General Motors and Lithium Americas to joint develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada

General Motors and Lithium Americas to joint develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada

General Motors and Lithium Americas have announced that they will jointly invest to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada. This is the largest known source of lithium in the United States and the third largest in the world.  

The agreement will see GM make a $650 million equity investment in Lithium Americas, which represents the largest-ever investment by an automaker to produce battery raw materials, says the press release. 

 Lithium Americas estimates the lithium extracted and processed from the project can support production of up to 1 million EVs per year. 

Lithium carbonate from Thacker Pass will be used in GM’s proprietary Ultium battery cells. GM will also be launching a broad portfolio of trucks, SUVs, luxury vehicles and light commercial vehicles using the Ultium Platform, including the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and SUV, GMC Sierra EV, Cadillac LYRIQ, Cadillac CELESTIQ, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Equinox EV, BrightDrop Zevo 400 and BrightDrop Zevo 600. 

“GM has secured all the battery material we need to build more than 1 million EVs annually in North America in 2025 and our future production will increasingly draw from domestic resources like the site in Nevada we’re developing with Lithium Americas,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “Direct sourcing critical EV raw materials and components from suppliers in North America and free-trade-agreement countries helps make our supply chain more secure, helps us manage cell costs, and creates jobs.” 

The funds are reportedly to be spent in two tranches. The first tranche will be held in escrow until certain conditions are met, including the outcome of the Record of Decision ruling currently pending in U.S. District Court. If those conditions are met, the funds will be released and GM will become a shareholder in Lithium Americas. The escrow release is expected to occur no later than the end of 2023.  

“The agreement with GM is a major milestone in moving Thacker Pass toward production, while setting a foundation for the separation of our U.S. and Argentine businesses,” said Lithium Americas President and CEO Jonathan Evans. “This relationship underscores our commitment to develop a sustainable domestic lithium supply chain for electric vehicles. We are pleased to have GM as our largest investor, and we look forward to working together to accelerate the energy transition while spurring job creation and economic growth in America.” 

The second tranche investment is expected to be made into Lithium Americas’ U.S.-focused lithium business following the separation of its U.S. and Argentina businesses and is contingent on similar conditions, including Lithium Americas securing sufficient capital to fund the development expenditures to support Thacker Pass. 

Production at Thacker Pass is expected to begin in the second half of 2026. The company has announced four U.S cell plants with annual capacity of 160 gigawatt hours, including the Ultium Cells joint venture plant with LG Energy Solution in Warren, Ohio, which is in production, and additional JV sites in Spring Hill, Tennessee and Lansing, Michigan that are scheduled to open in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The first three Ultium Cells plants are expected to create 6,000 jobs in construction and 5,000 in operations. 

National Express invests £150 million in 300 electric zero emission buses

National Express invests £150 million in 300 electric zero emission buses

National Express is investing £150 million in 300 UK-made electric zero emission buses, for delivery by the end of December 2024. The buses are planned to be deployed across the West Midlands. 

The company states that the new investment is delivering on its commitment to have an emission free bus fleet by 2030. An initial Government investment kick started the transition and now the bus operator can obtain these buses. 

 Many bus fleets are yet to electrify and therefore, National Express making this transition means that a third of its fleet will be electric. This is the highest proportion of any city region in the country. Each zero-emission vehicle aims to save an average of 66 tonnes of carbon each year. 

Tom Stables, CEO National Express UK & Germany, said: “This huge green investment shows we are now at the tipping point of electric buses. The initial Government support has got the industry going and we are proud to be a major contributor to the green economy in the West Midlands. Replacing our diesel buses with electric means we are on track to meet net zero in a way that is good for business and good for communities. These clean, green UK double decker buses are popular with customers and as a result are not only more economical to run but they will boost passenger growth and revenue by getting more people to ditch their cars for the bus; and of course they do their bit to help tackle the climate & clean air emergency.” 

The release states that the UK-built zero emission buses will turbocharge the national economy through investment in supply chains, skills, training and jobs.  

Transport Minister Richard Holden said: “Reliable, clean and efficient bus services at a good price are what everyone wants to see from our bus network, and I am determined to do everything possible to decarbonise our transport network and support skilled jobs in next generation bus manufacturing across the UK. We’ve already invested hundreds of millions of pounds to kick-start the rollout of zero emission buses nationwide, and it’s great to see National Express introduce hundreds of electric buses here – helping UK manufacturing and driving down emissions and improving bus services for people across the West Midlands.” 

Additional investments will be made in infrastructure for charging and maintenance of the fleet across National Express West Midlands’ network of depots. The electricity to power the electric vehicles will be 100% renewable and zero carbon, stated the release.  

Transport for West Midlands and bus operators are making a series of investments which will see some 800 electric and zero-emission buses on the region’s streets by 2026. 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Local people will now be able to benefit from these wonderful buses here in the Midlands – offering them a quieter, smoother and more comfortable journey. As we seek to tackle the climate emergency and maintain our #WM2041 net zero commitment, these British made buses are exactly what we need – saving energy, improving air quality and cutting fuel costs for operators. I cannot wait to see even more electric buses arriving in our region in the months and years ahead.” 

The release states that this includes the Coventry Electric Bus City project, which is replacing all 275 buses, across all operators, on the city’s streets by 2025.  

A further 124 electric or hydrogen powered buses, including 24 articulated vehicles for the Sprint route on the A34 and A45, aim to be delivered next year through the Zero-Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) fund. 

Press release and picture: National Express

Will your next car be electric? 

Will your next car be electric? 

There is no doubt that consumer demand for electric vehicles has soared, with many also planning to make the transition to reduce their carbon footprint. Heycar reported that 1.61 million new cars were registered and of those, 16.6% were electric vehicles and 6.3% were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are now a close second to petrol powered vehicles. 

However, as of today, according to the Center for Sustainable Systems, about 79% of the nation’s energy still comes from fossil fuels and only 12.5% comes from renewable sources. In China, this number jumps to two thirds. Even the most carbon-conscious countries, like the Netherlands, generate 29% of its electricity from coal. Across the world, around 37% of the world’s electricity comes from power plants that burn coal. 

We asked our MOVE community whether their next car will be electric and a staggering 62% of votes said that yes, it would be. Only 38% said that it wouldn’t. So, what is preventing people from making that transition? 

 

Range anxiety 

While the demand for electric vehicles increases, still many drivers are concerned about how far their batteries will take them. Range anxiety is therefore one of the most significant barriers preventing EV adoption. 

The drive reported that 58% of drivers are afraid that they will run out of power before they are able to charge their vehicle. Additionally, Volvo has also reported that 58% of their respondents cited range anxiety as a barrier to purchasing an electric vehicle. The car manufacturer also found that 65% of EV drivers have said that their initial range anxiety faded away after a few months of usage.  

On average, most electric cars can travel an average range of 300km on a single charge which exceeds what the average driver would need. A study conducted in Europe revealed that 8 out of 10 drivers travelled less than 100 km a day, meaning that a lot of cars have progressed far enough technologically to travel further than the average person does daily, on a single charge.  

Models from global manufacturers such as Mercedes, Tesla and BMW can travel up to 400km on a single charge. Now EV owners can ‘refill’ their batteries as much as any other vehicle. With more and more electric vehicles stretching their reach on a single charge, EV owners should no longer fear their car not being able to make long distance journeys.

 

Lack of Infrastructure 

Range anxiety also finds itself hand in hand with problems with infrastructure. In December 2022 Zap Map reported that at the end of December 2022, there were 37261 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 22049 charging locations. This shows a 31% increase in charging devices since 2021. 

In the U.S, there are around 140,000 public EV chargers distributed across almost 53,000 charging stations which is still outnumbered by the 145,000 gas fueling stations in the country. Furthermore, the world economic forum has also highlighted that 29% of all chargers are in California. This shows the uneven distribution throughout the country and while it can be accessible to some, others will have to travel miles before reaching a charge point. 

EV buyers want reassurance that they will be able to charge their vehicle conveniently, but with the increase in drivers growing, the competition for public chargers grows evermore. 

In Europe alone, according to Mckinsey’s EV charging report, by 2030 the EU would need to scale up from its 340,000 charging stations to the estimated 3.4 million to meet the needs of its future EV charging fleet. Alternatively, the report also showed that around 1,600 installations of public charging point a week in 2021 would need to grow to more than 10,000 a week in 2030 to meet charging targets. 

Although EVs will be able to travel large distances on a single charge, in many places across the world, many will not have access to charging infrastructure. Public charging points will need to be placed in convenient locations and local grids will have to be amended to support multiple vehicles charging simultaneously.  

 

Not enough EVs being produced 

For the world to meet its net-zero goals 2 billion electric vehicles will need to be made. However, due to current geopolitical issues around the world, lithium supply chains are facing increasing stress to keep up with demand.  

Not only is surging demand a key challenge facing lithium demand, but resources are concentrated in a few places across the globe. Future developments of batteries or manufacturing methods would be the key to alleviating lithium shortages. 

An average EV contains about 8 kilograms of lithium according to figures from the US Department of Energy, but it has been estimated that we could face lithium shortages as early as 2025. Meaning that the need for alternative power sources has never been needed more. 

The World Economic Forum has reported that global EV purchases jumped to 6.6 million in 2021 from 3 million a year earlier meaning that they made up 9% of the market. This highlights that more and more people are making the transition to vehicles, but due to supply chain issues, many cannot get their hands on EVs anytime soon. 

Express reported that customers looking to place an order in January 2023 will be waiting for an average of 28 weeks when anticipating their new electric vehicle. While this is shorter than back in October, many are still pausing purchases out of fear of higher energy costs and costs of living worries. 

 

Production is still recovering from before the pandemic, which means that demand is slow. Governments and local authorities around the globe need to face the growing issues of infrastructure limitations. There is still much confusion within the EV community about the features and capabilities of electric vehicles which prevent many people from making the transition. 

For some, it is the simple reason that electric vehicles are just too expensive. Manufacturers are making effort to debunk myths of high energy costs and educating people on the long term savings an EV can bring.

There are still many barriers facing EV adoption globally. If you’re on the lookout for a new car then an electric model can be a great option. They’re cheaper to run and maintain, and they’re greener, helping you do your part to tackle the climate emergency.

bp Pulse launches Europe’s first public charging corridor for electric trucks

bp Pulse launches Europe’s first public charging corridor for electric trucks

Bp pulse has announced Europe’s first public charging corridor for electric trucks. The corridor has been built along a major logistics route in Germany. 

The EV charging corridor has been built along the Rhine-Alpine corridor which is one of Europe’s busiest road freight routes. 

The company has stated that it will consist of eight dedicated e-truck charging stations with an undetermined number of ultra-fast 300kw charge points per station. 

BP Pulse has not disclosed the exact number of chargers that have been installed. The new chargers have been installed on Aral retail sites in Germany between the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. 

Aral is bp’s German retail brand. In the next six months, two additional locations are scheduled to open on Aral retail sites to complete the new charging corridor stated the release.  

Once complete, using the Aral pulse charging corridor, an E-Truck will be able to cover over 600km across Germany along one of European’s major road transport routes.  

The 300kw charging stations are each capable of charging more than 20 E-Trucks, per charger each day. An E-Truck’s range can reach up to 200km in around 45-minutes using the ultra-fast charge points. 

The retail sites will also feature hot food, restrooms and showers for drivers to use during rest periods. 

Nigel Head, EV Truck Director, Europe, bp pulse, said: “This is a significant moment for E-Trucks in Europe and an important step in our journey towards helping to decarbonise truck transportation. By electrifying this stretch of the Rhine-Alpine corridor with ultra-fast charging, bp is enabling EV Truck charging beyond “back to base” whilst rapidly learning customer insights which will directly inform our longer-term European network and proposition.”  

“By beginning the roll-out of a dedicated charging network for freight operators and fleets, with a focus on major logistics corridors, bp is supporting the electrification of medium and heavy-duty vehicles, decarbonising the movement of goods, as well as people.  

“Ultra-fast charging in the right locations, combined with depot and destination charging, is critical infrastructure to accelerate the electrification transition, unlocking the economic and environmental benefits of low-carbon commercial road freight and transport.” 

Along with these charging site, bp also aims to create a network of mobility hubs along key logistic corridors across Europe as the amount of electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles increases. 

Johannes Pallasch, from Germany’s National Centre for Charging Infrastructure, part of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport said: “To reduce CO2 emissions in road freight transport significantly, e-trucks will play a central role in regional and long-distance transport. As with passenger cars, the switch to electromobility can only succeed with a reliable and needs-based charging infrastructure. With today’s opening, Aral is taking an important step in this direction.” 

bp has a global ambition of having more than 100,000 chargers installed worldwide by 2030 focused on ultra-fast charging. 

Press release and picture: bp pulse

Nikola has announces new global brand HYLA

Nikola has announces new global brand HYLA

Nikola Corporation has announced that it has created a new global brand, HYLA, to take on the company’s energy products for producing, distributing and dispensing hydrogen to fuel its zero-emissions trucks. 

“Nikola is the only company that is successfully integrating a revolutionary new product, the hydrogen fuel cell truck, and the full hydrogen energy infrastructure supply chain under one roof,” said Nikola CEO and President Michael Lohscheller. “The unveiling of our Nikola Tre fuel cell truck and flexible mobile fueling trailer demonstrates a real and sustainable competitive advantage for our customers and are significant proof points that we are accomplishing what we set out to achieve.” 

The Nikola Tre FCEV has a range of up to 500 miles and is said to be well suited for dryage and intermodal to metro regional truckload and less than truckload to certain specialised hauling use cases.  

The Nikola fueling station has an estimated fueling time of 20 minutes due to technology improvements, said the company’s release. The company expects transitioning from diesel to hydrogen is anticipated to be a seamless experience. 

“The HYLA brand represents Nikola’s hydrogen-focused energy business by supporting our fuel cell electric vehicles and those of other OEMs,” said Carey Mendes, President, Nikola Energy. “Hydrogen energy is the catalyst for the HYLA brand and serves as a forward-looking solution for our customers to help them achieve their sustainability goals and dramatically reduce the overall carbon emissions in the transportation sector.” 

The new HYLA brand is expected to produce up to 300 metric tons per day of hydrogen. Additionally, the company expects to have 60 hydrogen stations in place by 2026 with the first to be in California. 

Furthermore, The HYLA flexible mobile fueler solution is said to be an integral part of Nikola’s flexible customer service by distributing hydrogen to its at locations that meet their needs. 

“The mobile fueler cools and compresses hydrogen to rapidly fill 700 bar FCEV heavy-duty trucks. Coupled with a hydrogen tube trailer with a capacity of 960 kg, the mobile fueler can refuel customer trucks back-to-back.” 

The first mobile fueler has completed commissioning and testing and has been released for market operation. Nikola has additional hydrogen mobile fuelers being commissioned in Q1 2023.

Press release and picture: Nikola Motor

The City of Palos Hills chooses Viper Networks’ Apollo Smart Light Poles to use citywide

The City of Palos Hills chooses Viper Networks’ Apollo Smart Light Poles to use citywide

Viper Networks has announced that the company has entered into an agreement with the City of Palos Hills to install the company’s Apollo Smart Light poles throughout the city. 

The Company has said that it expects follow-up contracts to the initial first installation agreement for additional Smart City LED light poles; with the final installation numbers potentially reaching approximately 1,500 to 2,000 Smart LED Light poles throughout the southwest Greater Chicago suburban area by 2025. 

With funds now widely available due to the $1.2 trillion-dollar infrastructure Bill passed by the Biden Administration in 2021, the City of Palos Hills is proactively addressing their current and future infrastructure needs.  

The city is adjusting street lighting to incorporating new sensing technologies and data analytics for smarter transportation to providing improved communication through free public Wi-Fi and enhanced security and traffic mitigation, while also reducing the environmental footprint and creating new revenue streams. 

Farid Shouekani, CEO of Viper Networks, commented: “All parties have done a great amount of due diligence over the last two years regarding critical infrastructure planned upgrades and Viper Networks Apollo LED Street Lights, Smart Pole technology and Smart Cities systems. Developments have now progressed beyond the first phase for expected grant proceeds of $5 million plus, which would be the first of what is intended to be dozens or scores of $5 million or greater grant amounts to be submitted to the state for infrastructure modernization plans for the entire twenty-one suburban communities in Southwest Cook County in Greater Chicago over the next couple of years.” 

The release states that Viper Networks will invest substantial funds in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with periodic state grants covering the City of Palos Hills’ cost, as well as the cost for other cities throughout the southwest Cook County Chicago Metro Area and beyond. 

Source: Barrons

Lucid unveils all-new motorsports electric drive unit

Lucid unveils all-new motorsports electric drive unit

Lucid Group has unveiled its all-new electric drive unit for motorsports, which can already be found on the race circuit as the standard front drive unit for the world’s leading single-seater electric racing series. 

“With incredible power density of 14.7 hp/kg and immense energy recuperation, this drive unit will once again transform electric motorsports, following in the footsteps of our revolutionary battery pack in prior race seasons,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Group. “For Lucid, the transfer of technology between motorsports and road cars is a two-way symbiosis. This new motorsports drive unit builds directly upon the groundbreaking powertrain technology developed in-house by Lucid and proven on the road in every Lucid Air. I’m excited by the prospect that some of the technical advancements introduced may in turn make their way to future Lucid road cars.” 

The new motor features a new motorsport drive unit that produces 469 horsepower, even though it has a weight of only 70.5 pounds. The motor is also capable of a max rotor speed of 19,500 rpm.  

The release stated that it features the same state-of-the-art high-voltage continuous wave winding and proprietary microjet cooling system that can be found in the motors powering the Lucid Air sports sedan. 

The company has highlighted that it provides regenerative energy recovery from the front wheels under braking, significantly enhancing the racecar’s performance envelope, efficiency and relevance to road car advancement. 

The new motors are produced entirely in-house by Lucid and using their expertise of e-motor design, power electronics, computer simulation, and design engineering they have created an incredible drive unit. 

Press release and picture: Lucid Motors

SK Energy and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power sign MOU to expand Energy Super Station and hydrogen convergence business

SK Energy and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power sign MOU to expand Energy Super Station and hydrogen convergence business

SK Energy and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power have announced that they have signed a Momorandum of Understanding at the SK Building in Jongno-gu, Seoul.  

This aims to spread Energy Super Station which is a business of urban distributed power generation; to cooperate in establishing hydrogen charging stations and producing/selling electricity and hydrogen; and to promote the eco-friendly hydrogen convergence business that use waste resources. 

The release has stated that both companies plan to utilise SK Energy’s contact points with customers, such as gas stations, LPG charging stations, NeTruck House and idle national and public land to establish Hybrid Energy Super Stations.  

Energy Super Station provides renewable energy by utilising existing petrol station sites to charge sustainable vehicles, has been in the limelight as a solution for the energy self-sufficiency rate through the distributed power generation, minimisation of transmission and distribution loss, and the establishment of a stable EV-charging-station network. 

Head of SK Energy Solution & Platform Business Division Chang Ho-joon, said, “Through this cooperation, we are going to speed up our efforts to transform existing gas stations into Energy Super Stations to prepare for the age of green vehicles in the future. In addition, we will actively cooperate with KHNP to make a contribution to realize Net Zero as well as vitalize the distributed power generation through pioneering a new energy business.” 

As of last year, the company has installed fuel cells in two SK gas stations in Seoul and produced electricity. SK Bakmi Gas Station, located in Geumcheon-gu, and SK Gaenari Gas Station in Yangcheon-gu have produced 300kW fuel cells to produce eco-friendly electricity since February and September last year.  

Due to this success, SK Energy and KHNP will push forward with the expansion in establishing the Urban Energy Super Stations in Seoul. The companies plan to discover new business opportunities through utilising SK’s contacts and KHNP’s experiences and technologies in the renewable energy sector. 

Head of KHNP New Business Division Jang Pil-ho commented saying, “KHNP will utilise its experience and know-how in various renewable energy business projects to the spread of Energy Super Station, and, with SK Energy, we will do our best to meet the government’s policy for the vitalization of the hydrogen economy and become a role model for following urban distributed power source businesses.” 

Alongside KHNP, SK Energy plans to drive the project to establish on-site hydrogen charging stations based on Trigen, the fuel cell system that enables the production of eco-friendly electricity and hydrogen at the same time. 

Press release and picture: SK Energy

Italvolt partners with StoreDot to produce extreme fast charging lithium-ion battery technology

Italvolt partners with StoreDot to produce extreme fast charging lithium-ion battery technology

Italvolt has announced that it has entered a strategic partnership with StoreDot, a pioneer and global leader in extreme fast charging and energy dense lithium-ion battery technology.  

The agreement has stated that Italvolt will license StoreDot’s extreme fast charging technology and intellectual property rights to manufacture XFC lithium-ion batteries at its plant in Italy. The collaboration includes an offtake agreement for StoreDot, enabling the purchase of Italvolt’s batteries for its own business and customers, once production is complete, said the release. 

Lars Carlstrom, Italvolt Founder and CEO of Italvolt said: “Our collaboration with StoreDot is an inflection point in our journey to deliver high-quality, lithium-ion battery cells, at scale. Italvolt’s technology-agnostic, modular approach to production will ensure that we remain at the forefront of the industry as battery cell technology advances. We are proud to welcome StoreDot as an offtake partner, and together, we will accelerate the rollout of extreme energy density battery cells, that can support the transition to electric vehicles”. 

The joint venture represents a significant milestone in Italvolt’s operational goal to create lithium-ion batteries at scale and establishes an accelerated route to market.  

It specifically shows the similarity of ambition between the two companies and is said to allow Italvolt to scale and upgrade its battery cell production alongside StoreDot’s technological advancements. 

StoreDot’s ‘100inX’ product roadmap has an ambition to develop advanced battery cells capable of 100 miles of range in 5 minutes’ charge by 2024, 100 miles in 3 minutes’ charge by 2028 and 100 miles in 2 minutes’ charge by 2032, said the press release. 

StoreDot aims to drive mass EV adoption through the development of extreme energy density batteries, which deliver greater efficiency, a longer lasting performance, and allow for superfast charging. 

Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot said: “We are excited to be forming this strategic collaboration with Italvolt, a company that shares our ambition for the entire battery ecosystem and will be crucial for us securing European manufacturing capacity. This agreement lets us obtain captive capacity so we can guarantee supply of cells to our future OEM customers. It is extremely important that StoreDot creates these strong relationships as we rapidly move towards mass production of our extreme fast charge batteries in the coming months. Our advanced 100in5 technologies will eradicate charging anxiety which is currently the biggest barrier to widespread electric vehicle ownership.” 

The joint venture between the two companies will demonstrate how independent battery manufacturers are able to develop advanced lithium-ion battery cells efficiently and on a large scale. 

Press release and picture: Italvolt

CATL begins production of electric vehicle battery cells at Germany plant

CATL begins production of electric vehicle battery cells at Germany plant

CATL has reportedly begun production of electric vehicle battery cells at its plant in Germany, which is a huge milestone for the company’s oversea expansion.  

CATT, the local subsidiary of the world’s largest EV battery producer, began output of lithium-ion battery cells on a newly installed production line at its EUR1.8bn complex in Thuringia. 

CATL Europe president Matthias Zentgraf said in a statement: “The production kick off proves we kept our promise to our customers as a reliable industry partner and we stay committed to Europe’s e-mobility transition even under very challenging conditions like the pandemic. We are working hard to ramp up production to full capacity, which is our top priority for the coming year.” 

The company has said that CATT received a Thuringia permit fit battery cell production in April 2022 for an initial capacity of 8 gigawatt-hours of battery cells per year.  

CATL last month held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new US$2bn Chinese EV and energy storage battery cell plant in Jining, Shandong. 

The company was also reported to be in discussions with Ford to establish a battery factory in the US. 

Picture: CATL

Stellantis signs binding agreement with Element 25

Stellantis signs binding agreement with Element 25

Stellantis and Element 25 have announced the signing for a binding agreement for Element 25 to supply battery grade, high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate to Stellantis for use in electric vehicle battery packs.  

The agreement, which will last for five years, is said to begin in 2026. A total volume of 45 kilotons will be shipped and the company will have the option to extend the supply term and volumes.  

The press release stated that Element 25 will source the material from its Butcherbird project in Western Australia and plans to construct a processing facility in the US. 

“Our commitment to a carbon net zero future includes creation of a smart supply chain to ensure we meet our customers’ desire for EVs,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. “Electric vehicles that deliver breakthrough customer experience in propulsion, connectivity and convenience are central to our Dare Forward 2030 plan that delivers safe, clean and affordable mobility.” 

Stellantis released a Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan which aimed to reach 100% of passenger car BEV sales mix in Europe and 50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030. Stellantis will be the industry champion in climate change mitigation, becoming carbon net zero by 2038, with a 50% reduction by 2030. 

Stellantis plans to be an industry leader in climate change mitigation by becoming carbon net zero by 2038, and 50% reduction by 2030.  

Stellantis plans to invest more than €30 billion through 2025 in electrification and software development, while targeting to continue to be 30 percent more efficient than the industry with respect to total Capex and R&D spend versus revenues, said the company’s press release. 

“Stellantis’ support for Element 25’s high purity battery-grade manganese sulphate project is a fantastic endorsement by one of the world’s largest automakers and validates our plans to become a globally significant long-term supplier of battery materials to meet growing global demand,” Element 25 Managing Director Justin Brown said. “We are fully aligned with Stellantis’ decarbonization and electrification goals, which represent some of the most ambitious in the industry and have committed to reach agreed net zero carbon emission goals under this deal.”

Press release and picture: Stellantis

Mercedes to create its own network of high-powered EV chargers

Mercedes to create its own network of high-powered EV chargers

Mercedes has announced that it will be creating its own network of high-power EV chargers, with 10,000 set to be installed by the end of the decade.  

The first 400 hubs are set to arrive in North America this year, which will have more than 2,500 electric chargers. The roll out is expected to be complete by 2027. 

The chargers will operate under the Mercedes brand and owners of the company’s car will have priority access, although the network will be available to cars from other manufacturers. 

The company has said that charging stations will be able to accommodate 350kW rates with the potential to increase in the future. Mercedes has also said that it will focus on making sure that customers using its hubs will have a “premium, sustainable and reliable charging experience”. 

Mercedes will split the cost of the network with MN8, a solar energy producer that will provide energy to all sites. Both have said that they planned to apply for federal subsidies available to companies that build chargers. 

Mercedes drivers will be able to use the MercedesMe service to pay for their charge and will even be able to reserve a slot at a charging station. 

Speaking at the announcement at CES in Las Vegas, Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz said, “To accelerate the electric transformation, we need to ensure that the charging experience keeps pace as well. That’s why we are launching a global high-end charging network.” 

Working on the network will begin later this year with the United States and Canada the first region to be targeted. Hubs will be placed in key cities and close to main arterial routes and destinations.  

ABB E-mobility unveils new Terra Home charging solution

ABB E-mobility unveils new Terra Home charging solution

ABB E-mobility has unveiled its new Terra Home charging solution at CES 2023, a tech event held in Las Vegas.  

The Terra Home is set to go on sale later this year. The company has said that this will usher in the “next generation of consumer choice for residential EV charging”. The new design will allow consumers to make the best use of their renewable energy sources with the aim of reducing their carbon footprint. 

For those who wish to make the switch from ICE vehicles to electric ones, Terra Home charging solution’s ability to automatically prioritise electricity from renewable domestic sources will be a great choice.  

The Terra Home has a minimalistic design and through the choice of materials and options for personalised covers means that it will fit into different lifestyles and homes. 

The company has highlighted intelligent features such as Plug N Charge enable instant and automatic recognition between car and charger, making charging authorization completely seamless. In addition, interactive lighting features indicate the state of the charging session, while notifications on charging status are easily accessible on the ABB E-mobility charger app, which can also be used to authenticate a charge, ensuring that the owner alone can connect to their Terra Home. 

An experienced team can remotely service the charger quickly due to the cloud connection between Terra Home and ABB E-mobility. The team can provide a quick and easy service while remote firmware updates that will ensure a futuristic experience.  

ABB E-mobility’s Terra Home can be seen for the first time at CES in Las Vegas from the 5th-8th January. 

Press release and picture: ABB E-mobility

North Lanarkshire introduces tariffs for electric vehicle charging

North Lanarkshire introduces tariffs for electric vehicle charging

North Lanarkshire has announced that it will be introducing new costs for the use of its electric vehicle charging network.  

Drivers will now have to pay 27 per kilowatt hour for the use of the area’s 96 public standard and fast chargers, and 40p per kilowatt hour for its 26 rapid chargers, which will also have an overstay fee of £30 after one hour. 

The decision to begin charging for the use of power points was made by councillors back in November, after seeing the soaring energy prices causing the forecast for running cost to reach £852,000 throughout 2023.  

North Lanarkshire have shaped their tariffs on those in their neighbouring county, South Lanarkshire, which also began charging for the public network in November.  

The cost has been said to incorporate the cost of electricity, network maintenance and operation and will be regularly reviewed as energy costs are changing. In a post it was said that it will price of home charging for the 7kW and 22kW points, and to existing private sector 50kW rapid charging facilities. 

Chargeplace Scotland had mentioned that North Lanarkshire is among 17 power point operators that have decided to update their tariff. This was to ensure that charging infrastructure can be maintained and continue to be accessible. 

The council has seen an increase in 253 motorists carrying out 1259 charging sessions in July 2021 to 4071 “unique drivers” using chargers 18,075 times to supply 351,347 kilowatt hours of energy 13 months later, according to Daily Record. 

The cost to the council for the energy being used cannot be sustained, hence why motorists can now expect to see a charge. 

Octopus Energy expands green power in Iberia and invests in renewables developer partnership

Octopus Energy expands green power in Iberia and invests in renewables developer partnership

Octopus Energy’s generation arm expands green power in Iberia by investing in renewables developer FF New Energy Ventures (FFNEV) to develop cheaper green power, reducing fossil fuels reliance. 

The partnership aims to scale activity in Spain and Portugal and accelerate expansion into new European countries and Latin America in the future. This will mark the first time Octopus will enter into Portugal’s green generation market. 

Vicente Lopez-Ibor Mayor, Chairman of FFNEV, said: “We founded and started FFNEV in 2018 and have been busy developing a top-quality pipeline in Iberia, driven by our successful, recognised and experienced team. We’re delighted to be building on our long-standing relationship with Octopus and have no doubt this latest backing will accelerate FFNEV’s growth in Iberia and abroad.” 

The press release stated that FFNEV has 2.1GW of renewable projects in their pipeline already and is also participating in floating offshore wind development with a target of 5GW.  

With this latest funding they’re targeting 1.6GW new solar and storage sites in these markets by 2030. This could power nearly 1 million homes, avoiding 945,000 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of removing nearly 520,000 petrol cars and planting over 4.6 million trees. 

Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, comments: “Now more than ever before, we need to build more green power to help reduce gas reliance and bring down energy bills. Investments like this deal with FFNEV will help make a difference quickly. This latest news is only the beginning for us – as we’ve got big plans in this part of Europe.” 

This deal is the next step for Octopus Energy in Spain. Octopus Energy Spain launched as a retail energy supplier in August 2021 after acquiring green energy startup Umeme, offering customers 100% green energy tariffs. 

Source and picture: Octopus Energy

Solid Power deepens relationship with BMW to build batteries at home

Solid Power deepens relationship with BMW to build batteries at home

Solid Power has announced that it has expanded their already existing partnership with BMW group. Under an expanded Joint Development Agreement, Solid Power has granted the BMW Group a research and development license to Solid Power’s all-solid-state cell design and manufacturing know-how, said the company’s press release. 

Both companies will see significant benefits for both companies, which will include conducting complementary cell development and manufacturing activities at both Solid Power and the BMW Group to further advance the capability of Solid Power’s technology. 

“Expanding our relationship with BMW is further evidence that both companies believe Solid Power is on the right track with its technology development,” said David Jansen, Interim CEO, President and Chair of Solid Power. “I am encouraged by the progress our team continues to make toward achieving our company’s goals. Over the past several months, we began delivering 20 Ah cells to our partners, including BMW, for initial testing and commenced production of our initial EV cells. We look forward to bringing our electrolyte manufacturing facility online and commencing the formal automotive qualification process.” 

The company has said that the BMW group intends to duplicate Solid Power’s pilot production lines at its own facility in Germany and produce prototype cells based on Solid Power’s proprietary technology. 

“We could not be more excited about growing our relationship with BMW, a company that has demonstrated a strong commitment to Solid Power’s technology for the past seven years,” said Dr. Derek Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Solid Power. “We believe this expanded partnership and increased collaboration is an added vote of confidence in Solid Power’s technology development.” 

The agreement states that the BMW Group has agreed to pay Solid Power $20 million through June 2024, subject to achieving certain milestones.  

The expanded Joint Development Agreement includes sharing of proprietary all-solid-state electrode and cell manufacturing know-how but does not include a license to intellectual property related to Solid Power’s electrolyte material, which remains its core business, says the release. 

“BMW remains committed to the pursuit of all-solid-state batteries, a technology which we believe has significant potential for the future,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development. “We look forward to working even more closely with Solid Power and adding the capability to produce solid-state cells based on Solid Power’s designs at our own pilot facility. We expect this agreement to accelerate the installation of our solid-state prototype line and our companies’ mutual goal of commercializing this promising cell technology.”

Press release and picture: Solid power

Dorset Solar farm to power London’s iconic landmarks

Dorset Solar farm to power London’s iconic landmarks

It has been announced that some of London’s iconic landmarks are to be powered by renewable energy from a giant solar panel farm in Dorset.  

Attractions such as Tower Bridge, the lights and facilities at Hampstead Heath and the Barbican Centre will be powered by renewable electricity from the village of Spetisbury, near Blandford Forum. 

The city of London has said that its historic buildings at Guildhall, Smithfield Market, and the Old Bailey will also run on the sustainable energy supply. 

In 2020, the City Corporation agreed a £40 million deal with international energy provider Voltalia to buy all the electricity produced by the new solar farm for 15 years. The facility has just been completed and will provide over half of the City Corporation’s electricity from 1 January 2023. 

The site will have a capacity of 49.9 megawatts, and it is hoped to save over £3 million in energy costs per year. 

Chairman of the City Corporation’s Environment Committee, Keith Bottomley, said: “This scheme is a pioneering blueprint by the City Corporation for local authorities across the UK, cutting carbon emissions and giving cheaper, more secure energy, protected from the price volatility of energy markets. The deal will increase our green energy supply, has no reliance on taxpayer funding, and helps us transition quickly away from fossil fuels.” 

The release has said that the deal is part of the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, which commits it to reaching net zero in its own operations by 2027, and in its investments and supply chain by 2040.  

It will also be supporting the achievement of net zero for the whole Square Mile by the same year. The organisation is said to be investing £68m to achieve these goals. 

CEO of Voltalia, Sébastien Clerc, commented: “The completion of South Farm is a great achievement. I would like to warmly thank all the Voltalia teams and our local British suppliers and subcontractors, who have been working together on this project. In the current energy crisis, we are very proud to supply clean and cheap electricity to some of London’s most iconic landmarks. With this 15-year contract we are actively supporting the City Corporation in mitigating its energy budget volatility and reaching its net zero target.” 

Since 2018, the city has been sourcing 100 per cent renewable energy through existing infrastructure. 

Source: City of London News

Octopus Energy partners with Stellantis to accelerate EV uptake

Octopus Energy partners with Stellantis to accelerate EV uptake

Octopus Energy has announced a strategic partnership with Stellantis to encourage customers of Stellantis to make the switch to an EV, benefiting from lower running costs by switching to one of the fastest energy providers. 

Six of the brands under the Stellantis umbrella – Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, DS, Jeep and Alfa Romeo – will offer customers access to the Octopus EV bundle.  

This will include innovative smart charging tariff, Intelligent Octopus which will allow access to cheaper greener charging overnight. Additionally, the Ohme Wallbox will be part of the package. New customers will have £25 off their bill. 

The company has said that drivers will have access to more than 330,000 chargers across Europe through Octopus’s charging roaming network, Electric Universe. This aims to make public charging easy with just one card, one bill and an app. 

This offer will be available to existing Octopus Energy customers who have already purchased an EV from one of the Stellantis brands.  

Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, Chief Product Officer at Octopus Energy, said: “Transport still accounts for a massive chunk of global emissions, so switching away from old school petrol and diesel cars will be crucial for reaching net zero. Going electric is a win-win-win: cleaning up the air we breathe, decarbonising our roads and putting money back in people’s pockets. We are over the moon to be partnering with Stellantis to help make the process of going green as smooth as possible for their customers.” 

The partnership is said to build on Octupus’ recent partnership with Vauxhall as it aims to build on its position as the energy supplier of choice for electric car manufacturers. 

Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Stellantis UK, said: “Our partnership with Octopus Energy allows us to offer electric vehicle customers greater support and services to enjoy the freedom of driving an EV at home and on the road. We’re pleased to be continuing to provide drivers with access to charging in an affordable, efficient, and environmentally beneficial way with added ease.”

Press release: Octopus Energy

Tesla to offer 6,000 of free charging to customers who place an order before the end of 2022

Tesla to offer 6,000 of free charging to customers who place an order before the end of 2022

Tesla has announced that it will be offering all its customers who place an order before the end of 2022 the equivalent of 6,000 miles of free electric vehicle charging from its Supercharger network.  

The buying incentive comes as a nice surprise as many OEM’s cannot offer discounts due to the pressure being placed on supply chains. 

An email issued by the brand said: “Tesla has decided to grant free Supercharger credits, equivalent to approximately 6,000 miles of driving, if you take delivery of a Tesla vehicle between December 15 and December 31, 2022. The free Supercharger credits will be credited to your Tesla Account in the month of January 2023 and will remain valid for a period of two calendar years from the delivery date. The free Supercharger credits cannot be transferred to another vehicle or person and cease to be valid in case of an ownership transfer of your vehicle.” 

Some Tesla superfans have estimated that the gift was worth about £800 based on current Supercharger rates. The automaker has also been discounting its cars in China to boost sales and many predict that the company will continue that here and in other countries.
 

Hyperbat wins contract to supply batteries for Lotus Evija EV

Hyperbat wins contract to supply batteries for Lotus Evija EV

Hyperbat, a leading manufacturer of high-performance electric vehicle battery packs, has sealed a multi-million-pound contract to supply batteries to Lotus for its new all-electric Evija. 

Hyperbat was first formed to bring together Williams Advanced Engineering’s EV battery expertise with Unipart’s capability in manufacturing safety-critical products for premium OEMs.  

This combination of engineering and Tier 1 manufacturing capability was established to support the scale-up of EV production in the UK and will manufacture the 90kWh lithium-ion battery packs destined for use in the first British-made all-electric hypercar, says the press release.  

Full production is said to take place at the firm’s brand-new production line at Unipart Manufacturing Group’s site in Coventry. 

Andy Davis, Director at Hyperbat, said: “To win a contract with Lotus to supply battery packs for the world’s most powerful production car demonstrates the exceptional technology and manufacturing expertise we have at Hyperbat. This comes from decades of experience as a first-tier automotive industry manufacturer and is an example of how Hyperbat can continue Britain’s heritage at the frontier of technological innovation in the automotive industry, coupled with Unipart’s expertise in execution. Required performance levels will be facilitated by our proprietary welding and joining technologies, which, alongside the deployment of the latest digital technologies, are critical to achieving the highest levels of performance and product quality.” 

The company has said that the manufacturing process involves assembling 12,000 components split across 500 unique parts and 100,000 welds in each pack. This is a complex process for which Hyperbat employs a unique system using cameras, sensors and vision systems to monitor the data for each of the battery components. 

Mark Edwards, Executive Director, Engineering, Lotus Cars, added his support: “We have been working with Unipart and Hyperbat for a number of years and are confident in their ability to deliver the quality of product and the level of Tier 1 manufacturing support Lotus needs for such a prestigious project. With this in mind, we are therefore delighted to appoint Hyperbat for battery production for Lotus’ first fully electric hypercar.” 

The release said that the company is committed to selecting the best and most competitive supply solutions and is actively engaged with the Advanced Propulsion Centre to grow the UK’s EV supply chain capability through its “H1perChain” project. 

Picture and source: Hyperbat