Port of Los Angeles establishes hydrogen trial for regional movement of goods

Port of Los Angeles establishes hydrogen trial for regional movement of goods

The Port of Los Angeles has taken delivery of five hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles and established two hydrogen fuelling stations under its $82.5 million Shore-to-Store project.

12-month demonstration is part of the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan designed to help California achieve climate change, air quality improvement and sustainability targets. In addition, it will assess the operational and technical feasibility of the vehicles in a heavy-duty setting, as well as expanding infrastructure to support hydrogen throughout the region.

“Transporting goods between our Port and the metropolitan area of Inland Empire is the first leg of this next journey toward a zero-emissions future,” Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles executive director, said. “This project is a model for developing and commercialising the next generation of clean trucks and cargo-handling equipment for the region and beyond. Just as the air we breathe extends beyond the Port’s footprint, so should the clean air and economic benefits we believe this project will yield.”

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is supporting the project with a matching grant of $41.1 million. Project partners are contributing the remaining $41.4 million in financial and in-kind support.

“For generations, neighbourhoods located next to high volume traffic corridors have experienced disproportionately high rates of air pollution and pollution-related illness, particularly in the greater Los Angeles region,” Craig Segall, CARB deputy executive officer, said. “We are working steadily to change this trajectory by helping to fund, support and promote comprehensive efforts like the Shore-to-Store Project that will run cleaner and quieter trucks that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower smog-forming emissions as well. It’s a sizable investment in a project with the potential to radically transform how we move freight in one of the most populous regions in the US”

Partners in the project are Toyota Logistics Services (TLS), UPS, and trucking companies Total Transportation Services (TTSI) and Southern Counties Express (SCE). Gas and technology leader Air Liquide is also participating as a fuel supplier. Shell built and will operate the project’s two new high-capacity hydrogen fuelling stations.

JLR develops hydrogen Land Rover Defender prototype

JLR develops hydrogen Land Rover Defender prototype

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the new Land Rover Defender, with testing scheduled to begin later this year.

The FCEV concept is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s aim to achieve zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, and net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039, in line with the Reimagine strategy announced in May.

Hydrogen-powered FCEVs provide high energy density and rapid refuelling, and minimal loss of range in low temperatures, making the technology ideal for larger, longer-range vehicles, or those operated in hot or cold environments.

The zero tailpipe emission prototype New Defender FCEV will begin testing towards the end of 2021 in the UK to verify key attributes such as off-road capability and fuel consumption.

Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced engineering project, known as Project Zeus, is part funded by the UK government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre, and will allow engineers to understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be optimised to deliver the performance and capability expected by its customers from range to refuelling, and towing to off-road ability.

Ralph Clague, Head of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells for Jaguar Land Rover, says, “We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry, and alongside battery electric vehicles, it offers another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabilities and requirements of Jaguar Land Rover’s world class line-up of vehicles. The work done alongside our partners in Project Zeus will help us on our journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039, as we prepare for the next generation of zero tailpipe emissions vehicles.”

Gridserve takes over the UK’s Electric Highway charging network

Gridserve takes over the UK’s Electric Highway charging network

Ecotricity has confirmed the sale of its Electric Highway national charging network to Gridserve. The sale comes after Gridserve and Ecotricity recently announced a partnership, with the goal of upgrading the UK’s charging infrastructure.

Ecotricity started developing the Electric Highway a decade ago and is widely recognised as a key player in helping to kickstart the UK’s electric car market. In a decade, charging has evolved from 3-pin plugs and 7kW charging to the current state-of-the-art 350kW, capable of providing 100 miles of charge in around 5 minutes, while typical car range has increased from 80 miles to over 300.

This technical progress and rapid price convergence of new electric cars with their fossil counterparts has seen more than 500,000 plug-in cars now on UK roads – with around 7% of new vehicles sales so far in 2021 being pure electric vehicles. Many of the world’s largest car manufacturers have announced dates for the final production of fossil powered cars and the Government have put a long stop on this by announcing a ban on the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2030.

Gridserve is to ramp up investment in the Electric Highway with the replacement of all the existing chargers on the network with new technology that features latest advances including contactless payment – and the opening last month of the first high power charging facility at Moto’s new flagship Motorway services at Rugby, featuring 12 x 350kW chargers.

Dale Vince, Founder, Ecotricity, said, “We’ve reached an interesting point in the electric car revolution, exponential growth is just around the corner, the technology for charging has evolved and an incredible rate of charging is now possible. Using an electric car is almost on a par with using a fossil powered car, where you can just top up once every week or two. And the Electric Highway needs a growth spurt, to make sure that it stays ahead of driver demand and continues to play its key role, as the network that delivers more miles every year than any other. For this the Electric Highway needs an owner with access to serious funding and real commitment to the cause – I’m delighted to have found the ideal company to hand the baton to, in Gridserve.”

Toddington Harper, CEO, Gridserve, added, “It’s a real honour for Gridserve to have been chosen by Ecotricity as the organisation to take the Electric Highway forward in its next phase. The upgraded network will provide the confidence for millions more people to make the successful transition to electric vehicles in the earliest possible timeframes.”

Ecotricity says the sale will enable it to push new boundaries in its core green energy business – with innovations such as Britain’s first Green Gasmill – a process of making gas for the grid from grass. It will also bring forward a series of solar and battery storage projects and expand its Sky Mining facility – a carbon capture and storage process that turns atmospheric carbon dioxide into diamonds.

Hitachi and Arrival offer European bus operators competitive total cost of ownership electric packages

Hitachi and Arrival offer European bus operators competitive total cost of ownership electric packages

Electric vehicle developer Arrival and Hitachi Europe have announced a partnership to deliver electric bus and infrastructure solutions across Europe.

The partnership combines Hitachi’s digital and operational capabilities with Arrival’s products. The two companies will work with bus operators to deploy integrated solutions that incorporate all aspects of owning and operating Arrival vehicles, including items such as charging infrastructure and digital tools. They claim the approach makes electric buses competitive in price with fossil fuel alternatives.

Mike Nugent, Head of EV, at Hitachi Europe, says: “We’re delighted to join forces with Arrival as we become the partner of choice for municipalities and bus operators to deliver end to end and integrated estate wide rollouts of electric vehicles and infrastructure. As governments look to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles in the next decade, providing the wide range of necessary solutions and technologies in an integrated, streamlined and operationally-manageable way will be vital for bus operators and municipalities across Europe.”

Hamish Phillips, Head of Sales, UK, at Arrival, adds: “We are pleased to work with Hitachi to bring bus operators yet another way to accelerate their transition to electric. Arrival’s vehicles already provide a much lower total cost of ownership for customers, and when incorporated into Hitachi’s business model we can see an even more compelling business case for companies to transition their fleets to electric more rapidly.”

Ford and BMW-backed solid state battery producer Solid Power to list on NASDAQ following SPAC merger

Ford and BMW-backed solid state battery producer Solid Power to list on NASDAQ following SPAC merger

Solid Power Inc, the Ford and BMW-backed US producer of all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, is to merge with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III. DPAC, a decarbonisation focused SPAC, describes itself as a blank check company targeting businesses that advance the objectives of global decarbonisation. The combined company will be named Solid Power, Inc, with a pro forma implied enterprise value of $1.2 billion.

Ford and BMW recently participated in previously announced $135 million Series B financing in Solid Power. Both automakers aim to use Solid Power‘s low-cost, high-energy battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.

Solid Power’s all-solid-state batteries could provide a near 500-mile vehicle range on a single charge, which is 50 to 75 percent greater than any commercially available lithium-ion battery today.

Doug Campbell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Solid Power, says, “Today marks an important milestone of commercialising Solid Power’s next generation all-solid-state batteries that can alleviate the two largest passenger EV pain points: range anxiety and cost. In addition to our existing partners, Ford and BMW, we are now excited to partner with the DCRC team that shares our vision of powering a cleaner, safer and cost-effective electric future.”

Robert Tichio, Chairman of the Board of DCRC and Partner at Riverstone Holdings LLC, adds, “Solid-state batteries have long been the elusive technology breakthrough in the battery category for the better part of a decade. Countless labs, scientists, ventures and corporates have claimed progress towards scalable solid-state batteries, with an emphasis on claims. No other known company has made the type of commercialisation achievements in all-solid-state batteries that Solid Power has, and Solid Power’s technology is built around a manufacturing process that would be indistinguishable to lithium-ion batteries, putting this company in a league of its own.”

Toyota reveals plan to establish city scale hydrogen societies across Japan

Toyota reveals plan to establish city scale hydrogen societies across Japan

Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture and Toyota Motor Corporation have outlined plans to build a city scale testbed for hydrogen technologies. Similar in concept, but ultimately larger than Toyota’s already announced Woven City project, the aim at Fukushima is to establish a model for a future hydrogen society within a city of 300,000 people.

Toyota’s project partners include Hino Motors, Isuzu Motors and DENSO Corporation. The project partners believe they can create a blueprint that can be rolled out to similar-sized cities across Japan.

Fukushima Prefecture suffered a devasting nuclear reactor meltdown in the aftermath of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. It now plans to focus on hydrogen-based technologies. The new city will make use of hydrogen produced at multiple sites in the prefecture, including Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), introduce several fuel cell trucks for deliveries, optimise operational management and hydrogen refilling schedules through the use of connected technologies, and carry out energy management that caters to the prevailing local conditions.

Toyota, and its partners will also operate fuel cell kitchen cars and medical cars, and use hydrogen at stores and plants in Fukushima Prefecture to reduce supply chain carbon emissions.

In a statement Toyota says, “Following the announcement of Japan’s 2050 Carbon Neutral Goal, there is a growing need for concrete initiatives aimed at building sustainable societies that can be passed on to future generations. Fukushima Prefecture, Toyota, and its partners share this conviction; to this end, they intend to steadily promote the realisation of one of the world’s first hydrogen societies, and of carbon neutrality, by expanding their spheres of cooperation, and taking advantage of the diverse regional characteristics of Fukushima Prefecture.”

Chinese develop electric school bus with bi-directional charging

Chinese develop electric school bus with bi-directional charging

BYD, China’s leading electric bus maker, has introduced an 84-seat battery-electric school bus that supports bi-directional charging. Potentially, BYD says, the bus could be charged overnight when energy demand is low and then help power the classroom during school hours when the bus is parked.

The bus has a range of up to 155 miles on a single charge.

Key safety features include electronic stability control to aid handling, a collision avoidance system, and a 360-degree monitoring system to detect pedestrians and cyclists when the bus is operating at slow speeds. It also features a Predictive Stop Arm, which monitors approaching traffic and notifies students when it may not be safe to cross.

Although e-buses are still a fraction of all bus transportation globally, the sector is projected to grow significantly propelled by increasing emissions regulations and directives from governments across the globe.

Sustainable boating comes to Lake Tahoe watersports

Sustainable boating comes to Lake Tahoe watersports

Florida based electric boat manufacturer Ingenity Electric has developed what is claimed to be the first 100% electric towboat for waterskiing, with the first boat being put in operation this month at Lake Tahoe which straddles the California and Nevada border.

The Ingenity Experience is an initiative in partnership with Lake Tahoe based Homewood High & Dry Marina, Superior Boat Repair & Sales, and Tahoe Surf Company, which offers guests to the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada “an exclusive on-water outing on Ingenity’s groundbreaking fully-electric towboat”… to “experience how Ingenity uses electric propulsion technology to create an unparalleled connection to the water as they get behind the multisport Super Air Nautique GS22E on scenic Lake Tahoe.”

Sean Marrero, President of Ingenity Electric says, “We’re excited to show people just how unique and fun sustainable boating is. You won’t be able to tell the boat is electric by the wave you’re surfing, but hundreds of pounds of CO2 emissions are saved every time the boat goes out.

“It’s hard to come to a special place like Lake Tahoe and not feel an awesome responsibility for maintaining its beauty for future generations,” added Marrero. “Not only does water cover 70% of the earth, it is 60% of our bodies. When we protect water, we protect ourselves. We want people to join us, and we think they’ll be happy when they see what Ingenity is doing to make sustainability this much fun.”

Renault and Plug Power joint venture to develop commercial vehicle hydrogen ecosystem

Renault and Plug Power joint venture to develop commercial vehicle hydrogen ecosystem

Renault Group and US hydrogen and fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power Inc have formed a joint venture called HYVIA to offer a “complete ecosystem” for fuel cell powered light commercial vans with green hydrogen and refuelling stations across Europe.

HYVIA is equally owned by the two partners, the head office and R&D teams will be located at Villiers-Saint-Frédéric, in France, alongside Renault’s light commercial vehicle engineering and development centre. The process, manufacturing and logistics teams will be based in Flins, as part of the Re-Factory project, and plan to begin the assembly of fuel cells and recharging stations by end of 2021.

The first three fuel cell vehicles brought to market by HYVIA will be based on the Renault Master platform and should be available in Europe by end of 2021 and accompanied with the deployment of charging stations and the supply of green hydrogen.

Luca de Meo, CEO Renault Group, says, “As a pioneer in new energies and the European leader in electric light commercial vehicles, Renault Group is pursuing its objective of having the greenest mix on the market by 2030. This joint venture integrates the entire hydrogen mobility ecosystem in a unique way, from the vehicle to infrastructure and turnkey services for customers. The development of this cutting-edge technology will enable us to strengthen our industrial base and set up new value-generating activities in France in this promising segment.”

Andrew Marsh, CEO Plug Power, adds, “Plug Power is a leader in solutions serving the hydrogen ecosystem, with over 40,000 fuel cell systems deployed, 110 charging stations deployed capable of distributing more than 40 tonnes of hydrogen per day. Plug Power is a technological leader in green hydrogen solutions by electrolysis. With HYVIA, we are bringing hydrogen mobility to France and Europe.”

David Holderbach, CEO HYVIA, comments, “Renault has been a hydrogen pioneer since 2014 with more than a hundred light commercial vehicles on the road. We are excited to join forces with Plug Power with its integrated solutions approach towards green hydrogen. HYVIA is now opening a new path towards decarbonation with a complete offering of hydrogen solutions. HYVIA builds on the complementary skills of Renault Group and Plug Power and will target a 30% marketshare in hydrogen powered light commercial vehicles in Europe by 2030.”

Plug Power has deployed over 40,000 fuel cell systems, designed, and built 110 refueling stations that dispense more than 40 tons of hydrogen daily, and is a technology leader in green hydrogen solutions via electrolysis.

Greek island partners with VW in ambitious plan to decarbonise transport and energy

Greek island partners with VW in ambitious plan to decarbonise transport and energy

Volkswagen has supplied eight electric cars to the Greek island of Astypalea, marking an early milestone in an ambitious trial to decarbonise the island’s transport and energy systems. Through the initiative, the Greek government hopes to develop a blueprint that it expects to roll out across many of the country’s two hundred or so inhabited islands.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has made green energy a central plank of Greece’s post-pandemic recovery drive, attended the delivery ceremony along with VW Group CEO Herbert Diess.

“Astypalea will be a test bed for the green transition that is energy autonomous, and entirely powered by nature,” Mitsotakis said.

The first cars to arrive on the island will be used by the police, coast guard and at the local airport. They are the beginnings of a larger fleet aimed at replacing about 1,500 combustion-engine cars with electric models and reducing vehicles on the island, a popular tourist destination, by a third.

The island’s bus service will be replaced with a ride-sharing scheme and 200 electric cars will be available for locals and tourists to rent. There will be subsidies for the island’s 1,300 inhabitants to buy electric vehicles, bikes and chargers.

Astypalea, which extends over 100 square kilometres in the Aegean Sea, currently meets its energy demand almost entirely by diesel generators but is expected to replace a big part of that through a solar plant by 2023.

“Astypalea can become a blueprint for a rapid transformation, fostered by the close collaboration of governments and businesses,” Diess said in a statement.

Greece, which has relied on coal for decades, aims to close all but one of its coal-fired plants by 2023, as part of its drive to boost renewables and cut carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030.

The government plans to install a 3 megawatt-hour solar park and 7 mWh battery system on Astypalea by 2023 that will cover just over half of the island’s overall energy demand and be enough for all EV charging needs.

A second phase of the project could include adding wind turbines to handle more than 80 percent of power demand by 2026.

Although relatively small scale, Astypalea will serve as a test case both for VW and the Greek government, which is looking to transition energy systems on non-interconnected islands to greener power.

Of the roughly 1,500 vehicles now on the island, about a third are cars, and most of them are very old, said Maik Stephan, VW’s head of business development, who runs the Astypalea project.

The plan is to replace all of them with models such as the VW ID3 hatchback, ID4 crossver and electric Transporter vans, as well as the Seat MO eScooter.

By replacing aging fossil fuel-based generators, the government aims to cut energy costs by at least 25 percent, while reducing CO2 emissions from the island’s energy system by 50 percent in the first phase and 70 percent in the second phase.

Dutch transport companies order 50-ton hydrogen trucks

Dutch transport companies order 50-ton hydrogen trucks

US based Hyzon Motors, a leading global supplier of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial vehicles, is to supply 20, 50-ton hydrogen trucks to Dutch transport companies Jan Bakker and Millenaar & van Schaik.

Hyzon expects to begin delivering vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021, and to deliver the remaining trucks in 2022. The vehicles, HyMax 450 Tractors built on a class-8 DAF truck chassis, are expected to offer a range of up to 320 miles on a full charge with motor power up to 550 kW. Currently Hyzon is the only company in the world offering hydrogen trucks up to 50 ton gross vehicle weight, with its in-house high power fuel cell technology.

Hyzon expects to manufacture the trucks in its European facility near Groningen in the Netherlands, where orders are being taken for deliveries of Hyzon-branded commercial vehicles worldwide. The trucks have been purchased by Duurzaam Transport, a subsidiary of Jan Bakker, and H2 Transport, a subsidiary of Millenaar & van Schaik.

Jan Bakker and Millenaar & van Schaik both aim to convert their entire fleet to zero-emission vehicles. Jan Bakker is made up of 17 companies, operating in transport, energy, and agriculture. Millenaar & van Schaik is one of the largest asphalt transport companies in the Netherlands.

Craig Knight, Hyzon CEO, said, “We are excited to be engaging with transport and logistics organizations like Jan Bakker and Millenaar & van Schaik, to bring hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks to the Netherlands. These contracts further underline the interest in Hyzon’s products in the European market, where we have seen strong uptake in zero-emission heavy vehicles.”

Audi charging hub concept largely independent of local grid capacity

Audi charging hub concept largely independent of local grid capacity

Audi is developing a concept to develop modular electric vehicle charging hubs incorporating second life batteries to reduce loads on the power grid. A pilot project, launching later in the year, will provide a practical test for a possible roll-out across Germany.

Each hub will comprise six self-contained charging “cubes”, each incorporating charging connections and storage batteries.

Audi says combined the batteries will offer 2.45 MWh of electricity, providing a charging output of up to 300 kW for each bay, but the whole assemblage will remain functional through a single 400-Volt hookup. Additional energy will be provided by solar panels on the roof.

Users will be able to book charging bays in advance and the system can accommodate both overnight charging at a relatively modest 11kW output or 300kW high power top up charging.

For instance, the hub will be able to provide enough energy to charge an Audi e-tron GT for up to 100 kilometres in about five minutes, and from nearly empty to 80 percent in just under 25 minutes under ideal conditions. The hubs will feature high end lounges for short stay users.

Audi says by leveraging recycled lithium-ion batteries and green energy generation, the modular concept provides flexibility and scalability while making it easier to select locations for the charging stations. The hub can be installed and adapted to the individual location quickly and independent of local network capacities.

Oliver Hoffmann, Audi’s Board Member for Technical Development says, “The charging hub embodies our aspiration for the electric era and highlights Audi’s commitment to Vorsprung durch Technik. A flexible high-performing charging park like this does not require much from the local electricity grid.”

Chart Industries invests in cryogenic hydrogen refuelling start-up

Chart Industries invests in cryogenic hydrogen refuelling start-up

Germany’s Cryomotive, a green-tech start-up and US company Chart Industries, a leading global manufacturer of liquefaction and cryogenic equipment, have entered a strategic partnership to develop hydrogen fuelling systems that offer refuelling times and range similar to diesel powered vehicles.

The partnership will enable Cryomotive to leverage its proprietary technology with Chart’s established position in the refuelling and hydrogen station market.

Cryomotive’s CcH2 CRYOGAS technology offers a range of 1000km with a green hydrogen refuelling time of 10 minutes for long-haul heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

Chart is also acquiring a minority share of Cryomotive. Dr Christiane Heyer, Cryomotive’s Managing Director and CFO, adds: “This investment by Chart embedded in a commercial and support agreement will enable us to speed up Cryomotive’s development of CRYOGAS technology and to join forces on preparing a roll-out of CRYOGAS refuelling stations. We are now intensifying our discussion with additional investors as the financing round continues.”

By 2025 Cryomotive is expecting to deliver the first commercially produced products ready for what it anticipates to be a fast and growing worldwide market.

New model suggests the economics of rural charging infrastructure can work

New model suggests the economics of rural charging infrastructure can work

The UK’s Connected Kerb is to install electric vehicle chargers to deliver sustainable, affordable and accessible charging infrastructure to hard-to-reach UK communities.

The “first-of-a-kind” scheme, in partnership with Kent County Council, offers a blueprint for local authorities across the UK, says Connected Kerb.

All income from the first phase of 40 chargers – which are being installed at sites in small communities across Kent, such as village halls, pavilions and car parks from this month – is to go to the local community or be used to support the rollout and maintenance of further chargers.

Installing public charging infrastructure outside of busy urban areas has traditionally been a challenge for the industry due to the lower grid capacity and fewer connections increasing upfront cost and lower footfall extending the return-on-investment period.

It is hoped that the Connected Kerb scheme will give local residents, businesses and visitors the chance to charge in small towns and villages across Kent, with each charger to provide a 7kW-22kW fast charge and contactless payment via the Connected Kerb app.

The chargers are designed to last at least 20 years, with the infrastructure itself located below ground with passive chargers that can be easily “switched on” by adding the above ground chargepoint to match consumer demand.

The chargers also feature additional smart capabilities that can facilitate air quality monitoring, parking management, CCTV, road sensors, 5G connection, autonomous vehicles, route planning and power demand forecasting.

The scheme has been financed from a variety of sources, receiving funding from the Kent Lane Rental Scheme, the Department for Transport, the parishes themselves and, for some locations, 75% of the costs were financed through the on-street residential chargepoint scheme.

Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said that this project shows that the economics of installing EV charging in non-urban areas “is much more favourable than many believe,” adding, “it is vital that access to public charging is equitable across the entire country.”

Ford invests in next generation batteries… again

Ford invests in next generation batteries… again

Ford and South Korea’s SK Innovation have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint venture – BlueOvalSK – to produce approximately 60 GWh of next generation battery cells and array modules annually. Production will start mid-decade, with the potential to expand.

By 2030, Ford expects the annual energy demand for its vehicles to be up to 140 GWh in North America and 240 GWh globally. The company has invested in and is working with a number of battery suppliers, including the new BlueOvalSK venture, to secure capacity and scale delivery for next-generation Ford and Lincoln battery electric vehicles.

Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, says, “This MoU is just the start; it’s a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future. We will not cede our future to anyone else.”

Kim Jun, SK Innovation CEO & President says, “We are delighted to be entering into collaboration with Ford, one of the most active players in vehicle electrification today. We are proud to be opening this new chapter in their long history. Our JV with Ford will play a pivotal role in fleshing out the electric vehicle value chain in the United States, a key objective of the current US administration.”

Lisa Drake, Ford’s North America chief operating officer, comments, “Through the JV, Ford and SKI will jointly develop and industrialise battery cells at scale that are tailored to deliver optimum performance and value for our Ford and Lincoln customers. SKI is an important partner in helping deliver batteries with better range and value for our fully electric vehicles by mid-decade.”

To support its longer-term battery plans, Ford is investing in battery R&D. Last month Ford announced a new global battery centre of excellence – named Ford Ion Park – to accelerate its battery and battery cell technology R&D – including future battery manufacturing.

Oxford Superhub sets blueprint for fast, convenient, omnipresent EV charging

Oxford Superhub sets blueprint for fast, convenient, omnipresent EV charging

Fastned, the Dutch electric vehicle fast charging company, has joined up with UK-based Pivot Power, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea, to build Europe’s most powerful EV charging Superhub in Oxford. The Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) will initially feature 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers in a single site, with up to 10MW of power on site.

It is the first of up to 40 similar sites planned across the UK, with the Oxford site due to open towards the end of this year.

ESO is set to be one of the largest charging stations in Fastned’s pan-European network. Tesla will operate 12 dedicated 250kW Superchargers. Spain’s Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, will run 16 fast charging points offering outputs in the range 7-22kW.

The site is directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, to provide the power needed to charge potentially hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without putting strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.

The network connection, developed by Pivot Power, has capacity to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass EV charging needs, from buses and taxis to commercial fleets.

Fastned’s goal is to build a network of 1,000 fast charging stations across Europe by 2025.

Michiel Langezaal, CEO of Fastned says, “Our mission is to accelerate the transition towards electric mobility by giving freedom to electric drivers. EV drivers experience this freedom when they know that fast and convenient charging is omnipresent. The Oxford Superhub is a great milestone towards that goal. We need hundreds more and will therefore continue to engage with landowners and partners such as Pivot Power. Big stations are the only way to provide charging capacity to the exponentially growing number of EVs coming to our roads.”

Matt Allen, CEO at Pivot Power, adds, “Our goal is to help the UK accelerate net zero by delivering power where it is needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution. Oxford is one of 40 sites we are developing across the UK, combining up to 2GW of battery storage with high volume power connections for mass EV charging. Energy Superhub Oxford is a blueprint for what we want to replicate right across the country.”

UK energy regulator kick starts market in EV infrastructure grid connections

UK energy regulator kick starts market in EV infrastructure grid connections

The UK’s energy regulator Ofgem is investing £300 million to kick start investment in the cabling, substations and other infrastructure needed to support the country’s EV charging sector.

The investment will support installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points at motorway service areas and key trunk road locations, tripling the current network. A further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities.

The investment will be delivered in the next two years and is part of a much bigger plan to provide the energy infrastructure needed to support the move to low carbon transport and heating, an investment expected to be in the order of over £40 billion through Ofgem’s regulation of energy networks.

According to Ofgem, every region in Britain will benefit from the announcement, with 204 net zero projects worth £300 million across England, Scotland and Wales, expected to start this year, supporting clean transport and heat, and opening up local electricity grids to take on more low carbon generation.

While electric car ownership is on the rise, Ofgem research has found that 36% of households that do not intend to get an electric vehicle are put off making the switch over a lack of charging points near their home. An extensive motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address concerns over range anxiety, so Ofgem is accelerating investment to boost charge point installation.

Cities like Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro will benefit from increased network capacity to support more ultra-rapid charge points, increased renewable electricity generation and the move to more electric heating for homes and businesses. Investment also covers more rural areas with charging points for commuters at train stations in North and Mid Wales and the electrification of the Windermere ferry.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said, “This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.

“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to.

Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister said, “With more than 500,000 electric cars now on UK roads, this will help to increase this number even further as drivers continue to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles.”

David Smith, chief executive at Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses said, “Over £300m of electricity distribution network investment will enable wide-ranging projects that help tackle some of our biggest net zero challenges, like electric vehicle range anxiety and the decarbonisation of heavier transport.

“This new funding shows the social, economic and environmental benefits that can be brought forward by industry working closely with a flexible regulator.”

Keith Bell, Member of the Climate Change Committee, said, “It will be an essential complement to a smarter power system where innovative information technology and attractive energy tariffs for consumers will ensure we make best use of our electricity system infrastructure.”

Ofgem, the Energy Networks Association and each of the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) launched a call for evidence in February for energy networks to come forward with projects that could help Britain reach net zero emissions faster and support the economy as the country comes out of the pandemic.

Last year, Ofgem announced its greenest ever price control with billions invested into network companies and the system operator from April this year. The regulator has also indicated that it will allow billions more investment and better use of flexible technologies and innovations for the local electricity networks from 2023.

Hyundai puts down marker for Europe’s hydrogen-powered heavy goods transport

Hyundai puts down marker for Europe’s hydrogen-powered heavy goods transport

South Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai plans to ship a new series of fuel-cell trucks to Europe later this year to test the European appetite for hydrogen-powered heavy goods transport.

Building on a pilot trial in Switzerland, Hyundai says it will release a new class of its Xcient hydrogen fuel cell truck, equipped with more efficient fuel cells and a longer life-span, during the fourth quarter, according to Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM).

Hydrogen recharging infrastructure is quite limited across Europe but hydrogen fuel cells offer a greater range than battery electric vehicles and a generally considered more appropriate for heavy vehicles.

And although more expensive than battery electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles will potentially benefit from Europe’s desire to build a world-leading industry around the hydrogen technology.

HHM, a joint venture between Hyundai and Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy, has been renting out “green” hydrogen trucks to commercial clients in Switzerland since last October in what is claimed to be the world’s most advanced pilot in the field.

HHM plans to go into other European countries next year. “Germany and the Netherlands are the most likely,” Freymueller told Reuters, adding there was also interest for pilots from Austria, Norway, France, Italy, Spain and Denmark.