UFODrive expands EV rental business to the U.S.

UFODrive expands EV rental business to the U.S.

Picture: UFODrive

UFODrive announced the launch of its first U.S. city on August 4, starting with San Francisco. The electric vehicle rental has seen rapid growth in 20 cities across Europe already. Now, Bay area residents and visitors can book and drive Teslas in minutes from the UFODrive app 

The rental experience with UFODrive is keyless and contactless, and the company said it is transforming the way we rent and unlocking the potential of EVs.  

“In only a few years, we’ve helped customers drive 15 million fully electric miles. Behind the scenes we try to solve every anxiety and make the enhanced electric driving experience a reality for our customers,” said Aidan McClean, CEO & co-founder of UFODrive. 

“We wanted to make rental less painful and pioneer the shift to electric, but our customer ratings consistently tell us it’s radically better.” 

UFODrive’s expertise has won multiple awards and to accelerate its North American expansion by partnering with Inspiration Fleet, an EV-only fleet management company.  

“Our strategic acquisition and financing partnership will allow UFODrive to scale nationwide at pace,” said Josh Green, founder and CEO of Inspiration Mobility. “Together, we will supercharge the transition to sustainable mobility in the rental market and beyond.” 

UFODrive San Francisco is now live downtown. A full fleet will be active by the end of August, with additional expansion to other cities planned for the fall. 

Ohio Supreme Court upholds permit for North America’s first freshwater wind farm

Ohio Supreme Court upholds permit for North America’s first freshwater wind farm

The Supreme Court of Ohio has upheld a permit for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker wind farm, a demonstation project that is poised to be the first freshwater windfarm in the United States. In a 6-1 decision, the court rejected arguments the Ohio Power Siting Board in May 2020 improperly issued a siting permit for the proposed project in Lake Erie.  

The permit was challenged by two people who were concerned the Icebreaker project would lead to more wind farms on Lake Erie. With a third of the project under contract to the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, the decision clears the way for Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., the project developer, to market the rest of the project’s power, the public-private partnership said. 

Already there is an emerging U.S offshore wind sector along the East and West coasts, but the court ruling signals a possible opportunity for the Great Lakes. 

“The court’s decision preserves the economic potential this project can unlock for the region,” said Will Friedman, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority president and CEO. 

“Other states are nipping at our heels to attract offshore wind and its economic benefits. We don’t want to squander this opportunity and let 15 years of work slip away to other states eager to capture market share.”  

The project is said to be built on 4.2 acres which is nine miles from Cleveland. LEEDCo said the project has received approvals from agencies including the Ohio EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  

It also has a generator interconnection agreement with the PJM Interconnection to connect to the grid, according to the project developer 

EV battery plant projects get US Energy Department backing

EV battery plant projects get US Energy Department backing

Picture: Ultium Cells LLC

Seeking to stimulate domestic electric vehicle production, the US Department of Transport is providing hundreds of millions of new loans for US advanced battery component manufacturing plants now being built.  

DOE announced in July a $2.5-billion conditional loan to a General Motors Corp. joint venture with South Korea’s LG Solutions that now has three large battery cell plants under construction, each about 2.8 million sq ft in size and costing from $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion.  

DOE said its loan, which could close in two months, would be the first for a battery cell manufacturing project under the agency’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.  

The first plant is set to be based in Lordstown, Ohio, and will begin production this month to supply electric vehicles being made at two GM Michigan plants. Another plant in Spring Hill, Ten is set to be completed in late 2023 and will serve nearby GM vehicle production.  

Site construction also has begun for the third plant in Lansing, Mich., with battery cell production set to begin in late 2024. GM CEO Mary Barra said earlier this year that the firm could announce a fourth plant location in 2022. 

DOE also said last month it closed a $102.1-million loan to Australia-based Syrah Technologies LLC for expansion of its Vidalia, La., facility that produces graphite-based active anode material, a critical component of lithium-ion batteries. The estimated $176-million project will add 180,000 sq ft to the plant’s existing 50,000 sq ft. 

DOE said Syrah “is the only vertically integrated, large-scale AAM manufacturer outside of China, and the [Vidalia plant] is the first of its kind in the U.S.” Construction is targeted to finish by mid-2023, with Worley Group hired to provide detailed engineering and procurement services. 

Google Cloud launches two new regions in US

Google Cloud launches two new regions in US

Google Cloud has expanded its venture in the U.S with the debut of two new regions, as the business chases profitability as well as market share gains from rivals Amazon web Services and Microsoft.

The newest addition is Dallas, Texas, which brings Google Cloud’s total number of global regions to 34. The rollout follows the launch of its 33rd cloud region in Colombus, Ohio late last month. Another recent addition includes Milan, Italy, Paris, France, and Madrid and Spain.  

“We’ve heard from many of you that the availability of your workloads and business continuity are increasingly top priorities. The Dallas region gives you added capacity and the flexibility to distribute your workloads across the U.S.,” said Google Cloud exec Stacy Trackey Meagher wrote. 

Its Texas site is the eleventh region in North America and second in the central U.S., with the other located in Iowa. It also has North American cloud regions in Oregon, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, South Carolina and Northern Virginia as well as Montreal and Toronto, Canada. 

 Google Cloud regions are geographic areas of coverage that consist of several smaller zones. Most cloud regions are comprised of 3 zones.

With its 34 current regions, Google Cloud now has 103 zones. Additional plans to expand its footprint are in place, with Google targeting new regions in Doha, Qatar; Turin, Italy; Berlin, Germany; Dammam, Saudi Arabia; and Tel Aviv, Israel. 

The aggressive infrastructure investment comes as parent Alphabet chases profitability for its cloud unit and as Google Cloud looks to gain market share. But it has an uphill battle. 


Chicago commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

Chicago commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Assets, Information and Services visited the Chicago Urban League to announce an agreement with electricity supplier Constellation to meet the city’s need for renewable energy by 2025. 

Swift Current Energy will collaborate with the utility to develop and deliver 100% renewable energy to all city facilities and operations within three years, making Chicago one of the largest cities in the world to make such a commitment. 

“I am incredibly proud to advance this commitment to transitioning all city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2025,” said Mayor Lightfoot.  

“The signing of this agreement demonstrates that the City of Chicago is leading by example and driving high-impact climate action, building the clean energy workforce of the future and equitably distributing meaningful benefits to foster the local clean energy economy for all.” 

The contract will initially enter a term of 5 years which will begin in January 2023. Starting in 2025, the city will partially store its large energy uses such as the airports, Harold Washington Library Center and Jardine Water Purification Plant with clean, renewable energy from a new solar generation installation currently being developed by Swift Current Energy to the south outside Chicago. 

 The project is expected to begin construction before the end of this year, bringing hundreds of construction jobs to the state of Illinois.  

Constellation’s chief commercial officer Jim McHugh said the collaboration will also call for environmental justice initiatives.  

“As we work with our customers to implement sustainability initiatives, it is especially important that we help underserved and under-resourced communities participate in the transition to a carbon free future. We look forward to collaborating with Swift Current Energy to bring this project to life for the City of Chicago,” he said. 

To support the city’s needs, Swift Current Energy will own and operate Double Black Diamond Solar, a 593 MW facility, one of the largest in Illinois to date. “As the long-term owner and operator of Double Black Diamond Solar, Swift Current Energy will continue to strengthen our relationships with the project customers, Constellation and the host communities to ensure the benefits of the project are robust and long-lasting,” said Matt Birchby, co-founder and president of Swift Current Energy. 

The City of Chicago will also procure Renewable Energy Credits from other sources for its remaining power uses, such as small and medium-sized buildings and streetlights. 

Lotte Aluminum Materials USA plans an aluminum foil manufacturing operation to serve the electric vehicle battery industry in Kentucky

Lotte Aluminum Materials USA plans an aluminum foil manufacturing operation to serve the electric vehicle battery industry in Kentucky

Lotte Aluminum Materials USA plans an aluminum foil manufacturing operation to serve the electric vehicle battery industry in Kentucky and is expected to create 122 full time jobs.  

The company is planning to invest $238.7 million in the plant in Hardin County. Lotte Chemical announced a joint venture with Lotte Aluminum to produce 36,000 tons of cathode foil, used in electric vehicle batteries. The plant will be the company’s first aluminum foil facility in the U.S. and is expected to begin operation in 2025. 

Last year Ford announced its building two lithium-ion battery plants in Hardin County and Envision AESC and said this year that it will build a plant at Bowling Green to produce battery cells and modules to power electric vehicles. 

The state approved a 10-year incentive agreement worth up to $3.3 million in tax incentives for the Lotte project. The company was also approved up to $1 million in sales and use tax incentives, the governor’s office said.  

The need for electric car batteries using raw materials such as lithium and aluminum is growing rapidly as we progress towards electrification.  

Manufacturing operations are appearing all over the states and it is now a key element of the mobility industry to ensure that these production plants are sustainable and serve a better future. 

The Modern Fleet Manager’s Challenge: Data Overload

The Modern Fleet Manager’s Challenge: Data Overload

Written by: Shiva Bhardwaj

As part of the fleet management team, you are inundated with data from many sources, such as driver ELD data, routing and scheduling data, vehicle profile logistics, and so on. If you are within the maintenance organization, you have your work order data as well as vehicle component health data. Your diagnostic service tools are a must, and you might see several daily dashboards. As your vehicles get more populated with electronics – especially the ‘smart trailers,’ it will only grow exponentially in the near term. At any given time, you have access to more information than anyone can humanly digest. All the while having to make quick decisions that positively impact your fleet’s driver and vehicle productivity (and profitability). This is the definition of DATA OVERLOAD!


You might consider telematics as a cost-cutting, and safety tool that satisfies compliance, improves routing and modifies driving behavior to improve safety or fuel efficiency. However, there is so much more under the hood, literally. There are thousands of diagnostic and component health fault codes, hundreds of sensor-reporting fluids, temperatures, and flow rates every second. This data review process can be overwhelming! Taking advantage of this data is perceived as a tall task without hiring a team of data analysts.


We can all agree that data is powerful and offers new possibilities to manage your fleet. But sifting through the data to find what is useful to your unique fleet without using up precious resources is challenging. In addition, receiving loads of real-time data may not always be actionable, refraining you from making informed decisions. So how can we use the data to make our fleet more efficient and cost-effective without losing sight of the bottom line?


The challenge of data overload begins with thousands of fault codes and millions of sensor data points generated from your vehicle components and emerging through your fleet’s telematics/ELD provider. How can any fleet afford to process all of this raw data in a manner that guarantees reduced downtime and operational costs? 


Attempting to make sense of this data has many fleet managers like yourself answering reactive questions such as  “Is this fault code severe or not?”, “Does this fault code correlate to other fault codes?”  “What is the frequency of this fault code?” “Should I pull the truck off its route, or can it keep driving?” “Should I hire someone to review fault codes and telematics data manually?”


However, what many don’t realize, is that it is actually more important that you can answer these questions: 


  1. How do I avoid unscheduled repairs, unexpected breakdowns and the associated repair & tow costs? 
  2. With my aging fleet (we all have them), which vehicles should I prioritize getting rid of? 
  3. Are our fleet maintenance costs justified? What regions are performing well and which are not?
  4. Is the cost per day per truck of operation growing for vehicles in my fleet? (hint: unless you had the tools to predict the parts and vehicle shortage a few years back, the answer for every fleet is that the costs are growing!”)


A fleet cannot survive solely on preventive maintenance strategies. Instead, it must increase its focus on predictive maintenance and be able to create data visualizations that tell a clear story of effectiveness and efficiency. Predictive fleet maintenance, like Pitstop, enables you to receive insights on your vehicle’s health, predicting equipment failure and overall cost savings.


The difference between raw data and receiving insights is that those insights allow you to make quick decisions about the business. In contrast, raw data has you going down rabbit holes, answering questions that do not help your core business thrive and waste your precious time. This is the biggest problem with data overload. There is too much information to consume, and generating decision intelligence is at significant risk. 


Luckily, along with the rise of data, there has also been notable growth in fleet technology and software. Now, an AI-based analytics solution can tell you what matters from the data noise. Empowering you to make the right decisions in real-time has significant financial benefits for your fleet. The benefits significantly outweigh the investment and make predictive analytics the next wave of necessary fleet technology. I would value your thoughts, opinions and experience with data overload. Please visit Pitstopconnect.com to chat with my team and me! 


About the Author:

Shiva Bhardwaj is the Founder and CEO at Pitstop. While earning a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from UWaterloo, Shiva spent time working at NVIDIA and Blackberry. Shiva started his entrepreneurship journey by inventing ShockLock which brought a safe, simple and cost-effective hardware solution to the automotive world. His largest and most recent accomplishment is Pitstop, a predictive maintenance platform for the automotive industry founded in 2015. Shiva has also been recognized as the Vaughan Entrepreneur of the Year & SEMA 35 Under 35. 

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

Picture: BRP

BRP has announced that in addition to electrifying its existing product, it is aiming to seize the opportunity to enter new markets with game-changing electric products. 

BRP has unveiled the first two models of its Can-Am all-electric motorcycle lineup, the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse. Building on its already existing motorcyle legacy, BRP is opening the door to a new generation of riders and electric vehicle enthusiasts.  

Additionally, BRP is announcing a completely new electric hydrofoil board bearing the Sea-Doo signature: the Sea-Doo Rise. All of these products are said to be available in mid-2024. 

“Today, our story of innovation reaches new heights with the reveal of market-shaping electric products that will enhance consumer experience on the road and on the water, ” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. 

“Half a century ago, Can-Am roared to victory on the track and the trail, and today, a new legacy begins. With the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse, the first two models of our electric 2-wheel family, we are gearing up to reclaim our motorcycle heritage by crafting thrilling riding experiences for a whole new generation.” 

The Can-Am Origin is a tribute to Can-Am’s Track n’ Trail heritage. This dual-purpose model is designed to bring new exhilaration to both the street and the trail for a more modern multi-terrain experience.  

The Can-Am Pulse is a balanced and agile motorcycle designed to immerse riders in the energy of the city and transform their daily commute into an electric joyride. Both models feature stunning, modern design, built to showcase state-of-the art technology, like the high-performance LED headlamp, a unique visual signature. 

While both have their own unique design and features that can benefit users in many ways, however, they both are powered by the new Rotax E-POWER technology. 

The Sea-Doo Rise on the other hand, is another unique model and is designed with innovative and dynamic features that transform the board as riders gain experience over time. Full specs are expected to be revealed in August 2023. 

SK IE Technology to enter Southeast Asian and North American EV battery market

SK IE Technology to enter Southeast Asian and North American EV battery market

Picture: SK ie Technology

SK IE Technology has announced today that it plans to enter both the Southeast Asian and North American markets by cooperating with Vingroup. 

SKIET supplies separators to a wide portfolio of battery manufacturers globally, including SK On, another subsidiary of SK Innovation. 

The battery material maker is expected to gain more momentum in its global market penetration by looking into ways to cooperate with Vingroup, which is based in the fast-growing Vietnamese market. 

SKIET and VinES have recently signed an MOU including the section on the prioritized provision of SKIET’s separators for EV batteries of VinES, which will be produced in Vietnam and the United States. The visit has been made in order to fine-tune the specifics of the business. 

Recently, VinFast has been aiming to expand its business globally and this is shown in its plans to stop producing internal combustion engines all together and go fully electric. 

VinFast proceeds with vigor into global market penetration as it officializes its plans to enter the US market. The Vietnamese company officially announced its plan to invest USD 2 billion (approx. KRW 2.6 trillion) in the manufacturing plant in North Carolina, US. The company aims to produce 150,000 EVs annually, including the production in its US manufacturing plant, which will come into operation in July 2024. 

Roh Jae-sok, CEO of SKIET, said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to discuss the cooperation with the leading company in Vietnam, one of the fastest growing EV markets.” 

“We will enhance the cooperation between two companies through exploring business opportunities, including the separators, by promoting our outstanding technology and safety excellence.” 

Pham Thuy Linh, CEO of VinES, has also commented saying: “Vingroup and SK Group have maintained trust in our relationship for years, and both companies have built capabilities. And the efforts are now paying off.”  

“We have great trust in SKIET’s capabilities and know-hows. We hope that SKIET and VinES can continue a strong cooperative relationship.”

SKIET leads the world’s premium wet-laid separator market. Using the sequential stretching method, the company is able to implement a uniformly high quality while freely adjusting the thickness of the separator.  

The method brings benefits in terms of productivity and production cost. SKIET was the first in the world to develop such technology. The company has production plants in South Korea, China, and Poland. 

Verizon and NEC announce partnership on distributed optical fiber sensing trial

Verizon and NEC announce partnership on distributed optical fiber sensing trial

Verizon has teamed up with NEC to test fiber sensing on its already existing fiber network. The proof-of-concept (PoC) field trial used Verizon’s existing fiber optic cables as distributed optical sensors to collect information on city traffic patterns, road conditions and road capacity information. 

The trial used new optical sensor technology developed by NEC with software underpinned by artificial intelligence for traffic monitoring including the measurement of vehicle density, direction, speed, acceleration and deceleration, and other information. 

Using existing fiber that’s already in the ground means that Verizon wouldn’t have to trench in purpose-built fiber to gather the same type of information. Fiber trenching is both costly and disruptive, especially in urban areas. 

In addition to traffic monitoring, the data gathered from the distributed optical sensors could also be used to support public functions such as helping first responders detect and find where gunshots have been fired. 

“This test marks an important milestone for technology that could provide a huge leap forward for those building smart cities and those tasked to manage them,” said Verizon’s Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of technology planning and development, in a statement.  

“Instead of ripping up tarmac to place road and traffic-sensing technology, cities will be able to simply piggyback Verizon’s existing fiber optic network.” 

The trial used a fiber sensing system that worked with the existing wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) communications channels on the same fiber with minimal impact to the data communications capacity, which would make it suitable for use even in traffic congested networks. 

Verizon and NEC said the trial marked the first time that a 36.8 Tbps transmission system and distributed optical fiber sensing were demonstrated together on an operational telecom network. 

The two companies also said the trial marked the longest distance that such sensing data has been collected via an operational telecom network. AI tools such as convolutional neural networks (CNN) and software vector machines were used in order to take advantage of distributed intelligent traffic informatics (DITI). 

“The results obtained from this joint research program with Verizon are a great advancement for smart city business opportunities, especially for safer city solutions such as the conservation of roads and the utilization of traffic information,” said Atsuo Kawamura, executive vice president of NEC, in a statement. 

“We are confident that these cutting-edge solutions will provide meaningful new value for optical fiber networks.” 

Daimler Trucks talks participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s R&D program and future of autonomy!

Daimler Trucks talks participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s R&D program and future of autonomy!

Tracy Mack-Askew leads the development of solutions for DTNA customers in diesel powertrain technologies, and supports the transition to electrical propulsion solutions in chassis and vocational products.

Mack-Askew has over 20 years of automotive manufacturing experience and joined DTNA in 2014 as the vice president of engineering at Thomas Built Buses (TBB).

“Our goal is to really move the world. Everything that you have, whether its clothing, food, fuel, anything you have, had to be transported on a truck…so we say our trucks, we move the world. We want to be great business partners to our customers, helping them serve the greater public”- Tracy Mack- Askew

We had the great pleasure to speak to Tracy Mack-Askew, Executive Director and Chief Engineer of Chassis, Propulsion, and Vocational Engineering at Daimler Trucks! Tracy gave some great insight into the importance of fleets and also their upcoming projects working with fuel cells!

Watch the full interview below!

To find out more head to: https://northamerica.daimlertruck.com


HOVSCO have announces the launch of their HovBeta 20” Step-Thru Foldable E-bike

HOVSCO have announces the launch of their HovBeta 20” Step-Thru Foldable E-bike

HOVSCO have announced the launch of their HovBeta 20” Step-Thru Foldable E-bike. The company specialises in electric bicycles. The company has a presence in the European and American electric bicycle markets and a community of devoted HOVSCO customers. 

The usage of the newly launched e bike is designed to make the users commute easier and more efficient.  

The founder of HOVSCO has said: “HovBeta 20″ Step-Thru Foldable E-bikes are ideal for everybody. Women and men will love and have fun riding our electric bicycles. Our foldable bicycles come in a range of fashionable colors and styles. Consequently, purchasers may select bicycles that suit their preferences and demands.” 

HOVSCO folding bicycles are available at all HOVSCO distributors in all the 48 contiguous states but not Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the other U.S. territories worldwide and are ready to be transported to international locations. 

One of the features of HOVSCO bikes is that they can be conveniently fit into the back of a vehicle or even on a commuter train. Additionally, the e bike will help the transition to electrification and minimise air pollution. 

HOVSCO will commence preorder sales for the HovBeta 20” Step-Thru foldable E-bike on the 1st
August 2022 and will conclude them later that month.  

HOVSCO prides itself on its E-bikes being constructed for every type of rider and level of expertise. Each riding position is distinct, with significant variances in sitting position, suspension, and more. HAVSCO has included flat tire E-bikes, foldable fat tire E-bikes, mountain E-bikes, city commuters, and more. Each bicycle consists of a high-speed engine and a robust Battery with Flashlight. 

The HovBeta 20″ Step-Thru Foldable E-bikes are outfitted with the following features: 

  1. 750W Upgraded Brushless Gear Hub Motor utilizes cutting-edge technology to deliver more power more efficiently. 
  1. The 750W geared hub SUTTO motor can provide a maximum of 85 Nm of torque, allowing the rider to overcome hills faster, all terrains more easily, accelerate more quickly, and enjoy a more robust and pleasant ride. 
  1. Also, it has up to 20 mph on the electricity. It can be adjusted to a maximum of 28 mph (45 km/h) on Pedal Assist and can be ridden uphill at a gradient of 40 degrees. 
  1. The HovBeta 20″ Step-Thru Foldable E-bike is equipped with five simple-to-use levels of pedal aid. 

HovBeta combines the latest battery technology with a 5000mAh single-cell capacity, resulting in a battery with a smaller footprint and a greater variety. This 720Wh battery enhances the range, stability, and security of HOVSCO bicycles. A single charge may last up to 40 miles on purely electric power and, with pedal assist, over 60 miles. After 1,000 charges, the battery’s capacity will remain at 80 percent. 

As an electric-powered bicycle, the HovBeta 20″ Step-Thru Foldable E-bike exemplifies the notion of sustainability admirably. The HovBeta 20″ Step-Thru Folding E-Bike is better suited for residents with hectic schedules.  

With the HovBeta 20″ Step-Thru Foldable E-bike, riders may effortlessly switch between human-powered, power-assisted, and electric-assist riding styles. Except for the HovCity Step-Thru electric bicycle, other items can engage in the presale activities. 

Net Zero carbon neutral home community launches in Fort Collins

Net Zero carbon neutral home community launches in Fort Collins

Greener Builder Media has a 17-year history of producing the most cutting-edge home demonstration projects in the market. The company is now partnering with nationally esteemed Thrive Home Builders to bring to life The Sonders Project, a 220-home sustainable community located in Fort Collins, Colo.  

The Northern Colorado community is notable because it showcases Thrive Carbon-Wise, a new building approach to producing carbon-neutral homes. This method focuses on carbon reduction, including both operational carbon, such as the energy used in heating, cooling, and lighting in a home, as well as the embodied carbon from the manufacturing of the home’s components. 

The age targeted for the community is 55 and over, with the Sonders community featuring single-family homes, duplexes, and townhomes, all of which will have intentionally small footprints. This highlights quality and sustainability to meet the needs of today’s home buyers. Production of these homes will begin in Autumn.  

“Sophisticated demand-side energy management solutions and smart home technologies can now optimize resource use and improve indoor air quality without homeowner interaction,” says Sara Gutterman, CEO of Green Builder Media. 

“Intelligent solar, battery storage, and energy management systems can interconnect homes within a community so that they can harvest and share energy before drawing from the grid. And a new generation of sustainable building products makes net zero energy, water, and carbon readily attainable.” 

By applying the Thrive Carbon-Wise building practices to the homes at VISION House Sonders, it’s estimated that a total of 1,023 tons of carbon emissions will be reduced when compared with a 2021 IECC home. As a result, the homes will be healthier for the homeowners, and the negative environmental impacts will be significantly lowered.  

“We’ve been witnessing the results of climate change locally and globally,” says Gene Myers, Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer at Thrive.  

“Warmer temperatures also mean a longer plant growing season, which contributes to heightened pollen in the air that worsens allergies and asthma. Our healthy homes help with these airborne triggers.” 

CEO of Women and Drones talks global expansion and industry opportunities ahead of MOVE America!

CEO of Women and Drones talks global expansion and industry opportunities ahead of MOVE America!

“The company was established in 2017, and what started as an idea to connect women in the United States to network at industry conferences, has quickly grown over the last few years to an international network…What we do day inane day out is about elevating the presence of women in the industry”- Sharon Rossmark
We had the great pleasure of catching up with Sharon Rossmark, CEO of Women and Drones, to talk about the inspiring work the company is doing to get women involved in the industry, not only in the U.S, but also through their new international chapter Women And Drones Africa!
Sharon will be going us at #MOVEAmerica2022 to talk on navigating the regulatory framework for drones and UAVs!
Get your ticket to #MOVEAmerica2022 at 50% off when using code WOMEN50 – this week only: https://lnkd.in/e7R457a
To find out more, watch the video below or head to: https://womenanddrones.com
First ever e-bike solo cross-country journey across the historic Lincoln Highway

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

Picture: PR NewsWire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture: Stellantis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beam Global receives $900k battery order to power delivery drones

Beam Global receives $900k battery order to power delivery drones

Beam Global announced a $927k order for Beam Global’s energy storage solutions to power autonomous on-demand delivery drones.  

The battery packs include Beam’s patented thermal management technology for superior safety, higher energy density and longer life. The customer is an American company that designs, manufactures and operates an automated delivery system. 

“The global market for drones is expected to grow at a fantastic pace over the next decade. Goldman Sachs is calling it a $100B market,” said Beam Global CEO Desmond Wheatley. 

“We are confident that drones powered by Beam’s advanced battery technology are going to be part of that growth and so will our patented UAV ARC rapidly deployed, off grid, drone recharging product. This is another good example of how our acquisition of a highly differentiated battery technology company puts us in a leadership position for the future of electrified transportation.” 

The drones powered in this case perform delivery services for a range of applications from Fortune 100 retailers to startups and global partners. Powering their automated delivery system with safe, clean, efficient energy storage solutions from Beam Global allows the customer to safely and reliably deliver products while reducing fossil fuel use, improving air quality and decreasing road traffic. 

The drone package delivery market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 49.0% from 2022 to 2030. Increasing private investments in drones and increase in e-commerce sales and demand for contactless delivery post-pandemic are some of the factors fueling the growth of the market.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, various countries have realized the potential of drone technologies and have provided relaxation in terms of their regulation. 

Austin startup Group1 aims for first commercialised potassium-ion battery

Austin startup Group1 aims for first commercialised potassium-ion battery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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