Polestar and Rivian release Pathway Report

Polestar and Rivian release Pathway Report

Polestar and Rivian have announced that they’ve collaborated on a ‘Pathway Report’ which concludes that the automotive industry is set to overshoot the IPCC’s 1.5-degree pathway by at least 75% by 2050. 

The two pioneering EV makers initiated the report in response to the climate crisis. The report, which uses existing, open-source data to model the current trajectory for emissions stemming from the car industry, was carried out by global management consulting firm Kearney. 

The report highlights that the car industry has a chance to change its ways. It states that by redirecting resources and focus, the industry can rapidly build the momentum required to remain in line with the Paris Agreement. 

The Pathway Report focuses on the current decade and outlines immediate, clear actions that car manufacturers can take between now and 2030, including some that can be triggered immediately. 

Fredrika Klarén, Polestar Head of Sustainability, says: “Car companies may be on different paths when it comes to brand, design, and business strategies, and some won’t even admit that the road to the future is electric. I believe it is, and that the climate crisis is a shared responsibility, and we must look beyond tailpipe emissions. This report makes clear the importance of acting now and together. There’s a clear cost to inaction, but there’s also a financial opportunity for innovators who find new answers to the challenges we face.” 

The data presents a pathway based around three key levers. Lever 1 looks at the speed at which fossil fuel-powered cars need to be replaced by electric cars but points out that this alone will not be enough. A lot more work will be required for levers 2 and 3: 

  • Increasing renewable energy in power grids 
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing supply chain 

Pulling just one or two levers in isolation will be insufficient and only reduces the overshoot. Collective action from automakers is needed on all three levers, in parallel, at a global level.  

The release stated that firstly, the industry must accelerate the transition to electric vehicles by investing in manufacturing capabilities, as well as implementing a firm end date for fossil fuel car sales globally. Secondly, build out renewable energy supply to global grids that enable EV’s to reach their full potential through green charging. Thirdly, decarbonise the manufacturing supply chains for these vehicles through switching to low carbon materials, and investing in renewable energy solutions for supply chains. 

Anisa Costa, Rivian’s Chief Sustainability Officer, adds: “The report’s findings are sobering. Our hope is that this report lays the groundwork for the automotive industry to collaborate in driving progress at the pace and scale we need – and ideally inspiring other industries to do the same. Together, I’m confident we can win the race against time.” 

The report shows that there is an increasing link between sustainable transformation and financial benefits. Polestar highlighted that in 2021, global sustainability investments totalled USD 35.3 trillion, representing over a third of all assets in five of the world’s biggest markets. 

Press release and picture: Polestar

Motor Fuel Group rolling out 360 ultra-rapid EV chargers

Motor Fuel Group rolling out 360 ultra-rapid EV chargers

Motor Fuel Group is rolling out an extra 360 ultra-rapid chargers across its UK network this year, putting it closer to completing its £400m electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure by 2030. 

The latest part of the project will cost the forecourt giant £50m, with construction kicking off on 12 EV hubs last month. 

During 2021 and 2022, twenty per cent of the investment was already deployed to open 54 hubs throughout the UK with 271 chargers now in operation. In 2022 MFG installed 30% of all ultra-rapid EV hubs in the UK during 2022. 

“We were proud to continue our significant investment into the UK’s EV infrastructure throughout 2022, opening a record number of EV hubs across our network,” said MFG CEO William Bannister. Our ambition was to invest ahead of the curve and give drivers who were contemplating purchasing an electric vehicle the confidence that they could travel as easily as with a petrol or hybrid vehicle. Although we have a way to go to achieve this, our investment in 2022 has set us on a positive trajectory. We have set ourselves another ambitious target for openings in 2023, with the plan to energise 360 chargers whilst delivering the best experience possible for our customers.” 

MFG hubs consist of between four and eight ultra-rapid 150kW EV chargers per site, which add 100 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes, subject to the charging capability of individual car batteries. 

These chargers will be augmented with 300kW chargers as vehicle battery technology improves. MFG has also invested £50m to improve its retail, food to go, and valeting offer, as it aims to be a hub for local communities and offer a wide range of services. 

Driivz chosen by Circle K to power EV charging growth in Europe and North America

Driivz chosen by Circle K to power EV charging growth in Europe and North America

Smart EV charging and energy management software platform, Driivz, has announced that Circle K has migrated its network of more than 600 public EV charging stations in Europe and North America onto the Driivz platform. 

The Driivz solution includes integrated software modules for EV charging operations optimization, asset management, user and driver management, EV billing and analytics said the company’s release. 

 The solution also includes Driivz smart energy management solution for monitoring, managing and optimizing energy consumption across multi-charger sites, campuses, fleet depots and home charging. 

“We needed a future-proof, robust EV charging management solution with the scalability to handle our rapid growth and the flexibility to connect EV charging to the wider Circle K ecosystem,” said Johan Grönlund, product director of the New Global eMobility division of Circle K. “The partnership with Driivz will enable us to scale our business, capture synergies across countries and continents and help meet our customers’ expectations for availability, stability and a seamless charging experience.” 

Driivz was selected after a formal competitive evaluation process. Among key deciding factors were Driivz’s maturity on core charging services, the flexibility of their platform, the competence of their people and their vision of the future. 

“We are honored to be chosen by Circle K and entrusted with helping to manage an EV charging infrastructure of such reach and magnitude,” said Doron Frenkel, founder and CEO of Driivz. “We are thrilled to be a part of Circle K’s sustainability journey as we create a more responsible future and strive towards a cleaner planet.” 

The company said that the Driivz platform uses APIs to integrate with Circle K’s existing mobility platform, as well as with energy distribution and transmission systems.  

Innovative technologies such as self-healing algorithms to address up to 80% of charger issues automatically and sophisticated energy management also figured strongly in the selection of the Driivz platform. 

Future proofing is also ensured through Driivz’s support for industry standards, including operating a “golden node” for OCPI 2.0.1 and enabling plug-and-charge technologies through ISO 15118. 

Picture: Driivz

Press release: GlobalNewsWire

Greater Lynchburg Transit Company selects Equans, Masabi and Transit App to deliver Transit Technology Upgrade

Greater Lynchburg Transit Company selects Equans, Masabi and Transit App to deliver Transit Technology Upgrade

Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) has announced that it has chosen Equans, Masabi, and the Transit app to deliver solutions modernising its services. 

GLTC said this will deliver improved affordability and accessibility. GLTC serves a population of 80,846 in an area covering 72 square miles. 

Equans will provide its NAVINEO Integrated Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), which features include: a Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL), an Automatic Voice Annunciation (AVA) supplying data to interior next-stop signage and announcements as well as real-time passenger information via the Transit app, and a link to General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS/GTFS RT) allowing riders to be informed about their bus location and arrival information. 

Equans’ performance reporting module will provide GLTC with the ability to retrieve, summarize, and analyze performance data for internal use and planning. 

Ticketing innovation using riders’ mobile phones will be provided by Masabi. 

“The deployment of this new tracking system along with the ability for customers to pay their fares through their smartphone, Transit, or using a smartcard will make riding GLTC a more convenient option along with giving our customers more information so they can plan their trips and ride with ease”, said Josh Moore, General Manager for GLTC. 

Through this new expansion, riders will be able to plan their journeys, locate their next bus, pay their fares, and ride all through a single app. 

“With our partners Masabi and Transit, EQUANS is proud to support GLTC by providing an integrated Intelligent Transportation System, which improves the quality of public transit for residents in the Lynchburg area.” added Stephan Goguet, C.O.O. Ineo Systrans USA, an Equans company.

Picture and press release: Masabi

Conduent Transportation to implement speed and red-light camera program in Cyprus

Conduent Transportation to implement speed and red-light camera program in Cyprus

Conduent Transportation has implemented a speed and red-light camera program to improve traffic safety on the island nation of Cyprus. 

This program was launched following a successful pilot project. It aims to demonstrate the continued expansion of Conduent Transportation into Europe, helping to create smarter and safer cities. 

Conduent has designed and plans to install 110 camera systems to enforce speed and red-light regulations as determined by the Republic of Cyprus government. 

These systems, to total 90 fixed cameras at 30 locations plus 20 mobile camera units, will also be used by Cyprus to monitor regulations for seat belts and motorcycle helmets. Project partners include Brink’s Cyprus and Vitronic, as well as local engineering and telecommunications companies. 

“Improving public safety on the roads of Cyprus is a key priority, and we’re pleased to join with Conduent to initiate the first phase of this program,” said Yiannis Karousos, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works for the Republic of Cyprus. “This new program will support our target of reducing the number of road fatalities by 50 percent, and serious injuries by 50 percent, by 2030.” 

Back in 2021, Conduent Transportation announced an expansion for its Road Usage Charging business in the UK and Europe with a contract from National Highways. 

“We’re proud to partner with the Republic of Cyprus on this important smart mobility program, demonstrating our continued growth in the European market,” said Lou Keyes, President, Transportation Solutions at Conduent. “As an industry leader in delivering solutions to help create smart and safe cities, our team is providing the Ministry of Transport with the technology and the support it needs to make the program a success for the citizens of Cyprus.” 

PolReigo signs framework agreements for 200 electric trains

PolReigo signs framework agreements for 200 electric trains

Polregio has signed framework agreements with four rolling stock manufacturers for the supply of up to 200 electric trains. 

The new trains will be ordered in two versions: one will be a shorter 2- car train that will have a maximum of 60 pcs and 130 seats, while the other will be a longer 3- car train with a maximum 140 pcs with a minimum of 210 seats. 

The company aims to buy a total of up to 200 new electric multiple units for over PLN 7 billion and the finance will come from EU grants and loans, other sources, commercial debt instruments and the carrier’s own funds according to the release. 

The trains will feature air conditioning, wireless internet access and a dynamic passenger information system.  

Artur Martyniuk, President of the Management Board of Polregio SA said: “The signing of framework agreements with rolling stock manufacturers begins a new stage of development in the history of Polregio and, at the same time, the regional railway in Poland. 200 new regional trains mean a huge qualitative leap and a significant improvement in travel comfort for millions of Poles, especially for residents of smaller towns. Despite such a large order, we do not buy off-the-shelf vehicles, but trains adapted to serve regional traffic. This is the result of extensive market consultations with producers for the benefit of both parties. Polregio will receive trains adapted to serve regional traffic, and producers will have secured production capacity for the coming years. The total value of the order is over PLN 7 billion and it will be Polregio’s measurable contribution to the development of the national economy.  

“Our order means work for thousands of people, not only among the employees of rolling stock manufacturers, but also their subcontractors. In addition, the framework agreements concluded today will shorten the total period of formalities by at least a year compared to a classic tender. This is the largest and most time-efficient rolling stock purchase process in the history of Polish railways. We are ready to take part in CEUPT competitions and to quickly announce electronic auctions immediately after granting funding. The auctions will be conducted parallel to the formalities related to the financing of the rolling stock, which will significantly shorten the order execution time.” 

PolRegio has already carried out extensive market consultations, held tenders and signed framework agreements with manufacturers in accordance with the requirements of the EU Transport Project Centre.  

As part of the signed framework agreements, electronic auctions will be held. The first of the new electric trains is expected to be delivered in 2025, with all deliveries scheduled to be completed by July 2026.

Picture and press release: PolRegio

Beam introduces Pedestrian Shield technology

Beam introduces Pedestrian Shield technology

Beam has announced that it has begun integration of its path detection technology, Pedestrian Shield, onto several of its Auckland e-scooter fleet. Initially, 200 e-scooters will be fitted with the technology, which will be powered by Drover AI’s PathPilot product.  

The AI-powered technology will be able to detect whether an e-scooter is travelling on a road, footpath or cycle lane, which will allow for customised education and enforcement to riders, and assisting policymakers in their urban planning.  

The initial phase of integration will hear a range of audible sounds on e-scooters with Pedestrian Shield integrated which change as the e-scooter travels between road, bike path and footpath, indicating to the rider that the e-scooter has identified the surface they are riding on. 

Drover’s co-founder Alex Nesic says: “We are thrilled to support Beam with the introduction of our cutting-edge technology to the streets of New Zealand, with the objective of ensuring smarter, safer and more organized shared micromobility for riders and other right-of-way users alike.  

“Beam has done a tremendous job growing the popularity of shared scooters in the region and Drover is keen to help them continue to improve the experience.” 

The second phase of integration is scheduled for later this year and the scooters equipped with the new technology will have the ability to cap riders at different maximum speeds depending on the surface. area. 

Beam’s General Manager (ANZ) Tom Cooper says: “This is a big step forward for the shared micromobility industry in the region, allowing cities better understanding and control of how Beam’s e-scooter riders are using the city’s road infrastructure. 

“As cities adapt quickly to more forms of micromobility as a mode of transportation, we are committed to investing in technology to ensure Beam’s vehicles are best-equipped to serve both riders and the wider community. 

“The integration of Pedestrian Shield will happen in gradual stages, to ensure the highest degree of accuracy in surface detection for the safety of Auckland’s Road users. 

“With Beam’s current permit in Auckland running to 2024, this gives us an opportunity to increase our investment in e-scooter technology across the city, including even more industry-first features which we look forward to introducing to Auckland first in the coming months.”  ‘

Press release and picture: Beam

Will your next car be electric? 

Will your next car be electric? 

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

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

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

 

Range anxiety 

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

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

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

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

 

Lack of Infrastructure 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Not enough EVs being produced 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press release and picture: bp pulse

Liverpool set to have one of UK’s largest EV charging network

Liverpool set to have one of UK’s largest EV charging network

It has been announced that Liverpool is set to have one of the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging networks as the city’s capacity is set to treble. 

It is set to install a network of 300 on-street electric vehicle charge points with the locations to be chosen by residents and businesses. The current charging network is a network of 150 and is set to increase to 450. 

Liverpool City Council is looking to use this investment in charging infrastructure to tackle the noth-south divide in EV adoption and achieve its carbon net zero target by 2030. One of the most common barriers for EV adoption is the lack of accessible charging points and therefore, this roll out will help tackle this. 

Cllr Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Highways for Liverpool City Council said: “I’m delighted we’ve begun to install this new network of EV charge points as it provides a huge boost in tackling poor air quality and reducing the city’s carbon footprint. This programme puts down a real mark of intent to provide the necessary infrastructure to help the move away from petrol and diesel powered cars. The fact that the roll-out is being led by community requests means the points are going where the demand is needed most which means they’ll be getting maximum usage. And hopefully the demand will grow meaning the need for more charging points to be installed.” 

The roll out will come as a two-part project which will see ubitricity take over the repair of Liverpool’s existing charging infrastructure and then roll out more charge points to help enable residents to make a transition to EV, said the release.  

Toby Butler, UK managing director of ubitricity said “Liverpool is investing in an impressive on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging network, making the transition to EV much more accessible to their residents. In line with their plans to reach Net Zero by 2030 Liverpool is helping to lead the country in decarbonising their roads and improving air quality. By creating such a large and accessibly public network, Liverpool City Council is paving the way for the residents of Liverpool who want to switch to EV.” 

The release continued to say that the new ubitricity charge points, which are installed directly into existing street lampposts, charge at a speed of up to 5kW and take just under 2 hours to install. The rollout is planned for key residential and commercial locations, allowing residents to easily charge hybrid and electric vehicles on the street where they live. 

Source and picture: Ubitricity

Outrider announces $73 million in funding for autonomous trucks

Outrider announces $73 million in funding for autonomous trucks

Outrider, a U.S self-driving truck firm, has announced that it has raised $73 million in funding to scale up its autonomous trucks operating in distribution yards for customers in e-commerce, manufacturing and other industries. 

The Series C round includes funding from new investors including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, and the venture capital arm of chip designer and computing firm Nvidia Corp. 

This will also include fresh funding from New Eneterprise Associates and the venture capital arm of industrial conglomerate Koch Industries. 

“Outrider has addressed all the pieces – technology, safety, operations, and support – needed to deploy a reliable, industrial-grade system at scale. The company is a case study in bringing advanced robotics and autonomy technology to market,” said Mark Norman, Managing Partner of FM Capital. “Outrider has a world-class team to scale their solution and FM Capital is excited to invest and join the company’s Board of Directors.”

The company says its customers represent more than 20% of all yard trucks operating in North America and have invested in joint product testing and pilot operations since 2019. Yard trucks are designed to move trailers and cargo containers in distribution yards. 

The development of autonomous vehicles is up and coming with many companies such as Oxbotica, raising $140 million from investors for the deployment of autonomous vehicles. 

The company’s release stated that Outrider’s technology also helps its customers achieve their sustainability goals. Instead of automating legacy diesel vehicles, Outrider automates electric vehicles to reduce fossil fuel use, lower energy and maintenance costs, and reduce emissions. Outrider’s Series C financing will further accelerate its work with EV yard truck manufacturers to maximize the benefits of automation and electrification for customers and the communities around large logistics hubs.

“Our confidence in Outrider is based on its technical and commercial leadership in yard automation for fully autonomous vehicles to integrate fluidly into real-world customer operations,” said Mohamed “Sid” Siddeek, Head of NVentures, NVIDIA. “The fundamental processing pipeline for autonomous vehicles can be applied to all kinds of autonomous and robotics systems, a key area of focus for NVIDIA.”

Workers are continuously using diesel-powered yard trucks to move goods onto loading stations and just around the yards. The new truck will handle the heavy work while humans will still be needed in the yard.  

By automating yard operations, logistics-dependent enterprises will increase the time freight spends moving down the highway, address labor shortages, and allow more people to work in safer environments, said the release.

Picture and press release: Outrider

Kia announces EV Charging credit scheme

Kia announces EV Charging credit scheme

Kia has announced that its customers will be able to collect credit for free electric vehicle charging as part of a new rewards scheme set up in partnership with &Charge. 

&Charge will allow users to collect EV charging credits when shopping at several UK retailers including M&S, booking.com, Ocado, Waterstones, Boots, B&Q, Wickes, Foot Locker. This can all be accessed via a user’s smartphone. 

Customers can redeem credits to pay for charging and they can also earn credits by providing information and feedback on public charging sessions. 

Sjoerd Knipping, vice president marketing and product at Kia Europe, said: “As we expand our EV offering, it is important that the charging network offers the same accessibility and quality of experience that our customers have come to expect from our state-of-the-art EVs. Collaboration with the ‘&Charge’ service platform can only strengthen our ability to meet this objective.” 

Via the &Charge service platform, UK customers are able to access more than 300 retailers and when they spend money through &Charge they will build up &Charge Kilometres with each kilometre equivalent to an average of £0.071 in Kia Charge credits.  

The platform will also allow users to provide feedback on individual charging station performance in order to help improve reliability and user experience.  

Kia aims to offer a line-up of 14 fully electric models by 2027, in line with its ‘Plan S’ strategy. 

The service is live in the UK, and customers can download the app via and-charge.com, App Store, or Google Play Store. 

Shell to buy electric vehicle charging network, Volta, for $169 million

Shell to buy electric vehicle charging network, Volta, for $169 million

Shell will be acquiring electric vehicle charging network Volta through a full cash purchase of all its common stock. The transaction is worth $169 million and is set to close in the first half of 2023.  

Back in 2019, Greenlots was acquired by Royal Dutch Shell which makes Volta the second US EV charging company to come under the shell brand.  

Vince Cubbage, Interim Chief Executive Officer, said, “The shift to e-mobility is unstoppable, and Shell recognizes Volta’s industry-leading dual charging and media model delivers a public charging offering that is affordable, reliable, and accessible. While the EV infrastructure market opportunity is potentially enormous, Volta’s ability to capture it independently, in challenging market conditions and with ongoing capital constraints, was limited. This transaction creates value for our shareholders and provides our exceptional employees and other stakeholders a clear path forward.”

Cubbage continued, “Both Volta and Shell have a demonstrated ability to meet the changing needs of customers, and this acquisition will bring that experience together to provide the options that are needed as more drivers choose electric.” 

Shell is well known for its petrol stations across the globe and its purchase marks one of very few EV charging networks in the US that are now owned by an oil and gas company. 

The press release stated that the transaction provides the opportunity to unlock Volta’s significant signed pipeline of charging stalls in construction or evaluation and capture the seismic EV charging market opportunity. 

Volta operates 3050 destinations across 31 states and Europe. The release has also stated that the company is planning to install an additional 3400 stalls over an unknown period. 

The combination of shell owned Volta and Greenlots totals to over 57,000 charging stalls under the yellow and red scallop. Shell New Energies is also working on offshore windfarms in New Jersey.  

Shell is also delving into the world of micro mobility by making e-scooters, battery banks and other carbon reduction technologies.  

Shell will have to keep making investments in sustainable business ideas as it faces challenges from the government to reduce carbon emissions. 

Polestar and Candela parter on the C-8 ‘powered by Polestar’ to share battery and charging technology

Polestar and Candela parter on the C-8 ‘powered by Polestar’ to share battery and charging technology

As a result of a partnership between Polestar and Candela, the new Candela C-8 ‘powered by Polestar’ is the first product of the partnership. The two Swedish premium mobility brands reached an agreement in August 2022 for Polestar to supply batteries and technology to power Candela’s electric hydrofoil boats. 

The Candela C-8 ‘powered by Polestar’ will use the same 69 kWh battery pack and DC charging technology as the Polestar 2 Standard range Single motor.  

Candela expects a range of up to 57 nautical miles on one charge at a cruising speed of 22 knots, comparing favourably with internal combustion engine powerboats, and with a high-speed range 2-3 times longer than conventional electric speedboats. 

“With batteries from Polestar, the Candela C-8 becomes the first electric vessel that can travel to destinations that were previously only reachable by combustion engine boats. The Candela C-8 powered by Polestar marks a significant breakthrough for electrification at sea,” says Gustav Hasselskog, CEO and founder of Candela. 

The high electric performance is due to a combination of innovative technology from both Candela and Polestar. The release has stated that the Candela C-8 uses an efficient direct drive pod motor – the Candela C-POD – and ‘flies’ on computer-guided hydrofoils that lift the hull above the water at high speeds, reducing energy consumption by up to 80% compared to traditional motorboats. 

Polestar also supplies DC fast charging technology for the Candela C-8, in addition to the 69-kWh battery pack from the Polestar 2. The company will also share Research and Development capabilities to integrate the technology and software in a marine application to transfer it from land to sea.  

“Sharing know-how on batteries and vehicle engineering with Candela will help reach our shared goal of transitioning to a future where all forms of transport are sustainable,” says Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar. 

Polestar has stated that the supply of batteries and charging componentry to a third party in this way is a first for Polestar as an EV manufacturer and extends Polestar’s efforts to drive sustainable electric mobility beyond the automotive industry. 

Candela has said that Candela C-8 will be showcased at Boot Düsseldorf January 21-29 in Booth D22, Hall 4.

Press release and picture: Polestar

Government introduces plan for smart electric vehicle charging

Government introduces plan for smart electric vehicle charging

The government has announced that electric vehicle consumers are set to benefit from lower energy bills and cheaper motoring due to a “landmark” plan to unlock the potential of smart electric vehicle charging. 

The Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan published today (Tuesday 17 January) by the government and Ofgem, sets out steps being taken to seize on the significant potential of smart charging and make it the preferred method of long duration charging by 2025. 

Smart charging harnesses the potential of energy use data and the latest energy innovations to deliver significant benefits for consumers, including allowing motorists to charge electric vehicles when electricity is cheaper or cleaner. 

This will allow consumers to power their home using electricity stored in their electric vehicle, or even sell it back to the grid for profit. It is expected high mileage motorists could save up to £1,000 a year through smarter charging. 

Additionally, the government has also pledged £16 million funding from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) towards technologies that harness the potential for smart charging. This includes smart streetlamp post and projects that will enable appliances to integrate into a smarter energy system. 

Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stuart said: “We want to make smart charging an easier choice for drivers of electric vehicles, whether that is charging on the driveway, at the workplace, or parked on the street. To do that we need to build new network infrastructure at pace, using the latest available technologies. Today’s plan sets out how we will work with Ofgem and industry to kickstart the market for smart charging, which we are backing up with £16 million in innovation funding. This will let people take control of their energy usage, in the most convenient and low-cost way.” 

The release has said that today’s announcements build on the major steps already taken by the government to enable smart and flexible electric vehicle charging.  

As of July 2022, all new charge points sold for private now must have smart functionality and the UK is consulting on a new policy and technical framework to unlock the benefits of domestic smart, flexible energy, and enhance its cybersecurity. 

Ofgem Director for Strategy and Decarbonisation Neil Kenward said: “As energy regulator, we’re helping create the infrastructure to deliver Britain’s net zero future at the lowest cost to customers. This latest innovative plan will help to maximise the benefits of smart charging, offer vital savings to consumers and reduce the overall cost of energy by seizing the opportunities to use batteries to both power homes and fuel the wider grid.” 

The plan aims for the government to improve publicly available information and evidence on smart charging and to support the implementation of robust consumer service standards and ensure private charge points are secure and compatible with the latest energy innovations, said the release. 

The roll out of intelligent and automated smart charging will reduce electricity system costs will lower prices for everyone and additionally motorists will pay less for charging their electric vehicle, and the electricity powering electric vehicles will be cleaner and greener. 

The government and Ofgem will seek to remove the barriers that currently prevent the full development of a diverse and competitive smart charging market, while making sure the energy system is ready to respond to the upturn in energy demand that electric vehicles will bring. 

Those receiving funding today through the V2X Innovation Programme for prototype hardware, software and business models include: 

  • £229,000 to a project led by Otaski Energy Solutions (Gateshead, Tyne and Wear) to develop a smart street lamppost capable of charging electric vehicles and sharing power back to the grid 
  • £220,000 to V2X-Flex (Reigate, Surrey), a project led by EV Dot Energy Ltd to develop prototype software and a new business model which will reduce entry barriers for the domestic use of V2X bi-directional chargers to provide energy flexibility services 
  • £165,000 to BEVScanV2X (London), a project led by Agile Charging Ltd to develop technology that could overcome battery degradation by creating a cost-effective tool to monitor and advise best approaches to maximise battery life and financial returns from smart charging 

Those receiving funding today through the Interoperable Demand-Side Response (IDSR) Programme, which supports technologies that allow consumers to remotely increase or decrease their energy use to take advantage of when energy is cheaper or more renewables are on the grid, are: 

  • £510,000 to Energy Smart Heat Pump (Chertsey, Surrey), a project by Samsung Electronics UK and their project partners Passiv UK to design and develop a technology solution that is able to provide demand side response (DSR) services via Samsung Heat Pumps, giving greater control of their usage on the basis of cost or carbon savings 
  • £1.2 million to Smart-DSRFlex (Manchester), a project by Landis & Gyr UK to demonstrate how DSR technology can help to manage a renewables-based electricity grid using the smart meter system 
  • £29,000 to Open DSR for All (Manchester), a project by Carbon Co-op to explore the benefits and technical barriers to an accessible approach to domestic DSR, potentially enabling more products being able to offer DSR in future 

The delivery of the Action Plan aims to make smart charging the norm at home and work by 2025. 

Press release: Gov.uk

Leviton launches electric vehicle charging technology

Leviton launches electric vehicle charging technology

Leviton has announced the launch of EV Series Charging Stations with My Leviton app compatibility which will be available in Q1 2023.  

The new series is said to include 32-, 48 and 80 Amp Level 2 charging stations that can power any electric vehicle in North America. Users are able to take control of their entire home using the My Leviton ecosystem. 

“We’re really excited about this EVSE launch. Not only is it expanding the portfolios for two of Leviton’s key brands, but it is also providing residential EV owners with a completely new smart home experience,” said Andrew Taddoni, director of EVSE business development and product management, Leviton commercial & industrial. 

The company have revealed features of the My Leviton App which allows users to remotely view the status of the charging station and when it is ready to charge, in an active charging session or when a session has ended. 

Additionally, the app will notify of any fault that occurs during a charging session. The release stated that the “My Leviton app allows for control of the Leviton Smart Load Center and the Decora Smart™ Wi-Fi product lines, letting users perform actions such as viewing real-time load center energy consumption and scheduling lighting scenes”. 

The EV series will also be able to integrate with other Leviton electrical infrastructure solutions, including surge protection devices.  

The company has noted that the series was re-designed to feature a sleek look and feel, a new Energy Star rating and higher amperages for faster vehicle charging. With a water-resistant enclosure rated NEMA Type 3R, the stations can be installed in a garage or outdoors safely and securely. 

Press release: Leviton

Delta Airlines plans to offer free Wi-Fi in partnership with T-Mobile

Delta Airlines plans to offer free Wi-Fi in partnership with T-Mobile

Delta airlines has announced that it will be the first major U.S airline to offer free Wi-Fi on board in partnership with T-Mobile, debuting a vision for cross-journey personalisation for Delta SkyMiles Members with Delta Sync, and introducing The Delta Sustainable Skies Lab to focus on sustainable travel and business practices. 

The plans were unveiled at CES, and it stated how it planned to offer free WiFi for SjkyMiles Membership and introduced Delta Sync with an ecosystem of experiences that put customer needs and preferences at the heart of their journey.  

Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines and keynote guest opening the CES C Space Program said, “No one better connects the world than Delta, and no one better connects the sky,” Bastian said. “It’s the last frontier of connection that exists.” 

Delta Sync is planned to be rolled out in 2023 and aims to offer personalised entertainment on board alongside different ways to enjoy food and beverages on board.  

It is anticipated that more users will use the free service than ever paid for it and therefore, the airline put a lot of emphasis on hardening its systems in recent months. Delta said it worked with engineers at Viasat to test and scale its in-flight connectivity service to enable this rollout. 

The company also said in their release that they have planned exclusive partnerships with top consumer brands that will come this year. 

Release:Delta Airlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BT announces £5 million deal to scale UK drone industry

BT announces £5 million deal to scale UK drone industry

BT has announced that it has entered into a £5 million deal with startup Altitude Angel with the aim of scaling the UK drone industry and support the development of the UK’s drone superhighway. This is set to be the largest and longest network of its kind in the world. 

The company has said that the £5 million deal will accelerate Altitude Angel’s roll-out of its transformative ARROW technology, which detects and identifies drones, while also enabling drones to share the airspace with crewed aviation safely and securely. 

This deal will enable Altitude Angel to scale its technology to allow long distance drone flights which will support the potential for faster delivery of essential and non-essential items. This will unlock an industry worth £45bn by 2030.  

Richard Parker, CEO and founder, Altitude Angel said, “With BT Group, Altitude Angel has a partner which shares its ambition to make automated commercial drone operations at scale in the UK a day-to-day reality. Combining our ARROW technology, which allows crewed and uncrewed aircraft to share the same skies, safely and securely, with BT Group’s significant communications infrastructure, we can quickly bring ARROW to the masses. This will provide the UK with the first nationwide drone superhighways, unlocking the potential of this new and innovative technology and revolutionising business operations in countless industries.” 

The release has said that under the deal, BT Group will provide connectivity, network infrastructure and its scalability experience to deploy and maintain Altitude Angel’s ARROW tower network.  

Additionally, it has been said that BT Group will be the key reseller of Altitude Angel’s software and will provide commercial support for drone deliveries in retail and automated, smart done inspections of critical infrastructure. 

Tom Guy, Managing Director, Etc. – BT Group said, “At Etc., we support businesses like Altitude Angel, who have game changing ideas that benefit from BT Group’s scale and our agile approach to growth. This partnership is a natural extension to BT Group’s work building the leading network in the UK, supporting the UTM industry that sits adjacent to our core business.”

Press release and picture: Altitude Angel

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom partner to create the Overture Maps Foundation

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom partner to create the Overture Maps Foundation

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom have come together as founding members to form the Overture Maps Foundation. This is an open-data project that aims to build “reliable, easy-to-use and interoperable open map data”. 

The new project is being established under the Linux Foundation and aims to define a new standard for mapmaking. This is a step towards TomTom’s goal of being the smartest map on the planet. 

Overture’s mission is to enable current and next-generation map products by creating reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data. This interoperable map is the basis for extensibility, enabling companies to contribute their own data.  

Members will combine resources to build map data that is complete, accurate, and refreshed as the physical world changes. Map data will be open and extensible by all under an open data license. This will drive innovation by enabling a network of communities that create services on top of Overture data.  

“Mapping the physical environment and every community in the world, even as they grow and change, is a massively complex challenge that no one organization can manage. Industry needs to come together to do this for the benefit of all,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director for the Linux Foundation. “We are excited to facilitate this open collaboration among leading technology companies to develop high quality, open map data that will enable untold innovations for the benefit of people, companies, and communities.”  

In the company’s press release, they highlighted that Overture would deliver collaborative map building, global entity reference system, quality assurance processes and structured data schema.  

The contributions to Overture Maps Foundation will address concerns highlighted by developers of delivering map services. The company has said it will complement existing open geospatial data to support best-in-class map services. 

“Map data plays an increasingly important role both internally and for our customers across AWS. However, maintaining accurate and comprehensive map data is cost prohibitive and complex, which can put it out of reach for many customers and stifle innovation,” said Michael Kopenec, General Manager for AWS Geospatial. “Through Overture, we are facilitating greater cooperation across the industry to make comprehensive, high-quality map data available to more end users. This will allow everyone to take advantage of the same underlying data to power a wide range of established and emerging mapping use cases across industries.” 

Overture says that it expects to release its first datasets in the first half of 2023. This release will initially include basic layers including buildings, road, and administrative information. 

“Immersive experiences, which understand and blend into your physical environment, are critical to the embodied internet of the future,” said Jan Erik Solem, Engineering Director, Maps at Meta. “By delivering interoperable open map data, Overture provides the foundation for an open metaverse built by creators, developers, and businesses alike.” 

Overture plans to support next-generation map products by steadily improving the coverage, resolution and accuracy of existing data. The company also plans to introduce new layers such as places, routing or 3D building data. 

Press release: Linux Foundation

Picture: TomTom