First ever e-bike solo cross-country journey across the historic Lincoln Highway

First ever e-bike solo cross-country journey across the historic Lincoln Highway

Picture: PR NewsWire

For the first time, an electric bike was used for a 4,500-mile solo, cross country ride that followed the historic Lincoln Highway. Cycling Gregory Maassen, Ph.D, who has peripheral neuropathy, a neuroglial condition that causes pain, numbness and weakness, ended his four-month, cross-country journey in San Francisco. 

Gregory rode over a new course on the Lincoln Highway, considered the first road across America, and which was once traveled by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  

His journey began from his home in Washington D.C to California as a fundraiser of one cent per mile to support the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. He has already raised nearly $150,000 during his ride.  

E biking is known to have impacted the lives of many across the state, being the newest, most sustainable form of travel. Dr. Ahmet Hoke, Johns Hopkins Medicine, director of the Neuromuscular Division, professor of neurology has said, “E-biking is a wonderful low-impact form of exercising that can be a meaningful aspect of a patient’s recovery and well-being.” 

Gregory has said: “This fundraiser, using an e-bike to traverse the Lincoln Highway for the very first time, is a tribute to the special friendship between the Dutch and the Americans, and to President Eisenhower’s vision to create the nation’s Interstate Highway System,”  

“It celebrates the longest uninterrupted peaceful relationship that the United States has with any foreign country and supports the millions of people everywhere suffering with peripheral neuropathy. Medical research for PN is significantly underfunded and finding a cure for this debilitating condition must be addressed.” 

E bikes are being adopted globally at a rapid rate and have benefitted the lives of many, it is inspiring to see how e bikes are being used for medical recovery and enjoyment for those who use them. 

Traveling with MassDOT on the road to electrification and future of mobility

Traveling with MassDOT on the road to electrification and future of mobility

“I do think that technology and the implications of switching to electric vehicles but also really looking at how vehicles are connected and how we address vehicle miles traveled and how we reduce vehicle miles traveled is where we are going to be sitting as a nation over the next five and ten years” – Hayes Morrison

We had the great pleasure of talking to Hayes Morrison about some of the fantastic projects at the Massachusetts Department of Transport and industry developments!

Hayes will be joining us at MOVE America 2022 in Austin this September to talk about implementing the Infrastructure Bill at the State Level.

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

To find out more about MOVE America 2022 head to: MOVE America 2022

To find out more about MassDOT head to: MassDOT

 

Stellantis has announced $99 million investment into three North American plants

Stellantis has announced $99 million investment into three North American plants

Picture: Stellantis

Stellantis has announced that it will invest $99 million in three North American plants for production of a new four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Investments will be made at the Dundee Engine Complex in Michigan, the Kokomo Casting Plant in Indiana and the Etobicoke Casting Plant in toronto. 

The new engine is a 1.6 litre, I-4 turbocharged unit with direct fuel injection and flexibility for hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) applications. Based on a current Stellantis production engine in Europe, this next-generation engine will power two future North American HEV models. This will be the first HEV engine for the company in the region. Production is expected to begin in early 2025. 

With an investment of nearly $83 million, Dundee Engine will be retooled and become the final assembly location for the new engine. The Michigan plant will continue production of the 3.6-liter Pentastar Upgrade for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee L. The Tigershark 2.4-liter I-4 engine will build out in the first quarter of 2023. 

Engine blocks will be cast at the Kokomo Casting Plant, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. More than $14 million will be invested to convert existing die cast machines and cells for the new engine. 

Etobicoke Casting will produce the oil pan for the new engine. The company will invest nearly $2 million to support the development and installation of new tooling and equipment upgrades. 

These investments support Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan of delivering innovative, clean, safe and affordable mobility solutions. 

Indorama Ventures and Capchem evaluate proposed carbonate solvents plant to supply North American lithium-ion battery market

Indorama Ventures and Capchem evaluate proposed carbonate solvents plant to supply North American lithium-ion battery market

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, a global sustainable chemical company, has entered into a non-binding agreement with Capchem Technology USA Inc to study the opportunity to build and ond operate a world-class lithium-ion battery solvents plant at one of IVL’s petrochemical facilities in the U.S Gulf Coast. 

The proposed plant will supply the lithium-ion batteries industry in North America, which is boosted by significant growth in the development of electric vehicles (EV). 

The proposed facility will produce ethylene carbonate and its chemical derivatives, which are essential components of the electrolytes solutions used in lithium-ion batteries. IVL’s Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) segment and Capchem USA, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Capchem Technology Co., Ltd., will study the proposal to develop and operate the plant. 

 Capchem is a global leading company in lithium-ion battery chemicals. It would significantly benefit the North American lithium-ion battery market, which currently depends on imports from Asia amid potential for accelerated growth in the EV industry. 

IOD’s transition towards downstream specialty products, increasing IVL’s opportunities in attractive end-market applications. Under its Vision 2030 ambition, IVL is building on its global integrated petrochemicals model through investing in adjacent businesses that offer High Value Add (HVA) products which contribute to a more sustainable world. 

The study will assess the opportunity to build a plant using Capchem’s established technology to produce ultra-pure ethylene carbonate, di-methyl carbonate, ethyl methyl carbonate, di-ethyl carbonate and derivatized electrolyte solutions. The study also includes an option to build a second module to meet expected growing market demand. 

“IVL is constantly looking for ways to enhance our sustainability programs towards our vision of creating a more sustainable world. This mutual study with Capchem USA not only helps us to achieve that, but also supports the adoption of zero-emission electric mobility.” Said Alastair Port, Executive President, Integrated Oxides and Deratives, IVL 

“Given our proven operational excellence, highly skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure, and access to captive raw materials, we believe we are well-placed to successfully implement the technology, which will help to reduce North American EV manufacturers’ reliance on imports.” 

The key raw materials for the proposed new plant, namely purified ethylene oxide and carbon dioxide, will be supplied from IVL’s integrated supply network as part the company’s strategy to enhance end-market exposure, technologies, and downstream portfolio breadth. The sequestered carbon dioxide used in the process has a positive sustainability impact. 

Robyn Marquis talks innovative developments for EV infrastructure ahead of MOVE America!

Robyn Marquis talks innovative developments for EV infrastructure ahead of MOVE America!

Robyn Marquis Q&A for MOVE America!

Robyn Marquis joined CALSTART in 2022 as the Director of Innovative Mobility. She oversees the Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program (CMO) team, which administers this first-in-the-nation program to provide zero-emission mobility to underserved communities and improve their quality of life.  

She also oversees CALSTART’s Innovative Mobility Working Group, a consortium of over 50 transit agencies, service and technology providers, and other key stakeholders advancing better mobility options to reduce climate impacts.

We had a great chat with Robyn about the amazing incentive programs CALSTART have implemented and some of the fantastic things we will be seeing from them in the future!

 

Q: Tell us about CALSTART 

A: CALSTART is a nonprofit organisation. We work nationally and internationally with businesses and governments to develop clean and efficient transportation solutions. We have offices all over the US. We are headquartered in California. I’m located in New York, another one of our offices, also in Michigan, Colorado, even central. And working with industry partners worldwide, we currently have about 300 member companies and other agencies that are innovating to help us build a prosperous, efficient and clean high tech transportation industry. 

Collectively we’re working on two pretty large goals in clean transportation. The first being, reducing US transportation emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. And then secondly, hoping to ensure that all regions are achieving federal air quality standards to support clean air for all. And we do this through a variety of mechanisms. 

We administer a lot of large-scale incentive programs on the vehicle side. On the infrastructure side, we convene industry working groups. We have a lot of advocacy work working with a lot of other partners in the clean transportation space, so that we’re all kind of rowing in the same direction and ensuring that we’re leveraging everybody’s efforts to have a greater impact, kind of the, some is greater than the parts. 

  

Q: California leads the nation with its EnergIIZE Commercial Vehicles Project, which provides incentives for zero-emission fleet charging infrastructure equipment. What has been the impact of this been on electric vehicle uptake? 

A: EnergIIZE in particular, which is for commercial vehicle infrastructure, has a series of funding rounds. And we recently launched the first of the funding rounds. We received over 60 applications, and it was fully subscribed within seconds or even milliseconds. So, we definitely know that the demand there is quite large.  The goal of that program in particular is to increase market acceleration but it’s a little too early for us to fully determine the effect that we’re having at a broad level. Based on the interest that we saw with that over subscription of the funding, um, the webinars that we’ve hosted people reaching out, emailing us about the program. 

We are very optimistic about the demand at large, and as far as we know, EnergIIZE in particular is the first of its kind and the largest, medium and heavy-duty incentive program in the market. So, we’re really hopeful that that’s going to continue to drive the uptake of electric vehicles. The industry is really evolving rapidly to address the concerns that we’ve been hearing particularly early on in some of these vehicle developments and deployments about range, anxiety and the different duty unique duty cycles, particularly in commercial vehicles. 

So, passenger cars kind of have a way that they’re typically driven and charged if you’re looking at commercial vehicles, it could be a delivery truck, it could be a garbage truck; it could be a bus. The ways in which those are utilised are quite different in terms of duty cycles. So, their charging needs are different as well and that has led to some issues in terms of transitioning fleets to zero emission. So, through this kind of incentive program, and then complimenting that with incentives on the vehicle side as well, we’re really hoping to drive a more rapid uptake in, in this transition to zero emission fleets. And hopefully it works because infrastructure is the key part of everything. 

  

Q: CALSTART have also announced a landmark at the UN climate change conference, where you said that you would have a hundred percent zero emission new trucks by 2040. How do you plan to implement this and how far along are you?  

A: This is something that we’re really proud to be involved in and really seeing a lot of progress as we shift from kind of the initial establishing beach head markets in terms of where would we see early adopter vehicles and starting to, to secure that policy alignment? So currently we have a group of 16 signatory countries and more. That we’re hoping to bring into the MOU as well. So really our top priority is to then turn those MOU targets that we have into concrete policies. How can we be supporting these signatories in really adopting this change through specific regulatory policy, implementation actions, figuring out how they can all individually and then collectively meet these goals. 

So that’s identifying their pain points. What are some of their policy prior? Who are key experts in the space that can help share their lessons learned. So those that maybe are a little bit further along, how did they work through the process and how can they transfer some of that knowledge back to those that are just maybe getting started? We hold quarterly calls with all of the countries, really around deep themes, economics, infrastructure, as we’ve been saying, regulations and incentive. There are many large markets that haven’t signed up yet. So, our goal is those that are in large markets for producing vehicles or maybe our lower and moderate-income C. To ensure that we’re securing a large set of stakeholders and diverse set of countries in this pledge. 

And then also looking at the industry side of it. So, this can’t be done without industry participation. We have, in addition to those 16 countries, 50 subnational governments and companies that endorse the ambition of the MOU. So, we’re recognising that national governments alone, aren’t going to be able to fulfill this. It’s really a broad set of stakeholders that need to participate. So that’s working with the leading manufacturer fleets to ensure that we are responsive to their pain points and market needs and things like the incentives and other programs that we’ve been discussing cumulatively can help transition them through the different stages of the strategy. 

Actually, not that long ago, we released the 2040 global roadmap, which has these six main steps of the strategy that are looking at the kind of different use cases, long haul versus cities establishing the backbone of the infrastructure. So, we are now going to be ensuring that the next piece is coming online to help those countries that have signed on and tracking their progress. So, we’ve built a dashboard for this, and it’s something that we’re hoping to release and discuss aat pop 26, actually.  

  

Q: What do you think will be the next big industry developments in the next 12-18 months? 

A: It’s such a large multi stakeholder or multi-jurisdictional issue. True to form I have a few tracks of thought here. In addition to the kind of technology and maybe traditional transportation mobility side of it, the big changes are going to need to come in land. 

Where people live, where their things are, how they are trying to get to school, job, etc. There are a lot of solutions that are working in certain kinds of markets that are maybe not are not as feasible. In some of the places in the U.S in particular where just structurally communities were laid out in response to auto ownership and auto usage. 

Looking at opportunities to do some infill in cities, bring some more of those things that they need closer to home thinking about transit-oriented development and c omplimenting the, kind of the big land use picture with more of the tech, in innovation and some of the disruptors that we’re going see at MOVE America in particular, needing to really look more multimodal, uh, and on the infrastructure side, looking beyond bike lanes,that’s a huge barrier. 

 

Q: What are you excited for at MOVE America? 

A: In addition to just really being excited to go to Austin, Texas, which has been high on my list as I’ve heard very cool cities and in particular places that are doing a lot on the mobility side, what I’m really excited about kind of across the board for MOVE America is just broad the programming is I think. the breadth of this, of the sessions really maps against CALSTART initiative areas. We’re working in everything from ultra-light duty to heavy duty and seeing the sessions kind of complimenting in terms of, you know, there is no silver bullet. There is all of these different approaches that need to be complimented. 

 

Q: What can we expect to hear from you there? 

A: My session in particular is focused on ways to make EVs accessible to all and getting at some of the core challenges in access and so CALSTART is part of the administrator team that implements the clean mobility options program in California, and this empowers under-resourced communities to better understand and overcome their mobility obstacles through either needs assessments, or ultimately the deployment of clean shared zero mission mobility service. 

That’s a pretty unique first of its kind program that’s really looking at. What does a community need? What do they want? How can they co-design the solution for them and ensure that those that are perhaps lower income or have other mobility challenges aren’t left out of the electrification component.

 

To find out more about CALSTART head to: CALSTART

New U.S. electric vehicle credit puts Canada back in the race

New U.S. electric vehicle credit puts Canada back in the race

Unifor welcomes a revised United States Senate proposal that aims to open tax credits to Canadian-built electric vehicles. 

“Unifor members have eagerly awaited a resolve to this thorny trade issue and are breathing a little easier today,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne.  

“With thousands of Canadian autoworkers gearing up to build electric vehicles, expanding eligibility of U.S. consumer credits to electric vehicles built across North America lifts a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Canadian factories and delivers on Unifor’s long-standing recommendation to fix this issue.” 

Unifor has worked collaboratively with federal ministers and officials at Global Affairs Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada since the idea was first proposed in 2021. The idea was to lobby U.S officials about concerns with Canada’s exclusion from a proposed $12,500 consumer credit for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.  

The initial proposal disqualified Canadian-assembled electric vehicles despite their considerable U.S. parts content. 

“The reality is that auto manufacturing in Canada and the United States is deeply integrated, and our production volumes are tied to the much larger sales market in the U.S.,” said Unifor Auto Council Chairperson John D’Agnolo. 

“Canadais positioning itself as a major player in electric vehicle manufacturing with new EV product programs planned for nearly every facility in Canada. Allowing ourselves to be cut out of the largest market would be a disaster for the hundreds of thousands of workers and their families who rely on this vital industry.” 

The new U.S. proposal delivers on a range of clean economy promises made under President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better framework, including the expanded electric vehicle purchase credit.  

The Senators opted to replace the U.S.-assembly qualifying requirement with a broader North American-assembly requirement that captures Canadian-built products. The new proposal also includes Canadian-mined critical minerals and Canadian-made battery components within the credit scheme. 

“Throughout the transition to net zero, we have an obligation to ensure workers are not left to fend for themselves. That means linking the growth of clean industries with creating good, unionized jobs,” said Payne.  

“Protecting and enhancing workers’ rights throughout this transition is not just an option for governments and lawmakers, it is essential to ensuring a just transition.” 

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future. 

Austin startup Group1 aims for first commercialised potassium-ion battery

Austin startup Group1 aims for first commercialised potassium-ion battery

Startup Group1 is seeking to commercialise cathode materials for potassium-ion batters, a world first, while Northvolt is seeking to build batteries using a tree-derived carbon material lignin. 

Austin, US-based Group1 said its Potassium Prussian White (KPW) cathode materials result in quick-charging, high-efficiency and safer potassium-ion batteries, and that these can be a sustainable and critical alternative to lithium-ion batteries. 

Founded last year, it is led by its three co-founders, CEO Alexander Girau, chief science officer Dr. Yakov Kutsovsky and chief product officer Dr. Leigang Xue, who invented Group1’s proprietary KPW technology as a post-doc researcher in the lab of John B. Goodenough, the inventor of the lithium-ion battery.  

“As our transition away from fossil fuels accelerates, the demand for lithium-ion batteries is spiking quickly, and our lithium supplies will soon be incapable of meeting that demand. Group1 and potassium-ion batteries can provide a viable alternative to bridge this supply gap,” said CEO of Group1 Alexander Girau 

Max Reid, research analyst in Wood Mackenzie’s Battery & Raw Materials Service segment, described potassium-ion battery technology as ‘promising but still immature’. 

“The Prussian White cathode also uses much more abundant materials, potassium, manganese and iron are the main constituents – more suitable than nickel, cobalt and lithium which have seen surge prices over the last year,” Reid added. 

Group1 said that the potassium used in its technology is 1000 times more abundant than lithium and 20 times more affordable, although the latter claim may depend heavily on recent price spikes. It also claims its battery has a better safety profile than lithium-ion and faster, more efficient charging, and can easily be integrated into existing graphite anode materials, electrolytes, cell design, and manufacturing for li-ion. 

El Cajon school district launches pilot with tech company Nuvve and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. marks the nation’s first “vehicle-to-grid” project to go online.

El Cajon school district launches pilot with tech company Nuvve and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. marks the nation’s first “vehicle-to-grid” project to go online.

A fleet of electric-powered school buses in El Cajon are able to send electricity back to California’s grid, thanks to first-of-its kind technology developed by a San Diego company and a partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric.  

And soon other school districts in the area will be able to do the same.  

“These buses are like storage on wheels,” said Gregory Poilasne, chief executive of Nuvve a technology company that specializes in advancing what’s called vehicle-to-grid projects. 

The bidirectional technology is known as V2G and it enables electric vehicle batteries that charge up during the day when solar energy is abundant on Californias power system to then discharge emission-free energy back to the electric grid when it is needed the most.  

In the case of the Cajon Valley Union School District, its fleet of eight all-electric school buses earlier this month successfully deployed the V2G technology as part of a pilot project in collaboration with Nuvve and SDG&E. As part of a five-year effort, the utility installed eight 60-kilowatt direct current fast chargers in the school district’s bus yard in El Cajon. This is the first V2G project to come online in the U.S. 

“This is another distributed energy resource that’s mobile, that’s on the road,” said Miguel Romero, SDG&E’s vice president of energy innovation. “There’s a significant amount of capacity in these batteries.” 

The Cajon Valley buses have a battery capacity of as much as 210 kilawatt-hours. That’s five times more than a typical electric car.  

Scott Buxbaum, the school district’s assistant superintendent of business services, said the buses typically charge overnight when electricity prices are low. After the buses pick up and drop off students and drivers complete other chores, the batteries quickly get recharged and can then send electricity back to the grid. 

“We can charge a bus in two to three hours from fully drained” using the fast chargers, Buxbaum said. “That’s really important to have a fast-charging process.” 

In an effort to reduce the risk of power outages when the grid is stressed, an Emergency Load Reduction Program in SDG&E’s service territory pays business customers $2 per kilowatt-hour if they are able to export power to the grid or reduce their usage during energy emergencies. 

The program at Cajon Valley was approved along with SDG&E’s Power Your Drive for Fleets program which builds charging stations and other infrastructure to take medium-and heavy-duty trucks that are powered by gasoline or diesel and replace them with electric vehicles. 

Justin Holmes, Zipcar, talks all things car sharing ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Justin Holmes, Zipcar, talks all things car sharing ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Justin is Zipcar’s VP of Marketing and Public Policy where he leads efforts to promote Zipcar’s brand of “wheels when you want them” to Zipcar members, city leaders, media and other stakeholders.

Ahead of MOVE America 2022, we spoke to Justin about Zipcars vision for the future and what we can expect to hear from them in Austin this September!

 

Q: Tell us about Zipcar and what services you provide. 

A: Founded more than 20 years ago, and acquired by Avis Budget Group in 2013, Zipcar is the world’s leading car-sharing network with operations in nearly 500 cities and towns. It enables people who have limited access to a car, or those who choose not to own a car in the city, with the ability to access the places and things they need and want, in and out of their city, in an easy, convenient, and affordable way. Once you join, you can reserve by the hour or day, on short notice or up to a year in advance.  

Zipcar’s affordable, self-service vehicles are available in conveniently located, reserved parking spots in neighborhoods where members live and work. Members can instantly join, access vehicles from their phone, and book a car, all without waiting in line. Zipcar also covers gas, insurance options and maintenance, and has recently expanded its fleet to 800 hybrid vehicles to serve increased travel demands.  

 

Q: What has the impact of car sharing been? 

A: Zipcar’s vision is to eliminate the need for personally owned cars (which sit parked about 95% of the time) by enabling simple and responsible urban living. People who do not own a car drive less and embrace more sustainable forms of transportation more often, which means less emissions and a more sustainable environment. Fewer cars on the road also means more space for people and the things they love like parks and green space; we also support transportation equity by adding cars in historically underserved areas where transportation is more difficult. 

Zipcar reduces members’ reliance on cars, which helps reduce emissions and decrease pollution and congestion. Once our members join Zipcar, they end up driving 40% fewer miles than they did prior, relying more on walking, biking, and public transportation. Together, our members each reduce their carbon footprint by up to 1,600 lbs per year, which is as much as planting about an acre of forest. 

Each Zipcar takes thirteen personally owned cars off the road, which reduces the need for parking spaces in our cities and frees it up for other uses. With thirteen spaces, you can fit four studio apartments, one community garden, twenty farmers market stalls or two hundred outdoor dining seats. 

Through partnerships like the ones, we have with NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) and NYC DOT (New York City Department of Transportation), we can add vehicles to lower-income neighbourhoods, expanding access to convenient and affordable mobility to underserved communities.  

 

Q: How do we try and make people give up personal cars and take alternative travel routes within cities? 

A: Urban centres play a key role in the fight against climate change and the creation of a more sustainable future. Critical to this future is a shift away from car ownership and towards shared mobility solutions that reduce the number of vehicles on the road, lowering emissions and decreasing congestion.  

We can encourage people in our communities to give up personal cars by making other forms of transportation easier, more convenient, accessible, and affordable, making them a better option than owning a car. Zipcar compliments a combination of shared mobility solutions – such as public transit, bikes, and scooters – by providing people with the ease, convenience, and accessibility to use a car when needed, and when other travel options may not work for the need. Zipcar also includes gas, insurance options, maintenance, a dedicated parking spot and 180 miles each trip, so the overall cost is much more affordable than owning a car. Based on a 2021 AAA report “How much does it really cost to own a car?” our members save $784/month on average. 

We also continue to work with our city and university partners to bring car sharing to more communities in major urban cities and towns.  

 

Q: What is the typical demographic of people that use Zipcar and what are you doing to cater to those who wouldn’t typically use your service? 

A: Our members are diverse urbanites of all ages 18+. Over 50% identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color), and almost 30% are college students. The commonality among them is that they don’t feel that owning a car in the city makes sense or is necessary. 75% of our members don’t own a car, and more than 40% would buy a car if Zipcar disappeared. For them, Zipcar delivers access without having to own a car, and offers them mobility solutions that fit their needs without the financial burden and mental worry of owning a car.  

In urban areas, cars are expensive, a hassle for owners, and clog city streets with congestion and pollution. All the while remaining unused 95% of the time. The fact of the matter is that urbanites don’t need a car to still have the freedom and convenience that a car provides. Car sharing through Zipcar delivers sustainable, cost-effective, on-demand vehicles that are available when you need one. 

 

Q: How is your 2035 vision to be all electric going? How far along are you? 

A: This summer, with the increased demand for travel, we added eight hundred hybrid vehicles to our fleet to meet demand and make sure we have greener vehicles incorporated into our fleet.  

 

Q: What will you be talking about at MOVE America and what are you excited about for the event? 

A: At this year’s MOVE America, I’ll be talking about how the end of car ownership can lead to a more sustainable mobility future, focusing on how urban areas are key to our fight against climate change. 

I’m most excited to hear from policy leaders in urban areas across the U.S. to learn more about how they’re leveraging technology and innovation in their plans to create a carbon zero future in their city. 

To find out more about MOVE America 2022 head to: MOVE America 2022

To find out more about Zipcar head to: Zipcar

 

Texas Department of Transport plans for more electric vehicle charging stations

Texas Department of Transport plans for more electric vehicle charging stations

To support the growth of electric vehicles, Houston is addressing air quality concerns and long-term funding strategies for electric vehicles and charging stations. Texas has also spent $400 million of federal money, which will be distributed over the next five years, to fund electric vehicle infrastructure.  

Electric vehicles are registered in 233 out of the 254 counties in Texas. As of the 19th of July, there were over 19,000 electric vehicles registered in Harris County and over 13,000 in the city of Houston, however, electric vehicles only account for 0.55% and 0.56% of all registered vehicles in Harris County and Houston. 

“While electric cars are becoming more accessible, the issue lies with making charging stations more available” said Harry Tenenbaum, director of commercialisation and infrastructure at Evolve Houston. 

“The first step is learning more and finding out how many people don’t have access to charge at home. Then the next step is figuring out what’s acceptable access to charging.” 

The federal government, the state of Texas and the city of Houston have invested in Houston-area infrastructure to meet the growing demand and improve accessibility. 

It is estimated that Houston will have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2028 according to TxDOT’s plan. 

Ebrahim Eslami, a research scientist specializing in air quality at the Houston Advanced Research Center, said there are between 7 million-10 million cars in Houston, but if there is only a little bit of electrification, there can be an improvement in air quality.
 

“Assuming 100% of [vehicles] are going to be electric by 2040, we need electricity,” he said. “We need the infrastructure for [electric cars] to emerge as the main source of electric production sources.” 

Health impact results show that increased ozone and particulate matter will lead to 122 premature deaths annually if there are no changes to air quality in the Greater Houston area, according to a December 2019 report from the Center for Transportation, Environment and Community Health. Eslami said he believes zero emissions from cars is possible. 

Siemens partner with ConnectDER to offer Plug-in Home EV charging solution

Siemens partner with ConnectDER to offer Plug-in Home EV charging solution

ConnectDER, a company enabling consumers to decarbonise their homes by easily adding new electric service capacity, will supply Siemens with a proprietary plug-in adapter for electric vehicle chargers. The new device will allow electric vehicle owners to charge EVs by connecting chargers directly though the meter socket. By bypassing a home’s electric service panel, the adapter will save an estimated 60 to 80 percent of the charger installation cost by avoiding the need for electric panel upgrades. 

This new EV home-charging technology will be designed and manufactured by ConnectDER exclusively for Siemens. By allowing for a simple, 15-minute EV charger installation, the technology eliminates the need for complex and prohibitively expensive installations. 

Nearly half of US home panels would need upgrades to allow the installation of a typical Level 2 charger, typically a 7-11kW device requiring 40-60 Amps on a 240V line. This is a major roadblock for EV adoption, especially for low-and moderate-income homeowners. The adapter will be offered exclusively through Siemens. 

“Siemens invests in initiatives that help the world embrace electrified transportation, and we are pleased to partner with ConnectDER on this important effort,” said Chris King, senior vice president of strategic partnerships, Siemens.  

“While the EV industry continues to show explosive growth, to meet critical net-zero carbon emission goals like we have at Siemens, we must remove obstacles to broader adoption. ConnectDER’s innovative solution to simplify home EV charging helps overcome these challenges and we are excited to work with its team to rapidly roll out this product.” 

Whit Fulton, CEO of ConnectDER has also commented saying: “We are very excited to partner with Siemens, obviously one of the strongest and most storied electrical infrastructure providers on the planet. If we’re going to meet ambitious decarbonization targets, we simply must accelerate the adoption of EVs — the installation of EV chargers is a huge part of that equation. This technology saves homeowners thousands of dollars in electrical costs and will help make the move to electric vehicles considerably easier.” 

The partnership marks the latest step in the company’s strategic plan to meet the growing EV demand and increase transportation electrification job opportunities at all levels in the United States. 

Siemens eMobility solutions include AC and DC chargers deployed in all 50 states that range from in-home chargers to depots to charging infrastructure systems that power electrified bus lines in some of the largest cities in the country. 

Volkswagen starts US electric vehicle assembly in Tennessee

Volkswagen starts US electric vehicle assembly in Tennessee

Volkswagen has announced a $800 million investment in the company’s manufacturing of electric vehicles in North America at the Chattanooga plant, including facilities for vehicle and battery pack assembly.  

The company has said that they are hiring more than 1,000 production team workers there through the end of the year. Volkswagen Chattanooga currently employs more than 4,000 people.  

The Chattanooga factory is now the sixth site globally to produce electric vehicles for Volkswagen. Volkswagen’s goal is for 55% of U.S. sales to be fully electric by 2030. 

The start of production comes as America’s automakers take aim with electric vehicles at the largest segment of the U.S. market: modest-sized SUVs, representing about 20% of new-vehicle sales. 

Volkswagen says the ID.4 is its most popular electric vehicle, with more than 190,000 delivered to customers around the world since last year. 

The company says customers can expect ID.4s to be delivered as early as October. The starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price is about $41,000. 

Primarily Volkswagen will offer the American-built vehicles in either rear wheel drive or all wheel drive with 82-kilowatt-hour battery. A lower-priced version with a 62-kilowatt-hour-battery and rear-wheel drive will go into production later this year. 

Volkswagen have said that they will rely on North American parts for the vehicle, including materials and components assembled in 11 U.S. states SK innovation in Georgia will supply the batteries.  

In the budget passed by Tennessee lawmakers in 2019, Volkswagen received an additional $50 million in state incentives for the Chattanooga plant to aid in the electric vehicle expansion. 

Volvo to build electric truck charging corridor in California

Volvo to build electric truck charging corridor in California

Volvo trucks will be building a charging corridor in California for medium and heavy-duty trucks, with publicly accessible stations across the state. The company’s charging spots will stretch between Dixon, California north of San Francisco and La Mirada in Los Angeles County. 

The project will deploy chargers at several existing Volvo Trucks dealership locations in central and northern California, including TEC Equipment Oakland, TEC Equipment Dixon, Western Truck Center in Stockton, and Affinity Truck Centers in Fresno and Bakersfield. It will also offer services as an extension to existing chargers at the TEC Fontana and TEC La Mirada locations in the south. 

Volvo is hoping the corridor will help more small carriers electrify their fleets without needing to invest in charging infrastructure. Construction of the project will begin this year with five new stations online by the end of 2023. 

California has been a leader in the push for truck electrification, passing legislation in 2020 mandating manufacturers sell only zero-emission medium and heavy-duty trucks beginning in 2040. To assist in building the infrastructure needed to power those trucks, the state launched a funding program for truck charging solutions. Volvo was granted $2 million from the fund for the corridor project. 

Volvo is taking on the task of building charging infrastructure across the globe days before announcing the California project, the company, in a joint venture with Daimler Truck and the TRATON Group, committed to building at least 1,700 charging points on and close to highways across Europe.  

And Volvo is not alone in unveiling new charging initiatives this month. GM and Pilot will partner to build 2,000 EVgo eXtend-powered charging stations at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers, the company announced the same day as the Volvo news. 

Some say that the company’s new venture is a bold stretch, and that creating this infrastructure could take longer than expected, however, the infrastructure would be highly beneficial to the state and would hopefully see more electrification of fleets. 

Martin Larose talks electric fleet development ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Martin Larose talks electric fleet development ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Picture: LA PRESSE

Martin Larose joined the Volvo Group as a senior consultant before accepting a new role of Vice President, Program Management in April 2015. He was nominated as Vice President General Manager of Nova Bus in August 2017 and became President of Nova Bus in October 2021.

We had the great opportunity to chat with Martin ahead of MOVE America to talk about what we are expecting to hear from him in Texas, what he thinks the next big industry developments will be and much more!

 

Q: Tell us a bit about Novabus

A: Novabus is a public transit bus builder, our market is Canada and the United States, so we provide buses for all kinds of sizes of cities across North America, small, medium and large. Our public transit bus serves many thousands and millions of citizens on a daily basis. Our key customers across North America would be New York City, for example, Motreal here in Canada which is our home base, Vancouver out West and San Fransisco even on the west coast. So, we have a broad base of customers and we have been serving them now for more than 20 years. For the past 10 years we’ve been under the ownership of Volvo group.

 

 

Q: We are seeing fleets of Novabuses being bought everywhere. How important is it to electrify fleets across the country?

A: Well, we think it’s, it’s obviously quite important. Number one and foremost for the environment. So obviously our fully electric buses do not have any kind of direct pollution. We don’t have an internal combustion engine on most of these buses because they are fully electric, including the heating and ventilating in many cases. So obviously the environmental footprint is much less. Maintaining an electric bus with an electric motor and batteries is much simpler than maintaining a big diesel engine with all its moving parts. So, the maintenance costs go drastically down, which is all in all very positive over the whole life cycle of the product. So, we’re very proud to be in this market. And this is something that we’re pushing more and more for cities to be equipped with.

 

 

 Q: How impactful is the uptake of electric fleets in and North America?

A: Here in north America, I would say that there is really good support from different levels of the government. Now the governments on both the Canadian and the U.S. side have unblocked large amounts of money to push the cities, and even force the cities, I would say, to make the move and make the switch to electric buses. And this is very positive. So, there’s large sums of money that are being invested in all cities, backed by the government again, to push and go and make the switch, which is actually to be honest, going faster than we had thought.

 

 

Q: What are the next steps for mobility in the next 12-18 months?

A: I would say in the next 12 to 18 months right now, in terms of electrifying fleets, it’s all about execution with a lot of this available money, that I mentioned earlier, a lot of the available financing and funds from the different levels of government… It’s interesting to see that in North America, we have gone now from the phase of small tests with very small fleets, to buying larger amounts of buses in order to be really now able to replace existing diesel or hybrid or natural gas buses by the full electric buses. So, in the next 12 to 18 months, its really about getting things done, accepting buses in larger amounts and getting the whole charging infrastructure.

 

 

Q: Are you excited for MOVE America? What are we going to hear from you there?

A: I’m excited to see all the different players that are going to be present, to interact with different business leaders, exchange notes and see how things are going basically around the world. I think it’s a super opportunity to be able to do that. To also do some networking, compare notes, find out about new technologies. It’s all about meeting great people, and especially now at the, what we hope is the end of this pandemic, be able to interact with people face to face, shake hands, which is quite different than doing the teleworking aspect that we’ve been doing for so many years, too many years now. So, really looking to the networking, the human interaction and getting some great information and sharing some of our knowledge as well.

 

Martin will be appearing on a panel discussing how can we accelerate the transition to zero emission fleets at MOVE America this September, along side some of the most innovative names within the industry.

To keep up to date with MOVEMNT sign up for our newsletter here: MOVEMNT Newsletter

Optibike releases the new Everest edition, the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge

Optibike releases the new Everest edition, the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge

Picture: Optibike

Optibike has released the new Everest edition, which is the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge, the R22 Everest Edition E-Bike. Everest features the largest battery in an E-Bike, a staggering 3260-watt hours of energy.  

The Everest was made in the mountains of Colorado and is capable of climbing up to 24,000 feet on a single charge.  

“The R22 Everest is the result of my 25 years of designing and building E-Bikes, the R22 is my dream bike, born and bred in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This bike sets a new standard for E-Bikes.” said Jim Turner, Founder and Inventor of Optibike. 

The bike is the product of the world-famous E-Bike designer, Jim Turner. The R22 Everest can take on any mountain, with the highest torque E-Bike motor and largest battery, the R22 goes where no other E-Bike can go.  

While the idea of climbing Everest was just a bit of fun, the R22 Everest was designed and made with mountains in mind. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains that surround Optibikes Colorado headquarters, Everest was designed to go beyond flat roads and basic city hills in a way typical ebikes cannot, supporting ambitious expeditions that include long mileage and rocky roads. 

The R22 Everest develops motive power from Optibike’s own 1,700-W PowerStorm mid-motor drive, which works in conjunction with a Rohloff Speedhub 500 14-speed internally geared hub. That e-drive kicks out 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) of torque perfect for tugging a loaded bikepacking trailer into motion or quick-climbing steep, bump-riddled sections of trail 

Hyundai granted $1.8bn in incentives to build electric cars in US state of Georgia

Hyundai granted $1.8bn in incentives to build electric cars in US state of Georgia

The US state of Georgia and local governments are giving $1.8 billion in tax breaks and other incentives to Hyundai Motor Group in exchange for the automaker building its first American plant dedicated to electric vehicles near Savannah, according to the signed agreement disclosed on Friday. 

The deal calls for Hyundai to invest $5.5bn in its Georgia plant and hire 8,100 workers. It’s the largest economic development deal in the state’s history and comes just months after Georgia closed another major deal with electric vehicle maker Rivian to build a factory in the state. 

“Not only do these generational projects solidify our spot at the vanguard of the EV transition, but they also ensure that thousands of Georgians across the state will benefit from the jobs of the future,” Pat Wilson, the state’s economic development commissioner. 

Hyundai executives and Governor Brian Kemp announced the deal in May at the project’s sprawling 1,170-hectare site in Bryan County, west of Savannah. Hyundai plans to start construction on the plant next year and begin producing up to 300,000 vehicles per year in 2025. The factory will also produce vehicle batteries. 

But officials declined to reveal what incentives the automaker had been promised until after the agreement was signed. 

The package is worth around $300 million more than what was promised to Rivian. It gives Hyundai $228,00 per job created. 

Georgia officials state that it’s a worthwhile investment. Wilson said Hyundai’s payroll at the new plant is expected to reach $4.7bn over 10 years. Parts suppliers are expected to create thousands of additional jobs in the state. 

The $1.8bn in incentives is easily the largest subsidy package a US state has ever promised for an automotive plant, said Greg LeRoy, executive director at Good Jobs First. 

The company will also receive more than $212m in state income tax credits, at $5,250 per job over five years. If Hyundai didn’t owe that much state corporate income tax, Georgia would instead give the company personal income taxes collected from Hyundai workers. 

The state and local governments spent $86m to purchase the plant site. And the state will spend $200m on road construction and improvements, plus $50m more to help fund construction, machinery and equipment. Sales tax exemptions on construction materials and machinery expenses are estimated to cost $396m. 

Dakota Lithium has signed three-year partnership with B.A.S.S as a premium sponsor of the Bassmaster Tournament trail and the Official Lithium Battery of Bassmaster

Dakota Lithium has signed three-year partnership with B.A.S.S as a premium sponsor of the Bassmaster Tournament trail and the Official Lithium Battery of Bassmaster

Picture: Dakota Lithium

Dakota Lithium, a U.S battery manufacturer, has signed a three-year partnership with B.A.S.S as a premium sponsor of the Bassmaster Tournament trail and the Official Lithium Battery of Bassmaster through 2025. 

“Here at Dakota Lithium, we are proud to be partnering with Bassmaster as the first Official Lithium Battery. Dakota Lithium is the top battery choice of professional anglers. Partnering with the leading professional fishing tournament series just made sense. We are looking forward to joining the elite brands that are supporting the future of fishing,” said Dakota Lithium CEO Andrew A. Jay. 

Dakota Lithium currently works with multiple Bassmaster Elite Series pro anglers. Two-time Bassmaster Classic champion Hank CherryGreg DiPalmaAustin FelixMarc FrazierBrock MosleyChad PipkensTyler RivetMatt Robertson and Kyle Welcher are all part of the Dakota Lithium pro staff. 

“I was the first Bassmaster Elite angler to use Dakota Lithium batteries and have been on the team from the beginning,” said Mosley, who has notched five Top 10 Elite finishes in the past two seasons. 

 “It is truly amazing to see how far they have come and to see them sponsor the 2023 Bassmaster season.” 

Lithium batteries have become an industry standard for competitive fishing, providing twice the usable power at half the weight of traditional batteries. In a quickly growing market, Dakota Lithium has become the brand of choice for professional athletes, primarily due to Dakota Lithium’s performance, reliability, lifespan and best-in-class 11-year warranty. 

“This new partnership with Bassmaster and Dakota Lithium shows how Dakota Lithium has become the go-to battery in the marine industry and partnering with Bassmaster is the next step in continuing that dominance,” said Craig Storms, Dakota Lithium national sales representative and pro staff manager. 

By harnessing a unique chemistry and their engineering know-how, Dakota Lithium lasts 5-10x longer than traditional batteries, providing lasting value for and reducing e-waste and the impact on our planet. 

“We are proud to welcome Dakota Lithium as a new premier partner and look forward to connecting them with anglers and Bassmaster fans,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Chase Anderson. 

 “Dakota Lithium already works alongside so many anglers at all levels, and we are excited to introduce their long-lasting batteries to our passionate fans over the next several years.” 

Amazons electric delivery vehicles hit the road in the U.S

Amazons electric delivery vehicles hit the road in the U.S

Amazon has announced that its custom delivery vans from Rivian have officially hit the road in over a dozen U.S cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Baltimore, Sandiego and Nashville, Tennessee. 

Back in 2019, Amazon made its largest EV order ever of 100,000 vehicles, and now they are planning to cash in on this investment. This week, the e-commerce giant has said that it plans to have all 100,000 vans on the road by 2030. It aims to roll out several thousand EVs in more than 100 U.S cities by the end of the year. 

Amazon is using the rollout as part of its step towards meeting its Climate pledge, which is a commitment to reaching net-zero across all operations by 2040. The initiative has garnered more than 320 signatories, including Hewlett-Packard, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble and Visa. 

“Fighting the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies who share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our impact on the environment. Rivian has been an excellent partner in that mission, and we’re excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon. 

Amazon has been testing deliveries with preproduction Rivian vehicles since 2021. Rivian secured certifications from the National Highway Traffic Administration, the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that allowed it to test its vans in different climates and geographies. 

During thr testing phase, the EV’s delivered more than 430,000 packages and traveled over 90,000 miles. The testing was to ensure that key features on the vehicle were up to date. These include sensors, traffic assist technology, automatic emergency braking and collision warning designed to maximise safety.  

Amazon has said that they will be adding thousands of charging stations to its delivery hubs around the country. It also partnered with nonprofit Ceres and several other fleet owners to form the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, a group that aims to accelerate the transition to EVs. 

“To say this is an exciting moment is an understatement — we’re thrilled to see this partnership has kick-started decarbonization projects across the logistics delivery industry,” said RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. 

There have been some doubts, however, as to whether Rivian is able to hold up the end of their deal. So far, Rivian has delivered a few hundred EVs to Amazon, with the expectation that thousands will be delivered by the end of the year. 

Ezra Goldman talks Upshifts vision and developments ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Ezra Goldman talks Upshifts vision and developments ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Picture: Republic

Upshift saw a problem…124 million Americans drive less than 10,000 miles per year in their cars, and they are still spending $10,000 a year on car payments, maintenance, insurance, and parking.

Upshift is a flexible, convenient, and affordable alternative to leasing a car. Subscribe to a plan that you can upgrade, downgrade, cancel, or pause anytime and only pay for the days you drive. A hybrid or electric car will be seamlessly delivered and parked next to your doorstep on the days you need it. It will be waiting for you with your own driver profile already set up, clean, and fueled/charged. At the end of your use just park it and walk away. Upshift will take it from there.

“In a city like San Francisco, half of the cars are only getting driven about 6,000 miles a year.That’s about all the street parking in San Francisco taken up by these cars that are driven maybe 2 days a week. Our vision is replacing those cars with a fractional fleet that we store, manage, service and deliver to you as needed, initially through teleoperations and eventually through full automation,” said Ezra Goldman, Co-founder and CEO of Upshift.

The company has a goal to eliminate car ownership, car accidents, and carbon emissions while creating living jobs and livable cities.

“You get all the joys and freedom of mobility to go where you want. You could go for a hike, go to a meeting in Silicon Valley, visit family and friends, whatever you want to do that requires a car – and you don’t have to deal with the hassle and headache of parking, maintenance, and insurance,” said Ezra.

Now anyone can invest in Upshift through an equity crowdfunding campaign on Republic. The goal is to involve all those who wish to improve their city, and to be part of the group that is offering innovative solutions.

Ezra will be joining us at MOVE America in Austin, Texas, this year to join our business model stream to talk about developing new business models that offer customers greater flexibility. Within this stream, we also have a talk on purpose built commercial vehicles led by Greg Tarr, CSO, Indigo Technologies and Raven Hernandez, Founder and CEO, EarthRide.

Don’t miss out! Find out more at: MOVE America 

Learn more at their website at upshiftcars.com
For a limited time, anyone can invest in Upshift too at https://republic.com/upshift-2022

E-bike safety instruction bill signed into law in California

E-bike safety instruction bill signed into law in California

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Tuesday allowing school districts across the state to expand student safety instruction by local law enforcement over new types of student transportation. 

Assembly Bill 2028 was written by Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel), and specifically changes the law on the current matter and now allows school district boards to put time and facilities to any local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the schools of the district, for bicycle safety instruction. AB 2028 now expands instruction to include scooters, electric and motorised bikes and also motorised scooters.  

The bill was first introduced in February and was rapidly moved through the legislative process. The bill received little to no opposition which is unusual for a bill involving divisive topics such as law enforcement, education, and transportation. The bill passed with ease through each cpmittee chamber vote which included a unanimous 35-0 Senate vote and a unanimous 71-0 Assembly vote last month.  

The recent rise in the number of electric assisted vehicle accidents by those under 18 (due partly yo a lack of instruction of how to operate them safely) has spurred many in the Assembly and Senate to vote for the bill. 

“With the power assist engaged, e-bikes are capable of speeds well over 20 miles an hour,” said Charles DiMaggio, who recently authored a study on e-vehicle safety. 

“By contrast, average speeds for more traditional bikes are less than 10 miles an hour. This near-doubling of potential speeds may be why e-bike injuries can be more serious.” 

Electric assisted vehicles are banned in certain areas, these vehicles are perfectly legal to travel in most areas, with laws generally reflecting e-versions of the vehicles being legal in places the non electric versions of them are allowed. 

“The problem isn’t the fact that these bikes and scooters can be self-propelled at low speeds,” said Roger Warner, a private security official from the LA area. 

“It’s that they are sold, and people think they know how to ride and use them all-right. We’ve talked with many people who have been hurt while riding these, both young and old, and it almost always comes down to them saying something along the lines of ‘I rode a scooter or bike for so many years, I thought it would be exactly the same.’” 

Following the signing by Governor Newsom on Tuesday, AB 2028 went into effect immediately.