Rolls Royce and EasyJet set new aviation milestone with the world’s first modern engine run on hydrogen

Rolls Royce and EasyJet set new aviation milestone with the world’s first modern engine run on hydrogen

Picture: Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce has partnered with EasyJet to power an aircraft engine on hydrogen fuel in afirst for the aviation industry. 

The trial took place at the Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe down site in Amesbury, Wiltshire, using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft. The two companies have said that the ground test was a “major step” towards proving that hydrogen could be a zero-carbon aviation fuel.  

The partnership between EasyJet and Rolls-Royce was formed in July with the aim of demonstrating that hydrogen could be used in a range of aircraft from the mid-2030’s onwards. 

Both companies have pledged to reach net zero for carbon emissions by 2050. 

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren described the test as “a real success for our partnership team”. 

He continued to say: “We are committed to continuing to support this ground-breaking research because hydrogen offers great possibilities for a range of aircraft, including easyJet-sized aircraft. That will be a huge step forward in meeting the challenge of net zero by 2050.” 

The joint venture still plans further work before setting off on a ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engine, which is a model used to power business jets. 

Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini said: “The success of this hydrogen test is an exciting milestone. We only announced our partnership with easyJet in July and we are already off to an incredible start with this landmark achievement. We are pushing the boundaries to discover the zero carbon possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight.” 

Mercedes-Benz to offer subscription to boost EV acceleration

Mercedes-Benz to offer subscription to boost EV acceleration

Mercedes-Benz has announced that it is to offer a subscription service to unlock improved acceleration in its electric vehicles.  

The company has said that its users in the US will be able to pay $1200 per year to enable some electric vehicles to accelerate from 0-60mph a second faster.  

The feature has not yet been released. The feature will deactivate after a year if users decline to pay the recurring fee. 

Mercedes has said that it does not currently plan to offer this feature in the UK.  

Back in 2019, Tesla had already been offering an “Acceleration Boost” feature that improves Model 3 acceleration by half-a second, for a fee of $2000.  

Automakers such as Tesla and Mercedes-Benz are relying on after-sales digital features to become a significant source of income.  

BMW has recently said that it expects 5 billion euros in revenue from these features this decade. Stellantis is also aiming for 20 billion euros in extra income from software-driven features. 

Mercedes’ website says the feature is “coming soon” but lists no date for its release. 

Chicago has announced the launch of the first phase of the city’s Equitable Transit-Orientated Development grant program

Chicago has announced the launch of the first phase of the city’s Equitable Transit-Orientated Development grant program

Chicago officials have announced the launch of the first phase of the city’s $10 million Equitable Transit-Orientated Development grant program. This initiative is aimed to help encourage community-driven development near train stations and high-frequency bus corridors. 

The second phase of the program will be launched in December and plans to provide grants and technical assistance to directly support the type of dense, mixed-use, walkable development enabled by the Connected Communities Ordinance the City Council passed in July. 

During this initial phase however, community groups and other organisations have been encouraged to respond to a request for proposals for city grants which will pay for technical assistance for eTOD projects, which plan to be awarded next year. 

“In order to realize my administration’s vision for an equitable city, we must redress and improve the ways we invest in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a statement. “By putting funding support behind the Connected Communities Ordinance, we are living our values by supporting developments that are accessible to all residents as well as catalytic for their communities. I look forward to seeing the communities’ proposals for more equitable and inclusive development come to reality through this funding.”  

The ETOD grant program is part of a new Department of Planning and Development universal application process for funding under $250,000. The projects hope to improve health and racial equity outcomes and some projects include affordable housing developments. 

“The grants will help community stakeholders to shape their neighborhoods by improving walkability to corner stores, transit options, affordable housing, and other pedestrian-oriented amenities,” said DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox. 

Wabtec joins HYPOBATT project to aid electrification of vessels

Wabtec joins HYPOBATT project to aid electrification of vessels

Picture and press release: Wabtec

US based Wabtec has joined the HYPOBATT project to support the electrification of vessels. The project is engaged in the development of a megawatt-charging standard and infrastructure for ferries in European ports and also part of the EU-wide horizon initiative. 

Wabtec is now part of a consortium of 18 members that are working on a 42-month project to pick out maritime charging solutions that lower contact time, wait time and maintenance expenses. 

The project will involve the development of a fully automatic and safe electric ship connection system and the main aim is to develop a modular, quick and simple multi-megawatt charging system. The battery will be able to fully charge its battery while at the dock. 

Additionally, the project aims to bring 95% enhancement in charger availability and 10% in battery life. This technology will be demonstrated at the ports of Norddeich and Norderney, Germany. 

Wabtec industry product line vice-president Olivier Kompaore said: “Europe has aggressive sustainability targets to reduce CO₂ emissions by at least 40% until 2030. This project will help to standardise a modular, fast and easy multi-megawatt charging system, paving the way for clean, zero-emission and competitive solutions for maritime transportation. Wabtec’s state-of-the-art charging solutions, like FerryCHARGER, will serve as the blueprint for the project.” 

The shipping company Reederei Nordan-Frisia’s vessel will be used to test the technology. 

Mazda announces $10.6 million in electrifying vehicles by 2030

Mazda announces $10.6 million in electrifying vehicles by 2030

Mazda has recently announced an investment of $10.6 billion to electrify its lineup if vehicles by 2030. The company aims for EVs to account for 15-40% of its total sales by the beginning of the next decade.  

Previously, the company’s EV sales estimate was roughly 25% of sales by 2030. Mazda has been slow to introduce EVs as it continues to expect hybrid cars to aid emission reduction.  

Mazda is following a multi-solution approach to boost its electromobility capabilities. Prior to the announcement, Mazda inked an agreement with battery maker Envision AESC to procure batteries for EVs produced in Japan. 

The company will introduce battery EV models in the second half of phase 2, which will be sometime between 2025 and 2027. It then plans to do a full-scale launch of its all-electric vehicles between 2028 and 2030. 

The investment plans are to be made along with Mazda partners and utlised for research and development. 

Mazda’s collaboration with its main suppliers, such as Hiroshima Aluminum Industry, Imasen Electric, Ondo Corporation and HIROTEC Corporation, augurs well for the long-term growth of the company as well as the industry. 

Mazda’s efforts in procuring and securing batteries to expedite its electrification initiatives are noteworthy. 

Information from: Yahoo

Munich and Barcelona announce commitment to become zero-waste cities

Munich and Barcelona announce commitment to become zero-waste cities

Barcelona and Munich have announced that they have signed up to become zero-waste candidate cities. This commitment was announced by Zero Waste Europe and the commitments states that they will implement the five-step process to achieving zero waste. The two cities are also the biggest members of the movement in Europe. 

The five steps of the Zero Waste Cities Certification are: expression of interest, commitment, implementation, certification, along with yearly improvements. 

The steps were developed around a scorecard system which includes mandatory and points-based criteria.  

Following this commitment Barcelona has vowed to work towards reducing solid waste, a 67% separate waste collection rate by 2023 and 427kg of waste generation per capita per year by 2027. 

Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona said: “Big cities are in debt with their territory, we produce a huge amount of waste and it’s about time we become responsible for it. Barcelona’s commitment to the Zero Waste strategy shows that we do care and that we do act: we aim to be a neutral city and to inspire many others”. 

Barcelona would now become one of the biggest European municipalities implementing a zero-waste strategy. 

Munich will now start to reduce waste from households per capita per year in the state capital Munich by 15% to 310kg by 2035. The amount of residual waste will be reduced by 35% to 127kg per capita by 2035. 

Dieter Reiter, Mayor of Munich said: “Munich is continuing on the path towards zero waste, which I initiated at the end of 2019. I believe it is very important that we, the City of Munich, benefit from others’ experiences as part of a European zero waste network, but also inspire other cities. By signing the Zero Waste Commitment today, we are underscoring our commitment to becoming a city that produces as little waste as possible and conserves resources. Munich is taking on a pioneering role – against wasting resources and for the environment.” 

Munich will be the third biggest city that has signed the commitment. 

Moove partners with Paua to launch EV charging network app

Moove partners with Paua to launch EV charging network app

Press release and picture: Paua

Moove has announced that it will be partnering with Paua to develop the first end-to-end EV charging network app solution in the mobility industry.  

The companies will utilise Paua’s technology while Moove Charge supports Moove customers in their transition to electric vehicles. Moove will provide a simplified, all-in-one access solution to over 6,600 charge points in London without paying a hefty monthly subscription free to multiple CPO’s. 

Moove is offering EVs at competitive rates to its customers and helps to improve the productivity of ride-hailing drivers through value-added services like Moove Charge which provides a cost saving of up to £340 per year, or approx. 12% of average annual EV charging cost, according to the company.  

Niall Riddell, CEO & co-founder at Paua and a speaker at the Plug It In Summit stated “Soon Londoners will be able to select electric driven forms of transport for all their journeys from micro-mobility, private hire, buses and even their personal car. Providing a universal charging solution to enable this removes another barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles.” 

Moove and Paua announced this partnership on the eve of the inaugural Evening Standard’s Plug It In Summit run by the Evening Standard, said the companies press release.  

The Summit seeks to highlight what more Londoners can do to go electric with their transport choices. It confronts the biggest roadblocks being faced ahead of 2030 and solving the supply issue of EVs is arguably the greatest challenge. The addition of a 100% EV ride-hailing fleet provides greater access to cleaner transportation and a cleaner environment for the city’s residents. 

Charlotte Bailey, Head of Europe at Moove, stated “Moove is an impact-led company committed to the electrification of mobility. Our mission is to empower mobility entrepreneurs on ridesharing, e-logistics and last-mile delivery platforms to be more productive and successful, and to achieve financial security. PAUA has been a fantastic partner in our mission to support our customers in their transition to EVs.” 

The Moove Charge App has been designed specifically to deal with issues within the sector and to facilitate a frictionless transition by providing easy location and ease of access to the largest network of slow, fast and ultrafast EV charge points across London. 

Miller Technology launches new battery electric vehicle for underground mining

Miller Technology launches new battery electric vehicle for underground mining

Picture: Miller Technology

Miller Technology has launched a new, battery electric low-profile grader for underground mining. The company has said that customer response and trials at the bauma trade show in Munich, Germany were positive.  

“This is another great day for Miller, for North Bay, for northern Ontario and for Canada as we continue to roll out more battery electric vehicles for mining,” said Dan Bachand, the CEO of Miller. “We also want to recognize and thank the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for its funding support of the E-Grader.” 

Miller’s E-Grader was built by retrofitting an HBM-Novas 110-M low profile grader with Miller’s patented powered by Ionic drive system. 

Member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming, Anthony Rota, also adds that “Miller Technology’s battery electric grader is a further example of how Canada is leading the world in green technology, reducing operating costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and most importantly improving employee health”, said Anthony Rota. “We are proud to see them serve the world from North Bay in the riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming.” 

The federal government has recently announced their fall economic statement that will introduce a refundable tax credit of 30% of the capital cost of investments in several clean technology items. This includes hydrogen or electric heavy-duty equipment used in construction or mining that are zero-emission or can be charged or refueled remotely. 

“A 30% tax credit will assist our customers with their purchases of the higher cost BEVs and help speed up the electrification of mining utility vehicles and Miller will be right there for them with reliable mining BEVs” said Bachand. 

The E-Grader is currently being “checked out” in Germany by international customers who attended the BAUMA trade show, according to the company. The E-Grader is meant to be returning to Canada from January 2023 onwards for North American customer visits. 

The city of Łódź signs contract with Solaris to supply e-buses and charging infrastructure

The city of Łódź signs contract with Solaris to supply e-buses and charging infrastructure

Picture and press release: Solaris

The city of Łódź has signed a contract with Solaris to supply e-buses along with charging infrastructure. The zero-emission Urbino 18 electric vehicles will hit the streets of the city in 2023. This will be a decisive step towards embracing e-mobility and will mark the first contract for electric buses to be carried out by Łódź by the manufacturer from Bolechowo.  

Key features of the eight Solaris Urbino 18 electric buses ordered by the city are their unique quietness and reduced emissions. The Urbino electric buses will be able to operate up to 24 hours a day. They are expected to roll out onto the streets in the second half of 2023. 

“The signing of the contract for 8 state-of-the-art electric buses, taking place today, is an event of enormous importance for us. We are pleased that Łódź will be yet another city on the electric map of zero-emission Solaris buses. We are also very proud to be able to support the city in the implementation of such ambitious undertakings. These determined efforts to electrify public transport in Łódź will set an excellent example for numerous European towns and cities”, underlined Krzysztof Musiał, Regional Sales Manager for Poland South-East at Solaris. 

The company has said that the new e-buses will be powered by state-of-the-art High Energy batteries with a total nominal capacity of over 400kWh. They will be available to charge both via a plug in connection and by means of an inverted pantograph. 

“It’s great news for the bus fleet in Łódź, which will be enriched by the addition of these new e-buses. Today, we are signing a contract for the purchase of our first articulated e-buses manufactured by Solaris. I am extremely happy about it and strongly believe that this is only the beginning of our long-term collaboration”, said Adam Pustelnik, First Deputy Mayor of the city of Łódź. 

The interiors of the Urbino 18 electric vehicles are equipped with fully automated air conditioning and will offer space for 110 people. The bus will also feature an electronic ticketing system that will allow payment from credit cards and a ticket vending machine. 

The very first Solaris buses made it to Łódź in 2000. Since then, the city’s public transport has been consistently heading towards green mobility said the company’s press release. 

 The vehicles ordered today will be the first Solaris electric buses to be used in Łódź. However, this is not the city’s first investment in Solaris vehicles with alternative drive systems.  

This year, the manufacturer has already delivered 29 low-emission Urbino 12 mild hybrid buses to the city. Soon, another 20 units of the same type will make their way to Łódź. With every passing year, low- and zero-emission vehicles account for an increasingly significant share of European bus fleets, and the city of Łodź is clearly following this trend. 

Lyft announces partnership with Redwood Materials to recycle e-bike and e-scooter batteries

Lyft announces partnership with Redwood Materials to recycle e-bike and e-scooter batteries

Lyft has announced that it will be partnering with Redwood Materials to ensure that its fleet of shared e-bikes and scooters can be kept up to date and fresh.  

This deal is a huge one for Lyft, and it will be used by the company to ensure that its nationwide fleet of bikes and scooters to not end up in the trash at the end of their lifetime, which is estimated to be around five years.  

Lyft have said that they will recover the depleted e-bike batteries through its operations teams and will then ship those batteries to Redwood’s facility in Northern Nevada.  

Redwood will then begin the chemical recycling process, in which it removes and refines elements such as nickel, cobalt, and copper. A certain percentage of that material can then be reused into the battery making process. 

Redwood has said that it does all of its recycling domestically and aims for maximum transparency, inviting all of its clients to come to the facility and inspect every inch of the process. 

Many batteries within electric vehicles reach the end of their life span and need recycling. Through partnerships like these, electric vehicle elements and materials can be reused and recovered. 

Dublin City Council partners with Virgin Media to install Wi-Fi 6 Access Points

Dublin City Council partners with Virgin Media to install Wi-Fi 6 Access Points

Dublin City Council, Ireland, alongside Virgin Media Business, is installing Wi-Fi 6 Access Points that are compliant with TIP OpenWifi as a trial of open, disaggregated solutions for potential use in the city’s public Wi-Fi network. 

TIP OpenWiFi is compliant with the technical requirements of the European Commission’s WiFi4EU initiative, the benchmark for public Wi-Fi deployments in Europe, said the company. 

“A smart city is built around collaboration and openness. We are delighted to be trialing Wi-Fi options that are built with an open-source architecture that enables multi-vendor interoperability,” said Jamie Cudden. Smart City Program Manager, Dublin City Council. 

Wifi4EU is a project that promotes free access to WiFi connectivity for citizens in public spaces including parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centers and museums in municipalities throughout Europe.  

The municipalities will receive a voucher that pays for the network including maintenance of the equipment to offer free and high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity for at least three years.  

“Virgin Media is recognized for providing ‘clever tech’ with ultrafast speeds and ultra-reliability. We’re industry leaders offering our customers the latest technology and it just made sense to trial Dublin City Council’s Wi-Fi network using TIP OpenWiFi standards as part of our innovation partnership with the council,” said Noel O Reilly, Business Products and Solutions Manager, Virgin Media Business. 

Dublin City Council will be using TIP OpenWiFi- compliant products and software including a cloud-based controller from NetExperience and access points from Edgecore and HFCL.  

TIP OpenWiFi is an open source-based Wi-Fi architecture that enables multi-vendor, interoperable Wi-Fi networks. This will enable both companies to mix and match additional access points and controllers.  

LG Chem announces $3 million investment to build battery cathode factory in Tennessee

LG Chem announces $3 million investment to build battery cathode factory in Tennessee

South Korea’s LG Chem has announced that it will invest more than $3 billion to build a battery cathode factory in Tennessee as it continues to meet demands for U.S electric vehicle components.  

The company has said that it is one of the first major EV-related investments announced by a South Korean firm in the United States since a new U.S law was passed in August that puts automakers and battery suppliers relying heavily on China for sourcing at a cost disadvantage.  

The plant is said to have an annual production capacity of 120,000 tons of cathode materials by 2027 which would be enough to power about 1.2 million electric vehicles. 

LG Chem has also said that it is pursuing cooperation with mining firms and recycling companies to better support its customers so that the requirements of the new Inflation reduction Act can be met. 

The Inflation Reduction Act will, among other measures, require from next year that at least 40% of the monetary value of critical minerals for batteries be from the United States or an American free-trade partner in order to qualify for U.S tax credits, according to Reuters.  

LG Chem’s new plant will make cathodes for batteries with nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum chemistry. The NCMA battery, which is about 90% nickel, allows manufacturers to reduce their reliance on expensive cobalt, and reduce their exposure to refining and processing in China. 

Dominos prepares roll-out of 800 electric pizza delivery vehicles

Dominos prepares roll-out of 800 electric pizza delivery vehicles

Picture: Dominos

Dominos is preparing to put more than 800 all-electric pizza delivery vehicles into service over the coming months. The first 100 vehicles will be rolling out in November. The company has chosen the Chevy Bolt EV and is wrapping the vehicles with custom branding. 

Dominos will have a fleet of exactly 855 new electric vehicles. This will not be able to reach all 6,135 pizza shops in the US but is a great alternative to some of the previous cars Dominos have released such as the Dominos DXP where only 155 were made.  

According to Dominos, the Bolts will be delivering from select franchises and corporate stores throughout the US. The fleet will aim to attract new employees to Dominos. 

On a single charge, Chevy Bolt EVs are capable of going 259 miles on a single charge, and the company believes that each of the cars has the potential to last a couple of days without needing to plug in.  

GM has cut prices on the 2023 model down to a starting price of $26,595 which makes it one of the most affordable EVs on the market. 

Customers are able to find a map of when you can see when and where the new EV delivery vehicles are or will be active. 

Lyft and Motional launch robotaxi service in Los Angeles

Lyft and Motional launch robotaxi service in Los Angeles

Lyft and Motional has announced that residents in LA will now be able to book robotaxis on the ride-hailing company’s app but has not yet said when this service will be available.  

Regulatory challenges have prevented commercial adoption of autonomous vehicle technology and this has delayed the deployment of many robotaxi services.  

Los Angeles will be the second city where companies will offer driverless service, second to Las Vegas. Motional uses Hyundai’s Moto Co’s IONIQ5 electric car for the robotaxi service. This is a joint venture between the South Korean Manufacturer and automotive technology company Aptiv.  

This new platform will therefore use the IONIQ 5 and will give Los Angeles residents their first taste of autonomous technology. 

“Los Angeles was the second city Lyft launched back in 2013 and it’s only fitting that it will be the second AV market we launch with our partner, Motional,” said Logan Green, Lyft’s CEO and co-founder. “Scaling AVs only works if riders can get a reliable ride, whether it’s autonomous or not, and together with Motional, Lyft will turn AV technology into transportation for Angelenos everywhere.” 

The two companies have been conducting public test rides in the entertainment capital and while Motional offers Level 4 autonomous operation, Lyft will be adding to its platform to provide riders with more choices. 

Gotion High-Tech and VinGroup announce official opening of new battery factory in Vietnam

Gotion High-Tech and VinGroup announce official opening of new battery factory in Vietnam

Gotion High-Tech and Vietnam VinGroup have announced the official opening of their new joint venture battery factory in Vietnam Ha Tinh Economic Development Zone. The project is expected to achieve an annual production capacity of 5GWh which is expected to be in operation by the end of 2023. This will be the first LFP battery factory in Vietnam.  

The factory was jointly invested in by Gotion High-Tech and VinES. Gotion High-tech holds 51% of the shares and VinES holds 49%. According to the plan, The project has a scale of 14 hectares with a design capacity of 5GWh/year and is expected to be completed and put into operation by the end of 2023. To meet the demand of LFP batteries for VinFast new energy vehicle batteries, says the press release.  

Li Zhen, Chairman of Gotion High-Tech, said: “VinGroup is the most respectable enterprise in Vietnam. The battery factory jointly built by Gotion High-tech and VinGroup will support the battery needs of VinFast’s electric vehicles. It will not only contribute to the energy revolution, climate friendly and economic development of Vietnam, but also contribute to the energy civilization of human society.” 

Back in June, the company reached a strategic cooperation with JEMSE of Argentina to establish a joint venture production line of battery grade lithium carbonate in Jujuy Province of Argentina. Additionally, German Gotion officially unveiled, which started the pace of “made in Europe of Gotion batteries, says the company.  

Furthermore, in July, the company’s General Depositary Receipts rang the bell on the SIX Swiss exchange. It also, in September, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Sumec to promote the export business of energy storage products.  

The company’s plan aims for it to achieve 300GWh annual production capacity of global production capacity by 2025, including 100GW overseas, to help achieve global carbon neutrality. 

Toyota unveils all-new electric SUV concept

Toyota unveils all-new electric SUV concept

Picture: Toyota

Earlier this week Toyota unveiled an all-electric SUV concept that used plant-based materials for its seating and an AI “personal” assistant as the automaker expands its “beyond zero” portfolio.  

The bZ compact crossover concept debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show and is meant to showcase Toyotas vision for its battery-electric future. The company has said that it plans to launch 30 fully electric vehicles including five under the bZ badge.  

Back in 2021, the automaker unveiled the all-electric Toyota bZ4X under the bZ brand. The vehicle shares many similarities with the Subaru Solterra thanks to a collaboration with the two companies to come later this year.  

The inside of the new car showcases seating which is made from plant-based and recycled materials and a semicircle-shaped steering wheel that looks like the top has been looped off. The company has named the personal assistant Yui, who responds to requests from front or rear passengers using sound and lights.  

The new SUV concept car has been said by Toyota, to showcase a possible vision of the very near future for its EV line up. Toyota hasn’t released a specific date for the launch but has said that the portfolio will support its goal to go carbon neutral by 2050. 

ZEEKR announces launch of the autonomous SEA-M platform

ZEEKR announces launch of the autonomous SEA-M platform

Picture: ZEEKR

ZEEKR has announced the launch of its SEA-M platform for autonomous electric vehicles. The SEA-M platform is a high-tech mobility solution from ZEEKR which has been drawn from the original Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) to support a range of future mobility products. 

This includes robotaxi, a multi-purpose vehicle, and logistics vehicles, laying a solid and flexible foundation for global autonomous driving technology or ride-sharing companies to develop.  

ZEEKR CEO Andy AN said: “The unveiling of ZEEKR’s SEA-M has shown the brand’s technological strengths and potential. The affirmation of partners for the SEA-M has also reflected ZEEKR’s ability to customize development according to the needs of each user. Going forth, ZEEKR will continue to work with great global partners to support better and more sustainable intelligent mobility for all.” 

The company has highlighted that the SEA-M subverts the idea of developing vehicles around the driver, which doesn’t exist in autonomous vehicles. The vehicle gives the designers opportunity to create an intelligent mobile “living room” due to the platform’s fundamental features. The features include an expansive interior, open seat choice and placement option, no B-pillar, and robust electrical/electronic backbone supporting autonomous drove and connected devices. 

Back in 2021, ZEEKR announced its first customer for vehicles built on the SEA-M platform was autonomous driving technology company Waymo, headquartered in the United States. Both companies have partnered to develop a purpose built TaaS SEA-M variant which will be deployed with the Waymo One ride-hailing fleet in the coming years.  

ZEEKR has said that all SEA-M based vehicles will meet global five-star safety standards as well as top safety pick requirements from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

Waabi introduces first-generation self-driving truck

Waabi introduces first-generation self-driving truck

Picture: Waabi

Waabi has announced the Waabi Driver, the next generation of autonomous trucking. The new autonomous truck is said to combine their AI first autonomy stack as software along with sensors and compute as hardware. Together they form a complete solution designed for factory-level OEM integration, large scale commercialisation, and safe deployment.  

The Waabi driver has been described as an end-to-end trainable system that automatically learns from data, speeding up development dramatically and enabling it to learn the complex decision-making needed for operating the road safely, said the companies press release. 

Waabi will initially start with a small number of trucks that appear to be made by Peterbuilt, however, Waabi has not named its first OEM partner. 

Waabi has designed their autonomy stack for widespread deployment and is also, purpose built for production. It is adaptable to multiple redundant truck platforms and easily integrated on the assembly line with no disruption.  

The initial group of trucks will be used for data collection and testing, as well as commercial pilots. The startup has a vision of bringing a new generation of autonomous driving to the market and is one with an AI first approach.  

The Waabi driver boasts superior generalisation capabilities so that it can safely apply learned skills to unseen scenarios and brand-new geographies without needing to of been there before. 

The truck is sleek and does not appear to look like it has been retrofitted with sensors. The hardware is seamlessly integrated into the body with gives for a more aerodynamic look and one that is also easy to clean and maintain. 

Biden-Harris administration announces nearly $74 Million investment into battery recycling technologies

Biden-Harris administration announces nearly $74 Million investment into battery recycling technologies

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced that nearly $74 million in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for 10 projects to advance technologies and processes for electric vehicle battery recycling and reuse. 

Within President Biden’s term, more than 1.2 million EVs have been sold in America. This number is triple the amount of EVs on the road before he took office. This number is continuing to grow at a fast rate. 

As EVs increase, the demand for important battery materials such as lithium and graphite are expected to increase as much as 4000% in the next coming years. The latest round of funding will support the recycling and reuse segment of the domestic battery supply chain. 

This new investment aims to help accelerate battery production in America, mitigate battery supply chain disruptions and to create good paying jobs.  

The announcement made builds on the $2.8 billion through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for domestic battery processing and component manufacturing and supports President Biden’s goal to have electric vehicles make up half of all vehicles sales in America by 2030, says the press release. 

“Recycling advanced batteries presents an enormous opportunity for America to support the creation of a secure and resilient domestic battery supply chain to reach our clean energy and transportation future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The historic investments of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are making it possible for cross-sector collaboration that will fuel America’s technological breakthroughs and eliminate our overreliance on other nations to meet our clean energy goals.” 

Advanced batteries are vital to the entire clean energy economy, but America currently does not produce enough of the critical minerals and battery materials needed to power clean energy technologies, stated the Department of Energy’s press release. 

 It continued to say that if unaddressed, the lack of domestic mining, processing, and recycling capacity will hinder clean energy and transportation development and adoption, leaving the nation dependent on unreliable foreign supply chains.  

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to using a whole-of-government approach to securing a reliable and sustainable supply chain to improve America’s energy independence, strengthen national security, and lower costs for working families. 

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris Administration is investing nearly $10 million in funding to recycle batteries and create jobs right here in Nevada,” said U.S. Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04). “This investment ensures that we are able to provide for the future demand of batteries, ensure a domestic supply chain of critical minerals and strengthen our national security. As a member of the Congressional Critical Minerals Caucus and a proud supporter of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I will continue to work with the Administration to make critical investments in Nevada and across the nation to advance a clean energy future.” 

The project announced is managed by the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office and is part od a $7 billion investment from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen the domestic battery supply chain.   

BasiGo receives $6.6 million in new funding for electric buses in Nairobi

BasiGo receives $6.6 million in new funding for electric buses in Nairobi

BasiGo, the first company to introduce electric buses to Kenya, has announced $6.6 million in new funding that is led by Mobility54 the corporate venture capital arm of Toyota Tsusho; Trucks VC, a transportation-focused venture capital fund in Silicon Valley; and Novastar Ventures, a global VC supporting entrepreneurs transforming markets in Africa. 

The company has also said that rounds include investment from Moxxie Ventures, My Climate Journey, Susquehanna Foundation Keiki Capital, and OnCapital. The new round brings BaisGo’s total funding in 2022 to $10.9 Million and is said to enable the company to begin commercial delivery of locally manufactured electric buses and charging infrastructure through the company’s unique Pay-As-You-Drive financing model. 

“BasiGo is thrilled to have the backing of investors who are leaders in the automotive sector and climate finance,” said Jit Bhattacharya, CEO of BasiGo. “Over 90% of Kenya’s electricity already comes from renewables. Yet Kenya’s transport sector relies entirely on imported petroleum fuels. By electrifying Kenya’s public transport, we can make an immediate dent in climate emissions, clean up the air in our cities, and give bus owners relief from the rising cost of diesel. With this new funding, BasiGo is ready to bring the benefits of state-of-the-art electric transport to all people in Africa.” 

Kenya’s public transport sector includes 100,000 privately-owned buses and minibuses, which are often called mataus. BasiGo has said that their electric buses have driven over 110,000 kilometres and carried over 140,000 passengers as part of fleet operations with two Nairobi bus operators: Citi Hopper and East Shuttle. 

“We strongly believe in the potential of electric buses in Africa” Takeshi Watanabe – CEO of Mobility54 said in a statement. “BasiGo’s strong capability to implement the concept and its cutting-edge technology is the key to transforming conventional diesel buses to environmentally friendly electric buses. We are extremely excited to build a solid partnership with BasiGo, and to support their growth by fully leveraging the business assets under Toyota Tsusho and CFAO.” 

The company has already received 100 reservations from customers and has recently announced a partnership with KCB Bank and Family Bank to provide up to 90% financing to owners for the purchase of an electric bus. 

BasiGo’s next 15 electric buses will be delivered in January and will enter operation with many of Nairobi’s largest bus operators. BasiGo is already deploying high-power, DC fast-charging stations at strategic locations across Nairobi to support this expanded fleet. The company reports that all buses delivered in 2023 will be locally assembled in Kenya and aims to have over 1,000 electric buses deployed in Kenya by the end of 2025, said the company’s press release.