EV, Battery & Charging News: Kia, Toyota, Modine, Licycle & Tracton Group

In EV, battery and charging news are Kia, Toyota, Modine, Licycle and Tracton Group.

Kia Georgia Plant in West Point Assembled First 2025 EV9

Thursday marked a historic milestone at Kia Georgia’s assembly plant in West Point as team members gathered to celebrate the start of assembly of the all-electric 2025 EV9 three-row SUV, the first saleable electric vehicle assembled in the state of Georgia. The vehicle was introduced by SeungKyu (Sean) Yoon, President and CEO for Kia North America and Kia America, then driven off the assembly line by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and James Watson, Kia Georgia’s Vice President of Production.

“Marty and I were privileged to be part of this monumental accomplishment by the Kia Georgia team,” said Governor Kemp. “This expansion of Kia’s operations in our state and the addition of this incredible new product line to the vehicles already being built in West Point is just the latest example of what comes from state and local partners working with this valued job creator. I want to congratulate the Kia Georgia team members on today’s achievement and thank them for choosing the Peach State yet again as we work to become the e-mobility capital of the nation.”

The EV9 joins the award-winning and increasingly popular lineup of SUVs currently being assembled on Kia Georgia’s assembly line: Telluride, Sorento and Sportage. This is the culmination of a more than $200 million expansion that has added approximately 200 new jobs at the plant and the flexibility to assemble both EVs and the company’s traditional products along the same assembly line.

“Today’s launch of the Kia EV9 in Georgia is the latest example of Kia’s commitment to the U.S. market and the state of Georgia,” said Yoon. “Through Plan S, Kia is poised to be a leader in the e-mobility sector for years to come. Having achieved prestigious accolades such as World Car of the Year, World EV of the Year, and North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, EV9 will be in excellent hands with the team members at Kia Georgia and their track record for assembling award-winning, world-renowned products speaks for itself.”

Stuart Countess, President and CEO of Kia Georgia, looked back to almost 15 years ago when the first Kia vehicle rolled off the same assembly line on Nov. 16, 2009, while crediting the Kia Georgia team with being the driving force behind the milestones that have led to celebrations like the one on Thursday.

“Today, the Kia Georgia team is still going as strong as ever, continuing that mindset of turning challenges into opportunities,” said Countess. “We are excited for this chance to add Kia’s flagship EV to our facility and to enter this new era at Kia Georgia with the same quality focus of assembling the best vehicles in the world, right here in West Point.”

Toyota DCFC 350kW Chargers in Baldwin Park & Sacramento

Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (Toyota), guided by its “Empact” vision to address equitable EV charging and mobility for all, announced the first communities that will receive DC fast chargers (DCFC): Baldwin Park, Calif., and Sacramento, Calif. High-power 350kW chargers at each location are to be installed, owned and operated by EVgo, one of the nation’s largest public fast charging networks, and feature simultaneous charging. The California sites are targeted to be operational in 2025.

“Providing ‘Mobility for All’ is our north star as we look to support and facilitate equitable EV charging opportunities for all customers,” said Christopher Yang, group vice president, Business Development, Toyota Motor North America. “We want to help ensure these underserved communities are not overlooked in the EV transition, and providing support for these charging facilities helps provide access to those who may not have easy access to home or public charging options.”

Toyota’s Clean Assist program, launched in 2021, matches residential customer charging with renewable electricity, thereby helping to reduce emissions generated from charging. In California this generates revenue from the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), based on battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) charging at home. That revenue has been re-invested into transportation electrification in the state, including these chargers.

“Expanding access to public charging infrastructure is critical to our mission of accelerating the mass adoption of EVs,” said Dennis Kish, President of EVgo. “We are proud to partner with Toyota to build new fast charging resources that will support the equitable distribution of charging infrastructure in the Golden State.”

The cities receiving DC fast chargers were chosen using the CalEnviroScreen tool and based on certain criteria such as resident income levels, demographics, air quality levels, and areas that have or are expected to have meaningful EV penetration. Baldwin Park and Sacramento are both great examples of areas that are poised to see rapid EV growth in the future. These two environmental justice communities would benefit from the addition of more DC fast charging stations in strategic locations to serve the local population and support EV drivers.

For example, in Sacramento, the new 350kW DC fast chargers will be installed near the Arden Fair Mall, a known high-traffic area close to the freeway with multiple options for dining, shopping and other activities.

“As a member of the California Air Resources Board and the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, I am extremely excited that Toyota and EVgo have selected Arden Fair Mall as the site for a new 8-stall electric vehicle charging station,” Councilmember Eric Guerra said. “We’ll continue to look for ways to reduce carbon emissions and I’m proud of the work our region is doing to meet our air quality goals.”

The Baldwin Park charging station will also be centrally located less than a mile off Interstate 10, with access to amenities including a grocery store on site and many nearby restaurants.

“Investing in public charging not only supports EV drivers, it also benefits everyone in our community by encouraging zero emissions travel in an area that has experienced historically poor air quality,” said Senator Susan Rubio. “This new fast charging station in Baldwin Park will bring economic and public health benefits that our residents and visitors alike can enjoy.”

Toyota will look to continue supporting local communities through its Empact Vision, helping enable the transition to electrification for all, working to ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against carbon emissions. For more information on Toyota’s electrified vehicle offerings, please visit www.Toyota.com/electrified.

Over the past 65 years, Toyota has assembled nearly 47 million cars and trucks in North America at the company’s 12 manufacturing plants. By 2025, the company’s 13th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles.

Through our more than 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.), Toyota sold more than 2.6 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2023, of which more than one quarter were electrified vehicles (full battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell).

Modine for RYDE Racine

In support of sustainable mobility solutions across the City of Racine, Modine a diversified global leader in thermal management technology and solutions, today announced a collaboration with RYDE Racine, the city’s comprehensive public transportation system. As part of an initiative to modernize and reduce public transit fleet emissions, the City of Racine operates nine all-electric buses with the Modine EVantage Thermal Management System, with up to four additional EVs on order. The Modine EVantage thermal management system will optimize inverter temperatures and improve the range, longevity, and reliability of the city’s electric bus fleet along the nearly 700 stops it serves.

The City of Racine recently received funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Low or No Emission Vehicle Program to expand its EV fleet up to 13 buses.  These all-electric buses have integrated into the fleet, meeting range requirements for standard city routes. To meet the Buy America standard set forth in the funding guidelines, RYDE Racine has selected all-electric buses containing Modine EVantage thermal management systems to ensure they feature American-made components and systems from a hometown supplier.

Racine has set an ambitious goal to reduce the carbon footprint of our public transit system, and we’re achieving this objective bus by bus. As we increase the size of our zero-emission bus fleet, Modine’s sophisticated thermal management system is essential for maintaining our transit program’s smooth operation, reliability, and efficiency,” said Trevor Jung, Transit & Mobility Director at the City of Racine. “Through this collaboration, Modine has helped RYDE Racine fortify our electric buses with a hometown solution, demonstrating our combined commitment to enhancing service reliability for our passengers and environmental sustainability.”

With more than a century of expertise in thermal management, the Modine EVantage Thermal Management Systems combine state-of-the-art, proprietary heat exchanger technology with smart electronic products to deliver complete solutions designed to fit any chassis. EVantage thermal systems optimize inverter temperatures in all environments, from hot summer afternoons to icy winter mornings. EVantage systems offer best-in-class temperature management, improving performance, range, and longevity for various zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including transit and school buses.

“Integrating our thermal management technology into the RYDE Racine electric buses marks a brilliant collaboration to achieve our shared goal of reducing transportation emissions and supporting our community,” said Terry Petersen, Market Development Manager at Modine. “By partnering with RYDE Racine, we are proud to contribute to the sustainability efforts and innovation happening right in our backyard.”

The collaboration between Modine and RYDE Racine aligns with the company’s overall strategy of expanding into the EV market while supporting local communities like Racine in their efforts to modernize their transportation systems through green initiatives.

Highland Electric EaaS for Schools Honored

Highland Electric Fleets, the leading provider of Electrification-as-a-Service (EaaS) for school districts, governments, and fleet operators in  North America, was named by TIME as one of the most influential companies making an extraordinary impact around the world. The company was recognized in the category of Pioneers.

To assemble the list, TIME solicited nominations across sectors, and polled its global network of contributors and correspondents, as well as outside experts. Then TIME editors evaluated each on key factors, including impact, innovation, ambition, and success. The result is a diverse group of 100 businesses helping chart an essential path forward.

Highland plays a unique role in leading the transition to zero-emissions transportation by offering a comprehensive range of services that make it simple and affordable for school districts, governments and fleet operators across the U.S. and Canada to make the switch to electric vehicles, with over six hundred electric school buses deployed to date.

As a part of its mission, Highland is committed to ensuring all communities are able to realize the economic, health and safety benefits of electric fleets. Electric school buses can be more cost-effective than diesel buses due to lower fuel and maintenance expenses, as electric engines have fewer moving parts, reducing the need for repairs. The health benefits are also substantial, as electric buses produce zero tailpipe emissions, leading to better air quality and reducing respiratory issues among children, particularly those with preexisting conditions. Additionally, by eliminating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted by traditional diesel buses, electric school buses contribute to promoting healthier communities overall.

Highland also pioneered vehicle-to-grid (V2G) programs that can play a valuable role in stabilizing the grid. During periods of high electricity demand, the grid can draw energy from the buses’ batteries, helping to balance supply and demand. Conversely, during periods of low demand, buses can be charged, storing excess energy that can be used later.

“I started Highland because I saw my 5-year-old son standing next to a school bus and realized his head was the same height as the diesel tailpipe,” said Duncan McIyntyre, CEO and founder of Highland Electric Fleets. “To be recognized by TIME as one of the most influential companies for making access to electric vehicles more affordable and accessible for all communities is a tremendous testament to the trust and partnership we have with school districts and municipalities across the country, and I am deeply humbled.”

LiCycle Supports Daimler Truck NA

Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE: LICY) (“Li-Cycle” or the “Company”), a leading global lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, is proud to support Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) on its goal to integrate a comprehensive circular economy approach across its operations to reduce its carbon footprint.

Li-Cycle and DTNA have a partnership to recycle lithium-ion batteries from DTNA electric vehicles that reach the end of their life cycle. Recycling lithium-ion batteries is part of DTNA’s plans to maximize battery lifespans and reduce material waste to tackle global sustainability challenges. DTNA’s strategy emphasizes repairing, remanufacturing, repurposing, and recycling lithium-ion battery materials.

“We are proud to partner with companies such as DTNA to support their sustainability and carbon reduction goals,” said Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle President and CEO. “Our environmentally friendly and safe recycling technologies can recover critical materials to help create a domestic closed-loop battery supply chain, giving new life to these battery materials and helping power the world’s transition to clean energy.”

GreenPower to Premier Electric Refrigerated Truck

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (NASDAQ: GP) (TSXV: GPV) (“GreenPower”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of purpose-built, all-electric, zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles serving the cargo and delivery market, shuttle and transit space and school bus sector, today announced the company will unveil a new, state-of-the-art, all-electric refrigerated truck at Home Delivery World taking place June 5-6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. GreenPower will showcase its all-electric, purpose-built EV Star line of commercial vehicles designed for mid to last-mile delivery at booth #802.

“Our mid to last-mile delivery customers have come to rely on our all-electric vehicle solutions that lower total cost of ownership while meeting larger sustainability goals,” said Claus Tritt, VP of Medium-Duty and Commercial Vehicle Sales. “GreenPower vehicles set the standard of performance, safety and sustainability for the cargo and delivery market. We’re committed to advanced innovation in the space and are looking forward to showing our customers, dealers and partners our latest offering.”

Vehicle Launch at Home Delivery World
GreenPower will unveil a new, state-of-the-art, all-electric refrigerated truck solution to serve the needs of fleets and customers looking for a cold-chain transportation solution for middle and last-mile delivery.

The switch to battery-powered commercial vehicles is a challenging task, and the TRATON GROUP’s brands are providing their customers with comprehensive support throughout this transition. This includes selecting which routes should be electrified, choosing suitable vehicles, developing an optimal charging strategy, determining which infrastructure is required and support with installation, as well as onboarding employees.

This process includes direct discussions with customers to understand their individual motivations for switching to electric mobility and to identify any concerns. For Stefan Sahlmann, Vice President EV Solutions & Activation at Navistar and former Vice President, Head of MAN Transport Solutions at MAN Truck & Bus, these conversations are crucial for finding the best solution for fleet electrification. According to Sahlmann, this approach is the only way to develop customized solutions tailored to each customer’s specific needs and infrastructure. “We no longer just sell the vehicle; we offer comprehensive solutions that optimally support our customers in the transition to electromobility,” says Sahlmann. “We support our customers throughout the entire process, from the initial considerations and planning through to implementation and beyond.”

The overarching goal, for TRATON’s brands and many of its customers, is to transition their fleets to zero-emission vehicles in the future. However, achieving this requires appropriate planning and preparation. Early discussions with customers and dealers, one to two years in advance, can help plan as they decarbonize their operations. Before selecting vehicles and planning implementation, it’s essential to determine which routes can be electrified and where the use of battery electric commercial vehicles (BEVs) is practical.

“The electrification concepts that we offer at Navistar are based on telematics data provided by the customer. This includes information about the route network, journeys, and schedules, which are analyzed in detail. To optimize operating costs, a charging strategy is defined based on the availability of the bus or truck which aligns with the customer’s needs and can be supported through the proper charging infrastructure. Environmental factors, such as topographical and climatic conditions, are also included in the planning to ensure drivers can get the maximum range out of the vehicles each day. All of this serves to optimize their efficiency,” explains Sahlmann.

Scania also relies on open dialog, thorough analysis, and the inclusion of telematics data from existing operations when developing individual electrification concepts. This data can provide answers to important questions that need to be addressed before switching to BEVs.

“It is important to coordinate and adapt the routes and planning in a way that enables efficient operation and a good charging strategy. Just like Navistar, we at Scania offer our customers a partnership approach and comprehensive advice. This includes using vehicle data from existing operations to create the best possible plan for our customers to electrify their fleet,” says Fredrik Allard, Senior Vice President and Head of E-Mobility at Scania.

The analysis of telematics data helps answer some of the most important questions in advance, facilitating the development of a successful electrification concept:

  • Route planning: Which routes can be electrified?
  • Vehicle configuration: What does the optimal vehicle look like, in terms of battery size and performance, and what software is required?
  • Pilot projects: Which routes should be prioritized for initial implementation?
  • Charging infrastructure: Where are charging stations needed?
  • Energy availability: What charging infrastructure can be installed?
  • Public charging stations: Is there sufficient availability along driving routes?

Comprehensive portfolio of solutions and services for the TRATON GROUP’s brands

To ensure a seamless transition to BEVs for customers, the TRATON GROUP and its brands offer a wide array of comprehensive solutions and services.

Among other services, they offer assistance in advance with regard to finding suitable financing and access to state subsidies. “It’s quite complicated for our customers to navigate this landscape. That’s why we find out which public subsidies are available for them. By determining how these various funding programs can be combined, we help our customers to successfully make the switch to e-mobility,” explains Sahlmann.

To prepare customers, fleet managers, drivers, and technicians for the daily use of battery-electric mobility, the service portfolio of the TRATON brands includes comprehensive service and training offerings as part of the onboarding process. Even after the vehicle has been handed over, the TRATON GROUP remains available to address questions and provide assistance during operation.

Scania’s Guided Offering Service

Scania’s Guided Offering Service, initially developed for optimizing the use of classic trucks, now extends its coverage to vehicle segments, including electric vehicles. Utilizing obtained data, the service enables the selection of appropriate vehicle and battery configurations while creating charging strategies. This offering streamlines the process for customers and tailors the vehicle to their specific requirements. This data-supported solution always recommends the best vehicle. If a Scania customer who previously used a traditional truck with a combustion engine expresses interest in purchasing the same vehicle again, it would be straightforward to fulfill that request. However, the Scania Guided Offering Service prioritizes recommending the best vehicle for the customer’s needs. For example, the recommendation might indicate that the customer could save a significant amount of money over the vehicle’s lifetime by opting for a battery-electric powertrain instead. Leveraging usage data from the previous truck, the service helps the customer in transitioning to a new, more advantageous vehicle.

MAN’s eReadyCheck and 360° e-mobility consultation

With MAN eReadyCheck and its 360° e-mobility consultation, MAN is also focusing on individual customer needs. Before customers decide to electrify their fleet, they should ensure that BEVs are fundamentally suitable for their company. Using the MAN eReadyCheck online tool, customers can assess the electrification potential of their fleet in advance based on data such as vehicle type, payload, ambient temperature, and urban or interurban traffic. MAN Transport Solutions’ 360° e-mobility consultation service specializes in developing the right concept together with the customer. This includes evaluating which routes can be covered by BEVs and whether their operation is economical. Through this service, MAN supports its customers in realizing their CO₂ reduction goals by designing individual logistics concepts, planning the charging infrastructure, and developing an energy supply strategy. MAN’s e-bus customers have also benefited from this service, which has been successfully on the market since 2018.

Navistar’s BEV Customer Service & Solutions portfolio

Navistar’s BEV Customer Service & Solutions portfolio is another example of close and constructive cooperation with customers in the TRATON GROUP. This training and service program supports Navistar customers in the planning, implementation, and optimization of zero-emission vehicles, as well as in making service and maintenance investments throughout the entire life cycle of their vehicles.

Volkswagen Truck & Bus’ e-Consórcio fleet consultancy program

Volkswagen Truck & Bus’ (VWTB) fleet consultancy program is specially tailored to meet customers’ needs and aims to achieve the best possible total cost of ownership (TCO) for them. This program utilizes data from maintenance contracts alongside telematics data to optimize fleets and improve profitability. Additionally, with the e-Consórcio, VWTB also created a comprehensive ecosystem for South America’s first BEV, the e-Delivery. The e-Consórcio is a network of production partners and suppliers that supports customers throughout the entire life cycle of their BEV in areas such as product, infrastructure, sustainable energy, fleet management, maintenance, recycling, and financial services.