Thursday, September 28, 2023

Electric trucks: that is why ElectraMeccanica and Tevva have merged

The two companies ElectraMeccanica, with headquarters in the USA, and the British Tevva have announced their merging to create a market specialist in zero-emission commercial vehicles, focusing first on the United Kingdom, then on Europe and on the United States. Expectations reach $67 Billions in 2030.
Tevva’s existing 110,000-square-foot EV manufacturing facility in Tilbury, United Kingdom, would be complemented by ElectraMeccanica’s recently-commissioned 235,000-square-foot facility in Mesa, Arizona, which is expected to enable the combined company to scale its production to serve the UK, European and U.S. markets.
Tevva, which is headquartered at Tilbury, in the United Kingdom, has recently started the deliveries of its 7.5-ton electric truck for urban deliveries and is working at a proprietary technology of hydrogen range extender. The manufacturing technology of electric vehicles of Tevva will be integrated by the ElectraMeccanica factory that is under construction at Mesa, in Arizona.
“Collaborating with Tevva, we are offering our shareholders a unique opportunity of taking part in the prospects of growth speeded up and driven by the technology, combined in such ways as to extend and to exploit logically also the existing resources and highlights of ElectraMeccanica”, declared Steven Sanders, president of the Board of Directors of ElectraMeccanica.
David Roberts, current Director of Tevva and anticipated incoming Executive Chairman said, “Since Tevva’s founding more than ten years ago, we have focused our engineering and product development capabilities on developing a portfolio of zero-emission commercial vehicles that have generated significant customer interest. Our vehicles have undertaken more than 300,000 miles of testing and operating experience in real-world conditions by demanding fleet operators. We are excited to merge with ElectraMeccanica and accelerate the growth of the combined company”.

In-house whole chain, the Chinese BYD enters the Italian market

The Chinese Byd stands out in the automotive industry for having the whole chain inside the same company, manufacturing the complete system of electric motors, batteries, electrified transmissions, control units and semiconductors. The company has recently presented the two models with which it enters the Italian market. It is BYD Atto 3, a compact SUV powered by a motor featuring 150 kW/204 HP and 310 Nm of torque, able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and with a 60.5 kWh battery and autonomy up to 565 km in the urban cycle. BYD HAN is instead a sedan with two motors that develop a combined power of 380 kW/517 HP. The maximum autonomy is 662 km in the urban cycle. A distinguishing element of BYD is the Blade Battery, made of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP), which gives up cobalt.

First field test of 100% electric truck for Fercam

Alto Adige logistic and transport company Fercam has collaborated with Mercedes-Benz Trucks Italia to carry out the first real transport in Italy with the brand-new 100% electric truck. From Bolzano to Innsbruck, transporting goods without any noxious emission, without noise and in full drive comfort: Fercam was the first that tested an international Distribution Service with the electric Actros by Mercedes-Benz. The two companies share the commitment for the implementation of freight transport solutions on road at zero CO2 emissions and therefore they collaborate to speed up the transition.
The transport activity carried out during the test week had as reference place in Austria the local head office of Fercam’s partner for the Distribution on Extra-Italy European territory. The load amounted to about 6 tons of goods for each leg, and Heinz Lambacher, Fercam driver for over 16 years, was behind the truck wheel. For the journey, it was sufficient to recharge batteries at the time of loading goods and at the arrival, no intermediate stop was necessary.

Clepa’s vision about the EU taxonomy regulation

Clepa, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, commented The EU taxonomy regulation – the classification on EU scale for sustainable activities – declaring that this regulation aims at directing investments towards sustainable commercial activities. This means that, over the incoming years, the sustainability level of each business activity will influence its access to funding.
The European Commission has presented new proposals for delegated acts that amend and complement the classification scheme for sustainable business activities. «CLEPA welcomes this initiative and sees the delegated acts as a step forward in the acknowledgment of automotive suppliers’ contribution to a sustainable economy and their role in the advancement of green mobility in the EU. Originally, the taxonomy regulation did not recognise the economic activities related to the production of e-mobility components as “sustainable”, while the assembly of electric vehicles was considered as such. The proposed amendment to the Climate Delegated Act incorporates the production of powertrain components including e-motors, power electronics, thermal management and braking systems in its definition of sustainable economic activities. The circularity chapter of the Delegated Act on non-climate environmental objectives gives much-needed recognition to the sustainability contribution of some aftermarket-related activities, but so far excludes the design for circularity and remains ambiguous on remanufacturing actions by automotive suppliers. As a result, critical activities by automotive suppliers remain at risk of being overlooked by capital markets and could suffer from underinvestment. The use of low carbon/recovered materials, lightweighting, and product robustness should be considered in future revisions of the taxonomy».
Hence, the reflection that many automotive supply companies continue to face  competition with OEMs, who can claim eligibility for the revenue generated by a sold vehicle whose value is generated by all components, while the manufacturing activities of a large share of these components remains non-eligible.

Rare earths, crackdown on exports from China?

galena metallic ore mineral sample, a rare earth mineral

The latest rumours from the market suggest that China is considering – to safeguard the “national safety” – to forbid the export of the rare earths used to manufacture high-performance magnets used for the production of electric motors and wind-turbine motors.
The Serbian expert Goran Janjic, Sustainability and Business Strategist explained: “With the global trend toward decarbonization driving a shift toward the use of electric motors, China is believed to be seeking to seize control of the magnet supply chain and establish dominance in the burgeoning environment sector”.
Beijing is currently in the process of revising its Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Export, a list of manufacturing and other industrial technologies subjected to export controls, and released a draft of the revised catalogue for public comment in December.
China is estimated to hold an about 84% share of the global market in neodymium magnets and an over 90% interest in samarium cobalt magnets. Japan, meanwhile, has about 15% of the neodymium magnet market and a less-than-10% share of that for samarium cobalt. If China bans the export of such technologies, it would be difficult for the United States and Europe, which do not traditionally manufacture rare earth magnets, to newly enter the market, thus making those countries totally dependent on China, according to a European source”.

Stellantis, the gigafactory for ACC batteries inaugurated in France

Together with TotalEnergies and Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis has recently inaugurated the gigafactory of Automotive Cells Company (ACC) for the manufacturing of batteries headquartered at Billy-Berclau Douvrin, France.
It is the first of the three planned in Europe and it has a starting manufacturing capacity of 13 gigawatts/hour, scheduled to increase up to 40 GWh by 2030. The plant will manufacture high-performance lithium-ion batteries with a minimum CO2 footprint.
The gigafactory will share in Stellantis goal of reaching a production capacity of 250 GWh in Europe within 2030 and will allow the Company to carry on its mission, to offer a complete range of battery technologies able to satisfy the requirements of customers in the whole Stellantis brand’s portfolio. The Company is operating to assure a capacity of around 400 GWh by 2030 thanks to five gigafactories located in Europe and North America and to other supply contracts.
Considering that the chemistry of batteries is in constant evolution, Stellantis is exploring all available technologies to satisfy the diversified requirements of its broad base of customers and to grant a green, safe and accessible mobility. Innovative solutions like the technology of solid-state batteries by Factorial and lithium-sulphur batteries by Lyten allow improving vehicles’ performances and the customer experience, enabling a more sustainable mobility offer for all.
“At the time of the establishment of this partnership, in 2020, we agreed an ambitious programme for the development of electric vehicles’ batteries, to carry out our plan of mobility electrification” declared Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis.

One of the largest high-speed charging networks in Europe is incoming

Be Charge, company fully controlled by Plenitude, which is in its turn a branch of Eni Group, will receive from the European Commission and the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) over 100 million Euros for the implementation by 2025 of one of the largest high-speed charging networks in Europe. In the specific case, CDP, as national promotion institute, has granted a funding worth 50 millions, with the addition of other 50.4 millions as non-refundable grant awarded by the European Commission.
The goal of this operation is favouring the development of the infrastructures dedicated to the electric mobility and speeding up the energy transition towards the implementation of a network with over 2,000 “ultra-fast” charge points, with a minimum power of 150 kW, along the main European transport corridors of eight Countries: Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia and Greece.
“This operation is framed in the programme of the company, which today counts more than 15,000 charging points, and has the goal of developing a high-power European infrastructure for electric vehicles and of doubling its network by 2026, reaching 30,000 points”, stated Stefano Goberti, Managing Director of Plenitude.
Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, declared: “With the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility, we are going to support the fast introduction of recharge infrastructures. In this way, we will permit the diffusion on the market of zero- and low-emission vehicles and, finally, to transform our climatic goals into reality”.

Bonfiglioli grows and takes over Selcom Group

Ferment in the world of drives: Bonfiglioli has acquired 100% of the social capital of Selcom Group spa, company specialized in the design, production and sale of electronic boards, electronic products, software and solutions for customers in the industrial, biomedical, automotive, intralogistics and home-appliance sectors. “We are happy we can actually rely on the presence of Selcom inside our Group. On the other hand, it will be a marvellous challenging course together and, thanks to the competences, the determination and the commitment of all, it will lead us to more and more competitive value proposals” stated Sonia Bonfiglioli, President of Bonfiglioli Spa.

Stellantis towards electric, investments in USA worth 155 million dollars

Stellantis has recently announced they will invest 155 million dollars overall in three factories at Kokomo, in Indiana, for the manufacturing of new electric drive modules (EDM) that will allow powering the electric vehicles that will be assembled in North America. The aim is hitting the target of satisfying 50% of sales in the United States with battery electric vehicles by 2030.
With over 25 releases of battery electric vehicles (BEV) planned in the United States from now until 2030, the EDM produced at Kokomo will be integrated into the vehicles based on STLA Large and STLA Frame platforms. EDM represents a complete solution for electric powertrains and is constituted by three main components – electric motor, power and transmission electronics – enclosed in a single module to offer better performances and autonomy at competitive costs. The new optimized EDM will allow each platform to reach up to 500 miles (800 kilometres) of autonomy.
Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, stated: «While we are successfully continuing our transition towards a decarbonized future in our activities in Europe, we are now setting up these same base elements for the North American market. Joining the advantages of EDM with the new BEV platforms and innovative batteries, we will be able to offer a variety of electric vehicles with unequalled performances and autonomy, at cheaper prices, to our customers. Besides, due to our in-house manufacturing skills and to our competence, we will succeed in doing that in extremely flexible and efficient manner».
Investments will concern Indiana Transmission, Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting plants. The gearbox cover will be moulded at Kokomo Casting factory and machined by Kokomo Transmission plant. The gear machining and the final assembly will take place at Indiana Transmission Plant. The production start is scheduled in the third quarter of 2024, after the reconversion of plants.
Since 2020, Stellantis has invested almost 3.3 billion dollars in Indiana to promote the transition towards the electrification. This also includes an investment worth 643 million dollars, recently announced, for the production of a new motor for traditional and PHEV applications, a state-of-the-art eight-speed transmission and a gigafactory in joint venture with Samsung SDI.

H3X, new investments for the sustainable aviation

H3X has obtained an investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures, the venture arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, to speed up the technological development and the marketing of revolutionary electric motors.
This latest funding brings the total raised by H3X to $9M, an investment that will be used to accelerate technology development and commercialization of H3X’s HPDM family of integrated motor drives and the scale-up of their new headquarters facility in Louisville, Colorado for production.
«At H3X, we are building integrated motor drives from 30kW to 3MW that are unparalleled in performance in terms of specific power (kW/kg) and efficiency. We are thrilled to have support from Lockheed Martin and are excited for the opportunity to work together and collaborate on next-generation defence technology using our motors», the witness by Jason Sylvestre, Co-Founder and CEO of H3X.
The investor has no doubts about his investment. «H3X is working on scaling transformative technologies that we believe have the potential to provide our customer with viable options for electrifying legacy, all-domain systems and components» is in fact what has affirmed Chris Moran, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures.
H3X has made advancements in several different areas that enable them to reach continuous specific powers of >10kW/kg and best-in-class efficiency. These areas include electromagnetics, material science, power electronics, additive manufacturing, motor control, and thermals. H3X has invested heavily in vertical integration and does design, manufacturing, and testing in-house at their headquarters in Louisville, Colorado.
H3X originally developed this technology to enable compelling fully-electric and hybrid-electric aircraft with excellent range and payload capacity while also significantly reducing noise and operational costs. “When you look at the power density and efficiency requirements that are needed for electrifying narrow-body jets, there really isn’t anything out there that is sufficient,” said Jason Sylvestre. “The Megawatt-class systems that you can buy today still use technology from the last century and are far too large, heavy, and inefficient to meet the demanding requirements of electric aviation.” Additionally, H3X has found that there are a number of other markets that can also benefit from their technology including defence, marine, specialized ground vehicles, and power generation.