meet the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030 objective to “develop form-fit-function battery standards for defense, EV and grid applications” and a 2030 objective to “meet critical defense battery demand with multiple-source domestic suppliers.”

About South 8 Technologies
South 8 solves lithium-ion’s “fire and ice”™ problems with LiGas®, a patented liquefied gas electrolyte. LiGas reduces lithium-ion fire risk and operates from -60°C to +60°C, enabling clean battery power to more applications, environments and people. The San Diego-based company has been granted 26 patents across seven countries and jurisdictions. Learn more: www.south8.com

Sepion Tech Propriety Materials

Sepion Technologies, a leading developer of nanoengineered separator coatings and liquid electrolytes for faster charging, lower-cost, and energy-dense lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries, has deployed its proprietary materials discovery platform powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in developing a non-flammable liquid electrolyte that can reduce the risk and severity of fires in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Sepion’s researchers subjected the newly discovered liquid electrolyte to flammability testing against standard commercial lithium-ion battery electrolytes, demonstrating its efficacy and safety features with a flash point exceeding 70°C and self-extinguishing time (SET) that is 25 times better than commercial lithium-ion battery electrolytes. See the electrolyte flammability testing video here: https://youtu.be/9DdAM5RRU_w

“Safety is at the forefront when customers seek new, better-performing battery technologies for e-mobility applications. Making a non-flammable electrolyte capable of sustaining 3C fast charging with a lithium-metal anode is a significant milestone for Sepion and the industry. With this breakthrough, we move closer to unlocking a 40 percent increase in range with rapid charging capabilities for the next generation of EVs,” explained Sepion Technologies’ VP of Business Development, Salil Soman.

Searching for an optimal electrolyte solution that meets several contrasting performance metrics requires sifting through and assessing millions of different material properties and their combinations. Sepion’s advanced AI platform revolutionizes the material discovery process by identifying up to 10 million formulations in just one week – rapidly examining extensive libraries of materials from component categories such as salts, solvents, and additives. This is not possible using traditional research techniques. With the in-silico power of AI, Sepion’s researchers and scientists can quickly narrow their focus, saving time and utilizing the lab resources strictly for ex-situ and in-situ screening of the most favorable candidate formulations.

The process starts with classical and quantum-mechanical modeling (DFT) of component properties at the molecular level, followed by molecular dynamics simulations (MD) and AI tools that predict properties, including flash point and viscosity. After selecting the most promising material candidates, Sepion researchers formulate electrolytes and polymers for further ex-situ screening and in-cell evaluations. This AI-assisted process can accomplish years’ worth of work in just weeks or months.

“Sepion’s AI-based materials discovery approach accelerates R&D, leading to the discovery of groundbreaking solutions like this non-flammable electrolyte, addressing and reducing critical fire risks in lithium batteries,” noted Sepion’s CTO Brian Sisk, PhD. “Our streamlined research process is closed-loop, including swift identification of high-value compounds, allowing our scientists to synthesize, formulate, and test battery electrolytes. We feed this data back into the machine-learning algorithms for iterative improvements. This continuous learning process, which includes feedback from data validation in pouch cells, has demonstrated performance improvements much faster than possible with traditional experimentation. We are excited about the opportunities that exist at the intersection of physics and machine learning.”

The computational toolset delivers advanced capabilities well beyond electrolyte development, also encompassing optimization of nanoengineered polymer coatings for separators, thereby facilitating revolutionary advancements in battery performance by discovering and developing novel materials.

Prioritizing safety in battery technology, Sepion has recently achieved UN/DOT38.3 certification for their energy-dense lithium-metal pouch cells, showcasing the critical role of innovations such as this self-extinguishing electrolyte in advancing the safety standards of lithium batteries.

Sepion is committed to bringing this groundbreaking technology to market with its current commercial partners and exploring new collaborations with global auto manufacturers and stakeholders in the energy storage sector. As a leader in battery materials innovation, the company continues to advance technological frontiers dedicated to fostering a safer and more sustainable future.

BorgWarner eTVD for Polestar BEVs

BorgWarner is first-to-market with its electric Torque Vectoring and Disconnect (eTVD) system for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with launches for Polestar and an additional major European OEM. The eTVD is part of BorgWarner’s electric torque management system (eTMS) solutions portfolio, which is designed to intelligently control wheel torque to increase stability, provide superior dynamic performance, and improve traction during launch and acceleration. The eTVD is currently in production on the Polestar 3 SUV, and production for the major European OEM will follow later this year.

“Our new electric vehicle torque management systems showcase our multidisciplinary expertise, system integration capabilities, and the exceptional work of our BorgWarner team,” said Volker Weng, Vice President of BorgWarner Inc. and President and General Manager, BorgWarner Drivetrain and Battery Systems. “With the market transitioning to more software-defined modules and vehicles, it is critical to have sophisticated systems in place, like our eTVD, that can precisely and quickly calculate, predict and control vehicle behavior across a wide range of situations. We have received exceptionally positive feedback from customers regarding their test drive experiences and look forward to addressing further market needs with our software, controls, and calibration expertise.”

The high performing eTVD offers a 3-in-1 system, replacing the differential and featuring both torque vectoring and an on-demand disconnect function. In contrast to brake-based systems, torque vectoring prevents unnecessary brake interventions, therefore reducing harshness and vibration. This also leads to less wear and tear on brakes and tires, with the added benefit of lower particle emissions.

BorgWarner’s eTVD systems offer high-level software and controls that can be customized by OEMs to align with their own platform needs and specific brand characteristics.

The higher weight of BEVs can reduce agility, but BorgWarner’s eTVD systems enable a much lighter feel of the vehicle while increasing overall safety. Smart design and intuitive software minimize the risk of undesired driving characteristics and enables superior traction regardless of road and weather conditions. Torque response is instantaneous in challenging and demanding scenarios, ensuring smooth, safe rides.

FuelCell Energy & Toyota Open Tri-Gen at Port of Long Beach Using Biogas

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (Toyota) are celebrating the grand opening of the first-of-its-kind “Tri-gen” system at the Port of Long Beach, California, today. Tri-gen uses biogas to produce renewable electricity, renewable hydrogen, and usable water, and was built to support the vehicle processing and distribution center for Toyota Logistics Services (TLS) at Long Beach, Toyota’s largest North American vehicle processing facility that receives approximately 200,000 new Toyota and Lexus vehicles annually.

“The goal of our collaboration with FuelCell Energy was to find sustainable solutions for the TLS vehicle processing facility here at the Port of Long Beach as part of our goal to remove carbon dioxide emissions from our operations,” said Group Vice President of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at Toyota, Tom Stricker. “This groundbreaking facility shows that there are ways to reduce our emissions and burden on natural resources with scalable technology based on hydrogen.”

Thanks to FuelCell Energy’s Tri-gen platform, TLS Long Beach is Toyota’s first port vehicle processing facility powered by 100 percent on-site generated renewable electricity. FuelCell Energy’s innovative fuel cell technology uses an electrochemical process that converts directed renewable biogas into electricity, hydrogen, and usable water with a highly efficient, combustion-free process that emits virtually no air pollutants.

“Tri-gen demonstrates that hydrogen-based energy can benefit businesses, deliver zero-emission transportation for light- and heavy-duty vehicles, support improved air quality in local communities, reduce water usage, and deliver immediate and long-term benefits to the environment,” FuelCell Energy CEO and President Jason Few said. “As a company, we are living our purpose when we enable visionary customers like Toyota to decarbonize their operations and harness the energy solutions offered by hydrogen—all while leaving communities with cleaner air and easing the strain on power grids and water supplies.”

Tri-gen produces 2.3-megawatts of renewable electricity, part of which will be utilized by TLS Long Beach to support its operations at the port. Excess electricity is delivered to the local utility, Southern California Edison, under the California Bioenergy Market Adjustment Tariff (BioMAT) program, adding a renewable, resilient, and affordable baseload electric generation resource to the electric grid.

Tri-gen can also produce up to 1,200 kg/day of hydrogen for the fueling needs of Toyota’s incoming light-duty fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) Mirai while also supplying hydrogen to the adjacent heavy-duty hydrogen refueling station to support TLS logistics and drayage operations at the port. As of January 1, 2024California’s Advanced Clean Fleet Regulation will only allow zero-emission trucks to newly register as drayage trucks. By 2035, all drayage trucks will be required to be zero-emission. The Tri-gen platform supports FCEV Class 8 trucks today and is there to support on-going migration to zero emission trucks between now and 2035. Hydrogen production can be ramped up and down based on demand. Since completing construction last year, in January of this year Toyota used the renewable hydrogen produced at Tri-gen to fill the first Toyota Mirai vehicles at TLS, and in April the first heavy-duty FCEV Kenworth T680 Class 8 truck was filled at the adjacent Shell HD filling station using Tri-gen-produced renewable hydrogen.

The water byproduct of hydrogen generation can produce up to 1,400 gallons of usable water per day, which is being repurposed for TLS car wash operations for vehicles that come into port before customer delivery. This helps reduce the demand on the constrained local water supplies by approximately half a million gallons per year.

Supporting Port of Long Beach Initiatives

By supporting TLS operations at the Port of Long Beach, Tri-gen is expected to help reduce more than 9,000 tons of CO₂ emissions from the power grid each year. This supports both Toyota Logistics Services’ carbon reduction goals as well as the Port of Long Beach’s goals as a leader in innovative solutions to reducing carbon emissions.

“The dawn of the renewable hydrogen era is upon us, thanks to our collaboration with Toyota and FuelCell Energy and their innovative Tri-gen system,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “The green power generated by the Tri-gen system, and similar projects, is part of our multi-layered strategy to fuel our goal to become the world’s first zero-emissions Port.”

Tri-gen will also help avoid more than six tons of grid NOx emissions, which are harmful to both people and the environment today. Using hydrogen-powered fuel cell Class 8 trucks in port operations has the potential to reduce diesel consumption by more than 420,000 gallons per year.

“FuelCell Energy and Toyota’s collaborative effort signifies technological innovation and also positions Long Beach at the forefront of global leadership in renewable energy solutions,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “This transformative initiative solidifies our city’s status as a trailblazer in green initiatives and shows our dedication to a cleaner, more sustainable future for our community and beyond.”

Blink Official Chargers of NY

 Blink Charging Co. (NASDAQ: BLNK) (“Blink” or the “Company”), a leading global manufacturer, owner, operator and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and services, has announced it has secured a contract as an official EV charging provider for the state of New York. The agreement sets the stage for Blink Charging and New York to electrify state and municipal fleets and public charging solutions for employees, residents, and visitors.

As part of the contract, Blink will offer the state its advanced electric vehicle charging stations which include Level 2 and DC fast chargers. Additionally, Blink will provide related services such as site assessment and preparation, installation, maintenance, repair, parts and supplies, warranties, and product training.

Furthermore, the contract designates Blink as a provider of EV charging network services related to the management of EVs, including monitoring, reporting, billing, and support. This also encompasses the integration of third-party fleet and building management systems for energy management, as well as other EV-related software and technology.

“The state of New York and Blink are focused on leading the electrification of transportation together,” states Jim Nemec, Chief Revenue Officer at Blink Charging. “As we set our sights on providing holistic, targeted charging options for EV drivers throughout New York state and the world, we’ll continue to lay the groundwork for an electric revolution. It’s rewarding to have a direct role in reducing emissions while enhancing the EV driver experience in New York. We are grateful for the state’s trust and our shared vision.”

The agreement comes after Blink’s strongest financial quarters in Company history, along with the recent grand opening of the Company’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and global headquarters in Bowie, Maryland.

Kenworth BEVs for Kittle’s Furniture

Kittle’s Furniture is quietly leading the way in Indiana with the state’s first Kenworth battery-electric truck – delivering furniture just outside of Indianapolis.

With six retail locations in Indiana, Kittle’s Furniture uses a Kenworth K270E electric truck to deliver furniture to customers in the Indianapolis metro area from its distribution center in Fishers. The truck is leased through Palmer Leasing, the local PacLease franchise — joining other leased medium-duty trucks also in service with Kittle’s.

With a range of up to 200 miles between charges, the truck is equipped with a 282 kW battery pack, which delivers 355 horsepower through a direct-drive motor. A 20 kW wall charger from PACCAR Parts provides overnight charging.

Founded in Indiana and family-owned since 1932, Kittle’s has been a leader in retail while always looking to the future. “That’s why we wanted to be the first in the furniture industry in Indiana to start using an electric delivery truck,” said Eric Easter, Kittle’s CEO. “With recent advancements in EV technology, especially in commercial vehicles, we believe it’s time to test and move forward with trucks that eliminate emissions while reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. And we’re finding the truck is delivering as promised. The K270E is less expensive to operate and has fewer service and maintenance requirements. This helps offset the higher lease rate. Our EV Kenworth from PacLease allows us to move into the future.”

According to Tyler Baker, Kittle’s director of operations, the K270E has been in service since November 2023. “We’ve been tracking the performance and project we will be saving $10,000 a year in fuel alone,” he said. “And our cost for recharging has been negligible – we’re not seeing much of a difference in our electric bill. We use the truck starting at 7:00 in the morning, and it’s returned to the charging pedestal by 6:00 in the evening. It’s then plugged in and ready to go in the morning.”

Baker said 50% of Kittle’s customers are within a 10-mile radius of its distribution center in Fishers. “The K270E serves those customers and goes back and forth to our distribution center, normally putting on between 75-100 miles per day. We have gone as many as 150 miles between charges and the truck has performed nicely. We expect the truck to put on about 20,000 miles a year. Our diesels average 25,000 miles.”
According to Baker, the main difference drivers have found between electric and diesel is the get-up-and-go power of the electric Kenworth. “It’s quicker out of the gate than our standard truck thanks to the direct drive engine,” said Baker. “And it’s so quiet. That’s taken getting used to, but our drivers like it.”

Customers like the truck as well. “We get lots of compliments. They see the wrap on the truck, which promotes the fact that this is an electric-powered vehicle. They think it’s pretty cool we’re running on battery power.”

With anything new, there was a period of getting used to the electric Kenworth. “There was a learning curve for us and Palmer since this truck was the first for both of us,” said Baker. “But we’ve been working together for a long time, so it was a good experience as we ramped up. We’re very comfortable with the electric truck now and that will help us as the industry moves forward with battery electric vehicles and charging technology.”

“We’ve worked side-by-side with Kittle’s Furniture since 2010,” added Palmer’s Chairman, John Nichols “We’re both family-owned organizations and view our relationship with Kittle’s as a partnership — we do whatever it takes to help them succeed in transportation. We were thrilled they wanted to move forward with the new electric Kenworth K270E. The lease through PacLease made it very simple and cost-effective for them to move forward.”

“We take special pride in working with Palmer and Kenworth,” said Kittle’s Easter. “Our company firmly believes in ‘shop local’ and ‘buy American.’ More than 70% of all the items and 100% of the mattresses we sell are made or assembled in America – some right here in Indiana. It’s great working with Palmer here locally, and with Kenworth, an iconic American company that recently celebrated its 100th year.”

Kittle’s makes between 300 and 400 customer deliveries each week, according to Baker. Drivers shrink-wrap their loads each morning for protection, then make between 10- and 15 deliveries per day. Many deliveries are “white glove,” where Kittle’s drivers set up furniture in the customer’s home. More than 50% of deliveries are from orders placed at the company’s 132,000-square-foot superstore in Castleton, “but we go all over the state,” said Baker.

About once a week, trucks deliver new ‘display’ furniture to its retail locations, but the core transportation is to residential addresses. “We pride ourselves on quick turnaround – our deliveries typically take place within two days of the order from one of our stores,” said Baker. “And we do customer surveys to track customer satisfaction with the delivery and setup. Our latest rating was 4.87 out of 5. A key to that is uptime of the vehicles – making sure furniture arrives on time and we don’t keep a customer waiting. Since the trucks operate Tuesday through Saturday, PacLease comes to our distribution center on Mondays with mobile maintenance to ensure our trucks are in great working order. We pride ourselves on never missing a delivery.”

Acura ZDX On Sale

Highly anticipated and all-electric, the 2024 Acura ZDX A-Spec and ZDX Type S, the perfomance brand’s first EV, begins arriving at Acura dealerships today with a 313 mile EPA range rating2, DC Fast Charging capability and comprehensive charging solutions to instill confidence in new EV buyers. The high-performance ZDX Type S is the most powerful Acura ever, with a performance-tuned dual-motor AWD powertrain delivering nearly 500 maximum horsepower and 544 lb.-ft. of maximum torque3. Both the ZDX A-Spec and high-performance ZDX Type S qualify for the Federal $7,500 EV Tax Credit1 (30D), which is applied at the time of purchase.

All Acura ZDX sales take place through a new, omni-channel digital sales process, ensuring a simple, consistent and intuitive custom EV purchase experience, whether from home or at an Acura dealership. Interested clients can configure, submit an order and obtain an estimated delivery date of their ZDX via acura.com.

At a packed ceremony with special guests U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Glenn Ivey and others, ION Storage Systems (ION), a Maryland-based manufacturer of safe, high energy density, fast-charging solid-state batteries (SSBs) commissioned one of the largest SSB manufacturing facilities in the United States. The state-of-the-art battery production pilot line, adjacent to the company’s headquarters in Beltsville, MD is expected to begin manufacturing 1MWh of battery cells this year, growing to 10MWh by early 2025 with a longer-term goal of 500MWh of capacity by 2028. The facility is expected to bring skilled manufacturing jobs to Maryland over the next several years.