EV Battery & Charging News: Zum, EVgo, Ashai Kasei, Ionic MT, Verdek, Penske, Adden, Blink, Valeo, Toyota, Parkopedia & Irdeto.

In EV, battery and charging news are Zum, EVgo, Ashai Kasei, Ionic MT, Verdek, Penske, Adden, Blink, Valeo, Toyota, Parkopedia and Irdeto.

Zum Electrifies Oakland USD

Zūm, the modern student transportation platform, announced that Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) will be the first major school district in the U.S. to transition to a 100% electrified school bus system with groundbreaking vehicle-to-grid technology. Zum is providing a fleet of 74 electric school buses and bidirectional chargers in Oakland, managed through its AI-enabled technology platform. The all-EV fleet will not only transport students sustainably, but also play a critical dual role as a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), giving 2.1 gigawatt hours of energy back to the power grid at scale annually.

Student transportation is the largest mass transit system in the nation, moving 27 million students twice daily. Today, over 90% of the nation’s 500,000 school buses run on carbon-based fuels, releasing over 8.4 million tons of greenhouse gases annually exposing students and communities to harmful gases every day.

NACS for EVgo

EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO) (“EVgo” or the “Company”), one of the nation’s largest public fast charging networks for electric vehicles (EVs),  announced that the Company will begin to deploy North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors – currently in the process of being standardized as SAE J3400 – on its fast charging network later this year.

As part of its commitment to serve all EVs, stations included in the roll-out will serve both CCS and NACS vehicles. Deployments will begin in key markets with high NACS vehicle penetration, enabling the Company to maximize charger utilization. Overall utilization on the EVgo network in the first quarter of 2024 was approximately 19%, up from approximately 9% in the first quarter of 2023.

“The seismic shift in the competitive landscape for EV charging has opened new opportunities to drive usage on the EVgo network and accelerate our network expansion by fostering new site host partnerships,” said Badar Khan, CEO of EVgo. “EVgo had previously identified more than 100,000 potential stalls with strategic site host partners, and with recent industry changes, we welcome further dialogue with our current and potential partners on how we can collaborate to deploy more fast charging infrastructure in convenient locations for drivers.”

EVgo’s NACS roll-out will be unique given the network’s proliferation of high-power 350kW chargers that require liquid cooled cable technology. Today, nearly 40% of EVgo’s stalls are powered by a 350kW charger – almost double the percentage a year ago – to best serve vehicle mod

Ashai Kasei LIB Plant in Ontario Canada

Asahi Kasei announced that it will construct its previously announced integrated lithium-ion battery (LIB) separator plant in Port Colborne, which is in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada. The new manufacturing facility will operate as Asahi Kasei Battery Separator Canada and is expected to create highly skilled, good paying jobs in manufacturing and construction. The start of commercial production is currently slated for 2027.

Koshiro Kudo, President & Representative Director of Asahi Kasei Corporation, who attended for the location announcement event, stated, “As demand for electric vehicles – and the lithium-ion batteries that power them – continues to rise, we are eager to bring the first Hipore™ wet-process lithium-ion separator manufacturing facility to Canada. Backed by the abundant renewable resources, skilled talent and strong local community support here in Port Colborne, we will be able to better serve our partners in the region as well as the broader North American automotive market from this facility.”

The Hipore™ wet-process separators to be produced at the Port Colborne facility are among the most highly engineered and critical components of LIBs used in EVs and other energy storage applications.

On April 25, 2024, Asahi Kasei announced an initial investment of approximately 180 billion JPY (CAD$ 1.56 billion) to install approximately 700 million square meters of annual Hipore™ separator capacity at this new Canadian facility.

Asahi Kasei will receive support for the project from the provincial government of Ontario, through its investment attraction agency, Invest Ontario, and will benefit from the federal government’s new Clean Technology Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit (ITC)..

Ionic MT Produces Nano-Silicon Anodes in Provo, Utah

Ionic Mineral Technologies (Ionic MT), a pioneer in nano-silicon battery anode technology, proudly announces a major expansion of its production facility in Provo, Utah. This expansion underscores Ionic MT’s unwavering commitment to the clean energy sector and the local economy. The newly developed space will include 37,000 square feet of advanced manufacturing facilities, 7,000 square feet of Class 1 office space, and 5,000 square feet of state-of-the-art R&D laboratories, bringing Ionic MT’s total facility footprint to over 74,000 square feet.

This expansion heralds a significant milestone in the commercialization of Ionisil™, a nano-silicon anode material engineered for the next-generation of lithium-ion batteries. Compatible with existing lithium-ion battery cell production lines, Ionisil™ promises to revolutionize battery performance by enhancing anode capacity up to sevenfold and significantly reduce battery charging time.

Scheduled for completion by September 2024, this facility expansion provides line-of-sight for 7,000 tons of annual capacity. At the leading energy density offered by Ionisil™, this represents one of the nation’s largest anode material facilities. By replacing a portion of graphite anode material, Ionic MT can supply over 1,000,000 EVs with next-generation materials for fast-charging and extended-range.

“Our ongoing expansions embody Ionic MT’s dedication to innovation and sustainability,” said Andre Zeitoun, CEO of Ionic MT. “Expanding our facilities is more than physical growth; it underscores our dedication to innovation and establishing a robust, domestic supply chain for critical battery materials. This new facility will play a pivotal role in supporting the national and global transition towards EV mass adoption.”

Ionic MT employs a patented, environmentally friendly continuous production process that facilitates efficient production scaling while minimizing costs and environmental impact. The facility will process Halloysite feedstock from Ionic MT’s vertically integrated, IRA-compliant mineral reserve, promoting a sustainable and resilient U.S. battery supply chain.

This initiative builds on the momentum of Ionic MT’s original facility in Provo, which has emerged as a hub for next generation battery material innovation & production. Strategically located less than 40 miles away from permitted mineral reserves, Ionic MT removes thousands of miles from today’s typical anode material supply chain centered around China. Ionic MT remains committed to collaborating with global industrial partners and local stakeholders to foster material innovation and support the rapid growth of the clean energy sector.

Westwater Cheers EV Tarrif

Westwater Resources, Inc. (NYSE American: WWR), an energy technology and battery-grade natural graphite company (“Westwater Resources”),  acknowledged its support of the recent actions taken by the United States Trade Representative and the White House, related to electric vehicle (“EV”) and critical mineral tariffs.

On May 14, 2024, the White House announced the results of its four-year review of Section 301 tariffs on Chinese products. Notably, the announcement includes an increase from 25% to 100% on imported Chinese EVs in 2024, and a 25% tariff on natural graphite imports from China beginning in 2026.

“As Westwater is 100% focused on producing battery-grade natural graphite anode material in the United States for use in non-Chinese EVs, we support actions that continue to aid in establishing a domestic supply chain,” said Terence J. Cryan, Executive Chairmen of Westwater Resources. “We believe these actions send a strong signal that the US is committed to on-shoring its supply chain for critical minerals such as graphite and supporting the domestic production of batteries and EVs.”

“These tariffs are just what the new and critically important U.S.-based natural graphite industry needed to compete with the monopoly that exists in China today and only strengthen Westwater’s value proposition as we move to secure additional customers,” said Jon Jacobs, Chief Commercial Officer of Westwater.

Verdek EV Oasis for US Customs Border Protection

In a strategic move towards greener border security operations, US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) has selected Verdek’s innovative EV Oasis™ Off-Grid DC Fast Charging Solutions to energize its Ford F150 Lightnings that monitor the southern borders of New Mexico and Arizona. Leading the charge in sustainable energy solutions, Verdek introduces its latest innovation, the Verdek EV Oasis™. This mobile, fully off-grid charging station, complete with dual ports, signifies a crucial advancement in Verdek’s commitment to promoting eco-friendly transportation.

The EV Oasis™ is engineered to redefine the electric vehicle charging experience, tailored for both versatility and environmental sustainability in remote or off-grid locations. Powered by renewable energy, this charging solution provides vital accessibility to electric vehicle drivers where grid connectivity is scarce. Its design for rapid deployment allows it to bypass the complex processes associated with extensive infrastructure upgrades, permitting, and civil works.

Key attributes of the EV Oasis™ include fast charging speeds, compatibility across various EV models, and a sturdy off-grid power system. Verdek’s focus on sustainability is evident through its use of advanced

Penske Joins PACT

Powering America’s Commercial Transportation (“PACT”), a coalition focused on education and advocacy for accelerating the construction of nationwide infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty (M/HD*) zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs),  announced the addition of Penske Truck Leasing as a Charter Member.

As a Charter Member, Penske will hold a permanent seat on the Board of Directors. Paul Rosa, Senior Vice President of Procurement and Fleet Planning from Penske will fill the Board seat.

A leading fleet operator, Penske currently operates and maintains a fleet of more than 445,800 vehicles across its businesses in North America on behalf of itself and its customers.

In addition to Penske, PACT members include ABB E-mobility, BC Hydro, Burns & McDonnell, Chateau Energy Solutions, Cummins, Daimler Truck North America, EV Realty, Geotab, Greenlane™, InductEV, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., Mortenson Construction, Navistar, Inc., Pitt Ohio, Pilot Travel Centers, Prologis Inc., Voltera, Volvo Group North America, WattEV, and Zeem Solutions.

EFC for Adden Solid-State Batteries

-Adden Energy, a leading developer of solid-state batteries, announces that its record-breaking lithium metal batteries can now maintain extreme-fast-charging (EFC) of less than 10 minutes at room temperature. No other lithium metal batteries can reliably charge this fast even at elevated temperatures, nevertheless at the room temperature required for electric vehicles (EVs). Such EFC solves one of the biggest bottlenecks facing widespread adoption of EVs.

“The slow charge rates of Li-ion batteries have made EVs inaccessible to too many,” said Will Fitzhugh, CEO of Adden Energy. “Over a third of American’s lack dedicated at-home parking, so the current paradigm of at-home charging just doesn’t work. Our technology makes EV charging as fast as gas, so you can recharge using public infrastructure on your lunch break or the way home from work.”

Adden Energy’s all-solid-state pouch cell batteries (ASSB) use lithium metal anodes and high nickel NMC cathodes, enabling energy densities up to 500+ Wh/kg. Patented innovations, including the multi-electrolyte separator and porous 3D lithium metal anode, enable the simultaneous EFC along with industry leading energy densities.

In 2022, Adden Energy raised a $5.15M seed round to transition the underlying technology from academic style pressed-powder coin cells into commercially-viable pouch cells for the EV industry. Based at its laboratory in Waltham, MA, Adden Energy has successfully made this transition and passed several testing criteria for adoption by EV manufacturers. This includes both reducing the required temperature for EFC to room temperature and maintaining conventional charging rates down to below -20°C.

“The IP portfolio we’ve developed to enable extreme-fast-charging at room temperature in our lithium metal cells covers every aspect of the battery. Our porous anode technologies allow high cathode loadings in excess of 4 mAh/cmand our multi-electrolyte separators completely stop dendrites from forming even at such high current densities,” explained Luhan Ye, CTO of Adden Energy.

“All-solid-state batteries are one of the most challenging but also, if you can get it right, the most rewarding directions in energy storage,” stated Adden Energy co-founder and Chairman, Xin Li. “Adden Energy has developed an unparalleled solution. The significance of simultaneously maintaining commercial level cathode loadings, a lithium metal anode, room temperature operation, and 10-minute charge cannot be overstated.”

Blink Charging for 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 one of the official EV charging providers 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 is now one of the contractors available on the OGS award that can 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 one of the providers 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,” stated 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.”

Penske Truck Leasing to Offer REE Trucks

 REE Automotive Ltd. (Nasdaq: REE), an automotive technology company and provider of full by-wire electric trucks and platforms, today announced that Penske Truck Leasing, a leading global transportation services provider, will begin to offer Powered by REE EVs to its customers interested in electrifying their fleets for demos and orders, adding further momentum to REE’s current $50 million order book value.

Zero Emission Portable Hydrogen Refueling

Zero Emission Industries, a leader in hydrogen technology, unveiled its FTcase today, a portable hydrogen refueling solution barely larger than carry-on luggage.

FTcase eliminates the complexities of gaseous hydrogen refueling and simplifies the process for all markets. This groundbreaking product enables the rapid deployment of hydrogen-powered vehicles and heavy-duty equipment, eliminating a major barrier to widespread hydrogen adoption: the complete lack of accessible and convenient fueling infrastructure.

Safe Without the Sacrifice

Hydrogen fueling, traditionally a complex operation, demands the highest safety standards. Dr. Pratt emphasizes, “With hydrogen fueling—like any fueling—safety is paramount. Everything else comes second.” Previously, that safety has come with a cost.

Safe hydrogen fueling of large-scale machinery has meant complicated processes, equipment, and infrastructure that are both massively expensive and notoriously unreliable. Past options included:

  • Move your vehicles or equipment to an existing hydrogen fueling station, which is currently few and far between.
  • Build your own exorbitantly expensive refueling installation somewhere your equipment can get to.
  • Engage so-called “mobile” solutions that involve huge trailers with low availability and frequent downtime. Also, they are expensive.

ZEI invented field-validated, software-controlled technology to ensure the safety of every fueling operation. Designed for safety and reliability, the FTcase integrates advanced “fail-safe” systems, minimizing risks and consistently exceeding stringent safety standards.

And ZEI packs it all into a portable box the size of a suitcase.

Hydrogen Fueling that Anyone Can Do

Hydrogen fueling of commercial and heavy equipment has always been a “behind the fence” operation, requiring highly trained technical expertise to perform “HazMat” fueling operations. For industrial uses this has a huge and direct impact on cost, deployment time, vehicle operations, and ultimately, whether hydrogen is even an option. If you can’t fuel, you can’t work.

ZEI’s FTcase revolutionizes this process by allowing a single operator without hydrogen expertise to fuel safely and efficiently. After a brief initial setup, industrial hydrogen fueling operations are no longer very different from filling up your car. John Motlow, Chief Strategy Officer of ZEI, highlights the impact, “Trained hydrogen technicians are rare, and FTcase ensures top-notch safety with no technical staff involved. Staffing is no longer a barrier to hydrogen fueling.”

Where the Work Gets Done, for Any Application

The FTcase’s portable design makes hydrogen adoption truly possible. It enables any industry to implement hydrogen refueling on location. The FTcase is small, portable and easy for one person to set up anywhere, boosting efficiency and flexibility across industries.

ZEI’s solution can transform any gaseous hydrogen supply into a complete hydrogen fueling station. Deploying and refueling with the FTcase is simple, immediate, and on-site, making hydrogen fuel an option for vehicles and equipment where bulky, complicated systems or installed infrastructure is too expensive, takes too long, or isn’t possible.

Versatility is key to the FTcase, which can refuel anything from boats to cars, heavy-duty equipment, port infrastructure, commercial hauling (aka “Prime Movers”), transport trucks, work trucks, locomotives, buses, even stationary power systems and ever-expanding array of hydrogen-powered “things” to come. “The beauty of the FTcase is its indifference to what it fuels; hydrogen is hydrogen, whether for a fleet truck or a hydrogen-powered commercial ferry,” explained Mr. Motlow. This flexibility is essential for manufacturers and operators previously hindered by the scarcity of hydrogen refueling options.

Years of Development and Expertise Make FTcase a Reality

The technology behind the FTcase has been iterated and actively used over the last four years. It has successfully performed as the sole and frequent fueling solution in challenging commercial maritime environments, including a commercial ferry and ZEI’s next-generation vessel prototype. It has also been used successfully in trials with a global provider of Class 8 commercial trucks. “We have spent years designing and validating this fueling technology, proving it is ready for real-world use in wider markets,” said Dr. Pratt.

Hardware as a Service, Now Available

The FTcase is available today. ZEI’s unique hardware-as-a-service offering provides continuous service for maximum uptime, automatic updates and improvements and vastly lowers the total cost of ownership for hydrogen adopters.

EV+ & CBRE for Commercial Properties

EV+, a provider of on-site, electric vehicle charging infrastructure solutions,  announced a preferred partner agreement with CBRE to deploy electric vehicle charging systems at 10,000 U.S. commercial properties over the next five years.

The companies are focused on EV-enabling real estate where drivers most need charging stations –multifamily complexes, hotels and healthcare-related facilities, all of which have been critically underserved to date. Turnkey EV+ charging stations will be installed ready to operate, with no ongoing responsibilities for property owners.

Valeo & Toyota Olympic Shuttles

Valeo is proud to be part of a major international sport event through the 48V eAccess technology that will power Toyota APM electric shuttles in Paris this summer.

Originally, APM was specifically designed by Toyota to offer a safe and efficient mobility solution to athletes and officials during the major sport event in Tokyo, Japan in 2020.

The electric shuttle will again be at the heart of the transport solutions during the next sports event in Paris to ease mobility for all within the sports sites. This is a completely new version, more adapted to the European environment, it can embark 6 persons including the driver and has been designed for very flexible use. The foldable seats enable the transport of people in wheelchairs. The vehicle is also available in a relief version, developed to provide medical assistance, enabling the transport of a stretcher and medical staff.

Christophe Périllat, Valeo’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted that Toyota has chosen Valeo eAccess technology to power the APM electric shuttles. This confirms the relevance of Valeo’s strategy when it comes to exploring ever more sustainable and affordable technologies. Valeo will contribute with their technologies to make this major sporting event more sustainable, while providing spectators and delegations with a mobility experience adapted to the Parisian environment“.

Valeo eAccess is a scalable and affordable electric drive solution for urban mobility

Toyota chose Valeo eAccess Belt 14, all-in-one solution (motor, inverter, reducer) offering the possibility to the vehicle to operate up to 20 kph with a gross vehicle mass of 1390 kg.

Valeo’s 48V eAccess combines a 48 Volts 13.5 kW generator, coming from the 48V electrical propulsion platform which has already reached sufficient maturity to become a standard equipment for the automobile market, combined with a gear reducer and an innovative ribbed elastic belt to create a full eDrive propulsion system.

This all-in-one solution is a unique automobile powertrain transmission system in the automotive industry landscape and shows the Valeo expertise and its capacity to propose a modular approach for the quickly-growing market of light powertrain vehicles.

Giving the possibility to reach speed up to 100 kph and an electric autonomy average of 100 km, the Valeo’s 48V eAccess is also matching the noise, vibration & harshness (NVH) high performance standards and registers in a medium and long-term strategy to reduce the environmental footprint impact of the automotive industry (end-of-life recycling, recycled material cover).

Valeo’s eAccess technology is already powering the urban car Citroën Ami and also other applications such as the 3-Wheelers from Atul which is addressing the Indian market. The 48V Valeo expertise in electric motors for small mobility is also available on 2-Wheelers markets and the latest addition to this is the BMW e-motorbike CE02.

The Valeo’s 48V eAccess is a real game changer in the electric propulsion industry, as it provides an affordable and easy to integrate solution for faster adoption of electric mobility, a necessity to comply with growing environmental regulations.

Toyota plans to provide 250 vehicles for the major sport event to take place in Paris next summer.

Parkopedia & Irdeto for Charing

In a move set to transform the electric vehicle (EV) charging landscape, Parkopedia, the leading connected services provider for automotive OEMs, has teamed up with Irdeto, the world leader in digital platform cybersecurity, to introduce the first true multi-contract solution designed to simplify the EV charging process, making it more accessible and secure for drivers globally.

The partnership leverages Parkopedia’s EV Charging service and Irdeto’s CrossCharge technologies to offer a seamless Plug and Charge experience. The joint solution allows EV drivers to effortlessly locate, pay for parking and charge their vehicles directly from their in-car media systems, eliminating the need for multiple apps or RFID cards.

Utilising Irdeto’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) expertise, this innovation not only bolsters security, but also introduces unprecedented flexibility and compatibility in EV charging. The advanced security solution, based on ISO 15118 standards, safeguards against potential cyber threats, ensuring a secure and reliable charging process.

Furthermore, the Plug and Charge solution offers an innovative approach that extends the utility of legacy vehicles by making them compatible with multiple contracts, enabling drivers to benefit from the greatest possible access to public chargers and the cheapest available tariffs. This compatibility ensures that older EV models can also benefit from the flexibility and security offered by modern charging infrastructure.

In addition to these user-centric benefits, the new solution simplifies compliance with ISO 15118 for vehicle manufacturers. This standard, which governs secure communication between EVs and charging stations, requires significant technical adherence, with the service reducing the development burden on manufacturers and providing OEMs with a multi-contract solution for ISO 15118. It also facilitates compliance with these industry standards, accelerating the adoption of EVs from improved secure and user-friendly charging solutions across the industry.