VIA Motors partners with EAVX to develop a fully electric class 2b delivery van

VIA Motors partners with EAVX to develop a fully electric class 2b delivery van

Picture: Yahoo

VIA Motors, an all-electric commercial OEM vehicle manufacturer, has announced that it has entered a partnership with EAVX, the newest business unit of JB Poindexter & Co, to develop a fully electric class 2b delivery van.  

The new vehicle is said to be designed and prototyped by EAVX and will feature VIA’s proprietary VDRIVE skateboard technology and the body will eventually be manufactured by Morgan Oslon. 

“VIA Motors is working to change last and mid-mile delivery with functional, reliable, and durable electric work trucks that are preferred by drivers and have an attractive total cost of ownership,” said Bob Purcell, CEO. “By pairing VIA’s industry-leading VDRIVE skateboard and EAVX’s innovative, walk-in van concept, we view this as the perfect partnership as we strive to develop technology that delivers a smooth, quiet and ergonomically pleasing experience for drivers.” 

Together it has been said that the two companies will jointly develop Class 2-5 electric work trucks utilising VIA’s fully customisable electric “skateboard” platform, with an initial focus on class 2b product. VIA’s VDRIVE skateboard has a number of features including a 3-in-1 drive system, the ability to accommodate different battery sizes, high cargo-volume efficiency, a driver-forward design that aims to enhance driver view and industry-leading turn radius and maneuverability. 

“Like EAVX, VIA is a company centered around innovation and collaboration, and we are thrilled to partner with them on developing the next generation of delivery vehicles,” said Mark Hope, COO and General Manager of EAVX. “Since the beginning, we’ve worked to be at the forefront of the industry by collaborating with fellow leaders like VIA. This partnership is another critical way in which we are transforming the world’s largest fleets for a more sustainable future.” 

ChargePoint and Nikola announce partnership to deploy charging infrastructure for fleets across the U.S

ChargePoint and Nikola announce partnership to deploy charging infrastructure for fleets across the U.S

Picture: Nikola

Nikola and ChargePoint have announced a partnership that will accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the fleets across the U.S.  

The joint venture will allow Nikola and the Nikola sales and Service Dealer Network to resell ChargePoint’s comprehensive portfolio of charging infrastructure and software solutions to its fleet customers, ensuring a solid technology interface and integrated sales approach between the two companies. 

“By having complete access to the entire ChargePoint product line to support all aspects of the Nikola business model, our Sales and Service Dealer Network will be able to reduce the time required to design, procure and construct both small- and large-scale charging infrastructure projects for our customers,” said Nikola President, Commercial Pablo Koziner. 

The company has said that through this alliance, Nikola and its customers will have access to the full suite of ChargePoint advanced software solutions, including charge management, range forecasting and streamlined delivery route and schedule planning, simplifying the management of fleet operations.  

“This partnership enhances our ability to provide a customer-focused charging solution at the right time, at the right place and for the right price. Making electrification easy helps fleets focus on their core business operations while easily adopting new technology,” said Rich Mohr, vice president, fleet, at ChargePoint. “ChargePoint is committed to supporting OEM’s, dealers and fleets with the right tools to adopt and transition to EV transportation without disrupting their core operation.” 

Additionally, ChargePoint software enables full operational visibility, which is said to help customers understand their fleet and can better utilise their vehicles, prevent breakdowns and reduce operating costs. 

The company has said that Nikola has issued purchase orders for ChargePoint E-skids, ChargePoint’s rapid deployment DC fast-charging solution to accelerate its customer’s adoption of mobile charging infrastructure. Deliveries are set to begin in November.

Wing announces partnership with DoorDash to pilot drone delivery in Australia

Wing announces partnership with DoorDash to pilot drone delivery in Australia

Picture: Wing

Today, Wing has announced that it will be taking the first step towards opening their platforms so Wing’s drone delivery service can be accessed through third party apps.

They will be partnering with global on-demand delivery leader DoorDash for a pilot project in Australia.

Selected customers in Logan, Australia will be able to order a range of convenience and grocery items, pantry staples, snacks, and household essentials directly through the DoorDash App and have them delivered by a Wing drone, typically in 15 minutes or less, says the company’s press release. Initially available to a small number of households, but will gradually expand availability in the coming months.

This is a great step forward towards building a drone delivery service that is highly integrable and capable of scaling quickly. Wing have already begun scaling their operations, moving them closer to retailers.

In Australia, the company has set up a drone delivery hub on the rooftop of a local shopping center. In Dallas, they have evolved this concept into their first “store-to-door” operation and have just recently announced the expansion of this model to Australia’s Gold Coast.

Wing has said that they see this new functionality as a “logical step on this journey to make drone delivery a plug-and-play option for more businesses and consumers – no matter what app they use.”

Calgary partners with Morrow Batteries to develop high voltage battery separator technologies

Calgary partners with Morrow Batteries to develop high voltage battery separator technologies

Picture: PR Newswire

Celgard, a subsidiary of Polypore International, has announced that it has entered into a multi-year joint development agreement with Morrow Batteries.  

The two companies will work together to develop, test, and commercialise the next generation dry-process battery separators that will be used in high-voltage battery cells with lithium nickel manganese oxide cathode material for electric vehicle and energy storage applications.  

Separator development activities are already underway between Celgard and Morrow. Commerical production will begin at Morrow’s battery cell gigafactory at Eyde Energy Park in Arendal, Norway, in 2024, says the company’s press release. 

“For over half a century Celgard has been at the forefront of membrane technology, we are very excited to join forces with them to commercialize separators for Morrow’s next generation high- voltage batteries. The partnership with Celgard provides a framework to speed up the development of our LNMO- based products and it is a big step towards Morrow’s goal of being a global leader in cost and sustainability.” said Rahul Fotedar, chief technology officer of Morrow.  

Under the agreement, Morrow will exclusively use Celgard propriety dry-process membrane separators, developed under the agreement, in high-voltage batteries produced at its Gigafactory. Morrow has committed to undisclosed annual purchase volumes. 

Additionally, Lie Shi, Asahi Kasei global head of separator business development and executive vice president of Polypore, added the following: “We are excited to partner with Morrow to develop and showcase Celgard® next generation membrane separators for high-voltage battery cells manufactured at their battery Gigafactory and we look forward to further advancing electric vehicle technology with Morrow in Europe.”  

FREE NOW Europe integrates public transport tickets into its app

FREE NOW Europe integrates public transport tickets into its app

FREE NOW announced at the Web Summit 2022 that users of its Super App can now book public transport services through its app as well as taxis, private cars, eScooters, eBikes, eMopeds, and carsharing. 

The first venture that enabled access to public transport via the FREE NOW app was signed with Rheinbahn in Germany. Users of the app will now be able to book tickets for buses, trams and underground trains directly in the FREE NOW app for all tariff zones of the Rhine-Ruhr Public Transport Association.  

The partnership will now provide access to Europe’s biggest transport network and the largest urban transport area. This will include major cities like Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Bochum, Wuppertal and Duisburg.  

Initially, users will be able to purchase single tickets, day passes, and 48-hour passes, and the ticket sales are now possible due to a partnership with Dutch aggregator Tranzer.  

“We’re pleased that we’re now the first private mobility platform to be able to offer our users public transport tickets in the biggest population and the largest urban transport area in Europe. This is an important next stage for us and, for the first time, we’re enabling end-to-end ticketing for different modes of transport in our app. Linking different mobility offers is crucial to succeed in transforming transportation in Europe. FREE NOW actively supports this as a partner of public transport. Our goal is to make urban mobility in Europe more sustainable, intelligent, and interconnected.” said Thomas Zimmermann, CEO at FREE NOW. 

The company has said that the new travel options are primarily aimed at remote workers who only travel to their place of work occasionally, as well as business travelers and tourists. 

Further partnerships with other transport companies in Germany and across Europe are said to be planned for 2023. 

Foxconn and Saudi Arabia launch joint venture to enter the EV business

Foxconn and Saudi Arabia launch joint venture to enter the EV business

Picture: Foxconn

A joint venture has been announced between Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and Foxconn to build and sell EVs. The new partnership was made in order for the nation to meet its Vision 2030 goal which is to reduce its dependence on oil and diversify its economy. 

The new company is known as Ceer and it plans to design, manufacture and sell a portfolio of EVs using BMW’s component technology. Foxconn will be developing the electrical architecture of the vehicles. 

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “Saudi Arabia is not just building a new automotive brand, we are igniting a new industry and an ecosystem that attracts international and local investments, creates job opportunities for local talent, enables the private sector, and contributes to increasing Saudi Arabia’s GDP over the next decade, as part of PIF’s strategy to drive the economic growth in line with Vision 2030.” 

Ceer is the first Saudi automotive brand to produce electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia and is hopes to attract over US$150 million of foreign direct investment and create up to 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

Foxconn’s electrical architecture is hoping to result in a portfolio of products that will lead in areas of infotainment, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies, said the company.  

Chairman of Hon Hai Technology Group, Young Liu, said: “Foxconn is excited about our partnership with PIF to create a new automotive company that will focus on designing and manufacturing electric vehicles in and for Saudi Arabia. We will leverage Foxconn’s technological expertise to support Ceer’s vision of creating a range of iconic electric vehicles that are built around the themes of connectivity, infotainment and autonomy. We want to make electric vehicles mainstream, and that is what Ceer is going to achieve in Saudi Arabia and the wider region.” 

Foxconn have stated that each vehicle will be tested to the highest gloval automotive quality control and safety standards. Ceer vehicles are scheduled to be available in 2025. 

NYC jail complex to be restored into citywide green energy hub

NYC jail complex to be restored into citywide green energy hub

Picture: Renewable Rikers

After the announcement of the jail complex’s closure by 2027, city officials have been devising a comprehensive plan to transform Rikers Island into a citywide green energy hub.  

The press release stated that the report, A Plan for Renewable Rikers, follows last year’s City Council vote to finally reimagine Rikers and outlines a vision to replace the island’s current facilities with a solar energy installation; recycling and composting infrastructure; a citywide wastewater treatment plant that would free up 182 acres of community space in Queens and the Bronx; and a new research and training institute that would provide educational and workforce development opportunities to individuals formerly incarcerated at Rikers. 

“As Rikers Island descends deeper into crisis conditions, it is critical that we are prepared to hit the ground running on a new vision for its future,” said Moses Gates, RPA’s Vice President for Housing and Neighborhood Planning.  “RPA is proud to build on the work of environmental and criminal justice advocates in presenting a plan to reimagine Rikers’ 400 acres as a green energy hub that strengthens the city’s resilience to climate change and delivers substantial community benefits—especially for the Black, Brown and poor New Yorkers who have borne the brunt of mass criminalization and noxious energy facilities. Following through on the vision for a renewable Rikers is a can’t miss opportunity for the city to reach its decarbonization goals while serving as a national model for climate-focused redistributive justice.” 

The New York City Council voted back in 2021 to permanently close Rikers Island after decades of inhumane living conditions, deaths, and calls for reform. The ownership of the island will be transferred over to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.  

This transfer enables the shift of energy and waste infrastructure that is currently in neighborhoods surrounding the island in Queens and the Bronx to Rikers itself. 

Some features highlighted in the renewable Rikers plan include a research and training institute, solar energy installation and energy storage, a citywide wastewater treatment plant and a composting and recycling hub. 

“RPA’s report today on Renewable Rikers Island is an exciting step forward in envisioning a just transition for the future of the island. The added vision for power production, wastewater recovery, anaerobic digestion and job creation drives the conversation forward helping reinforce the need to build this renewable energy hub. Renewable Rikers Island is an imperative for New York City that we cannot go back on. Thank you to the RPA for their efforts to create this report.” – said Costa Constantinides, former New York City Councilmember and sponsor of the Renewable Rikers Act. 

DPD and First Bus launch EV charging partnership in Glasgow

DPD and First Bus launch EV charging partnership in Glasgow

Picture and Press Release: DPD

First Bus is partnering with DPD to carry out most green journeys in Glasgow in a milestone move which sees the transport operator’s ambitions from COP26 come to life. 

First Bus has set out its aim to offer local businesses use of the extensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure at its Caledonia Depot. This was set out at the global climate change conference last year. 

One year later, DPD has become the first company to officially sign up to the scheme. The agreement means that DPD drivers will now have access to the site to charge their electric vehicles whilst in Glasgow. This will enable them to travel greater distances while making deliveries, with limited environmental impact.  

Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director at First Bus, said: “The partnership with DPD reflects the commitment we made during COP26 to help other businesses to achieve their green ambitions. We hope that this marks the first of many valuable partnerships and demonstrates the power that comes from working together to reduce carbon emissions. Electrifying fleets, and having the infrastructure in place to support them, is a mammoth undertaking, and it simply isn’t feasible for each and every business to build its own charging station. Reducing carbon emissions is a priority for us – not just to meet our own targets but because we’re committed to delivering cleaner, greener journeys for Glasgow. We’re already in conversation with other businesses and look forward to announcing further partnerships in the near future.” 

First Bus’s Caledonia Depot has 160 state-of-the-art, rapid-charging points, supporting the operators ambition to be emission-free by 2035.  

First Bus has also worked previously alongside Hitachi ZeroCarbon to provide the systems that will enable charging commercial vehicles at the site. The company hopes that the Plug and Charge solution will benefit growing businesses in Glasgow by providing the availability of DC ultra-rapid charging for commercial electric vehicles. 

Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth, said: “We all have to work together to end our contribution to climate change, and by making its charging infrastructure available to DPD, First Bus are leading the way. The Scottish Government provided over £5.9 million to help deliver the infrastructure at the depot, and I am delighted that it is being used to support decarbonisation of last mile delivery as well as public transport. Our £500k Bus Market Transition Scheme, which aims to support businesses prepare for our next round of capital funding, is currently open for applications and I hope that this announcement today by First Bus encourages others to think creatively about how Government funding can be used to maximum effect.” 

DPD’s goal is to be the most sustainable parcel delivery company in the UK and is on track to have over 3,000 EVs on the road this year and 4,000 by 2023 when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities, including Glasgow, using only EVs.  

Olly Craughan, Head of Sustainability, DPD said: “The Caledonia depot is a fantastic facility and this is a really smart initiative between two brands that are investing in a greener future for Scotland. The partnership will be hugely beneficial as it will enable our drivers to access fast, reliable and secure charging stations in Glasgow during the day. Our plan is to be delivering in both Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres using only electric vehicles by the end of next year, and this is another step towards making that a reality.” 

First Bus will continue to expand its zero-emission bus fleet and electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Scotland over the next 18 months with plans to electrify Scotstoun and Aberdeen depots. 

Everledger partners with Ford for worlds-first battery passport pilot

Everledger partners with Ford for worlds-first battery passport pilot

Everledger has announced the launch of a world-first battery passport pilot, partnering with Ford to ensure responsible recycling of EV batteries.  

The pilot leverages Everledger’s technology platform to track electric vehicle batteries throughout their lifecycle to ensure responsible management during use and recycling at the end of their usual life.  

Ford will be able to gain visibility on out-of-warranty batteries, validate responsible end of life recycling, and gain access to data such as recycled critical minerals produced and associated CO2 savings.  

The company has said that to track the battery lifecycle Everledger utilises a range of technologies including various types of auto ID, blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).  During manufacture Ford batteries and their inner modules are tagged with 2-D data matrix codes, which are then scanned with a cell phone by each organisation as the battery changes hands.  

These scans allow otherwise separated links in the value chain to report on and access information about a battery’s location, chemistry and other attributes and activities taking place, for example transportation, disassembly and recycling. 

Large manufacturers can benefit from improved life-cycle management and verified claims of recycling. They will be able to better understand a battery’s chemistry and history in order to make faster, more informed decisions about how its content can be used, sold or received. 

Leanne Kemp, Founder and CEO of Everledger said: “The Everledger Platform and its battery passport functionality positions stakeholders along the supply chain to verify a battery’s material provenance, chemistry and identity; and measure its sustainability and environmental impact alongside creating a multi-billion-dollar global market for used batteries that maximizes the recovery of raw materials and accelerates the development of climate-friendly mobility. 

“A fully connected and transparent battery passport, secured by blockchain technology, allows electric vehicle manufacturers and owners to not only track and report the lifetime journey of each battery, but increasingly where those critical minerals originated and how those mines stack up with the use of renewable energy, enabling brands like Ford to more easily report on climate action and Scope 3 emissions.” 

Everledger will continue six months of testing and will release the battery passport commercially.  

Hyundai breaks ground on Metaplant America

Hyundai breaks ground on Metaplant America

Picture: Hyundai

Hyundai have announced that they have officially broken ground on the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, LLC’s new manufacturing plant at the Bryan County Mega site.  

The company said that the celebration included a morning groundbreaking on site, followed by a future technology expo at Enmarket Arena in Savannah. The company highlighted “advanced technology and extraordinary human achievement” with a wide array of exhibits for hundreds of attendees from the community in attendance. 

The $5.54 billion investment made by the company and its affiliate suppliers was announced five months ago and includes plans to produce a diverse range of innovative Hyundai, Genesis and Kia electric vehicles and a new battery facility. 

“With more Georgians working than ever before, record jobs and investment coming to all parts of our state, and award-winning workforce development programs and infrastructure, the Peach State’s economy is reaching new heights,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Our partnership with Hyundai Motor Group and the groundbreaking of this innovative facility exemplifies that unprecedented success. With a long-term commitment to improving lives and livelihoods, we look forward to continuing this partnership and seeing its impact on both this community and our state as a whole.” 

The company has said that the facility will create more than 8100 jobs over the next few years and aims to establish a stable supply chain for EV batteries and other EV components in the U.S market. 

The factory is expected to begin production in the first half of 2025. 

“Hyundai and the people of Georgia share many qualities: respect for our histories, ingenuity, creativity, and determination to make the world better for the next generation,” said Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung. “Today, our EVs are recognised as the best in class, and with this partnership, we are determined to be the global leader in electrification, safety, quality, and sustainability. With the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, we will continue to evolve beyond an automaker to the world’s leading mobility solutions provider.” 

Approximately $1 billion will be invested by non-affiliated HMGMA suppliers in connection with the project in other locations. 

Lucid announces the opening of its first studio in the Middle East

Lucid announces the opening of its first studio in the Middle East

Lucid Group has announced the opening of its first studio in the Middle East, located in Riyash, Saudi Arabia. Lucid has been setting standards with the longest-range and fastest charging electric car on the market.  

This will be known as a ‘luxury retail space’ and will invite customers to experience the brand and its products in Riyadh’s Al Nakheel District.  

With a direct-to-consumer model, every Lucid Studio offers a digitally oriented premium experience tailored to each customer’s preferences, said the company’s press release.  

“The launch of our first Studio in the Middle East marks yet another step towards Lucid’s mission to inspire the adoption of sustainable energy on a global scale, and I’m delighted this brand-new studio is set to open here in Saudi Arabia,” said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s CEO and CTO. “Saudi Arabia recognizes the seismic transition toward automobile electrification and it looks to the future to secure a better world for generations to come with Saudi Vision 2030.” 

Lucid’s new Riyadh Studio will allow customers to fully experience the brand and understand information about the company’s unique aesthetic design. 

“We are incredibly excited to be celebrating this milestone today, opening our Studio in Riyadh is another positive step of our journey in Saudi Arabia,” said Faisal Sultan, Vice President and Managing Director of Lucid Middle East. “Our in-depth knowledge of the region and our strategic partnerships enable us to deliver products catered to our customer base in the Middle East, and we’re delighted to be able to meet their growing demands for electric cars in our journey to combat climate change.” 

Lucid announced plans for a full production factory at King Abdullah Economic City in Audi Arabia, earlier this year. The company has said that it plans to establish operations there for the reassembly of Lucid Air vehicles that are pre-manufactured at the company’s U.S manufacturing facility in Arizona. 

Biden Administration awards $2.8 billion towards U.S electric vehicles supplies

Biden Administration awards $2.8 billion towards U.S electric vehicles supplies

The Biden Administration has announced that it is awarding $2.8 billion in grants to boost U.S production of electric vehicle batteries and the minerals used to build them. This is in an attempt to decrease reliability on supplies from China.  

“By undercutting U.S. manufacturers with their unfair subsidies and trade practices, China seized a significant portion of the market,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday in announcing the awards. “Today we’re stepping up… to take it back, not all of it, but bold goals.” 

It predicted that the grants are going to projects across at least 12 states and Albemarle Corp is one of the manufacturing and processing companies receiving U.S Energy Department grants.  

This will be used to domestically mine lithium, graphite and nickel and build the first large-scale U.S lithium processing facility to build cathodes and other battery parts and expand recycling facilities. 

The grants mark the latest push by the government to reduce dependence on China and other nations. 

By 2030, Biden aims to have all 50% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S to be electric or plug in hybrid electric models along with 500,000 new EV charging stations. 

 Legislation tied to the program sets new strict battery component and sourcing requirements for $7,500 consumer EV tax credits. 

“China currently controls much of the critical mineral supply chain and the lack of mining, processing, and recycling capacity in the U.S. could hinder electric vehicle development and adoption, leaving the U.S. dependent on unreliable foreign supply chains.” said the Whitehouse. 

A separate $1 trillion infrastructure law signed in November 2021 allocates $7 billion to ensure U.S manufacturers can access critical minerals and other components to manufacture the batteries. 

New York State Metropolitan Transport Authority orders five LFSe+ electric buses from Nova Bus

New York State Metropolitan Transport Authority orders five LFSe+ electric buses from Nova Bus

Picture: Nova Bus

Nova Bus has announced that it has been awarded a contract for five LFSe+, the 40’ long-range 100% battery electric bus model of Mova Bus by the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The first delivery is expected to be made by the beginning of 2023. The buses will be assembled at the Nova Bus facility in Plattsburgh, New York State, said the company.  

This purchase aims to aid the MTA’s goal of transitioning its entire 5,800 bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2040. The company said that all bus procurements will be exclusively zero-emissions by 2029.  

The MTA operates the largest public transport agency in North America, carrying 16% of all bus passengers.  

This year, it received $116,000,000 through the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Grant Program to buy electric buses to replace older petrol-powered buses, said the press releases.  

“We are delighted that our LFSe+ will be joining the growing MTA fleet of electric buses,” said Martin Larose, President of Nova Bus. “The MTA is a long-standing partner of Nova Bus, and we are thrilled to be part of its transition to electromobility, as well as humbled to be supporting its goal of reaching a zero-emission fleet by 2040. We are excited about the future and looking forward to every community benefiting from cleaner air thanks to zero-emission buses in New York.” 

The Nova Bus LFSe+ long range electric bus provides reduced maintenance costs and eliminates all emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.  

The LFSe+ uses the perfect combination of their latest innovations in clean and sustainable technologies, “making it a first-choice solution for the trainsition to sustainable public transport. 

Germany plans to expand charging infrastructure network

Germany plans to expand charging infrastructure network

Germany wants to massively expand the country’s charging network for electric cars, with a plan to spend 6.3 billion euros over the next three years as it believes that many more drivers will turn away from combustion cars to more climate-friendly vehicles.  

The country’s transportation minister presented a master plan to help improve charging infrastructure. 

“We are not just any automotive location, but a leading one in the world. And that´s why it´s important to us that what we´re preparing succeeds well,” said Volker Wissing in Berlin. “We need a forward-looking expansion of the nationwide charging infrastructure that meets demand and is user-friendly.” 

The share of electric vehicles in Germany grew 24.8% year-onyear to a total share of 14.6% of all new registered automobiles, according to figures released by the country’s Federal Office for Motor Vehicles. 

As of today, there are not enough chargers within the country to fulfill the needs of electric vehicle owners. According to the ministry, there are around 70,000 charging points across the country but only 11,000 of those are fast chargers. 

The government’s goal is to have 1 million publicly accessible charging points in the country by 2030. To fix this problem, governments will be building real estate along highways where new charging structures can be built. 

The country also wants to tackle the issue of preparing the electric grid for electric vehicle uptake. 

“We are expecting an exponential increase in registered vehicles with battery electric drive in the next few years and must prepare accordingly,” the minister said. 

Switching the country from petrol-powered cars to electric vehicles plays a vital role in achieving the government’s climate targets. 

Rolls-Royce unveils its first fully electric car: The Spectre

Rolls-Royce unveils its first fully electric car: The Spectre

Picture: Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce has announced plans to deliver its first EV, the Spectre two-door coupe. The company plans for customers to get their hands on this vehicle late next year, with plans for the brand to become fully electric by 2030. 

The company has estimated that the Spectre will travel up to 260 miles on a fully charged battery, deliver 577 horsepower and zip from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The Spectre is said to be priced above $400,000.  

The car is to be expected to have a range of 320 miles/520 kilometers WLTP and offer 900Nm of torque from its 430kW powertrain. 

The four-seater fashions 23-inch wheels and has the brand’s widest ever grille. The company has said that inspiration has been drawn from haute couture, modernist sculpture, nautical design, tailoring and contemporary art. 

“This is the start of a bold new chapter for our marque, our extraordinary clients and the luxury industry. For this reason, I believe Spectre is the most perfect product that Rolls-Royce has ever produced.” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. 

This will not be the most expensive EV on the market. Both Rimac and Pininfarina began producing $2.5 million battery-electric hypercars this summer.  

Unlike many of its competitors, Rolls-Royce has skipped the hybrid phase and is just becoming a fully electric brand. 

The Spectre marks a historic moment for Rolls-Royce and for electrification. Their new commitment to electrifying their entire portfolio will push Rolls-Royce into the electric era and enhance the experience for its customers. 

Canoo receives order from Kingbee for 9,300 of Canoo electric vehicles

Canoo receives order from Kingbee for 9,300 of Canoo electric vehicles

Picture: Canoo

Canoo has announced that it has received a binding order for 9,300 American-made electric vehicles from Kingbee, a van rental operator. The agreement will also see the van rental provider be able to increase the order to 18,600 if they so wish. 

The company has said that Kingbee will upfit, wrap and deliver Canoo vehicles as work-ready fleets solutions for enterprise and small & medium sized business customers across the U.S. 

“At Canoo, we engineer and design for fleets, enterprises, SMBs and their workforce. This order is yet another key milestone as we allocate production capacity for the coming years.  New and legacy innovators recognize a need for safety, efficiency and productivity in their fleet portfolio. Our LDV has it all in a fully electric multi-generational platform. with market pushing customization, that is made to last and outperform expectations,” said Tony Aquila, Chairman & CEO at Canoo. 

“Canoo’s proprietary platform and tophat technology enables Kingbee to adapt their fleet for evolving use cases at a class leading ROI, while allowing their customers to benefit from a vehicle, that is engineered for workers and optimized for ergonomics, with superior visibility, maneuverability and safety. “ 

Canoo vehicles are American-made commercial electric vehicles built on the company’s proprietary multi-purpose platform (MPP) architecture with modular configurations for a wide range of use cases and are a perfect complement to Kingbee’s focus on customized fleets for small business owners, says the company’s press release. 

Canoo offers most of the vehicle service, maintenance and updates over the air which decreases vehicle downtime and increases ROI for fleet operators.  

Canoo vehicles have key features that are designed with the driver in mind. The vehicles have a panoramic front window to improve road visibility and utilise true steer by wire technology, resulting in more usable interior space and better driver ergonomics. 

While Canoo offers a dynamic vehicle, Kingbee will provide a turn-key solution for fleet rental, delivering fully upfitted commercial solutions with optional signage to operators with flexible leasing terms. 

“We are excited to partner with Canoo to provide sustainable work vehicle rentals to our customers,” said Scott Haslam, CEO of Kingbee Rentals.  

“Canoo vehicles are designed specifically for fleets to be upfit and last multiple users. This is exactly what we need. Our assets are our business, and we need products that provide the best driver experience with durability. We’ve seen that small and medium businesses are looking for sustainable, affordable and flexible solutions that don’t tie up all of their cash so this is a win-win for Kingbee. Providing a customized solution that handles well and has great ergonomics for the work vehicle industry. Between Canoo’s platform and Kingbee’s work-ready upfits, our flexible fleet leasing model will significantly reduce the barriers to entry for many fleets owners who think they have to purchase all of their vehicles. It’s even more exciting that it comes in a zero emissions package.” 

Volta Trucks and Siemens partner to accelerate fleet electrification

Volta Trucks and Siemens partner to accelerate fleet electrification

Picture: Volta Trucks

Volta Trucks and Siemens Smart Infrastructure have announced their intended joint venture to deliver eMobility charging infrastructure and software to Volta Trucks customers. This aims to simplify, de-risk, and accelerate their transition to commercial fleet electrification.  

The partnership will utilise Volta Truck’s unique solution to commercial vehicle fleet electrification and operational expertise through its Truck as a Service offer and Siemens’ global experience in electric vehicle support solutions. The company has said that this will include software control systems, facility electrification, charging infrastructure, energy management, building equipment and project finance. 

“Through our partnership with Volta Trucks, we intend to co-create Transportation as a Service solutions, and deliver Volta Trucks’ customers higher uptime, a commitment to reliability through performance-based contracts, and reduced energy expenditure. As commercial fleets look to meet sustainability goals and deliver cost effective, robust infrastructure solutions, we are pleased to be able to partner with Volta Trucks.” said Thomas Kiessling, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens Smart Infrastructure. 

The technical aspect of the charging installation will be overseen by Siemens to deliver a best-in-class solution. This includes the hardware required to operate the charging and power distrubution infrastructure for fleets of Volta Zeros, said the company’s press release. 

Siemens will also offer a performance management platform, which will allow customers to achieve higher uptime with minimum expenditure.

To deliver the electrification of urban logistics at pace and scale, we need operationally efficient electrification infrastructure aligned to the exact requirement of each fleet. In Siemens, we have a world-class partner with the innovative technical solutions our customers will expect. Together, we are confident that our partnership with accelerate the migration to electrification.” said Essa Al-Saleh, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks. 

The Routing Company has announced all new in app feature that offers on-demand transit and end-to-end planning

The Routing Company has announced all new in app feature that offers on-demand transit and end-to-end planning

Press release: The Routing Company

The Routing Company has announced a new in-app feature that lets passengers hail on-demand transit rides and plans their journeys in one place, called Pingo Journey. This is a feature within TRC’s Ride Pingo app. The feature is said to be available for procurement by transit agencies worldwide and is anticipated to first launch in North America this Autumn. 

The company claims to be the world’s only app that allows riders to hail on demand transit services and plan their entire journey from start to finish by using all existing modes in real-time. 

“Riders told us they loved the Pingo app. Agencies told us they needed a single app to deliver journey planning and connect on-demand rides to fixed route networks,” said James Cox, chief executive officer, TRC.  

“Over the past year we did just that, integrating TRC’s unrivaled real-time routing technology with public transit infrastructure to build the most comprehensive journey planner for public transit riders.” 

Pingo Journey is powered by integration of on-demand transit services with all existing transit modes, says the company. This makes Pingo Journey a complimentary feature of their already existing app. Transit Connect, which guarantees connections for riders to existing fixed route networks.  

The company claims that “no other app on the market offers a connection guarantee, and effective today, Pingo Journey is available for procurement by transit agencies around the world.” 

“We combined the convenience of demand-responsive transit with the efficiency of fixed transit, and the resulting product makes Pingo the first-of-its-kind tool for transit riders. People have tried to improve multimodal transit journeys for decades, but this is the first time you can improve commute times by orchestrating on-demand rides, dispatching better connections, and controlling journey planning in one place,” said Cox. 

It has been described as a “breakthrough in route planning and access to multi-modal mobility”, according to TRC. 

ZF and NIO sign agreement to develop steer-by-wire products

ZF and NIO sign agreement to develop steer-by-wire products

Picture: ZF

ZF, a global technology company, and NIO have signed a strategic partnership to develop steer-by-wire products, alongside developing other fields.  

Both Dr. Holger Klein, Member of the Board of Management, ZF Group, and Willian Li, Founder, Chairman and CEO of NIO, attended the signing ceremony alongside other members of senior management. While a wide range of discussions were underway, Kevin Pan and Dr. Peter Holdmann signed the agreement.  

Both companies have agreed to establish an instant information sharing mechanism to deepen communication and conduct regular technical exchanges to jointly engage in industry-leading processes and quality standards, said the company’s press release. 

It has been said that ZF and NIO have planned to extend their collaboration to brand promotion, product marketing, technology and quality enhancements, as well as customer service. 

“ZF’s new steer-by-wire system is a market-leading, cutting-edge technology. We are excited to be working closely with NIO, an outstanding representative of the Chinese automotive industry that is actively engaged in technology and business model innovation, and a pioneer in the globalization of the Chinese automotive industry,” said Dr. Holger Klein, Member of the Board of Management, ZF Group. 

“We will continue to expand our cooperation with leading automotive customers against the backdrop of the connectivity, electrification and autonomous megatrends, and give full play to ZF’s technology strengths to play an increasingly important role in the open automotive ecosystem.” 

“As vehicles become increasingly electric, autonomous, and software defined, ZF has been establishing a leading position in the industry with its comprehensive by-wire technology offerings and has been awarded significant contracts by multiple customers with steer-by-wire launches scheduled in all major regions,” said Christophe Marnat, Executive Vice President, Active Safety Systems, ZF Group. 

The signing of this agreement marks the first time that ZF Group has cooperated with a customer in the steer-by-wire business in the Asia Pacific region, says the company. It marks a first that the two sides will promote the evolution and development of technology within fields such as autonomous driving and electrification. 

Volkswagen announces €2.4bn investment in Horizon Robotics

Volkswagen announces €2.4bn investment in Horizon Robotics

Picture: Volkswagen

Automaker giant Volkswagen has announced plans to invest €2.4bn in a partnership with one of China’s leading designers of artificial intelligence chips. The joint venture with Horizon Robotics is the perfect way to retain shares in its biggest market.  

This will accelerate the pace for VW to automate its electric vehicles for its Chinese customers. Almost half of its net profits are made in China; therefore, the aim of this deal is to drive the repositioning of its China business, said the company.  

“As the global automotive software and technology company of Volkswagen Group, CARIAD is an important force in the Group’s transformation into a software-driven mobility provider. Through the joint venture with Horizon Robotics in China and further investment in autonomous driving technology, we are underlining our position in innovation and modernization in China’s automotive industry. Our goal is to create long- term value in China for the Group and our shareholders in line with expected market development”, said CARIAD CEO Dirk Hilgenberg.

The German carmaker has invested €2.4bn into its collaboration with Horizon Robotics, which is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2023. VW’s software company CARIAD will take a 60% stake in this transaction. 

It was not until 2020 that China had eased its rules that had previously not allowed foreign companies from owning majority stakes in local auto firms. tensions are still rising between Beijing and the west, however, with the Biden administration announcing last week that it would tighten restrictions on exporting semiconductors made with US technology to China. 

Many automakers are already moving towards in-house production of chips due to supply chain uncertainties.  

This partnership come shortly after Horizon announced that it had received a strategic investment from Chinas state-owned automaker Chery Automobile. 

Ralf Brandstätter, head of VW’s Chinese business, commented on the partnership calling it “a central cornerstone of our strategy to realign and further strengthen our activities in our most important market worldwide”. 

VW, alongside Horizon Robotics, will be working on full-stack advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving solutions for the Chinese market. The company has said the goal is to drive forward the integration of numerous functions on one chip, increasing the stability of the system, saving costs, and reducing energy consumption”. 

Horizon is run by Kai Yu in 2015 and has headquarters in Beijing with offices in Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Over the course of seven years, it has raised a total of $2.2bn in funding, according to Crunchbase.  

Given the rise of U.S chips limits on China, having a partner on-the-ground will help VW create customises solutions for the biggest auto-market.