UFODrive expands EV rental business to the U.S.

UFODrive expands EV rental business to the U.S.

Picture: UFODrive

UFODrive announced the launch of its first U.S. city on August 4, starting with San Francisco. The electric vehicle rental has seen rapid growth in 20 cities across Europe already. Now, Bay area residents and visitors can book and drive Teslas in minutes from the UFODrive app 

The rental experience with UFODrive is keyless and contactless, and the company said it is transforming the way we rent and unlocking the potential of EVs.  

“In only a few years, we’ve helped customers drive 15 million fully electric miles. Behind the scenes we try to solve every anxiety and make the enhanced electric driving experience a reality for our customers,” said Aidan McClean, CEO & co-founder of UFODrive. 

“We wanted to make rental less painful and pioneer the shift to electric, but our customer ratings consistently tell us it’s radically better.” 

UFODrive’s expertise has won multiple awards and to accelerate its North American expansion by partnering with Inspiration Fleet, an EV-only fleet management company.  

“Our strategic acquisition and financing partnership will allow UFODrive to scale nationwide at pace,” said Josh Green, founder and CEO of Inspiration Mobility. “Together, we will supercharge the transition to sustainable mobility in the rental market and beyond.” 

UFODrive San Francisco is now live downtown. A full fleet will be active by the end of August, with additional expansion to other cities planned for the fall. 

Ohio Supreme Court upholds permit for North America’s first freshwater wind farm

Ohio Supreme Court upholds permit for North America’s first freshwater wind farm

The Supreme Court of Ohio has upheld a permit for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker wind farm, a demonstation project that is poised to be the first freshwater windfarm in the United States. In a 6-1 decision, the court rejected arguments the Ohio Power Siting Board in May 2020 improperly issued a siting permit for the proposed project in Lake Erie.  

The permit was challenged by two people who were concerned the Icebreaker project would lead to more wind farms on Lake Erie. With a third of the project under contract to the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, the decision clears the way for Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., the project developer, to market the rest of the project’s power, the public-private partnership said. 

Already there is an emerging U.S offshore wind sector along the East and West coasts, but the court ruling signals a possible opportunity for the Great Lakes. 

“The court’s decision preserves the economic potential this project can unlock for the region,” said Will Friedman, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority president and CEO. 

“Other states are nipping at our heels to attract offshore wind and its economic benefits. We don’t want to squander this opportunity and let 15 years of work slip away to other states eager to capture market share.”  

The project is said to be built on 4.2 acres which is nine miles from Cleveland. LEEDCo said the project has received approvals from agencies including the Ohio EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  

It also has a generator interconnection agreement with the PJM Interconnection to connect to the grid, according to the project developer 

San Diego City Council plans revision of its Climate Action Plan

San Diego City Council plans revision of its Climate Action Plan

The San Diego City Council is planning its first big revision of its Climate Action Plan since it was first adopted in 2015.  

The original document projected that the city could cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by then. The revision goes even further, calling for the city to reach a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Two hundred-plus actions that we’ll have to work with implementing with departments on securing that path to net-zero.” said Moriah Saldaña, the program manager for San Diego’s CAP 

“Basically, we’re looking at all the different sectors for how greenhouse gases are produced,” Saldaña said. “And then we’re finding ways to reduce those emissions.” 

The aim of this revision is to make San Diego a more sustainable city and it is expected to be widely adopted by the City Council. 

Neighborhood advocates are generally pleased with the extra rigor in the plan, but they say even more could be done. 

“We feel like there are some changes that can be made before that final vote,” said Kyle Heiskala of the Environmental Health Coalition. “But, yes, we are supportive of the Climate Action Plan, and I think it’s going to do a lot for the neighborhoods in San Diego in order to address climate change impacts.” 

City officials say the CAP is not a finished document. It can be adjusted as the city’s needs and capabilities change. The next scheduled revision is set to happen in 2027. 

Pedestrian, bike and transit projects in D.C. area get federal funding boost

Pedestrian, bike and transit projects in D.C. area get federal funding boost

A proposed bicycle and pedestrian crossing that would create a walkable connection from Northern Virginia’s growing Crystal City neighborhood to the District’s Southwest Waterfront area is getting a $20 million federal grant. 

In Southeast Washington, a long-planned 3.8-mile trail off South Capitol Street is getting $10 million, just under half the project’s budget. Across the Maryland line, Prince George’s County is securing $20.5 million to enhance bus connections, add sidewalks and bike lanes, and improve access to the New Carrollton station. 

The projects are among five in the greater Washington region receiving nearly $60 million in federal funding under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. 

“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernising America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg 

The project, in the early stage of design, will connect Long Bridge Park in Arlington and East Potomac Park in the District. Recently unveiled concepts show a bridge with a deck about 14-feet wide, aligned about 25 feet north of the proposed new Long Bridge. 

Once built, the bridge will create a “safe, direct, and a more pleasant experience,” said Michael McLaughlin, the rail authority’s chief operating officer. 

Work on the trail is expected to begin next year. The remaining funding will come from a mix of federal and local funding sources, city officials said. 

IKEA will install Electrify America’s fast EV chargers at over 25 US stores

IKEA will install Electrify America’s fast EV chargers at over 25 US stores

IKEA have announced that they have struck a deal to bring Electrify America’s fast chargers to more than 25 stores in the US.

The rollout will bring over 200 individual chargers to shops in 18 states, including California, Florida, New York, Texas and Washington. They’ll offer charging speeds between 150kW and 350kW, and will serve both customers as well as IKEA’s fleet. 

The first chargers will be available near the end of 2022. The companies expect to complete the rollout by the end of 2023. 

The IKEA deployment is tiny compared to Electrify America’s overall expansion plans, which should have 1,800 fast charging stations (10,000 chargers) in place across North America by the end of 2025.  

When the plan is complete, there should be over 1,800 fast charging stations and 10,000 individual chargers — many of them 150kW or 350kW chargers to support newer EVs like the Porsche Taycan and Hyundai Ioniq 5. 

However, this is still a significant launch. This guarantees reasonably speedy charging for compatible EVs (such as the Ioniq 5 and Taycan) at one of the most popular furniture chains in the country — you can buy that dresser knowing you’ll have the range to carry it home. That could spur EV adoption, not to mention help IKEA support its claims of being eco-friendly. 

Ford Motor Company and DTE Energy announce the largest renewable energy purchase from a utility in US history

Ford Motor Company and DTE Energy announce the largest renewable energy purchase from a utility in US history

Picture: Ford Motor Company

Through a new clean energy agreement with DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), Ford Motor Company will soon be able to attribute all its electricity supply in Michigan to clean energy, a major step toward Ford’s goal to reach carbon neutrality. 

As part of the new agreement announced today, DTE will add 650 megawatts of new solar energy capacity in Michigan for ford by 2025. 

The purchase is a strategic investment in Michigan through DTE’s MIGreenPower program and is the largest renewable energy purchase ever made in the U.S. from a utility. According to data collected by the Solar Energy Industries Association, once installed, the arrays will increase the total amount of installed solar energy in Michigan by nearly 70%.  

“This unprecedented agreement is all about a greener and brighter future for Ford and for Michigan,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Today is an example of what it looks like to lead… to turn talk into action.” 

Since 2009, DTE’s investments in renewable energy have created more than 4,000 Michigan jobs. DTE estimates that the construction of the solar arrays will create 250 temporary jobs and 10 permanent jobs. Local communities that host DTE’s renewable energy projects also benefit from the additional tax revenue these projects generate. This revenue can be used for community support services including roads, schools, libraries and first responders. 

“We want to congratulate Ford Motor Company for its environmental leadership and commitment to clean energy,” said Jerry Norcia, chairman and CEO, DTE Energy.  

“Ford was the first large industrial customer to enroll in our MIGreenPower program in 2019 and we thank Ford for its continued commitment to using MIGreenPower to help decarbonize its operations and meet its sustainability goals.” 

Ford is purchasing carbon-free electricity through DTE’s MIGreenPower program, which is among the largest voluntary renewable energy programs in the country. To date, the company has more than 600 businesses enrolled in the program along with more than 62,000 residential customers.  

On an annual basis, MIGreenPower customers have enrolled 2.8 million megawatt hours of clean energy in the program, which has the environmental benefit equivalent to avoiding 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. DTE is Michigan’s largest producer of renewable energy, and the company plans to add thousands of megawatts of new clean energy projects to support the program. 

“I want to congratulate DTE Energy and Ford Motor Company for taking this significant step to increase our state’s solar energy production and to position Michigan as a leader in climate action,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  

“Efforts like this are the reason Michigan had the best job growth for energy-sector jobs in the country last year, which will help to advance our state’s decarbonization goals, create good-paying jobs and strengthen our economy. As outlined in our state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, we must take immediate, tangible steps to mitigate climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so we can achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. Steps like this collaboration between Ford and DTE are helping to move our entire state forward, building on our automotive legacy while protecting clean air and water for future generations.” 

Ford manufactures more vehicles in the U.S. and employs more hourly workers in America than any other automaker and was one of the first U.S. automakers to align with the international community to limit the impacts of global warming as part of the Paris Agreement. 

Michigan has been home to Ford since its founding in 1903. Since 2016, Ford has invested nearly $10 billion in Michigan and created or retained more than 10,000 jobs. This includes refurbishing Michigan Central Station, developing a new Ford Research and Engineering campus in Dearborn, creating Ford’s Ion Park in Romulus and more. 

EV battery plant projects get US Energy Department backing

EV battery plant projects get US Energy Department backing

Picture: Ultium Cells LLC

Seeking to stimulate domestic electric vehicle production, the US Department of Transport is providing hundreds of millions of new loans for US advanced battery component manufacturing plants now being built.  

DOE announced in July a $2.5-billion conditional loan to a General Motors Corp. joint venture with South Korea’s LG Solutions that now has three large battery cell plants under construction, each about 2.8 million sq ft in size and costing from $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion.  

DOE said its loan, which could close in two months, would be the first for a battery cell manufacturing project under the agency’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.  

The first plant is set to be based in Lordstown, Ohio, and will begin production this month to supply electric vehicles being made at two GM Michigan plants. Another plant in Spring Hill, Ten is set to be completed in late 2023 and will serve nearby GM vehicle production.  

Site construction also has begun for the third plant in Lansing, Mich., with battery cell production set to begin in late 2024. GM CEO Mary Barra said earlier this year that the firm could announce a fourth plant location in 2022. 

DOE also said last month it closed a $102.1-million loan to Australia-based Syrah Technologies LLC for expansion of its Vidalia, La., facility that produces graphite-based active anode material, a critical component of lithium-ion batteries. The estimated $176-million project will add 180,000 sq ft to the plant’s existing 50,000 sq ft. 

DOE said Syrah “is the only vertically integrated, large-scale AAM manufacturer outside of China, and the [Vidalia plant] is the first of its kind in the U.S.” Construction is targeted to finish by mid-2023, with Worley Group hired to provide detailed engineering and procurement services. 

Google Cloud launches two new regions in US

Google Cloud launches two new regions in US

Google Cloud has expanded its venture in the U.S with the debut of two new regions, as the business chases profitability as well as market share gains from rivals Amazon web Services and Microsoft.

The newest addition is Dallas, Texas, which brings Google Cloud’s total number of global regions to 34. The rollout follows the launch of its 33rd cloud region in Colombus, Ohio late last month. Another recent addition includes Milan, Italy, Paris, France, and Madrid and Spain.  

“We’ve heard from many of you that the availability of your workloads and business continuity are increasingly top priorities. The Dallas region gives you added capacity and the flexibility to distribute your workloads across the U.S.,” said Google Cloud exec Stacy Trackey Meagher wrote. 

Its Texas site is the eleventh region in North America and second in the central U.S., with the other located in Iowa. It also has North American cloud regions in Oregon, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, South Carolina and Northern Virginia as well as Montreal and Toronto, Canada. 

 Google Cloud regions are geographic areas of coverage that consist of several smaller zones. Most cloud regions are comprised of 3 zones.

With its 34 current regions, Google Cloud now has 103 zones. Additional plans to expand its footprint are in place, with Google targeting new regions in Doha, Qatar; Turin, Italy; Berlin, Germany; Dammam, Saudi Arabia; and Tel Aviv, Israel. 

The aggressive infrastructure investment comes as parent Alphabet chases profitability for its cloud unit and as Google Cloud looks to gain market share. But it has an uphill battle. 


Salt Lake City launches new program for affordable solar panels

Salt Lake City launches new program for affordable solar panels

Utah’s capital city will see a new program that will allow a few dozen single-family homeowners cheaper access to solar power through limited-time discounts. 

Salty Lake City has launched Solar Salt Lake on Thursday which offers “discounted bulk purchase” pricing for up to 50 residents looking to switch to solar energy. The city is partnering with Utah-based Gardener Energy to install solar panels.  

“Solar Salt Lake is about streamlining resident access to rooftop solar,” Debbie Lyons, the director of Salt Lake City’s sustainability department 

“By launching Solar Salt Lake, the city hopes to enable more residents to take advantage of the same financial and environmental benefits solar has to offer.” 

Residents can sign up now for the program and those who qualify can choose to receive a free remote assessment, where an initial financial analysis. All of the installations are expected to be completed by the end of the year. 

The solar energy company EnergySage reports that a 5-kilowatt system typically costs between $11,600 and $15,700 in Salt Lake County, this year, but that same system would generate between $20,415 to $27,620 in net savings over a 20-year span, meaning it has a payback period of about 8 to 11 years. Of course, that’s not factoring in discounts or a system that’s smaller or larger than 5 kilowatts. 

The program itself connects back to Salt Lake City’s goal to switch all of the city’s electricity needs to 100% renewable energy by 2030, says Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.  

The city is signed up to be a customer of the Elektron Solar Project, an 80-megawatt solar farm northwest of Grantsville in Tooele County, which is expected to open next year. The project also goes toward the city’s 2030 goal. 

Chicago commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

Chicago commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Assets, Information and Services visited the Chicago Urban League to announce an agreement with electricity supplier Constellation to meet the city’s need for renewable energy by 2025. 

Swift Current Energy will collaborate with the utility to develop and deliver 100% renewable energy to all city facilities and operations within three years, making Chicago one of the largest cities in the world to make such a commitment. 

“I am incredibly proud to advance this commitment to transitioning all city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2025,” said Mayor Lightfoot.  

“The signing of this agreement demonstrates that the City of Chicago is leading by example and driving high-impact climate action, building the clean energy workforce of the future and equitably distributing meaningful benefits to foster the local clean energy economy for all.” 

The contract will initially enter a term of 5 years which will begin in January 2023. Starting in 2025, the city will partially store its large energy uses such as the airports, Harold Washington Library Center and Jardine Water Purification Plant with clean, renewable energy from a new solar generation installation currently being developed by Swift Current Energy to the south outside Chicago. 

 The project is expected to begin construction before the end of this year, bringing hundreds of construction jobs to the state of Illinois.  

Constellation’s chief commercial officer Jim McHugh said the collaboration will also call for environmental justice initiatives.  

“As we work with our customers to implement sustainability initiatives, it is especially important that we help underserved and under-resourced communities participate in the transition to a carbon free future. We look forward to collaborating with Swift Current Energy to bring this project to life for the City of Chicago,” he said. 

To support the city’s needs, Swift Current Energy will own and operate Double Black Diamond Solar, a 593 MW facility, one of the largest in Illinois to date. “As the long-term owner and operator of Double Black Diamond Solar, Swift Current Energy will continue to strengthen our relationships with the project customers, Constellation and the host communities to ensure the benefits of the project are robust and long-lasting,” said Matt Birchby, co-founder and president of Swift Current Energy. 

The City of Chicago will also procure Renewable Energy Credits from other sources for its remaining power uses, such as small and medium-sized buildings and streetlights. 

UfoDrive expands electric vehicle rental to US

UfoDrive expands electric vehicle rental to US

UfoDrive has announced that it plans to expand electric vehicle rental operations to the United States, following rapid growth in 18 cities across Europe including London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dublin. The first North American UfoDrive location has launched in San Fransisco to be followed quickly by further locations across Europe and the United States. 

UforDrive is also announcing the opening of a global tech hub and innovation centre in Dublin later this month.  

The hub will serve as focal point for further development of their unique electric rental platform and help UforDrive unlock more of the features that make EV rental the best product on the market, it says.  

Aidan McClean, CEO and co-founder of UforDrive, explained: “In only a few years we’ve helped customers drive 15 million fully electric miles. Behind the scenes we try to solve every anxiety and make the enhanced electric driving experience a reality for our customers. 

“Our customers love the UforDrive experience, and that success has allowed us to accelerate plans to reach North America and open the tech hub and innovation centre in Ireland.  

“Those are big steps towards helping accelerate the transition to sustainable rental and introduce more and more people to the joy of driving electric.” 

UfoDrive San Francisco is now open in the heart of downtown San Francisco, with a full EV fleet set to be active by the end of August, and additional expansion to other US cities planned for autumn. 

Lotte Aluminum Materials USA plans an aluminum foil manufacturing operation to serve the electric vehicle battery industry in Kentucky

Lotte Aluminum Materials USA plans an aluminum foil manufacturing operation to serve the electric vehicle battery industry in Kentucky

Lotte Aluminum Materials USA plans an aluminum foil manufacturing operation to serve the electric vehicle battery industry in Kentucky and is expected to create 122 full time jobs.  

The company is planning to invest $238.7 million in the plant in Hardin County. Lotte Chemical announced a joint venture with Lotte Aluminum to produce 36,000 tons of cathode foil, used in electric vehicle batteries. The plant will be the company’s first aluminum foil facility in the U.S. and is expected to begin operation in 2025. 

Last year Ford announced its building two lithium-ion battery plants in Hardin County and Envision AESC and said this year that it will build a plant at Bowling Green to produce battery cells and modules to power electric vehicles. 

The state approved a 10-year incentive agreement worth up to $3.3 million in tax incentives for the Lotte project. The company was also approved up to $1 million in sales and use tax incentives, the governor’s office said.  

The need for electric car batteries using raw materials such as lithium and aluminum is growing rapidly as we progress towards electrification.  

Manufacturing operations are appearing all over the states and it is now a key element of the mobility industry to ensure that these production plants are sustainable and serve a better future. 

The Modern Fleet Manager’s Challenge: Data Overload

The Modern Fleet Manager’s Challenge: Data Overload

Written by: Shiva Bhardwaj

As part of the fleet management team, you are inundated with data from many sources, such as driver ELD data, routing and scheduling data, vehicle profile logistics, and so on. If you are within the maintenance organization, you have your work order data as well as vehicle component health data. Your diagnostic service tools are a must, and you might see several daily dashboards. As your vehicles get more populated with electronics – especially the ‘smart trailers,’ it will only grow exponentially in the near term. At any given time, you have access to more information than anyone can humanly digest. All the while having to make quick decisions that positively impact your fleet’s driver and vehicle productivity (and profitability). This is the definition of DATA OVERLOAD!


You might consider telematics as a cost-cutting, and safety tool that satisfies compliance, improves routing and modifies driving behavior to improve safety or fuel efficiency. However, there is so much more under the hood, literally. There are thousands of diagnostic and component health fault codes, hundreds of sensor-reporting fluids, temperatures, and flow rates every second. This data review process can be overwhelming! Taking advantage of this data is perceived as a tall task without hiring a team of data analysts.


We can all agree that data is powerful and offers new possibilities to manage your fleet. But sifting through the data to find what is useful to your unique fleet without using up precious resources is challenging. In addition, receiving loads of real-time data may not always be actionable, refraining you from making informed decisions. So how can we use the data to make our fleet more efficient and cost-effective without losing sight of the bottom line?


The challenge of data overload begins with thousands of fault codes and millions of sensor data points generated from your vehicle components and emerging through your fleet’s telematics/ELD provider. How can any fleet afford to process all of this raw data in a manner that guarantees reduced downtime and operational costs? 


Attempting to make sense of this data has many fleet managers like yourself answering reactive questions such as  “Is this fault code severe or not?”, “Does this fault code correlate to other fault codes?”  “What is the frequency of this fault code?” “Should I pull the truck off its route, or can it keep driving?” “Should I hire someone to review fault codes and telematics data manually?”


However, what many don’t realize, is that it is actually more important that you can answer these questions: 


  1. How do I avoid unscheduled repairs, unexpected breakdowns and the associated repair & tow costs? 
  2. With my aging fleet (we all have them), which vehicles should I prioritize getting rid of? 
  3. Are our fleet maintenance costs justified? What regions are performing well and which are not?
  4. Is the cost per day per truck of operation growing for vehicles in my fleet? (hint: unless you had the tools to predict the parts and vehicle shortage a few years back, the answer for every fleet is that the costs are growing!”)


A fleet cannot survive solely on preventive maintenance strategies. Instead, it must increase its focus on predictive maintenance and be able to create data visualizations that tell a clear story of effectiveness and efficiency. Predictive fleet maintenance, like Pitstop, enables you to receive insights on your vehicle’s health, predicting equipment failure and overall cost savings.


The difference between raw data and receiving insights is that those insights allow you to make quick decisions about the business. In contrast, raw data has you going down rabbit holes, answering questions that do not help your core business thrive and waste your precious time. This is the biggest problem with data overload. There is too much information to consume, and generating decision intelligence is at significant risk. 


Luckily, along with the rise of data, there has also been notable growth in fleet technology and software. Now, an AI-based analytics solution can tell you what matters from the data noise. Empowering you to make the right decisions in real-time has significant financial benefits for your fleet. The benefits significantly outweigh the investment and make predictive analytics the next wave of necessary fleet technology. I would value your thoughts, opinions and experience with data overload. Please visit Pitstopconnect.com to chat with my team and me! 


About the Author:

Shiva Bhardwaj is the Founder and CEO at Pitstop. While earning a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from UWaterloo, Shiva spent time working at NVIDIA and Blackberry. Shiva started his entrepreneurship journey by inventing ShockLock which brought a safe, simple and cost-effective hardware solution to the automotive world. His largest and most recent accomplishment is Pitstop, a predictive maintenance platform for the automotive industry founded in 2015. Shiva has also been recognized as the Vaughan Entrepreneur of the Year & SEMA 35 Under 35. 

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

Picture: BRP

BRP has announced that in addition to electrifying its existing product, it is aiming to seize the opportunity to enter new markets with game-changing electric products. 

BRP has unveiled the first two models of its Can-Am all-electric motorcycle lineup, the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse. Building on its already existing motorcyle legacy, BRP is opening the door to a new generation of riders and electric vehicle enthusiasts.  

Additionally, BRP is announcing a completely new electric hydrofoil board bearing the Sea-Doo signature: the Sea-Doo Rise. All of these products are said to be available in mid-2024. 

“Today, our story of innovation reaches new heights with the reveal of market-shaping electric products that will enhance consumer experience on the road and on the water, ” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. 

“Half a century ago, Can-Am roared to victory on the track and the trail, and today, a new legacy begins. With the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse, the first two models of our electric 2-wheel family, we are gearing up to reclaim our motorcycle heritage by crafting thrilling riding experiences for a whole new generation.” 

The Can-Am Origin is a tribute to Can-Am’s Track n’ Trail heritage. This dual-purpose model is designed to bring new exhilaration to both the street and the trail for a more modern multi-terrain experience.  

The Can-Am Pulse is a balanced and agile motorcycle designed to immerse riders in the energy of the city and transform their daily commute into an electric joyride. Both models feature stunning, modern design, built to showcase state-of-the art technology, like the high-performance LED headlamp, a unique visual signature. 

While both have their own unique design and features that can benefit users in many ways, however, they both are powered by the new Rotax E-POWER technology. 

The Sea-Doo Rise on the other hand, is another unique model and is designed with innovative and dynamic features that transform the board as riders gain experience over time. Full specs are expected to be revealed in August 2023. 

SK IE Technology to enter Southeast Asian and North American EV battery market

SK IE Technology to enter Southeast Asian and North American EV battery market

Picture: SK ie Technology

SK IE Technology has announced today that it plans to enter both the Southeast Asian and North American markets by cooperating with Vingroup. 

SKIET supplies separators to a wide portfolio of battery manufacturers globally, including SK On, another subsidiary of SK Innovation. 

The battery material maker is expected to gain more momentum in its global market penetration by looking into ways to cooperate with Vingroup, which is based in the fast-growing Vietnamese market. 

SKIET and VinES have recently signed an MOU including the section on the prioritized provision of SKIET’s separators for EV batteries of VinES, which will be produced in Vietnam and the United States. The visit has been made in order to fine-tune the specifics of the business. 

Recently, VinFast has been aiming to expand its business globally and this is shown in its plans to stop producing internal combustion engines all together and go fully electric. 

VinFast proceeds with vigor into global market penetration as it officializes its plans to enter the US market. The Vietnamese company officially announced its plan to invest USD 2 billion (approx. KRW 2.6 trillion) in the manufacturing plant in North Carolina, US. The company aims to produce 150,000 EVs annually, including the production in its US manufacturing plant, which will come into operation in July 2024. 

Roh Jae-sok, CEO of SKIET, said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to discuss the cooperation with the leading company in Vietnam, one of the fastest growing EV markets.” 

“We will enhance the cooperation between two companies through exploring business opportunities, including the separators, by promoting our outstanding technology and safety excellence.” 

Pham Thuy Linh, CEO of VinES, has also commented saying: “Vingroup and SK Group have maintained trust in our relationship for years, and both companies have built capabilities. And the efforts are now paying off.”  

“We have great trust in SKIET’s capabilities and know-hows. We hope that SKIET and VinES can continue a strong cooperative relationship.”

SKIET leads the world’s premium wet-laid separator market. Using the sequential stretching method, the company is able to implement a uniformly high quality while freely adjusting the thickness of the separator.  

The method brings benefits in terms of productivity and production cost. SKIET was the first in the world to develop such technology. The company has production plants in South Korea, China, and Poland. 

Verizon and NEC announce partnership on distributed optical fiber sensing trial

Verizon and NEC announce partnership on distributed optical fiber sensing trial

Verizon has teamed up with NEC to test fiber sensing on its already existing fiber network. The proof-of-concept (PoC) field trial used Verizon’s existing fiber optic cables as distributed optical sensors to collect information on city traffic patterns, road conditions and road capacity information. 

The trial used new optical sensor technology developed by NEC with software underpinned by artificial intelligence for traffic monitoring including the measurement of vehicle density, direction, speed, acceleration and deceleration, and other information. 

Using existing fiber that’s already in the ground means that Verizon wouldn’t have to trench in purpose-built fiber to gather the same type of information. Fiber trenching is both costly and disruptive, especially in urban areas. 

In addition to traffic monitoring, the data gathered from the distributed optical sensors could also be used to support public functions such as helping first responders detect and find where gunshots have been fired. 

“This test marks an important milestone for technology that could provide a huge leap forward for those building smart cities and those tasked to manage them,” said Verizon’s Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of technology planning and development, in a statement.  

“Instead of ripping up tarmac to place road and traffic-sensing technology, cities will be able to simply piggyback Verizon’s existing fiber optic network.” 

The trial used a fiber sensing system that worked with the existing wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) communications channels on the same fiber with minimal impact to the data communications capacity, which would make it suitable for use even in traffic congested networks. 

Verizon and NEC said the trial marked the first time that a 36.8 Tbps transmission system and distributed optical fiber sensing were demonstrated together on an operational telecom network. 

The two companies also said the trial marked the longest distance that such sensing data has been collected via an operational telecom network. AI tools such as convolutional neural networks (CNN) and software vector machines were used in order to take advantage of distributed intelligent traffic informatics (DITI). 

“The results obtained from this joint research program with Verizon are a great advancement for smart city business opportunities, especially for safer city solutions such as the conservation of roads and the utilization of traffic information,” said Atsuo Kawamura, executive vice president of NEC, in a statement. 

“We are confident that these cutting-edge solutions will provide meaningful new value for optical fiber networks.” 

Daimler Trucks talks participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s R&D program and future of autonomy!

Daimler Trucks talks participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s R&D program and future of autonomy!

Tracy Mack-Askew leads the development of solutions for DTNA customers in diesel powertrain technologies, and supports the transition to electrical propulsion solutions in chassis and vocational products.

Mack-Askew has over 20 years of automotive manufacturing experience and joined DTNA in 2014 as the vice president of engineering at Thomas Built Buses (TBB).

“Our goal is to really move the world. Everything that you have, whether its clothing, food, fuel, anything you have, had to be transported on a truck…so we say our trucks, we move the world. We want to be great business partners to our customers, helping them serve the greater public”- Tracy Mack- Askew

We had the great pleasure to speak to Tracy Mack-Askew, Executive Director and Chief Engineer of Chassis, Propulsion, and Vocational Engineering at Daimler Trucks! Tracy gave some great insight into the importance of fleets and also their upcoming projects working with fuel cells!

Watch the full interview below!

To find out more head to: https://northamerica.daimlertruck.com


The West Virginia Department of Transportation has just completed a preliminary plan to add more electric vehicle charging stations

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has just completed a preliminary plan to add more electric vehicle charging stations

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has just completed a preliminary plan to add more electric vehicle charging stations in hopes of bringing more travelers to the Mountain State. West Virginia is anticipated to receive about $46 million over the next five years to assist in the development of charging stations and electric vehicle infrastructure.

“You see the economy starting to move into a newer economy with all of the above types of energy,” said Mark Nestlen, GreenPower vice president of business development and strategy.  

However the question still remains as to whether consumers will make the switch away from petrol-powered vehicles.  

“It would be huge for our state,” Jamie Spears, president and co-owner of Astorg Auto Charleston, said. 

 “For our state to get that, it would make a difference in whether we might or might not sell an electric car. They might go buy a competitive brand or they go somewhere else. It just puts us at a competitive disadvantage.” 

The department has said that over the next five years, around  900 charging stations will be installed along all West Virginia interstates, significantly expanding the charging network.

“There are 200,000 charging stations across the country, but there are only about five in West Virginia, and there is no place to charge, even for people driving through from Ohio or North Carolina,” Spears said. 

In addition, with electric motor companies crossing state lines, the state Department of Transportation surveyed members of the public, and 59% indicated they support switching electric, while 41% said they oppose it.

“Everybody’s scared, everybody is afraid to run out. It’s kind of like running out of gas. You run out of electricity, you sit on the side of the road, so there’s gotta be a place to charge,” Spears said.

While charging stations may appear in West Virginia in the coming years, the debate of whether electric vehicles are the way of the future persists.

“It’s money savings. It’s cost savings. It’s healthier for the people who ride those vehicles, and at the end of the day, it’s a boost to the economy and job market in the state of West Virginia,” Nestlen said. 

Army ground vehicle lab researches different batteries to electrify fleet

Army ground vehicle lab researches different batteries to electrify fleet

Th US Army’s ground vehicle research lab is working on a collection of new batteries meant to properl the service towards hybrid, and eventually, fully electric vehicles. This aims to give soldiers more operational and flexibility in the field and could eventually power weapons system.  

A lab official has recently described how the service is in the early stages of a multi-decade journey to add hybrid and fully electric vehicles into its fleet, in part to reduce its climate impact, but also because of electric power’s operational impact. The service’s recent climate strategy laid out plans to hybridize the service’s tactical fleet by 2035, with fully electric vehicles targeted for 2050. 

“As we start to go into our tactical vehicles, we believe that those can be electrified pretty easily in that 2050 period of time,” said Laurence Toomey, branch chief for the energy storage team at Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC). 

The service will begin by upgrading Lithium-Ion batteries for some of the ground vehicles. Currently Army vehicles are powered by lead-acid 6T batteries, common to of its fleet and a NATO standard power source, according to Toomey. The GVSC is finalizing a 6T Lithium-Ion battery that would replace the lead-acid versions. 

The operational benefits of that effort, he said, are the Lithium-Ion batteries allow for “extended” operations with the engine off. The battery will also improve anti-idling capabilities, which allows the on-board electronics to still function while the engine is off. 

“What they want to do there is they want to facilitate longer silent watch,” Toomey said. “They want to turn the engine off and conduct longer duration missions without the heat signature and a noise signature from the engine. It also allows us to introduce the first step of our hybridization strategy and that really is anti-idle.” 

The challenge of using 6T Lithium-Ion batteries is its lower voltage and difficulty cooling, which limits it to lower energy options.  

The MHV program is targeting a range of 50 to 600 volts and is focused on the next generation combat vehicle program. Toomey said that the program is focused on creating a modular, common battery for the Army’s future vehicles. 

To find more affordable options, the Army, partnered with the Navy and Defense Innovation Unit, and turned to the commercial automotive industry that’s already invested in the high-voltage batteries needed for the larger combat platforms.  

That effort, called JumpStart for Advanced Battery Standardization, is looking at how the commercial battery technologies can be packaged to meet as many of the military requirements as possible. 

 Instead of militarizing the commercial battery itself, Jumpstart is also exploring strengthening the batteries’ enclosure within the vehicle to address survivability. 

According to the GVSC’s energy storage roadmap, the plan is to start the new battery program in 2023. The program states that the program will run from FY23-27 and will down the road become fully electrified. 

Debra Lam talks inclusive innovation ahead of MOVE America!

Debra Lam talks inclusive innovation ahead of MOVE America!

Debra Lam is the founding executive director of the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, a statewide public-private partnership committed to investing in innovative work that catalyze inclusion and growth.

Lam is the recipient of numerous awards, including one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government by Apolitcal, and 40 Under 40 by both the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Georgia Trend.

Debra will be joining us at MOVE America this September to appear on a panel on public-private collaborations powering the transportation networks of tomorrow.

“We at the partnership think about how we can build a stronger and more inclusive ecosystem around innovation, and how we can form synergies around that, that would not only benefit the larger ecosystem, but would benefit each of these individual projects”- Debra Lam

We caught up with Debra Lam to talk about current projects at the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation and what we can expect to hear from her at MOVE America 2022!

Get your ticket to #MOVEAmerica2022 at 50% off when using code WOMEN50 – this week only: https://lnkd.in/e7R457a

Find out more about Partnerships for Inclusive Innovation here: PIN