Ubicquia launches analytics platform to make cities smarter

Ubicquia launches analytics platform to make cities smarter

Smart city technology company Ubicquia has launched a platform designed to make it easier for cities to deploy public Wi-Fi along with traffic, public safety and license plate cameras. 

The new platform, called UbiHub, is compatible with more than 360 million streetlights across the world, according to a statement from the company. It has been said that the new product includes integrated Wi-Fi 6 capabilities along with edge AI.

“Our UbiHub is the ‘Swiss army knife’ of intelligent infrastructure for cities and utilities,” said Ian Aaron, CEO of Ubicquia. 

“Whether you need to scale the deployment of cameras and license plate readers across multiple vendors or simply expand broadband in commercial areas and parks, UbiHub is the only multi-function product in the market that installs in seconds and delivers data in minutes.” 

When describing the new launch, the company has said that the UbiHub AP6 is a triband Wi-Fi 6 access point that gives communities the ability to enable public Wi-Fi and can support cameras, license plate readers and other third-party gear. 

The UbiHub AP/AI is said to have the same features and functionality as the AP6 and also integrates dual 4K cameras, directional microphones, a neural AI processor for street analytics and 15 days of video storage.

The company went on to say that it envisions the new UbiHub platform as a smart city workhorse that can reduce overall costs and hassles for cities deploying these tools and is meant to replace multi-vendor solutions.”

The platform will enable clients, including law enforcement agencies, to use existing streetlights as part of a digital network.

“We have deployed the UbiHub on streetlights in West Hollywood to benefit from the smart city traffic and curb management capabilities the platform provides,” said Jackie Rocco, deputy city manager for West Hollywood, California. 

“Intelligent data on traffic, bicycle and pedestrian management supports public safety measures and our future planning development needs for our residents and visitors.”

Earlier this year, Ubicquia and RealTerm Energy said that results from LED streetlight replacements in three states resulted in big savings on electrical costs, another reason that companies are pushing such technology and public agencies are buying 

Volkswagen starts US electric vehicle assembly in Tennessee

Volkswagen starts US electric vehicle assembly in Tennessee

Volkswagen has announced a $800 million investment in the company’s manufacturing of electric vehicles in North America at the Chattanooga plant, including facilities for vehicle and battery pack assembly.  

The company has said that they are hiring more than 1,000 production team workers there through the end of the year. Volkswagen Chattanooga currently employs more than 4,000 people.  

The Chattanooga factory is now the sixth site globally to produce electric vehicles for Volkswagen. Volkswagen’s goal is for 55% of U.S. sales to be fully electric by 2030. 

The start of production comes as America’s automakers take aim with electric vehicles at the largest segment of the U.S. market: modest-sized SUVs, representing about 20% of new-vehicle sales. 

Volkswagen says the ID.4 is its most popular electric vehicle, with more than 190,000 delivered to customers around the world since last year. 

The company says customers can expect ID.4s to be delivered as early as October. The starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price is about $41,000. 

Primarily Volkswagen will offer the American-built vehicles in either rear wheel drive or all wheel drive with 82-kilowatt-hour battery. A lower-priced version with a 62-kilowatt-hour-battery and rear-wheel drive will go into production later this year. 

Volkswagen have said that they will rely on North American parts for the vehicle, including materials and components assembled in 11 U.S. states SK innovation in Georgia will supply the batteries.  

In the budget passed by Tennessee lawmakers in 2019, Volkswagen received an additional $50 million in state incentives for the Chattanooga plant to aid in the electric vehicle expansion. 

Volvo to build electric truck charging corridor in California

Volvo to build electric truck charging corridor in California

Volvo trucks will be building a charging corridor in California for medium and heavy-duty trucks, with publicly accessible stations across the state. The company’s charging spots will stretch between Dixon, California north of San Francisco and La Mirada in Los Angeles County. 

The project will deploy chargers at several existing Volvo Trucks dealership locations in central and northern California, including TEC Equipment Oakland, TEC Equipment Dixon, Western Truck Center in Stockton, and Affinity Truck Centers in Fresno and Bakersfield. It will also offer services as an extension to existing chargers at the TEC Fontana and TEC La Mirada locations in the south. 

Volvo is hoping the corridor will help more small carriers electrify their fleets without needing to invest in charging infrastructure. Construction of the project will begin this year with five new stations online by the end of 2023. 

California has been a leader in the push for truck electrification, passing legislation in 2020 mandating manufacturers sell only zero-emission medium and heavy-duty trucks beginning in 2040. To assist in building the infrastructure needed to power those trucks, the state launched a funding program for truck charging solutions. Volvo was granted $2 million from the fund for the corridor project. 

Volvo is taking on the task of building charging infrastructure across the globe days before announcing the California project, the company, in a joint venture with Daimler Truck and the TRATON Group, committed to building at least 1,700 charging points on and close to highways across Europe.  

And Volvo is not alone in unveiling new charging initiatives this month. GM and Pilot will partner to build 2,000 EVgo eXtend-powered charging stations at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers, the company announced the same day as the Volvo news. 

Some say that the company’s new venture is a bold stretch, and that creating this infrastructure could take longer than expected, however, the infrastructure would be highly beneficial to the state and would hopefully see more electrification of fleets. 

Martin Larose talks electric fleet development ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Martin Larose talks electric fleet development ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Picture: LA PRESSE

Martin Larose joined the Volvo Group as a senior consultant before accepting a new role of Vice President, Program Management in April 2015. He was nominated as Vice President General Manager of Nova Bus in August 2017 and became President of Nova Bus in October 2021.

We had the great opportunity to chat with Martin ahead of MOVE America to talk about what we are expecting to hear from him in Texas, what he thinks the next big industry developments will be and much more!

 

Q: Tell us a bit about Novabus

A: Novabus is a public transit bus builder, our market is Canada and the United States, so we provide buses for all kinds of sizes of cities across North America, small, medium and large. Our public transit bus serves many thousands and millions of citizens on a daily basis. Our key customers across North America would be New York City, for example, Motreal here in Canada which is our home base, Vancouver out West and San Fransisco even on the west coast. So, we have a broad base of customers and we have been serving them now for more than 20 years. For the past 10 years we’ve been under the ownership of Volvo group.

 

 

Q: We are seeing fleets of Novabuses being bought everywhere. How important is it to electrify fleets across the country?

A: Well, we think it’s, it’s obviously quite important. Number one and foremost for the environment. So obviously our fully electric buses do not have any kind of direct pollution. We don’t have an internal combustion engine on most of these buses because they are fully electric, including the heating and ventilating in many cases. So obviously the environmental footprint is much less. Maintaining an electric bus with an electric motor and batteries is much simpler than maintaining a big diesel engine with all its moving parts. So, the maintenance costs go drastically down, which is all in all very positive over the whole life cycle of the product. So, we’re very proud to be in this market. And this is something that we’re pushing more and more for cities to be equipped with.

 

 

 Q: How impactful is the uptake of electric fleets in and North America?

A: Here in north America, I would say that there is really good support from different levels of the government. Now the governments on both the Canadian and the U.S. side have unblocked large amounts of money to push the cities, and even force the cities, I would say, to make the move and make the switch to electric buses. And this is very positive. So, there’s large sums of money that are being invested in all cities, backed by the government again, to push and go and make the switch, which is actually to be honest, going faster than we had thought.

 

 

Q: What are the next steps for mobility in the next 12-18 months?

A: I would say in the next 12 to 18 months right now, in terms of electrifying fleets, it’s all about execution with a lot of this available money, that I mentioned earlier, a lot of the available financing and funds from the different levels of government… It’s interesting to see that in North America, we have gone now from the phase of small tests with very small fleets, to buying larger amounts of buses in order to be really now able to replace existing diesel or hybrid or natural gas buses by the full electric buses. So, in the next 12 to 18 months, its really about getting things done, accepting buses in larger amounts and getting the whole charging infrastructure.

 

 

Q: Are you excited for MOVE America? What are we going to hear from you there?

A: I’m excited to see all the different players that are going to be present, to interact with different business leaders, exchange notes and see how things are going basically around the world. I think it’s a super opportunity to be able to do that. To also do some networking, compare notes, find out about new technologies. It’s all about meeting great people, and especially now at the, what we hope is the end of this pandemic, be able to interact with people face to face, shake hands, which is quite different than doing the teleworking aspect that we’ve been doing for so many years, too many years now. So, really looking to the networking, the human interaction and getting some great information and sharing some of our knowledge as well.

 

Martin will be appearing on a panel discussing how can we accelerate the transition to zero emission fleets at MOVE America this September, along side some of the most innovative names within the industry.

To keep up to date with MOVEMNT sign up for our newsletter here: MOVEMNT Newsletter

U.S. Energy Department set to loan GM battery joint venture $2.5 bln

U.S. Energy Department set to loan GM battery joint venture $2.5 bln

The U.S Energy Department on Monday announced it intends to loan a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution of $2.5 billion to help finance construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities. 

The conditional commitment for the loan to Ultium Cells LLC for facilities in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan is expected to close in the coming months and comes from the governments Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, which has not funded a new loan since 2010. 

The plan would mark the Energy Department’s first loan exclusively for a battery manufacturing project under the vehicle program. The program previously provided low-cost government loand to Tesla, Ford and Nissan, which included some cell manufacturing. 

“We have to have vehicle manufacturing capacity but also battery manufacturing capacity,” Jigar Shah, who directs the Energy Department loan program office, said to Reuters. 

 “This project provides one of the newest additions to battery manufacturing scale in this country.” 

Ultium has also commented saying, “facilities will create more than 5,000 new high-tech jobs in the United States. We are grateful for the consideration and look forward to working with the Department of Energy on next steps.” 

In total, GM and LG are investing more than $7 billion to build three battery plants. Production at its Ohio battery plant is expected to begin in August and currently has 700 workers. Production is set to begin at its Tennessee plant in late 2023 and Michigan in 2024. 

In February, the Energy Department said it plans to provide $2.91 billion in grants to boost production of advanced batteries, fund battery materials refining and production plants, battery cell and pack manufacturing facilities, and recycling facilities. 

Optibike releases the new Everest edition, the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge

Optibike releases the new Everest edition, the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge

Picture: Optibike

Optibike has released the new Everest edition, which is the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge, the R22 Everest Edition E-Bike. Everest features the largest battery in an E-Bike, a staggering 3260-watt hours of energy.  

The Everest was made in the mountains of Colorado and is capable of climbing up to 24,000 feet on a single charge.  

“The R22 Everest is the result of my 25 years of designing and building E-Bikes, the R22 is my dream bike, born and bred in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This bike sets a new standard for E-Bikes.” said Jim Turner, Founder and Inventor of Optibike. 

The bike is the product of the world-famous E-Bike designer, Jim Turner. The R22 Everest can take on any mountain, with the highest torque E-Bike motor and largest battery, the R22 goes where no other E-Bike can go.  

While the idea of climbing Everest was just a bit of fun, the R22 Everest was designed and made with mountains in mind. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains that surround Optibikes Colorado headquarters, Everest was designed to go beyond flat roads and basic city hills in a way typical ebikes cannot, supporting ambitious expeditions that include long mileage and rocky roads. 

The R22 Everest develops motive power from Optibike’s own 1,700-W PowerStorm mid-motor drive, which works in conjunction with a Rohloff Speedhub 500 14-speed internally geared hub. That e-drive kicks out 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) of torque perfect for tugging a loaded bikepacking trailer into motion or quick-climbing steep, bump-riddled sections of trail 

FLASH announces partnership with Brookfield to shape smart cities and the future of mobility

FLASH announces partnership with Brookfield to shape smart cities and the future of mobility

Picture: FLASH

FLASH, a leader in cloud parking software and mobility transformation, has announced its expanded strategic partnership with Brookfield, one of the largest investments companies focused on real estate, renewable power, infrastructure, and private equity.  

The partnership will evolve the tenant experience to fully leverage the connected mobility and vehicle electrification solutions from FLASH across Brookfield’s diverse global real estate holdings located in Smart Cities around the world. The partnership will also include a $40M strategic investment from Brookfield’s technology growth investment arm.  

“FLASH’s best-in-class mobility hub operating system will allow Brookfield to integrate our investments in real estate, construction, infrastructure, and climate technology that are leading the transformation toward smarter, connected cities,” said Josh Raffaelli, Managing Partner at Brookfield. 

“Consumers and tenants are seeking a seamless and personalized experience. Our partnership will drive the transformation of urban mobility and the real estate landscape – setting the new standard for a more efficient, cleaner, and cost-effective ecosystem.” 

FLASH has solutions that are used in over 15,000 customer locations across all major U.S. cities and Canada. This partnership aims to enhance Brookfield’s portfolio of office, residential, retail, and hospitality assets with integrated, digital solutions for seamless access through machine-vision, real-time parking and EV charging reservations, convenient mobile payments, and a suite of digital management and intelligence tools. 

FLASH’s integrations with major automakers, entertainment and hospitality leaders, and global mapping, navigation, and payment platforms to seamlessly connect urban real estate with hundreds of millions of potential customers. 

“The impact of this expanded partnership goes far beyond FLASH and Brookfield. This is a major industry step towards the transformation of global real estate assets into a dynamic network of connected mobility hubs, bringing us all closer to achieving our goals for an integrated smart city ecosystem,” said Dan Sharplin, Executive Chairman and CEO of FLASH.  

“FLASH and Brookfield are 100% aligned in this transformative vision and committed to working together to fully connect the driver experience and modernize our cities.” 

Senet and IotaComm partner to deliver advanced wireless networks for Smart Infrastructure Sensors

Senet and IotaComm partner to deliver advanced wireless networks for Smart Infrastructure Sensors

Senet Inc. and Iota communications have announced a partership to deliver LoRaWAN through both 915 MHz unlicensed spectrum and through IotaComm’s unique 800 MHz FCC-licensed spectrum network connectivity. 

The initial use cases will be focused on Smart Building, Smart City, and Critical Infrastructure applications. With this collaboration, and in addition to its use of the Senet platform for application and device management, IotaComm has also become a Senet Radio Access Network operator and Senet LPWAN Virtual Network participant, adding coverage to one of the fastest growing LoRaWAN network in North America.  

Through a combination of sensors, meters, and its Delphi360 wireless connectivity and data analytics platform, IotaComm provides an end-to-end smart building and smart city solution used by building managers, industrial site managers, and city planners to better manage the health, safety, and sustainability goals of their organizations and facilities.  

In addition, IotaComm uniquely combines its FCC-licensed spectrum within the LoRaWAN standard to enable carrier-grade, low power wide area connectivity for critical infrastructure applications, such as smart metering and predictive maintenance. 

“We’re honored to be working alongside of Senet in the quest to provide the wireless connectivity efficiency and flexibility that industries are requiring,” said Terrence DeFranco, CEO, President of IotaComm.  

“This partnership fully supports our goals of building the largest national, carrier-grade LPWAN dedicated to the IoT. Together with Senet’s network architecture expertise, we’ll deliver real-time data that results in high-value and actionable insights while filling an existing connectivity gap.” 

To support growing customer demand for power efficient, IotaComm operates more than 140 tower sites nationwide and plans to deploy 150 LoRaWAN gateways by 2023. For customers preferring added levels of network and application performance, Senet and IotaComm are collaborating to create a new LoRaWAN service using the 800 MHz licensed spectrum. 

IotaComm already owns enough 800 MHz spectrum to cover about 90 percent of the US and plans to deploy multi-access gateways to deliver a premium smart building connectivity offering. IotaComm will use Senet’s cloud-based platform to manage both its public LoRaWAN network and private on-premises networks and application deployments using the 800 MHz FCC-licensed spectrum. 

“Innovation has always been at Senet’s core and our partnership with Iota Communications is another example of Senet leading the market through innovative technology and unique business models that allow users to improve operations and address sustainability goals,” said Bruce Chatterley, CEO at Senet.  

“Iota Communications brings significant value and differentiation to our portfolio of RAN Provider and LVN partners, and we look forward to collaborating to deliver groundbreaking network solutions to the commercial building energy management and facility operation markets.” 

MOVE America’s tech list to watch for!

MOVE America’s tech list to watch for!

THERE ARE MANY EXCITING THINGS ON THE HORIZON…..

Here is some of the most upcoming tech that we think you should watch out for at MOVE America this September:

To find out more go to: MOVE America 2022

  1. Kiwibot 

Many people are worried about the inevitable takeover of robots, but I don’t think we need to be too worried
 about Kiwibots delivery robot. At Kiwibot they have developed an autonomous robotic delivery fleet to be used around cities to deliver essential items. Not only this, but the smart bots have cost-effective cyberinfrastructure and automatic data collection systems that are able to map areas and collect data to help with city planning. They are able to identify problems with the road, and because of their small stature, they take up less space than cars or bikes on the road!

 

 

   2. Helbiz

Helbiz has recently announced that it will be releasing its HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification, for sale to micro-mobility operators. HelmetChecker uses AI and computer vision to ensure that a rider is wearing a helmet and has the strap secured. Micro-mobility operators can use HelmetChecker to stop a vehicle from unlocking until it confirms helmet use or provide incentives to riders.
 

 

 

 

  3. Neste 

Now, we can’t forget about what’s powering these fantastic vehicles. Neste has been able to develop sustainable aviation and truck fuel, which is made completely out of renewable, recycled products. Using this product reduces 80% of GHG emissions in aircraft and an even greater 90% when used in truck fleets.  

 

                                                                    4. Viritech

Cleantech engineers, Viritech debuted their revolutionary hydrogen powertrain technology in the form of the Apricale, the world’s first zero-emission hypercar to achieve weight parity with petrol-engined competitors, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Apricale will deliver a unique hypercar driving experience combining track-car agility with zero emissions. The car is a radical reimagination of FCEV hydrogen powertrain and delivers 1000bhp and weighs under 1000kg.   

 

 

 

5. 4.screen 

4.screen has built a platform that enables seamless interactions between local businesses and drivers. The
4.screen API-based solution allows Audi drivers to experience valuable content at the right moment on the in-car screen and benefit from an extensive network of partners that offer exclusive services and products, such as sponsored parking and charging.  Drivers will soon be able to connect with their surroundings by using location-based services and real-time premium offers, revolutionising the way they interact with the vehicle’s environment. You will feel more connected to your car than ever before. 
 

 

 

6. Pipedream

We’ve spoken about delivery robots, but now imagine an underground delivery network. Pipeline has developed an all-electric system which allows cities to make deliveries cheaper while reducing the Co2 emissions generated from traditional vehicle deliveries. Deliveries are loaded into their robots and sent across the city to another hub using their network of underground pipes. This means your packages will be moved around the city at warp speed with no environmental damage! 

 

 

 7. Apex AI

Apex AI have created software called the Apex.OS, which has been developed to automate any vehicle from cars to robots and even mining equipment. They can help companies expand beyond the prototype phase and develop solutions that can be scaled without sacrificing reliability and safety. Most recently, Apex AI are helping design an autonomous farming robot. The robot can plant seeds 24 hours a day and will use satellite-based navigation to accurately pinpoint areas for planting! The life of a farmer has just got a lot easier! 

ViaQuatro opens the first fully automated metro line in São Paulo, Brazil

ViaQuatro opens the first fully automated metro line in São Paulo, Brazil

Brazilian rail operator ViaQuatro has opened the first fully automated metro line in São Paulo, Brazil, as part of line 4 of the São Paulo Metro. Line 4 covers a distance of 12.8km and serves eleven stations eith platform screen doors while the initial section, which opened in May, includes two stations. 

The line is equipped with automation train control technology supplied by Siemens Mobility, which also features an automatic traffic supervision solution.  

Three trains equipped with the new technology will operate as a shuttle service between the two stations controlled by the Sicas interlocking system. 

The fully automated line enables trains to run at closer headways than conventional driver-operated systems and ensures optimum safety conditions. 

The remaining section of line 4 is intended to be opened in the next phase of the project. Siemens will also install a train radio system, and an operations control center equipped with a Scada system to monitor and control the line. 

Hyunsai-Rotem will supply 84 cars to make up the 14 metro trains for the line, which is expected to carry 900,000 passengers a day. 

Uber expands Hertz Tesla rentals for drivers to Canada

Uber expands Hertz Tesla rentals for drivers to Canada

Uber has announced that drivers in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver can now rent Tesla vehicles on a weekly basis. The first Tesla fleet will be available this summer as part of Hertz’s plan to get 50,000 Tesla cars for Uber to rent by 2023. 

“As we continue towards Uber’s zero-emissions goal, our partnership with Hertz reflects the largest expansion of electric vehicles (EVs) on a mobility platform in North America and one of the largest globally,” said Uber. 

Over 15,000 drivers have participated in the Hertz-Tesla program in the U.S, with over 5 million electric trips completed, or 40 million miles driven. Uber has said that 95% of drivers renting a Tesla from Hertz was their first EV driven on the ride share platform.  

“Hertz is leading the way in electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first customer experience by offering the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America,” said Jeff Nieman, Hertz Senior Vice President, Operations Initiatives. 

“Canada is the next frontier for our exclusive partnership with Uber, reaffirming our commitment to being an environmentally-forward company.” 

In a recent survey of Canadian Uber drivers, 71% said that they were interested in making the swith to an EV. 

“Driver access to electric vehicles is an important part of Uber’s electrification goals,” said Michael van Hemmen, General Manager of Uber Canada Mobility, in a statement.  

“Even with high gas prices, switching to an EV is a big decision. This partnership gives drivers an opportunity to try an electric vehicle as their primary rideshare vehicle and understand the benefits and cost savings of going electric.” 

Uber’s Zero Emissions incentive offers an extra $1 per electric trip on the platform for drivers. At launch, drivers will need a minimum 4.85-star rating and have completed at least 150 trips to be eligible for a Hertz Tesla rental. 

“Going green is truly a team sport and there is much more work to do. We look forward to continuing to partner with leaders across Canada to achieve our common goals together,” said Uber. 

Taiga begins customer deliveries of electric watercraft

Taiga begins customer deliveries of electric watercraft

Picture: Clean Technica

Canadian electric powersports brand Taiga marked the first sale of its all-electric Orca personal watercraft. 

“This is a significant moment for the Taiga team because not only are we kicking off summer with Orca deliveries, but we are proudly marking the milestone of the first-ever mass-produced electric watercraft available to consumers,” says Sam Bruneau, Taiga CEO. 

 “(After) years of engineering and testing of our revolutionary electric powertrain platform in snow and water has now come full circle, truly changing how people connect with the outdoors.” 

The Taiga Orca Carbon has more than 180HP and instant torque, which is good for an instant lift out of the water, highly precise throttle inputs and a 65mph top speed in its “wild” ride mode.  

The Taiga has a lot of cool tricks up its sleeve too. Thanks to its lightweight composite construction and energy dense batteries, the Taiga weighs less than the similarly powerful internal combustion competition. 

“Our government has always been a champion for a greener economy,” says the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Canada.  

“This’s why, last year, we recognized the leading role Taiga is playing in the electrified powersports industry, and stepped up to support the manufacturing of their electric vehicles. I’m very pleased to see this Canadian company beginning deliveries of their first-ever electric personal watercraft.” 

“We will continue to support Canadian businesses that are on the cutting-edge of green innovation – it’s good for the economy, the environment, and Canadians.” 

Taiga products are currently available through a hybrid direct sales model, which enables customers to order a vehicle direct, online, and pick it up at a participating local powersports dealer, who can assist with setup, trailering, and FAQs. 

CATL is said to be considering two new factory locations in Mexico

CATL is said to be considering two new factory locations in Mexico

China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd is considering at least two locations in Mexico for manufacturing plant to potentially supply Tesla and Ford.  

The battery manufacturer is considering Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, and Saltillo, in Coahuila, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Both are near the Texas border. The company is contemplating an investment of as much $5 billion in the project, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. 

Ciudad Juarez is particularly attractive as it’s close to the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa port of entry into the US state of New Mexico. That would provide a route around the border crossings of Texas, which is the home of Tesla’s new factory but in recent months has taken measures that complicated shipping and entry into the US. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott increased inspections of commercial vehicles in April as he wants to crack down on illegal drug trafficking and immigration 

It has been said that CATL is considering splitting investments across two locations, one in the US and one in Mexico. Although, the decision hasn’t been made about the size of the total investment. 

Backed by China’s strategic push into electric cars, CATL is riding a boom in demand for EVs as countries work to reduce carbon emissions and consumers embrace cleaner cars. The company, which completed an initial public offering in 2018, controls more than 30% of the global EV battery market. 

Helbiz releases its new HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification

Helbiz releases its new HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification

Helbiz has announced that it will be releasing its HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification, for sale to micro-mobility operators looking to increase the ease at which they meet compliance requirements and increase the safety of their riders. 

The technology has already been piloted and launched within the Helbiz app. HelmetChecker uses AI and computer vision to ensure that a rider is wearing a helmet and has the strap secured.

Micro-mobility operators can use HelmetChecker to stop a vehicle from unlocking until it confirms helmet use or provide incentives to riders. Helbiz says this is a solution that goes further than warning screens or pictures that are checked manually post-ride. 

“The HelmetChecker has been a game changer for Helbiz and the value we can bring to cities,” said Salvatore Palella, CEO, Helbiz 

“With 99.7 percent accuracy, this technology can help other micro-mobility vendors remain compliant and improve rider safety, while bringing a new revenue stream for Helbiz.” 

There are no SDKs, lengthy integrations or AI engineers needed. Helbiz adds all it requires is passing an image through the HelmetChecker API and reading the JSON response that includes a verdict and confidence level reading. 

Pricing for the product will be a monthly subscription fee and a per-API-call fee per image submitted.  

This is a great step forward for Helbiz and a great innovative product that will out them at the forefront of the micro mobility industry.

Umicore to build manufacturing facility for battery materials in Canada

Umicore to build manufacturing facility for battery materials in Canada

Umicore has planned to construct a manufacturing facility for cathode active battery materials and their precursor materials in Ontario, Canada. This represents the final goal in establishing a global production presence within battery value chains for Umicore, and these chains are integrated to be able to support its customers in their fast transition toward sustainable electric mobility. 

The planned facility is said to be the first of its kind in North America combing cathode and precursor materials manufacturing at a large industrial scale and thereby completing the missing link in Canadas battery value chain, from natual resources to electric mobility.  

Umicore has said that they are in negotiations with several potential customers for production contracts in North America. This will form the basis for Umicore’s investment decision and underlines its commitment to value creative returns. 

Umicore and the Government of Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to finalise the support application of the project under the Strategic Innovation Fund. 

This MoU follows a recently signed agreement with Loyalist Township to secure a plot of land of about 350 acres in Loyalist, Ontario, to this effect. The location, in the center of Canada’s automotive eco-system, offers critical advantages such as access to a highly skilled workforce, key infrastructure and renewable energy, which the new plant will be running on 100% from start of production. 

Umnicore are aiming to begin construction in 2023 and operations by the end of 2025, with the potential to reach by the end of the decade an annual production capacity capable of powering approximately one million EVs. 

“Canada and the Ontario province have all it takes for Umicore to establish a full-fledged, sustainable supply chain for battery materials, all the way from the mine right to the end-market of electric vehicles.” – said Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore.

“Once the key customer contracts are in place, this expansion in North America would complete our global rollout of regional supply chains for our automotive and battery cell customers to now three continents.” 

Umicore will also explore opportunities for metals refining and battery recycling in North America, to offer its customers in the region secure and circular access to critical battery materials and – in line with its earlier announced ambition to establish a regional presence in North America – across the CAM value chain. 

GM, Pilot and EVgo partner to create nationwide DC fast charging network

GM, Pilot and EVgo partner to create nationwide DC fast charging network

Today, General Motors, Pilot and EVgo have announced plans to work together to create a nationwide DC fast charging network. The plan aims to create 2,000 charging stalls that can deliver up to 350 kW to be installed at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers in the U.S. the goal is to have DC fast chargers available in 50-mile intervals across the country. 

The new charging stations will feature GM’s “Ultium Charge 360” branding and “Pilot Flying J” logos but will not be limited to drivers of GM EVs. The plugs will use CCS connectors and be available to anyone. GM EV owners can take advantage of benefits, including the ability to make exclusive reservations, get discounts on charging costs and streamline the charging process with Plug and Charge and in-vehicle apps that can provide real-time charger availability. 

The first phase of intallation is to be taking place in 2023 and the majority of installations should be completed by 2025. Kathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo has commented saying: “we’re gonna get going immediately and commence all of that engineering and planning stuff, we’ve got a pretty orderly plan.” 

“An average Pilot Flying J location is about 10 acres,” said Pilot CEO Shameek Konar.  

“This will be in addition to all of our gas pumps. The way I think about it is, this is a new source of energy that is going to coexist with gas for quite some time. We can debate how long, but we need to serve both groups of customers.” 

While the exact amount of time it will take to charge an EV using these new stations will vary on the EV and its current state of charge, most EVs can refill from a low state of charge to around 80 percent in 20-30 minutes on a fast charger. The new stations are future-proofed to deliver up to 350 kW, a charge rate that few EVs today can handle. 

“One of the strengths of this partnership is the fact that we’ve got site hosts, and installers and OEMs,” said Travis Hester, GM’s chief EV officer.  

“All of us are on board together to help make this network a reality as fast as we possibly can. [By] early 2023, you should see this moving faster than normal progress in other areas where you’re negotiating on a site-by-site basis.” 

GM said the partnership with Pilot is the latest in the automaker’s nearly $750 million investment in EV charging infrastructure. Other aspects of this plan include the ability of GM EV drivers to access over 100,000 Ultium Charge 360 charge points in the U.S. and Canada. 

Terex Utilities introduces the first all-electric bucket truck manufactured in the U.S. 

Terex Utilities introduces the first all-electric bucket truck manufactured in the U.S. 

Picture: Terex

Water-town based Terex Utilities has introduced the first all-electric bucket truck manufactured in the U.S. 

Initially, the trucks will be used by nine Terex customers, including utility company Xcel Energy, which does business in eight midwestern states, including South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota. These electric trucks are part of an effort to curb carbon emissions.  

“We’ve brought this to the market and into production two years ahead of industry projections for the first fully electric bucket truck” said Darryl Niven, vice president and general manager at Terex Utilities in Watertown  

The all-new electric bucket truck was unveiled at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference in Williamsburg, Va. 

Xcel Energy received its first truck around the end of June. It’s part of the company’s goal of electrifying its light-duty vehicles and 30% of its medium and heavy-duty fleet by 2030, per the release. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Terex International in operating the first all-electric bucket truck in the United States and continuing to deliver on Xcel Energy’s industry-leading fleet electrification goals, which are a companion to our vision of providing 100% carbon-free electricity to our customers by 2050,” said Sangram Bhosale, Xcel vice president of supply chain 

The electric utility vehicles get roughly 135 miles per charge, which Niven is certain will improve as technology continues to evolve as the weight of the batteries is reduced. 

Terex has two manufacturing facilities, the Watertown location and another in Huron, which is currently being expanded. Terex also has 21 service and distribution centers around the country. 

Coastr joined us at MOVE 2022!

Coastr joined us at MOVE 2022!

Coastr’s Founder and CEO, Biswajit Kundu Roy, was at MOVE 2022 to talk about their AI technology that they are developing to automate and digitialise fleet management. Also, about how they are improving fleet utilisation.
“One of the things we really want to do, and this is kind of the vision of Coastr and yesterday we made a pledge about it as well, is that we want to help customers really understand their carbon footprint and a major part of Coastr’s vision is to enable more shared cars and shared vehicles” said Biswajit
We are happy to be seeing Biswajit and the Coastr team again at MOVE America in Texas in September! Biswajit will be speaking about why the automotive industry is heading towards a hyperconnected future.
Find out more about Coastr at:  https://www.coastr.com/
Watch the full interview below:
Panasonic  to build new EV battery factory in Kansas

Panasonic to build new EV battery factory in Kansas

Panasonic have announced that they will be building a new electric vehicle battery factory in Kansas that will produce and supply Tesla with its new 4680 cells.

The choice was between two potential sites, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma, before it decided to settle with the former due to its proximity to Texas and favorable tax treatment. Panasonic says it will invest approximately $4 billion into the site and that it will create up to 4,000 new jobs. 

Panasonic has said that they aim to triple or quadruple EV battery production capacity across all its facilities by the 2028 fiscal year from the current level of 50 gigawatt-hours per year.  

This plan will see it install two production lines at the battery component factory in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan in the 2023 fiscal year. This investment alone is worth $580 million and will see the Japanese site also manufacturing the 4680 cells. 

The increasing production demands from Tesla were a significant factor in its decision to establish a new factory in the U.S.  

“As the largest private investment in Kansas history and one of the largest EV battery manufacturing plants of its kind in the country, this project will be transformative for our state’s economy, providing in total 8,000 high-quality jobs that will help more Kansans create better lives for themselves and their children.” commented Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.  

“Winning this project has shown that Kansas has what it takes to compete on a global scale — and that our pro-business climate is driving the technological innovation needed to achieve a more prosperous and sustainable future.” 

Panasonic currently operates the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada alongside Tesla. The technology company invested approximately $1.455 billion into this facility.
 

Several battery and car manufacturers have announced plans for new factories throughout the US in recent months. LG and General Motors will spend a combined $2.6 billion on a new plant in Michigan and LG solutions will also build a new factory in Arizona.  

University of Houston makes huge strides in sodium-ion battery tech

University of Houston makes huge strides in sodium-ion battery tech

According to a study at the University of Houston, sodium-based battery technology might soon be available which could be a better alternative to lithium-based batteries.  

A homogeneous glassy electrolyte has been developed by Yan Yao, professor at the Electric & Computer Engineering department of Cullen College of Engineering and his colleagues at the University of Houston.  

The electrolyte makes it significantly more viable to produce sodium-ion based batteries commercially and on a larger scale. It enables reversible sodium plating and stripping at a greater current density.  

Lithium does have its advantages; however, prices are increasing and are at an all-time high. The rising costs are due to the pandemic causing supply-chain bottlenecks and also the Russia-Ukraine conflict causing increased demand for businesses. Mining lithium also has its environmental costs. 

Yao has commented saying: “The quest for new solid electrolytes for all-solid sodium batteries must concurrently be low cost, easily fabricated, and have incredible mechanical and chemical stability.” 

“To date, no single sodium solid electrolyte has been able to achieve all four of these requirements at the same time.”  

The study suggested that ambient temperature solid-state sodium-sulfur battery technology can be used for grid-level energy storage systems with the help of the new electrolyte.  

The positively charged metallic ion in sodium or lithium takes the charge from the anode to the cathode of a battery when the circuit is completed. This process is called stripping of the anode.  

When a battery is charged, the formation of sodium/lithium occurs around the anode of the battery in its metallic form. This is called plating or deposition. The positive ions must be free to move about because this movement is what produces electric energy. 

Sodium batteries earlier required three times the volume of lithium needed to produce the same amount of energy. This disadvantage discouraged scientists from working towards making sodium-based batteries. 

Sodium ion batteries will be a lot cheaper to produce than lithium batteries and this is due to the abundance of the raw materials to make them. The groups that are working on these batteries will hopefully be able to steer the market and the planet into a more sustainable direction.