Hydrovolt starts operations at new EV battery recycling plant

Hydrovolt starts operations at new EV battery recycling plant

Northvolt’s and Hyrdo’s battery recycling joint venture, Hydrovolt, has officially started commercial recycling operations in Fredrikstad, southern Norway.  

Hydrovolt’s electric vehicle battery plant can process approximately 12,000 tons of battery packs per year, which equates to around 25,000 EV batteries. They have invested NOK 120 million into the plant through the joint project. 

The plant is expected to be powered by 100% renewable energy, which is specifically designed for crushing and sorting batteries. The process design is meant to maximise recovery of materials that are found within the plant, including a dust collection system which ensures the capture of material that is typically lost.  

Hydrovolt CEO Fredrik Andresen has said: “Norway has long been a global leader in electric car adoption. At the start of 2021, we became the first country in the world in which over half of all new cars sold are electric. We should therefore also aim to be world-leading in recycling the used car batteries, when the electric cars reach their end-of-life.” 

“Batteries play a key role in the world’s transition to renewable energy. Through Hydrovolt, we are laying the foundations for a circular supply chain for batteries in Europe” stated Arvid Moss, Executive Vice President for Energy and Corporate Development in Hydro.  

The operator and supplier of the batteries, Batteriretur, will be located adjacent to the new Hydrovolt plant, with the operations being closely integrated with the already existing business. 

Hydro and Northvolt formed their partnership Hydrovolt in the summer of 2020 and in November 2020, Hydrovolt received NOK 43.5 million from the Norwegian government to support clean energy and climate efforts. 

The facility is set to be one of the most technologically advanced of its kind in the world, with a promising future of expansion.  

Newsome expands green credentials by turning to solar energy and electric vehicles

Newsome expands green credentials by turning to solar energy and electric vehicles

A Calderdale manufacturer is teaming up with another Elland business to invest in renewable energy. This highlights steps towards greater energy independence and better cost control for the manufacturer.  

Newsome, temperature and humidity control specialists, hope to protect itself against rising global energy costs and support its net zero strategy by installing solar energy and electric vehicle charging points.  

Energy and sustainability business, Core Facility Services, will be supporting Newsome throughout this new project.  

A 110kW installation of 272 solar panels will create CO2 savings of 44,260 kg for Newsome, with a return on investment in just over two years. The firm will also be installing two 22kW charging stations to preserve Newsome’s most recent investment in electric vehicles-over 50% of Newsome’s company fleet now consist of long-range electric cars.  

Robert Hatfield at Newsome has said: ““Core have used their energy sector knowledge to prepare a solid business case with detailed feasibility studies to help us evaluate and plan towards generating our own energy. In a world where energy security and costs are increasingly unpredictable, having control of our own energy supply will protect our manufacturing operations from uncertainty and embed long-term sustainability.” 

The investment by Newsome coincides with its launch of a new range of temperature and humidity control rental equipment which contains low GWP refrigerants, to suit a wide range of applications-helping their customers to reduce their environmental impact.  

The latest energy efficient equipment means that businesses will be able to manage costs, sustainability, and compliance without the expense of retrofitting new systems. 

Justin Holley of Core Facility Services has said: “Core and Newsome are both long-established Yorkshire businesses with sustainability at the heart of their operations and a longstanding mission to help organisations manage and minimise costs. Newsome’s decision to invest in solar will give its own customers confidence in its future strength and stability as well as its commitment to reducing its impact on the planet as part of a sustainable supply chain.” 

Hyundai Mobis agrees software deal with Vector Group

Hyundai Mobis agrees software deal with Vector Group

Hyundai Mobis has partnered with Germany’s Vector Group for the joint development of an AUTOSAR-based software platform. AUTOSAR was founded in 2003 and is a development partnership of automotive interested parties. Vector is a premium member of Automotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) which endorses global standards for automotive software. 

Vector is currently supplying software to major global automakers and part makers in Europe and North America. The agreement between both companies expects to maximise the competitiveness of automotive software in the global automobile market.  

As a premium member of AUTOSAR, Hyundai Mobis will be able to share the rich knowledge of Vector involved in the production of industry standard platforms. Vector will be able to expand its software platform users based on Hyundai Mobis’ product portfolio.  

Initially, the two companies plan to install co-developed software in core auto components related to parking systems, autonomous driving sensors, infotainment systems and electrified parts. However, this list is expected to continually grow as the deal progresses.  

Hyundai Mobis has said in a statement: “As software platforms have become a critical component in defining competitiveness in vehicle manufacturing, global automakers are now requiring their automotive suppliers to adopt AUTOSAR-based software platforms with proven quality and versatility” 

Hyundai Mobis senior vice president Jae-ho Jang has also released a statement: “This will enhance our software competitiveness and quality reliability in the global automotive industry and also guide us towards becoming a leader in the mobility software industry”. 

For Hyundai Mobis, this partnership is only the beginning of long-term partnerships with major software companies that have elemental technologies for automated driving. The first of these partnerships is most likely to be in the areas of automotive communication solutions and autonomous driving sensors.  

Smart traffic system benefits are “highly compelling” according to new report

Smart traffic system benefits are “highly compelling” according to new report

New research, Smart Management: Use Cases, Regional Analysis & Forecast 2022-2027, by Juniper research, has identified new benefits from smart traffic management systems. Global savings from smart traffic management systems are forecast to reach 205 million metric tons (MMT) by 2027, which represents growth of 41 per cent, up from just 145.7 MMT in 2022.  

Reducing congestion through optimised traffic control is said to be the main influencing factor of change. Smart traffic management uses digital technologies to manage traffic, based on real-time data to reduce congestion, and minimise emissions. 

Environmental benefits from smart traffic management systems are identified by the report to be “highly compelling.” The report identified smart intersections as a solution to the amount of time spent in traffic, reducing it by 36 hours on average per annum per motorist globally by 2027.  

Therefore, this suggests a 250 per cent increase in the adoption of smart traffic management systems over the next five-year period, and 4.7 billion hours congestion saved by then.  

Juniper’s research expects smart intersection investment will reach $10.2bn by 2027; rising from $5.2bn in 2022. It strives for smart intersection vendors to improve connectivity between road vehicles and the local road network ecosystem, mirroring government smart city initiatives.  

The report suggests that vendors leverage the low-latency capabilities of 5G combined with machine learning algorithms, to allow network adjustments to be made in real-time and improve the flow of traffic.  

Additionally, the research highlights cybersecurity must be considered when implementing smart traffic systems to ensure public support. This is to ease the public’s minds about data collection and storage.  

Cybersecurity must be prioritised when implementing smart traffic management systems, as user data is transmitted at every stage of the process. Cyberattacks have a given potential and therefore, strong cybersecurity strategies need to be in place to avoid any disruption to infrastructure. 

Juniper Research is a key player in providing research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector providing valuable insights into the industry.  

New large ABB robots increase speed and flexibility for material handling on EV battery production

New large ABB robots increase speed and flexibility for material handling on EV battery production

ABB is adding two new robot families to its portfolio of large robots for complex manufacturing applications. ABB’s IRB 5710 and 5720 robots produce enhanced speed, accuracy, flexibility, and a stronger design which includes integrated process cabling. Therefore, the robots deliver increased productivity and an enhanced performance with higher up-time for applications such as electric vehicle manufacturer. 

The IRB 5710 and IRB 5720 are available in eight different variants, which presents a wide range of options for payloads, from 70kg to 180kg and reaches from 2.3m to 3m. Together, the two robot families are perfect for various production tasks, including material handling, machine tending and assembly, while also being able to be used for specific operations in EV manufacturing such as battery module picking. 

The benefits that these robots offer are unmatched, making them ideal for use in plastic molding, metal casting, cleaning, and spraying application.  

Joerg Reger, Managing Director of ABB Robotics’ automotive business line, says ‘’These new robots accelerate ABB’s continuing expansion into the rapidly growing EV market, meeting customer demand for robust units with the speed, path accuracy and dexterity to handle complex EV battery assembly duties.’’  

He continues to say “The switch from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs especially is driving increased demand for fast, adaptable production lines. EV designs can often be highly complex, and components such as batteries and semiconductor modules can be very heavy or extremely fragile. These demands call for solutions that can offer maximum precision and repeatability to avoid errors in production,” 

Both robot families are powered by ABB’s new OmniCoreTM controller V250XT which is the latest addition to the Omnicore controller family. Furthermore, the robot family contain features such as ABB’s TrueMove and QuickMove motion control technology.  

Features such as these enable the IRB 5710 and IRB 5720 to offer class-leading speed and improved manufacturing speeds. 

 

BMW and Pasqal strengthen collaboration by applying Quantam Computing to improve car design and manufacturing

BMW and Pasqal strengthen collaboration by applying Quantam Computing to improve car design and manufacturing

Pasqal, the leading manufacturer of neutral atoms quantum processors, have just announced a new take on with BMW Group to improve the automaker’s primary manufacturing processes. 

Using Pasqal’s algorithm for solving differential equations (problems where a change in one of the variables foes not uniformly affect the outcome,) BMW group strive to analyse the applicability of quantum computing technology to metal forming applications modelling.  

Applications such as these require extensive simulations to ensure that auto parts are following specifications. Predictive and rapid virtual modelling will bring the manufacturing process towards safer designs, more sustainable products and zero-prototyping. 

Pasqal’s researchers have created a digital-analog implementation of its quantum methods, customised for its neutral-atom quantum processors, which makes these applications 30 times more efficient that competing superconducting quantum processors. 

A highly accurate computational simulation would allow BMW Group to replace costly physical build-test-improve cycles, as existing classical computational methods are unable to deal with the intricacy of stimulating a full vehicle at the required accuracy. Simulations such as these will finally help BMW Group produce lighter parts, making cars more fuel-efficient.  

Pasqal managed to gain this collaboration with BMW group by winning the BMW Group Quantum Computing Challenge late last year. Earlier collaborations have focused on optimising battery designs at the atomistic level by developing quantum computational methods for chemistry and materials-science.  

The renewed collaboration extends this scope to other relevant time and length scales adding micro-and macro-level materials simulations. 

Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of Pasqal said ‘’Renewing and extending the scope of our collaboration with BMW Group is a clear sign of the value Pasqal can bring to our customers. Each time we collaborate with BMW Group, we discover something more we can do to help them develop superior automobiles’’ 

He continues to say: ‘’Pasqal currently offers the only method on the market for solving these these types of differential equations with quantum technology, which are critical to execute effective and accurate simulations. We’re proud to work with BMW Group to improve manufacturing processes and safety through our technology.’’ 

Pasqal believes these use cases are excellent candidates for early quantum advantage with its proprietary quantum algorithms, which the company plans to reach within two years.

These complex simulations will run over a six-month period in Pasqal’s facilities. Real world applications for these simulations include crash testing and accelerated development of new parts and materials which are lighter and stronger, keeping passengers safe while both reducing emissions and cutting development costs. 

Siemens partners with university to decarbonise its buildings

Siemens partners with university to decarbonise its buildings

The university of East London has collaborated with global powerhouse Siemens to utilise their shared aspirations of achieving net-zero carbon by 2030. Siemens aim is to deliver improvement measures to reduce overall energy use.

They plan to use engineer solutions to push the shift to renewable and on-site low-carbon energy generation at UEL’s campuses in Stratford and the London Docklands.  

The partnership has been underpinned by innovation, decarbonisation and digitalisation with not only the aim of net-zero carbon, but to foster inclusivity by creating new learning opportunities for students and staff.  

The first phase of the project will immediately cut 10% of UEL’s carbon emissions and reduce operational cost by installing LED lighting in all buildings, and upgrading the building management system (BMS).  

In future phases of the partnership, Siemens plan to support UEL in the creation of an innovation hub for local green energy enterprises. This gives students opportunities to engage with the latest green technologies on-campus.  Mentoring and internships will be available to students to further strengthen their skills.  

Working together, UEL and Siemens will embed sustainability into the curriculum, allowing students to learn and develop the skills they need to create a green economy.  

Professor Amanda Broderick, Vice Chancellor and President, University of East London has said: “With our university-student-industry triple helix partnership approach, we are confident that we can achieve net-zero in our publicly engaged and vibrant learning environment where everyone can succeed. The campus carbon transformation will give our students the opportunity to become sustainability leaders of tomorrow. They will have access to the latest thinking in smart technology, to industry experience and mentorship and a vital edge in the jobs market.” 

The university and Siemens will continue to explore new ways of introducing local-scale energy projects that make an immediate difference to local communities in order to support the energy transition.  

 

Oxbotica teams with NEVS to ‘reshape the future of urban mobility’

Oxbotica teams with NEVS to ‘reshape the future of urban mobility’

Picture: Oxbotica 

A long-term partnership has been signed between Oxbotica, the global leader in autonomous vehicle software, and NEVS, leading innovators of shared mobility solutions, to produce a fleet of self-driving, all-electric vehicles. These vehicles are planned to be released onto public roads by the end of 2023, reducing carbon emissions and revolutionising urban mobility. 

The collaboration will include the Oxbotica Driver autonomy system with NEVS ‘Sango’ vehicle which together, will develop a safer, more sustainable, and accessible passenger transportation solution for urban environments. 

A primary fleet will be released on geo-fenced public roads next year, followed by numerous projects in Europe 2024. The solution is planned to be scaled across the globe from 2025 onwards. This will be part of NEVS mobility ecosystem which incorporates the ‘Sango’ vehicle, a fleet management system and an app as the user interface. 

The effects of wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles would be highly impactful upon urban transportation. It has the potential to reduce congestion and radically lower emissions by replacing privately owned, carbon emitting vehicles with low emission electric multi-passenger vehicles. Moreover, less cars on the road would make the roads safer and reduce the demand for parking spaces. This, in turn, would enable city planners to reimagine urban landscapes, making room for greener spaces.  

NEVS ‘Sango’ vehicle is designed specifically for autonomous driving and optimised for shared passenger transportation in cities. Features of the all-electric, fully autonomous vehicle include: a flexible and adaptable interior with six moveable seats that can be operated in social or family mode. Therefore, you can ride with friends or family while privacy walls can still be created for more private journeys. 

The vehicle will be driven by Oxbotica’a autonomy system, Oxbotica Driver (a low energy use, high performance suite of technologies that works safely and seamlessly with any sensor, vehicle or platform. 

Both Oxbotica and NEVS share the same vision. They believe that shared, electric autonomous transport is the future of urban mobility. The partnership is the latest of Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicle deployments into key industries where the technology can transform economic, suitability, and safety metrics. 

Gavin Jackson, CEO at Oxbotica, has said: ‘’The combination of Oxbotica Driver and this stunning, next-generation, electric vehicle is a perfect match. It allows us to create an urban mobility service that will make roads safer, cleaner, and less congested and provide customers with a new way to travel. The partnership will truly change how the Earth moves and I can’t wait to see the first vehicles out on the road next year. 

President at NEVS, Stefan Tilk, has also commented saying: ‘’Having partnership with Oxbotica and being able to progress substantially with its autonomous stack as the ’driver’, will indeed make the ecosystem of our mobility solution complete. Through this partnership we will be able to make the ecosystem of our mobility complete. Through this partnership we will be able to deploy pilots and commercial fleets – ensuring a breakthrough in the movement of people in a green safe and smart way, paving the way for sustainable cities.” 

Perrone Robotics partners with Lightning eMotors to produce autonomous fleet EVs

Perrone Robotics partners with Lightning eMotors to produce autonomous fleet EVs

Picture: Lighnting eMotors

The leading provider of zero emission commercial vehicles and EV technology for fleets and Perrone Robotics have partnered to offer Class 3-7 commercial fleet customers self-driving, electric fleet vehicles that can be deployed for a wide variety of uses.

The partnership incorporates Lightnings zero emission EV platform and Perrone’s AV-powered technology, TONY, a vehicle-independent retrofit kit designed to enable vehicles to transport goods and people within a geo-fenced and dedicated driving route.

These vehicles, equipped with self-driving technology, can be ordered immediately for both passenger and cargo use. TONY is versatile as it can be implemented into new vehicles as well as repurposed ones and the company have said, that going forward, Lightning eMotors will now include Perrone’s TONY autonomous vehicle technology, in all its EV platforms.

CEO of Lightning eMotors, Tim Reeser, said “We were looking for partners who could deliver autonomous capabilities to our customers today, and in the future — and that’s what Perrone offers. We offer perhaps the widest range of electric commercial vehicles in North America, and now we have an autonomous vehicle solution for our products, ranging from ambulances to campus shuttles and other commercial applications.”

Lightning eMotors is based in Loveland Colorado and has been providing sustainable fleet solutions since 2009. It has been deploying zero-emission-vehicle solutions since 2018 and the company’s current line- up includes electric conversions of everything, ranging from Class 4 Type A school buses to Class 3 cargo and passenger vans.

Perrone is a leading provider of AV technology, and the company holds a Pioneer Patent for its ‘’MAX’’ general purpose robotics operating system which is at the forefront of its TONY solution. Perone’s retrofit kit can be integrated into new vehicles and existing repowered ones.

The companies admit that Level 4 companies can only operate within geofenced areas and therefore this could be seen as a limitation, however, the demand for organisations to seek autonomous transformation is high.

Lightning eMotors and Perrone have stated that this is not the end of discussions with several other customers interested in autonomous commercial vehicles and therefore, we hope to see rise in such vehicles on the road.

Arrival granted EU certification for it electric Bus model

Arrival granted EU certification for it electric Bus model

Electric commercial vehicle startup Arrival has been granted EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval for its Bus model.

This represents a critical step towards Arrival Buses carrying passengers on public roads in Europe and the United Kingdom. The certification has been granted after the Arrival Bus successfully completed all required system safety testing.

Denis Sverdlov, Founder and CEO at Arrival described the certification as a key milestone for Arrival and “a testimony to our innovative technologies and our unique new method of design and production of electric vehicles. The Arrival Bus is different from any that has come before, employing technologies developed in-house to create benefits for operators, passengers, and the planet.”

Since the Arrival Bus shares technologies and components with the Arrival Van and Arrival Car, learnings from the certification contribute to all vehicle programs. The startup says this is one of the many benefits of its unique approach to the design of its electric vehicles.

The Arrival Bus has been developed to meet the needs of cities looking to transition their public transportation infrastructure into a sustainable ecosystem. The vehicle features flexible passenger seating capacity across the entire flat floor, improving comfort and creating more standing space.

The Bus also includes wrap-around exterior and interior screens, adaptable lighting, a transparent roof, and a suite of digital features. Arrival’s software ecosystem enables full connectivity, digital customisation, and deep access to vehicle behaviour and data.

The UK-based business plans to build all its products in rapidly-scalable and highly automated local microfactories, where multitasking robots will do most of the manufacturing work. Since setting up a microfactory costs a lot less than a traditional assembly plant and employs far fewer people, Arrival says this method should result in significantly cheaper products than other comparable electric vehicles and even today’s diesel-powered vehicles.

The company started trials of the Bus late last year and production is expected to commence imminently.

Shell supports ZeroAvia’s hydrogen infrastructure in US and UK

Shell supports ZeroAvia’s hydrogen infrastructure in US and UK

The UK’s ZeroAvia, a leader in hydrogen powered aviation, has announced a collaboration with its strategic investor Shell, who will design and build two commercial-scale mobile refuellers for use at ZeroAvia’s research and development site in Hollister, California.

Shell will also provide compressed, low-carbon hydrogen supply to the facility and other locations in the Western US through ZeroAvia’s test facility in Hollister.

This strategic collaboration will support ZeroAvia’s flight testing program in the US and will advance the company’s hydrogen airport refueling ecosystem.

The deal comes as ZeroAvia has unveiled Europe’s first landside-to-airside hydrogen airport pipeline at ZeroAvia’ development hanger at the private general aviation Cotswold Airport, a former RAF base and once home to the Red Arrows.

ZeroAvia’s zero-emission powertrains use hydrogen fuel in a fuel cell to create a chemical reaction which produces electricity. That electricity then powers electric motors that spin the propellers, while producing no emissions other than water.

Arnab Chatterjee, VP Infrastructure, ZeroAvia, says, “These milestone announcements represent significant hydrogen infrastructure advancement for ZeroAvia and the industry. Hydrogen-electric aviation is the only practical, holistic, and economically attractive solution to aviation’s growing climate change impact. Fuel provision needs to be economical and convenient for airlines to achieve operational cost benefits and ZeroAvia is leading these pioneering infrastructure developments together with leading partners like Shell.”

“Shell recognises the aviation sector has unique challenges in decarbonisation and needs practical and scalable net-zero solutions,” adds Oliver Bishop, General Manager, Hydrogen at Shell. “We believe ZeroAvia’s technology is a viable option, and this agreement will allow us to demonstrate successful provision of low-carbon hydrogen supply while supporting development of codes, standards, and refuelling protocols for hydrogen-powered aviation.”

Southern Californian traffic light project promises environmental and safety gains

Southern Californian traffic light project promises environmental and safety gains

Iteris, the Californian-based provider of hardware, software, and consulting services for smart mobility infrastructure management has been awarded a $3.7 million contract from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for a multi-year regional traffic signal timing project.

The population of southern California’s Orange County is expected to increase 13% by 2035 and to ease growing traffic demands, OCTA, the California Department of Transportation, the County of Orange and all 34 cities “are working together to coordinate traffic lights across the county” says Iteris.

The programme will significantly reduce countywide travel time, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while improving safety, mobility, reliability, and overall travel experience for all road users, including vehicles, buses, bicycles and pedestrians. “And by reducing delays and stops on key corridors for passenger vehicles and heavy vehicles, the project will help reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, which in turn will contribute to sustainable environmental and air quality improvements,” says Iteris.

Under the project agreement, Iteris will provide operations and infrastructure improvements at key intersections. Work includes identifying upgrades for traffic signal equipment, intelligent transportation system equipment and communication infrastructure, designing and constructing traffic signal system improvements, and developing and implementing optimised traffic signal synchronization timing plans throughout the cities of Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Tustin, Westminster, and the County of Orange.

As part of the operations and maintenance phase of the program, Iteris will apply traffic data and analytics from the mobility intelligence capabilities of its ClearMobility Platform to optimise traffic management operations on an ongoing basis. Iteris will:

  • monitor the health and safety of intersections, and arterial travel times and reliability
  • identify and prioritise signal optimisations and arterial retiming efforts
  • identify congestion hotspots
  • understand how highway traffic impacts surrounding arterials

“We are proud to continue to support OCTA’s goal of improving the safety and mobility of road users by leading this traffic signal timing and infrastructure upgrade program,” said Bernard Li, vice president, Mobility Consulting Solutions at Iteris. “This initiative represents the continued expansion of Iteris’ mobility consulting services across the west coast, and will ultimately help to increase the value and effectiveness of the region’s existing transportation infrastructure, while also improving safety, air quality and reducing fuel consumption.”

ABB E-mobility supports Shell’s global EV charging network ambitions

ABB E-mobility supports Shell’s global EV charging network ambitions

Switzerland’s ABB E-mobility has signed a new global framework agreement with Shell to supply ABB’s end-to-end portfolio of AC and DC charging stations, which ranges from domestic wallboxes to the Terra 360, the world’s fastest all-in-one electric car charger

Through the collaboration, ABB E-mobility and Shell say they will help address two of the challenges to increasing EV adoption – namely charging infrastructure availability and the speed of charging.

Shell is targeting the operation of over 500,000 charge points globally by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030, either at residential, commercial or Shell retail sites.

Frank Muehlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility commented, “ABB and Shell are innovating to drive progress in e-mobility. We have been working together on the roll-out of public charging infrastructure since 2019 and this latest agreement takes that collaboration to the next level.

“We are excited to support Shell in realising its objective to create a global charging network. With access to the full breadth of our charging portfolio, we are ensuring that Shell can select the most appropriate solution for every use case, helping to get more people charging regardless of their location.”

Connected Kerb launches ultra-compact bollard dual-charger

Connected Kerb launches ultra-compact bollard dual-charger

British electric vehicle charging infrastructure firm Connected Kerb has revealed its new and ultra-compact bollard-style Chameleon charger designed for on-street public charging.

Connected Kerb says the Chameleon is one of the lowest impact and smallest dual charger on the market. The unit stands under one metre tall and most of the key components of the modular charging unit are located underground, which Connected Kerb claims both reduces the space it takes up on a pavement and allows for charging infrastructure to be put in place ahead of time.

The Chameleon can charge two vehicles simultaneously at 7kWh or 22kWh. Its low height means it is not subject to planning permission in the UK, and Connected Kerb says it is also accessible for wheelchair users.

The unit supports technologies such as 5G connectivity, IoT and air quality sensors. Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, says, “We’re committed to facilitating the widespread transition to electric vehicles for users who cannot charge their vehicle at home. Our latest charger design – the Chameleon – is a real game-changer in the EV infrastructure market. To pack so much technology into a small post with a dual socket is no mean feat and the solution is a credit to the product & innovation of the Connected Kerb team.”

UAP opens Air-One, a world-first fully operational eVTOL hub

UAP opens Air-One, a world-first fully operational eVTOL hub

Urban-Air Port, the UK-based developer of ground infrastructure for air taxis and autonomous delivery drones, has opened ‘Air-One’, a world-first demonstration of a fully-operational hub for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.

Urban-Air Port – backed by the UK Government and supported by Hyundai’s Supernal – will operate Air-One in the city of Coventry for at least one month.

Air-One will provide a blueprint for more than 200 vertiports planned worldwide by Urban-Air Port over the next five years to meet growing demand.

It will demonstrate aircraft command and control, eVTOL charging, cargo loading for unmanned drones, and will host demonstrator flights.

West Midlands Police and Skyfarer will be among the first to operate flights from the site, showcasing how vertiports can provide drone bases for ‘sky protection’ and high-value cargo deliveries in the near future.

Flights of large cargo drones will also be demonstrated by UK-based drone developer, Malloy Aeronautics.

Drone demonstrations will be conducted throughout Air-One’s entire stay in Coventry. Air-One is located at Westminster Car Park, in the centre of Coventry.

Members of the public interested in attending can sign up for tickets at www.urbanairport.com/aironeeven

Ricky Sandhu, Founder and Executive Chairman of Urban-Air Port, says, “The opening of Air-One is a momentous moment – the starting gun for a new age of transport, an age of zero-emission, congestion-free travel between and within cities that will make people healthier, happier and more connected than ever before.”

He adds, “From design, through to fabrication and now into operation, Urban-Air Port has delivered Air-One in just 15 months, setting the standard for deployment globally and opening up a world of possibilities for rapid response air mobility. Air-One is just the first model in our infrastructure fleet and our order-book is not only open but already growing. The interest is turning into recognition of the need for our technology and into demand.”

Mike Whitaker, Chief Commercial Officer of Supernal, comments, “Air-One serves as a valuable, tangible asset to helping build stakeholder confidence and trust in emerging mobility technology and supporting systems. The Coventry demonstration is an important first step forward to reimagining how people across the world will move, connect and live. Developing a scalable system to support advanced air mobility operations requires collaboration from all industries and corners of the world. Supernal’s support of Urban-Air Port reinforces our belief in fusing technology and innovation to enable humanity and society to reach new levels of potential.”

The UK’s first full-sized Level 4 bus starts live testing

The UK’s first full-sized Level 4 bus starts live testing

The UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus started live testing this week in Scotland as part of the CAVForth project.

Transport operator Stagecoach, in partnership with Fusion Processing, bus maker Alexander Dennis and Transport Scotland, will be carrying out on-road testing – with a safety driver and without passengers – in preparation for the launch of a pilot service in late summer.

Project CAVForth, which is jointly funded by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, will see five single-deck autonomous buses operating at SAE Level 4 over the Forth Road Bridge between Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife and the Edinburgh Park Train and Tram interchange.

The buses are fitted with Fusion Processing’s sensor and control technology, CAVstar, that enables them to run on pre-selected roads. The buses will provide a service capable of carrying up to 36 passengers on the 20km bridge route, with capacity for over 10,000 passengers a week.

The on-road testing in Scotland follows successful depot-based trials, track testing and virtual simulation where the buses have been put through their paces to fine tune the autonomous drive systems.

To help support the delivery of Project CAVForth, Transport Scotland recently opened a section of Actively Managed Hard Shoulder for buses of 24 seats or more on the M8 eastbound. It will help to reduce journey times and improve reliability on the approach to Edinburgh.

As part of Project CAVForth, around 500 members of the public have provided feedback on what would make them feel comfortable and confident in travelling, a key finding being that passengers want a member of staff to be on board.

Consequently Stagecoach is in the process of recruiting over 20 Autonomous Bus Professionals from across its East Scotland business. When the service goes live, these experienced bus drivers will monitor the autonomous system alongside a bus Captain who will move around the saloon, talking to passengers about the service and answering questions, demonstrating what a future service might feel like.

Jim Hutchinson, Fusion Processing CEO, said, “We are delighted to be leading the world’s most complex and ambitious autonomous vehicle programme. CAVForth will provide a useful service to local people as well as being a great demonstration of automated vehicle technology. The buses are fitted with CAVstar which combines our own hardware and software to create, safe, full-size buses, operating at SAE Level 4. On road testing is an exciting milestone in the development of autonomous commercial vehicles and we look forward to welcoming passengers onboard in a few months’ time.”

Chris Gall, Alexander Dennis Group Engineering Director, said “The start of on-route testing is a milestone for our autonomous bus project and helps us to explore new technologies that will make buses even safer and even more efficient. As we move towards passenger services later in the year, the project will be a landmark demonstration of future technologies in transport.”

Chris Gall, Group Engineering Director at Alexander Dennis is speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here

ZipCharge to offer its portable EV power banks at hubs

ZipCharge to offer its portable EV power banks at hubs

ZipCharge has launched a quickly deployable portable electric vehicle charging solution that makes its suitcase-sized Go power banks easily available at any location.

Called GoHub, each hub contains either five or 10 portable chargers that can be accessed 24 hours a day. Designed for top up charging, the 4-kWh batteries provide a typical EV with 30 km of range in 30 minutes.

EV drivers reserve and pay for a power bank using the ZipCharge app, then collect the charger from the hub and wheel it to their vehicle, wherever they’ve parked.

ZipCharge says the ability to roll-out chargers at speed, and at a lower cost than traditional units, will help support EV uptake. Furthermore, it says they can be readily deployed in more rural areas that are currently underserved by charge points.

Jonathan Carrier, ZipCharge co-founder, said, “The ZipCharge Go and the GoHub enable the storage of clean energy, which can then be distributed for a multitude of uses from charging an EV to powering equipment.

“We predict our portable power banks will outsell fixed home chargers by 2030, in the same way mobile phones overtook landlines.”

ZipCharge offers the GoHub with optional upgrades including rainwater harvesting, wi-fi hotspot, mobile device charging, green roofs and renewable energy generation. Connectors can also be installed for e-bikes and e-scooters.

ZipCharge co-founder Jonathan Carrier is speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here

Focus on public charge points risks overbuilding the charging network

Focus on public charge points risks overbuilding the charging network

EU lawmakers can increase the ambition for the growth in the number of electric vehicles beyond what the European Commission has proposed with the confidence that there will be enough charging points, new analysis shows.

EU’s draft infrastructure law requires member states to roll out charging infrastructure in line with the expansion of the EV fleet.

Currently there are around 340,000 public chargers in place, but there could be up to 5.1 million public charging points by 2030 and 10.4 million by 2035, according to modelling by Transport & Environment, Europe’s leading NGO campaigning for cleaner transport.

Fabian Sperka, vehicles policy manager at T&E, said, “Public charging is a key concern for drivers, and governments will be required by law to address this by expanding national networks in line with the electric car fleet. European lawmakers don’t need to hold back on setting higher car CO2 targets for fear of a lack of charge points.”

T&E however says that the vast majority of charging will continue to be at private chargers at home and work and it questions whether the very high numbers of public chargers proposed by the European car industry lobby is viable. The car lobby is calling for 31 million public chargers by 2035, which says T&E, would lead to chargers being used less than one hour a day – far below the 3.6 hours needed to be financially viable according to the industry’s own report.

T&E said the car industry’s targets are unnecessarily high and would require huge public subsidies on a continuous basis for the charging network. The industry targets, it says, are based on unrealistic assumptions that 60% of charging will be public and that the average electric vehicle in 2030 will be less efficient than today’s models.

Fabian Sperka said, “The more the merrier does not apply to the charging business. Massively overbuilding the charging network, as some in the car industry demand, is unnecessary and would require taxpayers to foot the bill. Europe can have up to 10 million public chargers in place to meet the needs of the expanded electric car fleet by 2035 and have a financially viable network. Unrealistic infrastructure demands should not get in the way of ambitious car climate targets.”

Suez green hydrogen projects could support net zero shipping fuel production

Suez green hydrogen projects could support net zero shipping fuel production

Abu Dhabi based and UAE government-owned renewable energy generator Masdar, and its local partner Hassan Allam Utilities, have signed memoranda of understanding with Egyptian state bodies to co-operate on the development of green hydrogen production plants at the northern and southern ends of the Suez Canal — on the Mediterranean and at Sokhna, a port on the Gulf of Suez, which leads into the Red Sea.

E-methanol — derived by combining green hydrogen with captured CO2 — is emerging as a potentially key clean fuel for the highly polluting shipping industry, with market leader Maersk recently announcing the purchase of 12 methanol-powered vessels, along with plans to produce the liquid at scale.

Masdar says a first phase, producing 100,000 tonnes of e-methanol, will be operational by 2026. The electrolyser facilities could be extended to up to 4 GW by 2030 to produce 2.3 million tonnes of another clean shipping fuel green ammonia for export as well as supplying green hydrogen for local industries.

A key challenge is the hydrogen production process is very energy intensive, so it needs an abundant source of clean and affordable electricity, preferably excess locally generated renewable energy, to be viable.

Egypt’s minister of planning and economic development Hala El Said said, “Egypt’s “abundant solar and wind energy resources provide a suitable location for renewable energy projects at a competitive cost, with a proximity to global markets that are looking to import green hydrogen”.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, added, “These agreements represent a vital step forward in the development of the green hydrogen economy for both the UAE and Egypt, and will play a significant role in our two nations’ decarbonisation efforts. By working with partners such as Hassan Allam Utilities, we can help the green hydrogen market achieve its full potential over the coming years and play its part in supporting the global energy transition.”

Amr Allam, Chief Executive Officer of Hassan Allam Holding, said, “Our drive into the green energy and infrastructure space, including solar and wind power generation, was all about contributing to a more sustainable future. Through this partnership with Masdar we are looking to harness the leading edge of technology to make a difference in Egypt by leveraging the country’s abundant sources of green energy.”

Statevolt plans US battery factory based on “hyper-local” supply model

Statevolt plans US battery factory based on “hyper-local” supply model

Lars Carlstrom, the Swedish founder of Britishvolt and Italvolt, has announced plans for a $4bn US battery gigafactory through the newly founded company Statevolt.

Once operational, the gigafactory – to be constructed at a site in Imperial Valley in the far southeast of California – promises to be one of the largest in North America, with a production capacity of 54GWh of lithium-ion batteries a year, sufficient for 650,000 electric vehicles.

Statevolt’s business model is based on sourcing feedstock, lithium, and power from local resources and Carlstrom confirmed Statevolt has provided a letter of intent to Imperial Valley based geothermal energy business Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) for the supply of lithium and power to run the facility.

“Today, we face a significant shortage in the amount of lithium that is required to meet the demand for EVs,” said Carlstrom. “We are pioneering a new, hyper-local business model, which prioritises sustainability and resilience in the supply chain to solve this issue.”

Rod Colwell, CEO of CTR, said, “The extraordinary growth in electric vehicle adoption and the emerging demand for energy storage systems to provide clean power, highlights the urgent need to develop a strong and secure battery supply chain in the US.”

The “hyper-local” approach, the partners say, will minimise the environmental impact of production and build a more sustainable and secure supply chain, while simultaneously facilitating the development of a micro-industry, delivering up to 2,500 direct jobs for Imperial Valley and the region more widely.

CTR expects to generate 140 MW of geothermal energy and produce around 34,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year by 2027. Global lithium demand for EVs and storage applications is set to reach 383 kilotons by 2030, according to International Energy Agency forecasts.