Northvolt’s and Hyrdo’s battery recycling joint venture, Hydrovolt, has officially started commercial recycling operations in Fredrikstad, southern Norway.
Hydrovolt’s electric vehicle battery plant can process approximately 12,000 tons of battery packs per year, which equates to around 25,000 EV batteries. They have invested NOK 120 million into the plant through the joint project.
The plant is expected to be powered by 100% renewable energy, which is specifically designed for crushing and sorting batteries. The process design is meant to maximise recovery of materials that are found within the plant, including a dust collection system which ensures the capture of material that is typically lost.
Hydrovolt CEO Fredrik Andresen has said: “Norway has long been a global leader in electric car adoption. At the start of 2021, we became the first country in the world in which over half of all new cars sold are electric. We should therefore also aim to be world-leading in recycling the used car batteries, when the electric cars reach their end-of-life.”
“Batteries play a key role in the world’s transition to renewable energy. Through Hydrovolt, we are laying the foundations for a circular supply chain for batteries in Europe” stated Arvid Moss, Executive Vice President for Energy and Corporate Development in Hydro.
The operator and supplier of the batteries, Batteriretur, will be located adjacent to the new Hydrovolt plant, with the operations being closely integrated with the already existing business.
Hydro and Northvolt formed their partnership Hydrovolt in the summer of 2020 and in November 2020, Hydrovolt received NOK 43.5 million from the Norwegian government to support clean energy and climate efforts.
The facility is set to be one of the most technologically advanced of its kind in the world, with a promising future of expansion.
A group of leading industry organisations, such as the Royal British Institute of Architects, have come together to create a building standard that will verify net-zero carbon buildings in the UK. This was after a report was conducted that concluded that a more robust means of verifying buildings as net zero carbon was desired by the UK real estate sector.
The standard will be named the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard and it will aim to help the industry to ensure and prove that buildings claiming to be net-zero are holding up to that claim.
It is expected that claims will be required to validated on basis on in-use measured data and interim verification of an asset at design stage or once the asset is built but not yet operating may also be considered.
It is hoped that this standard will encourage industry to decarbonise and help the country meet its 2035 and 2050 emissions targets.
RIBA president Simon Allford stated: “This is a really exciting and timely initiative that will help the entire industry to move forward in its efforts to reach net-zero carbon. Working together we will address current ambiguities around the much-used term and develop a common understanding, based on clear performance targets, to support all those involved in the procurement, design, construction and operation of buildings.”
Net-zero carbon buildings are designed to eliminate all emissions over a building’s lifetime. This takes into consideration both embodied carbon, which are emissions caused by the construction supply chain, and operational carbon, which are emissions caused by a buildings use.
The built environment is responsible for around 40 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, net-zero carbon architecture could help the UK meet its decarbonised targets.
The UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will verify both new and existing buildings and consider their operational and embodied carbon emissions.
A Calderdale manufacturer is teaming up with another Elland business to invest in renewable energy. This highlights steps towards greater energy independence and better cost control for the manufacturer.
Newsome, temperature and humidity control specialists, hope to protect itself against rising global energy costs and support its net zero strategy by installing solar energy and electric vehicle charging points.
Energy and sustainability business, Core Facility Services, will be supporting Newsome throughout this new project.
A 110kW installation of 272 solar panels will create CO2 savings of 44,260 kg for Newsome, with a return on investment in just over two years. The firm will also be installing two 22kW charging stations to preserve Newsome’s most recent investment in electric vehicles-over 50% of Newsome’s company fleet now consist of long-range electric cars.
Robert Hatfield at Newsome has said: ““Core have used their energy sector knowledge to prepare a solid business case with detailed feasibility studies to help us evaluate and plan towards generating our own energy. In a world where energy security and costs are increasingly unpredictable, having control of our own energy supply will protect our manufacturing operations from uncertainty and embed long-term sustainability.”
The investment by Newsome coincides with its launch of a new range of temperature and humidity control rental equipment which contains low GWP refrigerants, to suit a wide range of applications-helping their customers to reduce their environmental impact.
The latest energy efficient equipment means that businesses will be able to manage costs, sustainability, and compliance without the expense of retrofitting new systems.
Justin Holley of Core Facility Services has said: “Core and Newsome are both long-established Yorkshire businesses with sustainability at the heart of their operations and a longstanding mission to help organisations manage and minimise costs. Newsome’s decision to invest in solar will give its own customers confidence in its future strength and stability as well as its commitment to reducing its impact on the planet as part of a sustainable supply chain.”
The UK start up Green Lithium has agreed terms with commodity trading company Trafigura, to support the development of the first lithium refinery in Europe.
Under the agreement Green Lithium will produce battery-grade lithium chemicals for the EU electric vehicle and battery industries while Trafigura will supply the lithium feedstock for the UK based refinery.
Given the significance that lithium plays within the supply chain and more importantly, the role it plays in the transition to a more sustainable economy- an agreement between Green Lithium and Trafigura will be fundamental in the development of battery manufacturing and will create a major milestone in Trafigura’s international battery metals business.
Green Lithium’s chief executive Sean Sargent has said: “Green Lithium’s refinery will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and sustainable energy storage through the increased supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals – a key component of lithium-ion batteries,”.
He continues to say: ”Fulfilling this vision requires the right supply chain and investment partners. In Trafigura, we have found the perfect match in a company that not only has vast experience and expertise in the battery supply chain, but that is also willing to make a key equity investment to support Green Lithium in achieving its project objectives.”
There is currently no commercial lithium refining capability in Europe, leaving it solely reliant on China for battery metals. Therefore, in producing this lithium refinery, Green Lithium expects to fill a missing gap and promises upstream supply chain security.
This is the latest series of investments to revolutionise the production of batteries, and to kick start a new operation in the EU’s electric vehicle and battery industry.
Over 100 leading vehicle manufacturers, fleets and energy companies have called on EU member states not to delay or dilute the European Commission’s proposal to set binding national targets for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).
The AFIR is the key piece of EU legislation to ensure sufficient deployment of public infrastructure needed to decarbonise mobility such as electric vehicle charging points and hydrogen stations.
Companies including BMW, Daimler, Hyundai, Iveco and Linde argue that ambitious binding targets for building hydrogen refuelling infrastructure are key to tackling climate action. Decarbonisation, they say, extends beyond the electrification of vehicles.
In an open letter to EU policymakers, the companies said, “We are strongly convinced that a widely available hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) network, alongside other low-emission refuelling, and recharging infrastructures, will be essential for a rapid transition of the road transport sector. Hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are particularly interesting for customers with preferences for fast refuelling and for whom flexibility is paramount.”
They claim a multi-technology approach will ensure the transition to zero emission transport is faster, more cost-efficient and serves all business models, than focusing solely on electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
“A rollout of both HRS and battery electric vehicles (BEV) charging infrastructures will be cheaper than relying solely on one type of infrastructure or restricting specific technologies to specific road transport segments.”
The companies have set out a timeline for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure that would see a hydrogen station every 200km by 2025, and every 100km by 2027.
Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Hydrogen Europe CEO, commented, “The AFIR targets for hydrogen refuelling stations are the bare minimum for hydrogen road mobility to develop and in turn help decarbonise the sector, which is responsible for 20% of the EU greenhouse gas emissions. The industry stands ready to invest along with public authorities into the technology and the rollout of hydrogen infrastructure. However, adequate political commitments are instrumental in sending a strong signal for both automotive and hydrogen infrastructure companies. Reducing the mandatory minimum capacities of stations and shrinking the ambition will seriously harm the sector’s development.”
Switzerland’s ABB E-mobility has signed a new global framework agreement with Shell to supply ABB’s end-to-end portfolio of AC and DC charging stations, which ranges from domestic wallboxes to the Terra 360, the world’s fastest all-in-one electric car charger
Through the collaboration, ABB E-mobility and Shell say they will help address two of the challenges to increasing EV adoption – namely charging infrastructure availability and the speed of charging.
Shell is targeting the operation of over 500,000 charge points globally by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030, either at residential, commercial or Shell retail sites.
Frank Muehlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility commented, “ABB and Shell are innovating to drive progress in e-mobility. We have been working together on the roll-out of public charging infrastructure since 2019 and this latest agreement takes that collaboration to the next level.
“We are excited to support Shell in realising its objective to create a global charging network. With access to the full breadth of our charging portfolio, we are ensuring that Shell can select the most appropriate solution for every use case, helping to get more people charging regardless of their location.”
Volkswagen and bp have set up a strategic partnership that aims to transform access to EV charging in key European markets by rapidly building a fast charging network across Europe by 2024 and delivering a “seamless experience for EV drivers”.
Based upon Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, which feature two charge points and have an integrated battery storage system, which means the units can be connected to a low voltage grid, removing the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work. This significantly reduces installation times while still providing fast charging speeds of up to 150kW, enough to deliver up to 160km of driving in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the model of electric vehicle.
The first phase of the roll-out will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points at bp’s Aral fuel retail sites in Germany and bp retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months. By the end 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries.
Bernard Looney, chief executive officer, bp says, “EV charging is one of the key engines driving bp’s transformation to an integrated energy company. That’s why we’re so excited by our partnership with Volkswagen. When you bring together one of the world’s leading car makers and one of the world’s leading energy companies – the opportunity is huge. This is a significant step-forward on our journey to accelerate the electrification of transport in Europe.”
Unveiling the first charger in Dusseldorf, Germany, Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, said, “Volkswagen has been pioneering the transformation to e-mobility across Europe. Investing in everything from software to batteries and charging is part of our strategy to make individual mobility safer, more convenient and fully climate-neutral. The decarbonisation of Europe’s economy requires close collaboration across borders and sectors. We’re pleased to team up with bp to accelerate the roll-out of the fast-charging network across Europe.”
The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of VW, Seat and Skoda vehicles as well as into Volkswagen’s charging application, Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points. However the new chargers will be available to all EV drivers through the bp pulse and Aral pulse network.
Thomas Schmall, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Group and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said, “Together with bp, we will bring thousands of fast-charging stations to life within a very short time. Rapid expansion of the charging network is crucial now. To make that happen, our pioneering flexible, fast chargers offer a perfect solution, since the time and costs required for installation are minimal.”
Under the terms of their agreement, VW and bp will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.
ZipCharge has launched a quickly deployable portable electric vehicle charging solution that makes its suitcase-sized Go power banks easily available at any location.
Called GoHub, each hub contains either five or 10 portable chargers that can be accessed 24 hours a day. Designed for top up charging, the 4-kWh batteries provide a typical EV with 30 km of range in 30 minutes.
EV drivers reserve and pay for a power bank using the ZipCharge app, then collect the charger from the hub and wheel it to their vehicle, wherever they’ve parked.
ZipCharge says the ability to roll-out chargers at speed, and at a lower cost than traditional units, will help support EV uptake. Furthermore, it says they can be readily deployed in more rural areas that are currently underserved by charge points.
Jonathan Carrier, ZipCharge co-founder, said, “The ZipCharge Go and the GoHub enable the storage of clean energy, which can then be distributed for a multitude of uses from charging an EV to powering equipment.
“We predict our portable power banks will outsell fixed home chargers by 2030, in the same way mobile phones overtook landlines.”
ZipCharge offers the GoHub with optional upgrades including rainwater harvesting, wi-fi hotspot, mobile device charging, green roofs and renewable energy generation. Connectors can also be installed for e-bikes and e-scooters.
ZipCharge co-founder Jonathan Carrier is speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here
Volkswagen Group has delivered the first electric cars to private customers on the Greek island of Astypalea, marking the next phase of the Smart & Sustainable Island project – a joint initiative of the Volkswagen Group and Greek government which aims to transform the island’s mobility and energy systems.
Volkswagen last summer supplied electric vehicles to various municipal organisations including the police, coast guard and local airport, which introduced EV to the island and established charging infrastructure.
Thanos Papagiannis, the first private ID.3 customer on Astypalea, is now a firm advocate of e-mobility. His new electric vehicle replaces a Volkswagen Golf 3. He says, “the distances here are short, the power consumption is low, and the charging network is now very well developed. I really hope that Astypalea will inspire other regions to increase their efforts for climate protection adopting e-mobility solutions.”
Maik Stephan, Head of Business Development of Volkswagen Group and Project Manager, added, “Astypalea is a laboratory for the mobility of the future. The island is experiencing the same change as any other region in Europe, only in a much shorter time. With the first private customers driving electric now, word will quickly get around how fascinating e-mobility is.”
And under a further element of the Smart & Sustainable Island project, by the summer Volkswagen will introduce electric ride and vehicle sharing services helping to reduce the total number of vehicles on the island.
Volkswagen’s commitment to the Astypalea’s sustainable development goes beyond electrification of the vehicle fleet. The island is currently blighted by dumped scrap vehicles and Volkswagen importer Kosmocar will collect up the discarded motorcycles, cars and trucks and transport them back to Athens where they can be recycled at licensed facilities.
Chong Lee, Head of Integrated Mobility Solutions at Volkswagen AG is speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here
Abu Dhabi based and UAE government-owned renewable energy generator Masdar, and its local partner Hassan Allam Utilities, have signed memoranda of understanding with Egyptian state bodies to co-operate on the development of green hydrogen production plants at the northern and southern ends of the Suez Canal — on the Mediterranean and at Sokhna, a port on the Gulf of Suez, which leads into the Red Sea.
E-methanol — derived by combining green hydrogen with captured CO2 — is emerging as a potentially key clean fuel for the highly polluting shipping industry, with market leader Maersk recently announcing the purchase of 12 methanol-powered vessels, along with plans to produce the liquid at scale.
Masdar says a first phase, producing 100,000 tonnes of e-methanol, will be operational by 2026. The electrolyser facilities could be extended to up to 4 GW by 2030 to produce 2.3 million tonnes of another clean shipping fuel green ammonia for export as well as supplying green hydrogen for local industries.
A key challenge is the hydrogen production process is very energy intensive, so it needs an abundant source of clean and affordable electricity, preferably excess locally generated renewable energy, to be viable.
Egypt’s minister of planning and economic development Hala El Said said, “Egypt’s “abundant solar and wind energy resources provide a suitable location for renewable energy projects at a competitive cost, with a proximity to global markets that are looking to import green hydrogen”.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, added, “These agreements represent a vital step forward in the development of the green hydrogen economy for both the UAE and Egypt, and will play a significant role in our two nations’ decarbonisation efforts. By working with partners such as Hassan Allam Utilities, we can help the green hydrogen market achieve its full potential over the coming years and play its part in supporting the global energy transition.”
Amr Allam, Chief Executive Officer of Hassan Allam Holding, said, “Our drive into the green energy and infrastructure space, including solar and wind power generation, was all about contributing to a more sustainable future. Through this partnership with Masdar we are looking to harness the leading edge of technology to make a difference in Egypt by leveraging the country’s abundant sources of green energy.”
H2FLY, a Stuttgart-based developer of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for aircraft, has announced that its demonstrator aircraft, the HY4, set a new world record for hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft by flying at an altitude of 2204m.
The altitude record comes on the heels of the business flying a 124 km route between Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen just before Easter, the first time a hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft has been piloted between two commercial airports.
Commenting Professor Dr Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY said, “This is a remarkable achievement for H2FLY, as no other hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft has flown between two commercial airports to date. We are also thrilled to have set what we believe to be a new world record by reaching an altitude of over 7,000 feet with our HY4 aircraft. We want to thank our long-time partners Stuttgart Airport, University of Ulm, DLR Stuttgart, Friedrichshafen Airport, and AERO Friedrichshafen, for supporting us in our mission to make sustainable travel a reality.”
The trip to Friedrichshafen was to attend the AERO Friedrichshafen airshow, at which the HY4 is to be unveiled to the public for the first time. Previously all test flights have been from Stuttgart Airport, a long-standing collaborator of H2FLY, including assisting the company with the necessary infrastructure.
Walter Schoefer, Speaker of the Board of Flughafen Stuttgart said, “We are delighted that HY4 has achieved this next technical milestone. This is another step on the long road of the aviation transformation process towards a more climate-friendly air transport. We see hydrogen-electric engines as the key to zero-emission flying and have therefore been promoting the HY4 project for many years.”
Claus-Dieter Wehr, Managing Director of Friedrichshafen Airport added, “In the airport’s more than one-hundred-year history, this is the first time a hydrogen-powered aircraft has landed here in Friedrichshafen. We are very pleased that we can thus play our part in the further development and testing of hydrogen-electric propulsion. Particularly in view of the numerous projects on sustainable mobility in aviation, I see great opportunities for the Friedrichshafen site to create the framework conditions for innovative aviation companies and to attract them here.”
During multiple flying campaigns and more than 90 take offs, the four-seat HY4 established the potential of hydrogen-electric propulsion solutions in aviation. It also acts as a test platform for further developing the propulsion system, laying the groundwork for the construction of a 40-seat Dornier 328 powered by hydrogen, which will be built in collaboration with Deutsche Aircraft by 2025.
BMW Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse said companies must be careful not to become “too dependent on a select few countries by focusing only on electric vehicles,” adding that there was still a market for combustion engine cars.
“When you look at the technology coming out, the EV push, we must be careful because at the same time, you increase dependency on very few countries,” Zipse said at a roundtable in New York.
“If someone cannot buy an EV for some reason but needs a car, would you rather propose he continues to drive his old car forever? If you are not selling combustion engines anymore, someone else will,” said Zipse.
Zipse has long advocated against all-out bans on combustion engine car sales in the face of rising pressure to curb carbon emissions and environmental impact.
Offering more fuel-efficient combustion engine cars was key both from a profit perspective and an environmental perspective, Zipse argues, pointing to gaps in charging infrastructure and the high price of electric vehicles.
Companies also needed to plan for energy prices and raw materials to remain high by being more efficient in their production and stepping up recycling efforts to keep costs down, he said. “How much energy you need and use, and circularity, is important – for environmental reasons but even more for economic reasons.”
Manuel Schneider, BMW’s Head of Business Model Innovation, is speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here:
British zero emissions truck company Tevva has opened a new research and development location at MIRA Technology Park in Warwickshire.
Having a base at the MIRA technology park, says Tevva, will give it access to the site’s specialist engineering and testing capabilities including extensive crash testing, climatic, dynamics, and aerodynamic resources.
It will also give Tevva “more opportunities to partner with engineers and researchers working at the cutting edge of EV technology”.
Tevva’s zero emission trucks are battery electric but feature a unique hydrogen fuel cell range extender. Tevva describes the fuel cell as “liberator of the battery, not its nemesis. Hydrogen and batteries are not alternatives to each other but partners in achieving an ideal solution,” it says. “Batteries are the most efficient, lowest cost and lowest carbon option, but they are heavy and relatively slow to re-charge. Hydrogen is less cost efficient and less carbon efficient, but extremely lightweight and fast to replenish.”
Tevva’s fuel cell range extender operates only as much as is needed to supplement the grid-charged battery on any given day. Software predicts the daily energy need and if needed runs the fuel cell at a constant, efficient power setting to feed the necessary additional energy into the battery over the course of the working day.
“MIRA Technology Park is second to none when it comes to automotive engineering and testing,” says Ken Scott, Tevva’s Chief Engineer. “Our trucks, both now and in the future, will undergo development there. Having our base there makes perfect sense as a physical presence will help us develop our technologies more rapidly. It also means lower overall costs for our research and development.”
Tim Nathan, Managing Director of MIRA Technology Park says, “We’re delighted to be supporting Tevva with the development of its pioneering electric truck, providing engineering and test consultancy from concept design through to final validation.
“The unique combination of engineering expertise, advanced testing facilities and prime location in the heart of the UK automotive industry, ensures Tevva can develop and validate their vehicles in one place.”
Tevva has been expanding rapidly, with the company raising $57 million last November to help it start production.
Featured at MOVE! Tevva CEO and founder Asher Bennett is speaking at this year’s MOVE on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here:
Nissan has unveiled its prototype production facility for solid-state battery cells, which the company aims to bring to market at scale from 2028.
The materials, design and manufacturing processes developed at the Nissan Research Center will be used in a pilot production line at Nissan’s plant in Yokohama in 2024. Longer term, Nissan is aiming to incorporate all-solid-state batteries in pickup trucks and other vehicles as part of Nissan Ambition 2030, its long-term plan for EVs to comprise half its global sales by the end of the decade.
Solid-state battery technology is seen by many as the key to unlocking cheaper, longer-range EVs. Solid-state batteries have double the energy density of a conventional lithium-ion battery, which theoretically translates to longer range and faster charge times, all while using cheaper materials than other EVs on the road today. In addition to higher energy density, these batteries last longer and are considered safer than a lithium-ion battery.
Although they are currently expensive and challenging to manufacture, Nissan predicts production costs of all-solid-state batteries can be reduced to $75 per kWh in 2028 and to $65 per kWh thereafter, placing EVs at the “same cost level as gasoline-powered vehicles”.
Kunio Nakaguro, Nissan’s executive vice president in charge of R&D, says, “Nissan has been a leader in electrification technology through a wide range of R&D activities, from molecular-level battery material research to the development of safe, high-performance EVs. Our initiatives even include city development using EVs as storage batteries. The knowledge gained from our experience supports the development of all-solid-state batteries and we’ve accumulated important elemental technologies. Going forward, our R&D and manufacturing divisions will continue to work together to utilise this prototype production facility and accelerate the practical application of all-solid-state batteries.”
Featured at MOVE! Nissan fleet director Csaba Vincze is speaking at MOVE, which is taking place in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages, MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here:
Swedish-Swiss global technology company ABB has struck a ten-year deal to provide Copenhagen Airport with 1,350 electric vehicle chargers, in the process making the airport Denmark’s largest site for electric vehicle charging. The first 180 AC chargers and 15 DC fast chargers will be installed in 2022 through a procurement deal with Danish renewable energy group EWII.
“We are pleased to support Copenhagen Airport in its sustainable transition with our broad portfolio of quality and professional charging solutions”, said Frank Muehlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility. “We are convinced that it will not only serve as inspiration for other airports in Denmark but also in other countries and that it will again demonstrate the possibilities and benefits of clean, quiet and flexible electric mobility.”
The aim it to provide EV charging for the 80,000 travellers and employees using the site daily, and also serving vehicles in need of faster charging including taxis dropping off travellers and businesses operating inside the airport handling transportation, luggage and catering.
EWII and the airport have lined up a number of partners, including ABB, to supply the 1,350 charging points. The charging infrastructure will consist of chargers from ABB’s entire portfolio, from the 22kW Terra AC wallbox to the recently launched Terra 360, the world’s fastest all-in-one electric car charger, which can deliver 100km of range in less than three minutes and is the only charger designed explicitly to charge up to four vehicles at once.
”With ABB as our e-mobility partner, we are assured access to a wide range of solutions that can charge everything from cars to buses and trucks. Additionally, it was crucial for us and the airport that the charging stations be both reliable and of the highest quality,” says Jesper Nicolaisen, Head of Wholesale at EWII.
German battery technology manufacturer Theion has announced the upcoming commercial availability of its Crystal Battery cell for mobility applications. Theion’s battery innovation is based on sulphur — which as a by-product of industrial processes is available in abundance without harmful mining, making it “99% cheaper to source” than nickel and cobalt.
According to Theion, its battery cells requires 90% less energy to produce, “from raw material to finished cell”.
The announcement comes with the appointment of Dr Ulrich Ehmes as CEO, who will lead the commercialisation of Theion’s lithium-sulphur cathode technology, which is targeting triple the range and usage time compared to conventional lithium-ion cells.
Under the leadership of Dr Ehmes, who has a long track record of industrialising battery production at companies like Swiss-listed lithium-ion battery company Leclanché, Berlin-based Theion will leverage his experience to scale production.
“I joined Theion because I am convinced that selecting the right battery active materials and processing these materials in a way that best leverages the material’s storage property, will disrupt the battery industry to another level,” Dr. Ehmes said in a statement.
“With 16 patents pending, our process innovations are scalable, and will bring a new dimension of mobility, range, usage time and sustainability.”
Theion’s patented production process extends battery life cycle by combining sulphur’s crystal material properties with carbon nanotubes and a proprietary solid electrolyte. The company will be shipping material later this year, firstly to aerospace customers as part of the qualification stage, then aircraft, air taxis, drones, mobile phones and laptops before serving the electric flight and automotive sectors in 2024.
The company is backed by Lukasz Gadowski, CEO of Team Global, a technology holding company investing in and starting frontier technology companies. Recent investments include Volocopter, Zapata and AutoFlight.
“At a time when industry demand for batteries is surging, but materials cost and sustainable sourcing are experiencing volatility, Theion’s breakthrough is ideally timed,” said principal investor Gadowski.
“Theion’s Crystal Battery is perfect for all mobility applications, while being massively sustainable, it will increase the driving range of electric cars, and the safe flight time of eVTOL applications and electric aircraft by a factor of three. When in full production, it has the potential to replace every battery in every mobility device on earth.”
In the face of the emerging global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, practical actions by governments and citizens in advanced economies and beyond could achieve significant reductions in oil demand in a matter of months, according to new analysis released by the International Energy Agency (IEA). These efforts, says IEA, would shrink Russia’s hydrocarbon revenues, help move oil demand towards a more sustainable pathway, reduce the price pain being felt by consumers around the world and lessen the economic damage.
And if fully carried out in advanced economies, the measures recommended by IEA’s new 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use would lower oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day within four months – equivalent, it says, to the oil demand of all the cars in China.
Although this is less than 3% of daily global use, IEA says this would “significantly reduce potential strains at a time when a large amount of Russian supplies may no longer reach the market and the peak demand season of July and August is approaching”.
IEA points out that the majority of oil demand comes from transport, and its 10-Point Plan focuses on how to use “less oil getting people and goods from A to B”, while “drawing on concrete measures that have already been put to use in a diverse range of countries and cities”.
The short-term actions proposed include reducing the amount of oil consumed by cars through lower speed limits, working from home, occasional limits on car access to city centres, cheaper public transport, more carpooling and other initiatives – and greater use of high-speed rail and virtual meetings instead of air travel.
“As a result of Russia’s appalling aggression against Ukraine, the world may well be facing its biggest oil supply shock in decades, with huge implications for our economies and societies,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, who launched the Plan with Barbara Pompili, the Minister for the Ecological Transition of France, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union.
“IEA Member Countries have already stepped in to support the global economy with an initial release of millions of barrels of emergency oil stocks, but we can also take action on demand to avoid the risk of a crippling oil crunch,” Dr Birol said. “Our 10-Point Plan shows this can be done through measures that have already been tested and proven in multiple countries.”
“European countries must get out of their dependence on fossil fuels, in particular on Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible,” Minister Pompili said. “It is an absolute necessity, for the climate but also for our energy sovereignty. The plan proposed today by the IEA offers some interesting ideas, some of which are in line with our own ideas to reduce our dependence on oil.”
Most of the proposed actions in the 10-Point Plan would require changes in the behaviour of consumers, supported by government measures. How and if these actions are implemented, says IEA, is subject to each country’s own circumstances – in terms of their energy markets, transport infrastructure, social and political dynamics and other aspects.
Ultimately, however, it adds, “reducing oil demand does not depend solely on national governments. Several of the measures can be implemented directly by other layers of government – such as state, regional or local – or just voluntarily followed by citizens and corporates, enabling them to save money while showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”
The IEA report notes that sustained reductions are important not only to improve countries’ energy security but also to tackle climate change and reduce air pollution. “Governments have all the necessary tools at their disposal to put oil demand into decline in the coming years, and the report sets out the key ones to achieve this goal.”
IEA 10-Point Plan proposes the following short-term actions to ease strains and price pain:
Reduce speed limits on highways by at least 10 km/h — Impact: Saves 430 kb/day; around 290 kb/d of oil use from cars, and an additional 140 kb/d from trucks
Work from home up to three days a week where possible — Impact: One day a week saves around 170 kb/d; three days saves around 500 kb/d
Car-free Sundays in cities — Impact: Every Sunday saves around 380 kb/d; one Sunday a month saves 95 kb/d
Make the use of public transport cheaper and incentivise micromobility, walking and cycling — Impact: Saves around 330 kb/d
Alternate private car access to roads in large cities — Impact: Saves around 210 kb/d
Increase car sharing and adopt practices to reduce fuel use — Impact: Saves around 470 kb/d
Promote efficient driving for freight trucks and delivery of goods — Impact: Saves around 320 kb/d
Avoid business air travel where alternative options exist — Impact: Saves around 260 kb/d
Reinforce the adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles — Impact: Saves around 100 kb/d
Using high-speed and night trains instead of planes where possible — Impact: Saves around 40 kb/d
Note *: IEA says impacts are short term and reflect implementation in advanced economies where feasible and culturally acceptable; kb/d = thousand barrels of oil a day. IEA predicts total global daily crude oil demand of around 100 mb/d in 2022
Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with Italian mobile generator manufacturer Pramac to develop a zero-emission energy storage unit powered by second-life Jaguar I-PACE batteries.
Called the Off Grid Battery Energy Storage System (ESS), Pramac’s technology supplies zero-emission power where access to the mains supply is limited or unavailable.
The prototype ESS system features lithium-ion cells from one-and-a-half second-life Jaguar I-PACE batteries providing a capacity of up to 125kWh – enough to fully charge an I-PACE or power a regular family home for a week.
Charged from solar panels, the unit is self-contained consisting of a battery system linked to a bi-directional converter and the associated control management systems. The portable units are fitted with Type 2 EV charge connections with dynamic control and rated at up to 22kW AC to allow electric vehicle charging, among many other potential off-grid applications.
To showcase its capability, the unit helped Jaguar TCS Racing prepare for the 2022 Formula E World Championship during testing in the UK and Spain, where it was used to run the team’s diagnostic equipment analysing the race cars’ track performance, and to supply auxiliary power to the Jaguar pit garage.
This testing and validation, says Jaguar TCS Racing, is “demonstration of race-to-road-to-race cyclical technology transfer”.
Finding a second life for batteries after they have been removed from vehicles potentially avoids premature recycling and helps create a secure supply of rare materials.
And it’s the advanced engineering in the I-PACE’s high performance 90kWh Lithium-ion battery, says Jaguar, that makes it suitable for second-life, and even third-life, applications in low-energy situations once battery health falls below the requirements of an electric vehicle.
Andrew Whitworth, Battery Manager, Circular Economy Team at Jaguar Land Rover said, “This a great example of how we will collaborate with industry leaders to deliver our sustainable future and achieve a truly circular economy. We’re delighted to be working with Pramac to use Jaguar I-PACE second-life batteries to provide portable zero-emissions power and supporting Jaguar TCS Racing this season was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate what these units are capable of.”
James Barclay, Team Principal, Jaguar TCS Racing said, “Jaguar TCS Racing is always looking at improving our carbon footprint and using the storage system provides us with an innovative renewable energy solution for testing. To use second-life Jaguar I-PACE batteries completes this sustainable circle and showcases the team’s mission.”
Danny Jones, Director, Pramac, said, “We have been privileged to work so closely with Jaguar Land Rover who are a hugely supportive partner in our journey to successfully build a robust product and a commercially viable business case using second-life EV modules.”
Aston Martin has signed an agreement to develop electric vehicle batteries in partnership with Britishvolt.
The British carmaker, which is due to release its first EV in 2025, has signed a memorandum of understanding with battery specialist Britishvolt as a way of targeting “new standards of repeatable on-track performance, charging time and range” in its new wave of electric vehicles.
Tobias Moers, chief executive officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said, “This powerful collaboration combines Aston Martin’s 109 years of engineering mastery with the expertise of a fast-growing UK technology business. Working together with Britishvolt, I believe we can create new technologies to power benchmark-setting Aston Martin electric cars that will match our reputation for high performance and ultra-luxury with the highest standards of sustainability.
A joint research and development team from Aston Martin and Britishvolt will design new battery packs that will then go on to be used in performance Aston Martin electric vehicles. The firm’s Valhalla plug-in hybrid is due to commence deliveries in early 2024, while by 2026 all new Aston Martin product lines will incorporate an electrified powertrain. The company plans for its ‘core portfolio’ to be fully electrified by 2030.
Orral Nadjari, chief executive officer and founder of Britishvolt, said, “For a prestigious marque such as Aston Martin, staying true to its world-renowned brand of ultra-luxury, high-performance vehicles, while transitioning to electrification, means insisting on customised, sustainable battery cell technology that pushes the boundaries of performance. Britishvolt is excited to be collaborating with Aston Martin, helping accelerate that switch to electrification.
South Korean car maker Hyundai and British multinational oil and gas company Shell have signed a deal to make Shell’s EV charging solutions company the charge point operator and mobility service provider for Hyundai’s luxury vehicle division, Genesis.
Genesis owners will be able to charge on-the-go, at home, and at destinations with Shell – starting initially in the UK, Germany, and Switzerland, but with plans to grow the partnership throughout Europe.
The agreement plays a significant part in helping Genesis meet its goal of making all new car models zero emission by 2025.
Beyond providing EV charging solutions for Genesis, the new expanded collaboration will pursue EV network and service offerings across the United States, Europe, and Asia and opportunities to supply Shell renewable energy at Hyundai’s business facilities and global manufacturing plants.
The deal will also explore the creation of digital projects based on Shell’s experience of in-car services and could include everything from vehicle management through to smart maintenance.
The two companies also announced plans to investigate “integrated hydrogen solutions” which would see Hyundai supplying fuel cell trucks and Shell focusing on hydrogen infrastructure for fleet customers.
Hyundai will also continue to participate in Shell’s project to expand California’s hydrogen infrastructure to meet increasing consumer demand for fuelling options for vehicles like the Nexo SUV, while also pursuing opportunities where Hyundai could supply fuel cell trucks for Shell’s operations – which could also expand to see Hyundai provide battery EVs for Shell’s fleet.
Hyundai and Shell have been collaborating already for several years, but this new strategic partnership draw specifically on the companies’ joint expertise in EV charging, hydrogen, low carbon energy solutions, and digital technology.
Jaehoon Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company said the agreement has been borne out of “promising synergies” that would allow the two companies to “thrive during the transition to future mobility and clean energy solutions.”
Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s downstream director, said the company was taking up a new opportunity to work with its customers to help accelerate their carbon emission reduction plans. “To succeed we will have to break into new growth markets and work at a scale we have not seen before,” he said.