One of the Largest Climate-Tech Workforce Partnerships in US History, + More EV & Battery News

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In good green economic news, electric battery maker SPARKZ and the United Mine Workers coal union have announced a labor-management memorandum of understanding for a planned factory in West Virginia that intends to put out-of-work coal miners back to work.

More on new battery factories, jobs, recycling, electric vehicles, and on-demand charging solutions for charging deserts are included in the news roundup below.

Green Economy

Next-gen battery maker Sparkz, United Mine Workers of America announce labor-management agreement

“The “memorandum of understanding” is the first step toward establishing one of the largest climate-tech workforce partnerships in US history

“CHARLESTON, W.Va. — SPARKZ, the next-generation battery manufacturer re-engineering the battery supply chain, and the United Mine Workers of America announced today they have signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a labor-management agreement that would mark one of the largest climate-tech union workforce partnerships in the United States.

“SPARKZ announced in March it will begin construction in 2022 of a Gigafactory in West Virginia to commercialize their zero-cobalt battery which will initially employ 350 workers and could grow to as many as 3,000.”

More Battery News

Stellantis and Samsung SDI to invest over $2.5 billion in joint venture for lithium-ion battery production plant in United States

“Kokomo, Indiana Stellantis N.V. and Samsung SDI today announced that they have executed binding, definitive agreements to establish an electric-vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana. Targeted to start in 2025, the plant aims to have an initial annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt-hours (GWh), with an aim to increase to 33 GWh in the next few years. The total capacity would increase further as demand for Stellantis electric vehicles is expected to rise.”

Suzuki develops a technology to reuse small lithium-ion batteries in Japan

“As part of its non-profitable activity utilizing the net surplus generated from the Japanese vehicle recycling fees, Suzuki Motor Corporation has developed a technology to reuse small lithium-ion batteries collected from ELVs for solar-powered streetlights in Japan.

“Small lithium-ion batteries collected from ELVs had been disposed with the battery life still remaining. The new technology enables to reuse batteries collected from ten ELVs as batteries for one solar-powered streetlight. Moreover, the technology will open up the way for efficient utilization of small lithium-ion batteries which are to increase in the future. The developed technology will be made open to the public as a product of Suzuki’s non-profitable activity to penetrate the technology.”

Eaton’s eMobility business introduces battery disconnect unit featuring updated Breaktor circuit protection technology

BMW Group creates closed recycling loop for high-voltage batteries in China

“Munich/Shenyang — The BMW Group is stepping up its commitment to achieving climate neutrality and massively expanding its use of secondary material in closed recycling loops. For the first time in China, the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture (BBA) has established a closed loop for reuse of the raw materials nickel, lithium and cobalt from high-voltage batteries that are no longer suitable for use in electric vehicles. The batteries come from fully and partially-electric development vehicles, test systems and production rejects and, in the future, also from end-of-life vehicles.”

BMW Group to open Cell Manufacturing Competence Centre this autumn

“Approvals granted for commissioning of production in Parsdorf. Near-standard production of samples for next-generation battery cells. Start of production in late 2022.”

Huayou Recycling’s autoclave leaching vessel significantly enhances the leaching rate of core raw materials.

Polestar invests in extreme fast charging battery company StoreDot; unlocks access to advanced battery technology

“Charging and range anxiety are common concerns holding owners of combustion engine cars back from making the switch to EVs. StoreDot’s advanced battery technology potentially provides real solutions to these obstacles. If our current pilot projects with StoreDot are successful, we could see these solutions being implemented in Polestar cars by 2026.” —Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO

EV Charging

SparkCharge raises $23 million to scale on-demand electric vehicle (EV) charging delivery service app Currently

Meet StoreDot: The startup that used neuroscience to revolutionize EV batteries

World’s first offshore vessel charging points to be installed on UK wind farms this summer

“The world’s first offshore charging points for electric vessels will be installed on the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms off the UK around late summer, according to the UK’s Department for Transport.”

Allego & Volkswagen Group France enter a strategic partnership with Groupe Bertrand

“Allego to Expand its HPC network in France by installing 15 Ultra-Fast Charging Hubs by the middle of 2023.

“Allego Holding B.V. (NYSE:ALLG), the leading pan-European electric vehicle charging network and Volkswagen Group France today announced a partnership with Groupe Bertrand.”

Allego to expand its HPC network in France by installing 15 ultra-fast charging hubs by the middle of 2023.


smart confirms UK availability and timing of 100 #1 Launch Editions

“To coincide with the UK media debut of the all-new smart #1, smart has confirmed the timing and pre-ordering details for the Launch Edition model.

“Signalling the first opportunity for customers to join smart in the next exciting chapter of its renewal journey, order books for the smart #1 in the UK will open in December 2022 with an exclusive 100 Launch Edition examples available ahead of first deliveries in mid-2023.

“The compact smart #1 SUV represents a new generation of all-electric smart models, featuring a dynamic blend of all-new design, impressive cabin space and state-of-the-art technology.”

courtesy of smart

“The Launch Edition closely mirrors the concept smart #1 showcar that was revealed in Munich last year, with only 1,000 being available across Europe as a whole. On the outside, its exclusive combination of white body and gold roof, the smart #1 Launch Edition offers customers unique signature design cues as the range’s halo model. A bespoke Launch Edition Halo Roof brings an exclusive aesthetic to the vehicle, featuring an intricate chequered pattern for a striking, futuristic appearance. Its 19” Prism alloys mirror the same design, while exclusive interior trim colours and a two-tone leather interior highlights its upmarket character even further.”

Fiat celebrates the success of New 500’s “KIRI” project with 7,300 users generating over £635,000 worth of rewards

“Since launch, 30.5 million Fiat e.Coins have been accumulated, valuing over £636,240 which can be spent in the Kiri marketplace. Meanwhile, thanks to the environmentally friendly driving style that has been adopted by subscribers, it is estimated that more than 1,000 tons of CO2 have been saved***.

“Crowning the success of the programme — which sees 500 new customers join every month — and to celebrate its birth right under the FIAT brand, the formerly named ‘KiriCoins’ will be called ‘FIAT e.Coins’ and identified through a dedicated logo, while the Fiat app receives a new visual layout.”

Courtesy of FIAT

Quick off the spark: electric vehicle sales continue to soar in green revolution

“Sales of electric vehicles reach an all-time high while UK boasts one of the most extensive networks of rapid chargers in Europe.”

Acid test for the ID. Buzz: The new high-tech “Bulli” is put through its paces

“The sun is baking — the ground is dry and dusty. A white, cleverly camouflaged ID. Buzz battles its way over the stony surface. Time and again, deep potholes shake the car and its occupants. A feat of strength for the latest generation of ‘Bulli’. Testing means going to the extreme. Only then can the technology reach the ultimate levels of perfection.

“The conditions are challenging for all the components. This time, the focus is primarily on the driving dynamic components of the ID. Buzz. “Shortly before the launch, we test the final application status directly on the vehicles. That ensures the whole vehicle is tested again in a customer-oriented manner,” explains Stefan Lutz, project leader for the ID. Buzz at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.”

Image courtesy of Volkswagen Group.

Citroën announces UK pricing for Ami 100% ëlectric and My Ami Cargo

Ami 100% ëlectric and My Ami Cargo to be sold online through Citroën’s dedicated Ami digital platform — over 2,000 reservations already received.

“The passenger version — Ami 100% ëlectric — is offered in three trim levels, with a choice of three Colour Packs.

“The lead-in ‘Ami’ trim offers the most affordable point of entry to the Ami 100% ëlectric line-up, priced at only £7,695 OTR. Standard specification includes a digital speedometer, LED front and rear lights, a panoramic glass sunroof and a USB charging port.'”

UK pricing for Citroën’s innovative Ami 100% ëlectric quadricycle starts from £7,695 MRRP OTR.

Tesla Model Y fire incident: remember, there’s a manual door release — here’s how to use it in an emergency

“However, as a Tesla owner, this guy should’ve known that there is a mechanical manual door release button in all Tesla vehicles. This information is explicitly explained in the owner’s manual and the emergency response guides that the automaker has allowed free access to (get all 4 Tesla emergency response PDFs that we posted just recently).”

Fully electric C40 Recharge continues Volvo Cars five-star streak in Euro NCAP safety testing

Volvo Car USA selects Maryland STEM teacher and student as winners of “EV as ABC” Twitter contest

“Participants were encouraged to nominate a teacher in a U.S. school creating a brighter, more sustainable future for the next generation by sharing why they deserve to win a trip to Volvo headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, where they would learn more about Volvo’s electrification ambitions and sustainability initiatives.

“’It’s evident Katherine and Avery are true changemakers leading the charge in their local community towards creating a brighter, more eco-friendly future. We’re proud to join them on their sustainable journey,’ said Leigh Moynihan, Vice President, Marketing, Volvo Car USA.”

Volvo Cars raises EUR 500m for electrification through new green bond

“Volvo Cars today successfully placed its second green bond to raise EUR 500m from a diverse set of global investors. The bond was oversubscribed three-times, despite challenging global market conditions.

Volvo C40 charging

“All proceeds are earmarked for funding and accelerating the company’s transformation towards becoming a fully electric carmaker by 2030 and becoming climate neutral and circular by 2040.

“Over two thirds of the proceeds will fund the research and development of electric powertrains for next generation pure electric Volvo cars as well as related new platform technology, while the rest will be invested in boosting the company’s production capacity of fully electric cars.”

G7 labour and social ministers learn about the transformation to e-mobility at Volkswagen

“Today, as part of the German G7 presidency, the labor and social ministers of the G7 nations visited the Volkswagen main plant in Wolfsburg to learn about the site’s shift to e-mobility, along with other topics. The ministers were welcomed by Gunnar Kilian, Chief Human Resources Officer of Volkswagen AG, and Thomas Schäfer, future CEO and current COO of the Volkswagen brand. The discussions focused on the role of Volkswagen in the successful transformation to a sustainable and software-based tech company while also keeping the needs of the employees in view. Following the workforces in Zwickau and Emden, the approximately 60,500 employees of Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg will be prepared for e-mobility by means of training measures over the coming years.”

Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

XPeng reports first quarter 2022 unaudited financial results

XPeng P7 sports sedan.

Electric Buses

EMT Madrid orders ninety Irizar’s electric buses

“Madrid and Irizar, a winning combination. EMT, the Spanish capital’s municipal transportation company is continuing its goal of advancing fleet electrification and is awarding, for the fifth time, an order of (90) buses to Irizar e-mobility.

“With this latest order, EMT of Madrid will add a total of 175 Irizar-branded zero-emission buses to its fleet. These zero-emission Irizar vehicles will have state-of-the-art batteries of more than 430 kWh. The vehicles will be powered by a 206 kW central motor. The buses will be able to be charged by inverted pantograph or by slow charging in city depots.”

Image courtesy of Irizar.

NFI releases its Environmental, Social and Governance Report for 2021

“As leaders in transportation solutions, NFI plays a critical role in driving tangible environmental and social impact. Our products and services lower emissions, create economic opportunities, and build healthier communities. NFI’s fourth annual ESG Report demonstrates our impact and the significant growth and maturity in our Company-wide ESG practices,” said Janice Harper, Executive Vice President, People and Culture, NFI.

The new electric city bus chassis. coming soon.

“Introducing the new Mercedes-Benz Electric City Bus Chassis (eCBC). Built in Brazil and validated for Australian conditions, the new electric chassis carrying the three-pointed star’s quality and reliability is coming to Australia and New Zealand. The first Mercedes-Benz right hand drive electric bus chassis will be arriving in Australia in the last quarter of 2022.”

The new electric city bus chassis. Coming soon. Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.

Volvo Trucks: First in the world to use fossil-free steel in its trucks

Electric Aviation

Lilium partners with Honeywell and DENSO to co-develop and manufacture electric motor for Lilium Jet

“The Lilium e-motor is a proprietary, high-performance system, on which Lilium, DENSO and Honeywell teams have been working for nearly two years. It is expected to bring exceptional performance and reliability with zero operating emissions typically associated with commercial jet engines. An air-cooled design offers structural simplicity and ease of maintenance compared with traditional liquid cooling systems, and therefore has the potential to significantly reduce aircraft operating costs. The e-motor has its rotor and stator in a centrifugal or ‘radial’ configuration, compared to traditional axial designs. This lowers the component’s weight, manufacturing costs and susceptibility to foreign object damage. It also boasts industry-leading power density, with the first prototypes designed to extract over 100kW of power from a system weighing just over 4kg.”


WeRide received strategic investment from Bosch to jointly develop the auto grade and mass production of advanced driving solution in China


ŠKODA AUTO presents selected projects aimed at preserving biodiversity

“ŠKODA AUTO is committed to environmental protection and combines its ambitious sustainability goals in the three core areas of Green Factory, Green Product and Green Retail under the umbrella of the Green Future strategy. To mark the United Nations’ International Day for Biological Diversity, the company is presenting selected initiatives that promote biodiversity in its manufacturing regions around the world.”

Image courtesy of ŠKODA.

“In the Czech Republic, the car manufacturer has been planting a sapling for every vehicle delivered in the country since 2007 as part of its ‘One Car, One Tree’ project. By the end of October 2021, the company had planted one million trees, and around 79,900 new trees will be planted in 2022.”

Image courtesy of ŠKODA.

BRI announces new leak detection service for mapping leaks of methane and other gasses and pollutants


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