EV, Battery & Charging News: LUCID, StoreDot, Polestar, eV Power … – AUTO Connected Car News

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In EV, battery and charging news are LUCID, StoreDot, Polestar, eV Power Exchange, EVCS, Lyft, First Student, ChargePoint, Mercedes and Volvo.
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Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID), announced that all Lucid vehicles built with the current Combined Charging System (CCS) will be able to charge at stations in the Tesla Supercharger network by using an adapter in 2025. In addition, Lucid will integrate the North American Charging Standard (NACS) into future vehicles in 2025.
“Adopting NACS is an important next step to providing our customers with expanded access to reliable and convenient charging solutions for their Lucid vehicles,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO at Lucid. “We believe that a unified charging standard, backed by the nationwide rollout of future-ready higher-voltage charging stations, will be a critical step in empowering American consumers to adopt electric vehicles.”
Lucid remains committed to enhancing the charging experience for its customers and accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles.
StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles, is collaborating with Polestar on an advanced engineering project to technically explore and demonstrate how XFC battery cell technology can be applied to an existing platform, and show what a production-level solution could look like.
The ground-breaking announcement was made at today’s Polestar Day in Los Angeles, California, where StoreDot’s ‘100-in-5’ XFC cell charging was demonstrated, alongside a prototype of a Polestar battery module.
Following Polestar’s investment in StoreDot and as part of an ongoing strategic partnership, the two companies are now already in advanced collaboration and are working to demonstrate StoreDot’s production ready XFC technology at full scale in a Polestar 5 prototype vehicle in 2024. The detailed collaboration includes key integrations such as the engineering design and cooling.
Electric vehicle (EV) demand in North America is rapidly increasing, drawing attention to the unreliability of the current EV infrastructure and its inability to support an influx of EVs. This necessitates a more robust and integrated charging network to support this growth. eV Power Exchange, a leading Electric Vehicle Service Provider (EVSP), is poised to disrupt and capture a significant segment of North America’s EV charging market, starting in Utah.
Utah, known for its proactive stance on sustainable transportation, is an ideal launchpad for eV Power Exchange. The company is set to become one of Utah’s largest publicly available DC fast-charging networks by the end of this year, with plans to expand further across the Mountain West states.
Utah, often at the forefront of the electric vehicle (EV) movement, provides a perfect setting for eV Power Exchange’s ambitious plans. The state’s enthusiasm towards EVs, combined with support from local property owners and government agencies, has enabled eV Power to establish a strong presence in Utah.
Currently, eV Power boasts state-of-the-art charging stations across Salt Lake City, Utah, with many more in the pipeline. Their network already covers numerous locations and is set to grow further, offering a convenient and reliable charging experience to EV drivers.
eV Power Exchange is on a mission to revolutionize the EV charging landscape, focusing on accessibility, speed, and reliability. Their vision goes beyond mere infrastructure, aiming to make EV charging an opportunity for exploration and connection.
Here’s a glimpse of their roadmap:
eV Power Exchange, led by CEO and Co-Founder Mark Sampson and CFO and Co-Founder Ralph Proceviat, a top level team from Vancouver and Salt Lake and an international and US based eco system of team members and strategic partners, is committed to transforming the EV charging landscape.
Sampson’s vision for eV Power Exchange is clear:
“We’re doing things differently. Our approach is to be a catalyst in the development of standards in an industry that really does not have any. We plan to do that by leading by example. EV owners deserve better than what is available to them today. Those standards will include high availability, reliability, and quality standards. We’re doing it because we care about the planet and also about the EV driver experience. We don’t want drivers to have to worry about where they’ll get their next charge.”
eV Power Exchange is dedicated to delivering an environmentally sustainable future and seamless charging experiences for every EV driver, ensuring that the reliability and consistency of EV charging matches that of refueling an internal combustion vehicle with gas.
EVCS, one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging network operators on the West Coast, and Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ:LYFT), a leading rideshare company, are excited to announce the launch of a new partnership program: EV drivers on Lyft can benefit from discounted charging on the EVCS network, helping rideshare EV drivers realize significant savings.
The program is available to all EV drivers on Lyft and encompasses all EVCS publicly accessible charging stations across CaliforniaOregon, and Washington. Through this program, EV drivers on Lyft can enjoy exclusive access to discounts on charging in the form of pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription plans. The discounts are applied to EVCS retail prices for both Level 2 and DC Fast charging. In addition, EV drivers on Lyft qualify for discounts on the Unlimited Anytime and Unlimited Off-Peak subscription plans. The Unlimited Anytime plan gives drivers unlimited charging privileges on the EVCS network, with unrestricted 24/7 access. The Unlimited Off-Peak plan allows for unlimited charging during the off-peak hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
All EV drivers on Lyft qualify for tiered discounts on charging, with Pro drivers receiving the highest discounts. Depending on their status and charging needs, an EV driver on Lyft will be able to save hundreds of dollars annually on their vehicle fueling costs. EV drivers on Lyft can find and start enrolling in the program at any time, through their account on the Lyft app. More information about the program is available here.
Powered by 100% renewable energy, this new program will play a significant role in fulfilling EVCS’ and Lyft’s goals of accelerating transition to clean transportation in CaliforniaOregon, and Washington. It also demonstrates both companies’ strong commitments to California’s ambitious rideshare electrification goals through the Clean Miles Standard, which mandates 90% of rideshare vehicle miles traveled to be zero-emissions by 2030. In Oregon and Washington, EVCS operates the West Coast Electric Highway, which serves as a pillar for transportation electrification in the Pacific Northwest.
First Student, the leading provider of school transportation services in North America, announced  details of its broadening partnership with the National Safety Council (NSC). First Student will be working with NSC on an expansive research pilot examining the safety benefits of school bus fleet electrification. The research pilot is expected to provide groundbreaking insights as the transition to school bus electrification takes root in school districts across the country.
The research project aims to examine the potential benefits of electric buses in improving roadway safety, student behavior, performance, classroom transition and workplace safety, which includes the impact on bus drivers and monitors. First Student previewed this work during the NSC Safety Congress & Expo held in New Orleans in October.
“NSC is an important force for good in our industry and we are excited that our work together is growing,” said First Student Senior Vice President of Safety and Security Darryl Hill. “The era of safer and more sustainable transportation options for students is upon us with school bus electrification. We hope that the results of our study and our partnership with NSC will help school district officials, parents of school-age children, educators and bus manufacturers to better understand the potential health and safety benefit for students from school bus electrification.”
First Student is the largest operator of electric school buses in North America with more than two million miles driven on EV buses. The company has committed to transition 30,000 of its diesel buses to electric by 2035.
“School transportation is a unique area where roadway, community and workplace safety issues overlap,” said NSC Roadway Practice Research Manager Sergey Sinelnikov. “The electrification of school buses has introduced an important element to the mix – transportation sustainability. The National Safety Council is thrilled to partner with First Student and optimistic about the results of this research collaboration.”
First Student Director of Safety Training and Development Renee Boydo has been named to NSC’s electric vehicle fleet steering committee. Boydo is responsible for managing and overseeing all operational aspects of driver training programs for First Student, including development and implementation.
“Being able to partner with NSC in such a deep and substantive way will make a huge difference in not just our understanding of transportation safety, but in speeding meaningful improvements,” said Boydo. “Our study will be the first of its kind and hopefully informs the exciting electric school bus transition that is already taking place across the country. We believe our study will show that electric school buses are quieter, safer, cleaner and have a positive impact on student behavior, both on and off the bus.”
The First Student study with NSC seeks to gain insight on the potential impact electric vehicles may have on student populations with special needs, particularly those with sound sensitivity. The research will employ a mixed-methods approach, including surveys, observations and interviews with students, parents, drivers and school officials. The safety impact assessment will explore the effects of electric buses on traffic safety and will also investigate the potential benefits of quieter buses on student behavior and experience on the bus ride.
The findings of this research will contribute to the ongoing discussion around sustainable transportation and its potential benefits for students, schools and the wider community. The study has the potential to inform school districts, policymakers and stakeholders about the benefits of electric school buses beyond just the environmental impact. Ultimately, the research aims to promote sustainable transportation options that can provide a healthier and safer environment for students and their communities.
Princeton NuEnergy (“PNE”), a clean- tech innovator specializing in recycling, repurposing, and commercializing lithium-ion battery materials, is pleased to announce the initial closing of its Series A funding round, raising $16 million. The round was led by Wistron Corporation (TPE: 3231), a Fortune Global 500 member and industry leader in electronics recycling services. Additionally, new institutional investors participated in this round, including Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE: HMC), GS Futures, and Traxys North America, joining previous investors Greenland Technologies, Shell Ventures, and WorldQuant Ventures, among others. PNE will use the proceeds for new recycling facility construction and equipment procurement to further increase processing capacity and support company operations.
PNE’s flagship innovation is a low-temperature plasma-assisted separation process (LPAS™), a patented technology that significantly reduces costs, environmental waste, and carbon emissions commonly associated with lithium-ion battery recycling. PNE’s approach enables higher critical material recovery rates and superior material performance compared with traditional recycling methodologies.
“As the world navigates the challenges of sustainable energy and responsible technology disposal, PNE remains dedicated to driving innovative solutions that have a positive impact,” stated PNE Founder and CEO, Dr. Chao Yan. “This Series A funding round represents a major step towards realizing our vision of a cleaner, greener future through cutting-edge lithium-ion battery recycling technology. We are grateful for the support from our investors and partners and look forward to building upon the solid foundation we have built to date.”
In addition to the $16 million Series A and previous seed rounds totaling $7 million, PNE has been awarded multiple research grants for battery recycling from the U.S. Department of Energy, most recently for $12 million and $4.375 million. The Series A funding will fortify PNE’s commitments to reducing the nation’s reliance on foreign critical materials, expanding domestic manufacturing capabilities, and enhancing the creation of high-quality clean energy jobs in the U.S.
Diamond Foundry Inc. (“DF”) t announced that it has created an electric car inverter leveraging its diamond wafer technology to enable more efficient electric cars.
The power electronics unit is six times smaller than that of a Tesla 3 while delivering more power more efficiently.
This new level of miniaturization is enabled through a smart design enabled by diamond wafers in composition with established silicon carbide dies.
Tesla led the power electronics revolution in electric cars by leading the adoption of silicon carbide. Now novel architectures are enabled by new tech components that further change the industry.
The design of power semiconductors is essentially driven by two factors: Thermal conductivity – the path to cool them down – and electrical conductivity – the path to carry high currents. Though the electrical path has been worked on for many years with more or less success, the thermal path has always been the main challenge. Further, power semiconductors need to be isolated from the rest of the environment because of safety required with high voltages. Voltage isolation barriers usually demonstrate poor thermal conductivity.
Diamond wafers can now be employed using two of its extreme properties: extreme thermal performance plus extreme electrical insulation. The advent of cost efficient diamond wafers creates fundamental new design opportunities for power electronics in ways not possible before. With the benefit of these new designs being so stark, it is hard to see them not to become the standard in power electronics.
Diamond Foundry Inc. is the #1 producer of single-crystal diamond in the world, with a foundry in Washington State that is ten times larger than the next largest in the USA. By solving the thermal limitations at the very foundation of each of today’s most exciting mega tech industries including AI, electric cars, and wireless, the company helps shape the future. Learn more at www.DF.com
EnerSys (NYSE: ENS), the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications,  announced that Landmark Dividend LLC (“Landmark”), a global leader in the acquisition, development, and management of real estate and digital infrastructure, has placed an order for 50 units of EnerSys’s proprietary and revolutionary energy storage and management systems which enables energy optimization through various applications including demand charge reduction, utility back-up power, and dynamic fast charging for electric vehicles (EVs).
EnerSys’s unique Fast Charge and Storage (FC&S) solution, provides energy management capability to enable customers to optimize their energy consumption by proactively managing energy demand to eliminate short-term peaks, taking pressure off the electrical grid, and reducing peak rate electricity surcharges. In addition, the system is controlled by sophisticated software, ensuring that it operates efficiently and allowing remote monitoring of its performance and reliability.
EnerSys’s dynamic fast charging application converts AC power to DC, which allows the EV charger to interact directly with the vehicle’s battery system, charging it quickly and efficiently. The system, known as a Level 3 charger, provides over 150kW of power per pedestal with four pedestals per system. The system’s attractive design and compact footprint make it ideal for installation in retail parking lots, where consumers can recharge their vehicles while shopping. EnerSys is delivering the only system combining energy management with 1.2MWh of energy storage capacity and dynamic DC fast charging with parallel charging capabilities from a single pedestal.
ChargePoint (NYSE: CHPT), a leading provider of networked charging solutions for electric vehicles (EVs), announced the milestone of one million quarterly active drivers on its network. To celebrate the occasion, ChargePoint has rolled out a major update to its driver app, which millions of drivers rely on to find, charge and pay for the fueling of their EV.
“As more EVs come to market, their drivers continue to choose ChargePoint as their network of choice, propelling us over the one million quarterly active user mark,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint. “ChargePoint remains focused on delivering the best driver experience available, so the redesign of our mobile app joins our enhanced reliability initiatives to ensure drivers can find, use and pay for charging in the most convenient way possible.”
In the United States alone, two million EV drivers have used a ChargePoint account to start a charge. With 3.6 million electric vehicles on US roads, this means approximately half of US EV drivers have used ChargePoint to facilitate their charging needs. In fact, the ChargePoint network represents 36% of all public charging ports in North America, and 70% of public networked AC ports1.
In celebration of the milestone, ChargePoint is releasing an updated version of its mobile app that further simplifies the user experience for drivers to seamlessly charge their vehicle wherever they live, work, and play. The app updates rest upon three key pillars:
The ChargePoint mobile app is available on all major mobile platforms, including Android, Android Auto, iOS, macOS, and Apple Watch. The ChargePoint mobile app now offers Android, iPhone, iPad, and Mac Widgets that help EV drivers find charging stations, see charging status, and more. The ChargePoint mobile app is available now for free download in the iOS App Store and Google Play.
Niron Magnetics, the company pioneering the world’s first high-performance, rare earth-free permanent magnets, today announced it has raised $33 million in additional funding, with new investments from leading automotive manufacturers, GM Ventures and Stellantis Ventures, and previous local investors, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and the University of Minnesota (UMN), amongst other investors. This new financing will allow Niron to expand its current pilot production facilities and scale manufacturing capacity for exclusive customer programs and initial sales of its Clean Earth Magnet®.
Permanent magnets are essential components in all automobiles, fundamental to audio systems, fuel pumps, air circulation, electric vehicle (EV) drivetrains, and much more. As more cars are bought around the globe and demand surges for EVs, so does the demand for more stable and sustainable alternatives to rare-earth materials. This new round of funding will advance the commercialization of Niron’s Iron Nitride-based Clean Earth Magnets, which are environmentally sustainable, globally manufacturable, and made from stable supply inputs. Further, Niron’s alternative to rare-earth magnets promises improved temperature stability compared to other options currently available on the market, which is critical for automotive use.
With the new investments from GM Ventures and Stellantis Ventures, and previous funding from Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Niron is now backed by three leading automotive manufacturers. This commitment demonstrates the potential of its Clean Earth Magnet technology to meet the automotive industry’s need to diversify and secure its supply chain with a viable alternative to rare earth magnets.
“Nearly 40 years ago, GM’s R&D team discovered and commercialized the world’s first high-powered, rare-earth permanent magnet material. GM Ventures’ investment in Niron’s Magnetics brings our rich history in specialized magnet innovation full circle,” said Anirvan Coomer, president of GM Ventures. “Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet could help GM make more affordable EVs for its customers out of more abundant materials.”
By increasing its pilot production capacities through team and facility expansions, Niron will be able to increase customer prototyping programs, and support small-scale product runs for key entry markets. In addition to automobiles, Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet technology can be used in consumer electronics and audio technology, industrial motors, pumps, compressors, wind turbines, and more.
“We were drawn to invest in Niron by the impressive sustainability benefits that its Clean Earth Magnet technology offers for vehicles and the inherent scalability of their solution,” said Adam Bazih, Managing Partner at Stellantis Ventures. “Making powerful magnets from plentiful commodity materials decouples new production from rare earth mine development and lowers overall environmental impact, which directly aligns with Stellantis’ commitment to reach carbon net zero by 2038.”
“We are thrilled that local organizations like SMSC and UMN continue to support Niron’s growth, and that GM and Stellantis both see the potential for Niron’s technology to help drive the automotive industry’s transition to EVs,” said Jonathan Rowntree, CEO at Niron. “We look forward to collaborating closely with all of our investors and partners to work towards enabling a rare earth-free future in magnetics.”
Mercedes-Benz HPC North America LLC (Mercedes-Benz HPC NA), which is launching a network of premium EV charging stations across North America, announces a new strategic agreement today with Buc-ee’s, operators of the beloved and world-renowned chain of travel centers, marking a significant milestone in the journey to create a national charging network that redefines convenience and quality for drivers across the country. Mercedes-Benz will build charging hubs at most Buc-ee’s existing travel centers, starting with about 30 by the end of 2024.
Mercedes-Benz HPC NA has already begun work on charging hubs at numerous Buc-ee’s locations across the country, with some to be open by the end of this year. This collaboration underscores the commitment of both organizations to provide exceptional value and an unparalleled experience to their customers.
“Mercedes-Benz HPC North America’s collaboration with Buc-ee’s represents an important moment in our pursuit of a national charging network that sets a new standard in both convenience and quality,” said Andrew Cornelia, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz HPC NA. “Within a remarkably short period, we’ve made significant strides towards opening several charging hubs at Buc-ee’s travel centers. Buc-ee’s strategic locations along major travel routes, combined with their commitment to clean and accessible amenities, aligns perfectly with our vision. Together, we’re not only providing exceptional value but also redefining the EV charging experience for drivers nationwide.”
Since beginning its multi-state expansion in 2019, Buc-ee’s has opened travel centers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and has broken ground on locations in Springfield, MO, Hillsboro, TX, Amarillo, TX, Harrison County, MS, Smiths Grove, KY, Luling, TX, and Johnstown, CO.
“Buc-ee’s values people and partnerships,” said Buc-ee’s General Counsel, Jeff Nadalo. “Our new collaboration with Mercedes-Benz HPC North America will continue our traditions of elevated customer convenience and excellent service that have won the hearts, trust and business of millions in the South for more than 40 years.”
This new strategic relationship represents another step for Mercedes-Benz HPC NA toward fulfilling its promise of expanding the EV charging map in North America through a “value-based approach” by building charging hubs where EV drivers are and where they are going. Buc-ee’s travel centers provide value to EV drivers through their strategic placement along key transit corridors in the South and Southeast, including the Texas Triangle, I-75 and I-95, in addition to high-quality amenities like freshly prepared food and beverages, souvenirs, friendly service, and the most pristine highway rest facilities in the world. The collaboration enables Mercedes-Benz HPC NA to seamlessly integrate sustainable charging, using 100% renewable energy, into the background of EV drivers’ lives, ensuring the Mercedes-Benz brand legacy of quality meets the practical needs of EV drivers today and into the future.
Further, by teaming up with MN8 Energy, a proven and experienced name in renewable energy that owns and operates nearly 900 renewable energy projects across 28 states, Mercedes-Benz HPC NA aims to achieve industry-leading uptime, a critical component of delivering a high-quality, premium experience to EV drivers.
The collaboration between Mercedes-Benz HPC NA and Buc-ee’s represents two well-loved brands’ shared commitment to providing top-tier service and convenience to their valued customers. Mercedes-Benz HPC NA and Buc-ee’s look forward to delivering a revolutionary charging and travel experience to EV drivers nationwide.
Proterra Inc. and Proterra Operating Company Inc. are in a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy process in the US. Volvo Group has been selected as the winning bidder in an auction for the business and assets of the Proterra Powered business unit at a purchase price of USD 210M.
The transaction between Proterra Inc. and Proterra Operating Company as sellers and Volvo is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court in the US. In addition, closing of the transaction, which is expected early 2024, will be subject to merger clearance and certain other conditions.
The assets to be acquired include a development center for battery modules and packs in California and an assembly factory in South Carolina. With this acquisition, Volvo Group will complement the current, and accelerate its future, battery-electric road map.
 
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