Electric Vehicles – Sfeva http://sfeva.org/ Fri, 05 Aug 2022 03:01:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://sfeva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/sfeva-icon-150x150.png Electric Vehicles – Sfeva http://sfeva.org/ 32 32 Preliminary plan for West Virginia electric vehicle charging station completed https://sfeva.org/preliminary-plan-for-west-virginia-electric-vehicle-charging-station-completed/ Fri, 05 Aug 2022 03:01:00 +0000 https://sfeva.org/preliminary-plan-for-west-virginia-electric-vehicle-charging-station-completed/
All 50 states were to submit a NEVI plan to the federal government by Monday, August 1, 2022. West Virginia’s plan proposes locating electric vehicle charging stations somewhere along Interstate 64, 77, or 79 in the Charleston area; Interstate 64 near Huntington and somewhere near Lewisburg; Interstate 77 in the Beckley area and somewhere in Mercer County; Interstate 68 or 79 in the Morgantown area; Interstate 79 near Flatwoods and Weston; Interstate 70 near Wheeling; and Interstate 81 near Martinsburg.

The federal government has asked each state to develop a NEVI plan in anticipation of an increase in the number of electric vehicles on American roads in the coming years and the corresponding need for charging stations. West Virginia is expected to get nearly $45.7 million over the next five years through the NEVI program to help develop electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure.

Electric vehicles currently have a maximum range of around 300 miles. While West Virginia residents can use the charging stations that will be developed along highways under the plan, the charging stations are primarily for drivers traveling through West Virginia en route to another location.
Under the NEVI plan, charging stations should ideally be located about 50 miles apart on major traffic routes.

In anticipation of the NEVI plan and the expected increase in electric vehicle use, the West Virginia Legislature passed Bill 4797 in June 2022. The bill directed WVDOT to develop the NEVI plan to “take a holistic approach, considering the future infrastructure needs of school systems, transit, counties and municipalities, and other public and private users.

To view West Virginia’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Deployment Plan, visit go.wv.gov/nevi.​

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Massachusetts Set to Boost Its Electric Vehicle Network https://sfeva.org/massachusetts-set-to-boost-its-electric-vehicle-network/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 10:37:10 +0000 https://sfeva.org/massachusetts-set-to-boost-its-electric-vehicle-network/

Data: SparkCharge; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Massachusetts could soon get more electric vehicle drivers — and more charging stations to fill the gaps — if Gov. Charlie Baker approves a climate bill passed by lawmakers over the weekend.

What is happening: The bill includes up to $5,000 in rebates for electric vehicle purchases (and another $1,500 rebate for low-income drivers) and would require MassDOT to install charging stations at city transportation hubs. the state.

  • It would also create a council to direct plans to add charging stations.
  • The bill comes as the Biden administration prepares to send Massachusetts $63 million over five years to expand its electric vehicle charging network.

Why is this important: Massachusetts has an ambitious goal to add 300,000 zero-emission vehicles by 2025 to help reduce carbon emissions.

  • The state had one-tenth that number of electric vehicles registered in June, according to the Federal Alternative Fuels Data Center.
  • The rebates could further incentivize residents to buy electric vehicles, and the addition of public charging stations could help the state meet demand as more drivers go electric.

What they say : “If Governor Baker signs this bill, the cars we drive will be cleaner and the air we breathe will be healthier,” Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, said in a statement to Axios. .

By the numbers: Massachusetts is home to at least 1,600 electric vehicle charging stations, according to one estimate.

  • Of these, nearly half (771) are in Middlesex and Suffolk counties, while parts of central and western Massachusetts have far fewer stations.

Details: Under the bill, MassDOT would at least have plans by next July to add charging stations to MassPike service plazas and transit station parking lots.

  • The state is expected to approve discounts for off-peak EV charging (National Grid says its off-peak hours are 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. the next day).
  • By 2035, all new cars for sale must be zero-emission vehicles.

And after: Baker has until next week to act on the bill.

  • But getting lawmakers to vote on any changes Baker makes, or override a veto, will prove difficult now that the formal legislative session is over.

]]> What should a nine thousand pound electric vehicle look like? https://sfeva.org/what-should-a-nine-thousand-pound-electric-vehicle-look-like/ Mon, 01 Aug 2022 10:08:04 +0000 https://sfeva.org/what-should-a-nine-thousand-pound-electric-vehicle-look-like/

IRCAMRenault’s sounds were, indeed, surprisingly gentle, though perhaps less like birdsong than a washing machine set to the delicate cycle. The Paris soundscape will surely benefit. But would anyone hear these elegant French alerts to New York, especially about the hustle and bustle of all the gas-powered vehicles on its congested streets?

An automobile powered by internal combustion makes noise. The induction of air, its compression inside the piston liners, the explosion of vaporized gasoline and the expulsion of CO2 the exhaust (“suck, squeeze, thump, and puff,” in car parlance) produce loud, low-frequency gears, rumbles, and vibrations.

At General Motors, engineers from the Noise and Vibration Center are responsible for fine-tuning this din. Douglas Moore, GM’s senior exterior noise expert, started working for the company in 1984 while still a student at Michigan State. He spent nearly eight years of his career at GM, where his job, and that of his noise and vibration colleagues, was to silence, attenuate and modulate the sounds emitted by internal combustion, according to the brand. Traditionally, when tuning a Cadillac, Moore and his colleagues tried to make the engine as quiet as possible, because quietness equates to luxury for the classic Cadillac buyer. In tuning a Corvette, Chevrolet’s “muscle car,” engineers want some of the bang-bang-bang of internal combustion to pass through, as this transmits power to the driver.

Engine sound isn’t the only thing the engineers are working on. The first experience of many potential buyers of a car or truck is the CLICK on ker-CHUNK what does the driver’s side door do when you close it, followed by a slight harmonic shudder emitted by the metal skin of the vehicle. The door’s weight, latches, and seals are carefully calibrated to create a psychoacoustic experience that conveys comfort, security, and craftsmanship.

When designing electric versions of popular brands, US automakers must decide whether to make electric vehicles mimic their gas-powered counterparts or, like Renault, to deviate from the familiar sound. The Passenger Safety Enhancement Act guidelines allow automakers to create their own brand alerts, as long as they meet certain specifications.

Moore’s first electric vehicle project was the 2012 Chevy Volt, which issued a pedestrian alert years before the law mandated one – a vacuum-like hum that increased in frequency as the car was accelerating. “I have new colors to paint with,” Moore said. “Instead of a palette of internal combustion sounds, I have a palette of AVA sounds. But it’s the same approach. Now, instead of generating them with the physical components of the car, which has its pros and cons, we generate them electronically.

Moore is also the longtime chairman of a group within the Society of Automotive Engineers called the Light Vehicle Exterior Sound Level Standards Committee, which helps develop tests that regulators use to measure safety on the road. in the USA. His group led the investigation into the development of minimum noise standards for electric and hybrid vehicles, and the establishment of parameters to govern the decibel level, pitch and morphology of warning signals. Moore once came to NFB headquarters and tried to navigate traffic while blindfolded. His ONF instructor was impressed that the engineer could identify a 2005 Chevrolet Camaro and a 2009 Cadillac Escalade by their distinctive engine sounds.

Moore explained the SAE’s relationship with federal traffic safety regulators, saying, “We figure out how to measure things. NHTSA says how much. I asked Moore why the regulations didn’t require electric vehicles to sound more like ICE vehicles, since, as John Paré of the NFB had pointed out to me, we’re already used to those noises. Moore replied, “The purpose of that sound is to provide information about what the vehicle is doing. And there’s more than one way to deliver that. He stopped himself. “Yes, we learned internal combustion sounds in a hundred years,” he continued. “But before the carriages were there, we knew the clip-clop of the horses meant the carriage was coming. So there’s nothing inherent in those engine sounds.

“But I’m one of the coolest!”

Cartoon by Suerynn Lee

A well-designed alert reaches the people who need to hear it, without annoying those who don’t. To thread this sonic needle, engineers can vary the decibel level of a particular sound, which indicates the amount of air pressure the sound waves are moving, and they can also adjust the pitch or frequency of the sound. The decibel level and pitch determine how intrusive that sound is. The danger is that you create a sound that sort of cries wolf: it works at first, but after a while people turn off, so you have to turn up the volume.

Although humans are able to hear frequencies between twenty and twenty thousand hertz, we hear in “octave bands”, in which the highest frequency is twice the lowest. (In a musical octave in C, high C is twice the frequency of low C.) The rules state that AVA the sounds must span four distinct, non-adjacent octave bands. A so-called broadband sound of this type, such as the static screech that Amazon delivery vans have recently begun to emit when backing up, is less shrill, more robust, and easier for the listener to localize directionally. than an alert that occupies a narrow frequency range, like the backup beeps on Con Ed trucks. Not coincidentally, the non-adjacent octave band rule prevents using a musical phrase as an alert – the change of height would sound horribly – as well as any voice, human or animal alert. How would blind people tell the street from the sidewalk if electric cars were talking or barking?

By giving automakers latitude to mark their alerts, NHTSA rules created a new form of design: acoustic automotive styling. Pedestrians and cyclists will not only hear the vehicle coming; they will know what type of car it is. For acoustic designers, electric vehicle pedestrian alerts and their rich in-cab sound information menus represent the dawn of a new era. “I feel lucky to be able to work on features that will influence how the world will sound,” General Motors creative sound director Jigar Kapadia told me.

Kapadia, who studied electronics and telecommunications engineering at the University of Mumbai and has a master’s degree in music technology from NYU, collaborates with Moore and others at GM’s sound lab in Milford, Michigan. . For each sound, the team comes up with around two hundred variations and then tests them on their colleagues in the jury room, until they’ve come up with a few finalists they can test on vehicles.

Kapadia compares the sound of an alert system to a perfume. “Just like a perfume, it unfolds,” he told me. “The alert has a base note, a middle note, and a top note.” He added, “These layers are fused together to bring out a cohesive organic sound, or a futuristic sound, based on the type of branding we’re focusing on.” He noted that the pedestrian alert on the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, the first electric version of GM’s longtime luxury car, was made with a didgeridoo, an ancient Australian wind instrument based on the known musical interval. as the perfect fifth. However, for GM’s nine-thousand-pound electric Hummer, which recently went on sale, Kapadia said, “we wanted a more distorted sound.” He paused, then added, “Bold Hummer sound.” The Hummer’s forward motion alert made me think of church, when the organist launches into the next hymn. The backup sound resembles its dystopian twin.

At Ford Motor Company, to find out what car buyers thought electric vehicles should look like, engineers and consultants held “customer clinics” and launched a Facebook campaign. Judging by the number of responses, Ford fans were keen to make their opinions known. My own investigation, based largely on reading comments under YouTube videos of various branded EV sounds, is that most people think EVs should not look like ICE cars. Higher frequencies are thought to mean clean energy and software-driven intelligence; EVs should whiz and zoom like flying personal vehicles from sci-fi movies like “The Fifth Element,” “Gattaca,” “Blade Runner” and, of course, “Star Wars.” In many cases, in fact, Foley artists created the sound effects of these futuristic vehicles from recorded ICE noise. In Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner 2049,” the twist is that Ryan Gosling’s flying vehicle looks like a broken down ICE clunker.

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Electric vehicles are gaining ground in “leasing and renting” https://sfeva.org/electric-vehicles-are-gaining-ground-in-leasing-and-renting/ Sat, 30 Jul 2022 09:59:40 +0000 https://sfeva.org/electric-vehicles-are-gaining-ground-in-leasing-and-renting/

QCOSTARICA – At a time when gasoline is historically priced above 1,000¢ per liter, leasing and leasing electric vehicles is becoming a great option for reducing fleet operating costs.

More than an environmental fad and a matter of taste, the use of non-polluting cars for productive and private work is quickly becoming a cost management tool.

– Advertising –

At the same time, business owners and other customers can book the use of these vehicles quickly and contactlessly from anywhere and via a “smartphone”, implying another new trend in this market.

And it is that in addition to saving on gasoline, in the “rental” figure, customers can completely ignore the administration and maintenance of the vehicle, since they are paying for a service and not for a good.

In other words, no more oil changes, no more filter changes, no more catalyst checks, and on the contrary, customers will be able to take advantage of regenerative braking to gain autonomy.

Another advantage is that the monthly fees paid for this service are 100% income tax deductible.

The other figure widely used is “leasing”, which is a rental contract, but with the possibility of being able to acquire the vehicle at the end of the contract.

In the latter case, the fee only covers the monthly payment, insurance and Value Added Tax (VAT).

– Advertising –

Budget, Kinto, Total Fleet and Adobe car rentals in Costa Rica are some of the options that already exist in the market.

In the case of Budget, the possibility of acquiring one or more vehicles according to these methods is offered without the need to queue or commit your free time to unnecessary procedures, since everything can be done online.

Kinto, a project of Grupo Purdy (Toyota dealer), integrates different means of transport in an application, which allows rental for a defined period, in addition to multimodal transport.

As for Total Fleet, the specialized rental division of Adobe Rent a Car, the service area offered as part of their sustainable development project.

– Advertising –

Leasing, rental or loan?

Consumers and business customers can choose between leasing, renting or bank loan options.

There are differences in the options. In leasing, for example, there is the option to buy at the end of the term of the contract, whereas in renting there is none. A bank loan, for example, will give you title to the vehicle, but may be subject to liens on title.

With leasing, all maintenance and repairs are performed by the dealer (renter) based on the lease agreement, while with leasing or loaning the user is responsible for all repairs and maintenance. In the case of leasing, the user also guarantees a predetermined value of the vehicle at the end of the contract.

Long-term loans are cheaper because the interest rates are usually lower in calculating the payment. However, whereas with a loan only the interest payment is tax deductible, it is 100% tax deductible for renting or leasing.

– Advertising –

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1st all-electric vehicle added to Prince William County fleet https://sfeva.org/1st-all-electric-vehicle-added-to-prince-william-county-fleet/ Wed, 27 Jul 2022 18:07:54 +0000 https://sfeva.org/1st-all-electric-vehicle-added-to-prince-william-county-fleet/

The Prince William County Facilities and Fleet Management Department recently received its first new all-electric vehicle, or EV, with more to come.

The county’s new Chevrolet Bolt joins the county’s 1,458-vehicle fleet that includes 24 hybrids as well as its gasoline-powered vehicles.

“We’ve had hybrids in the fleet since 2008,” said Prince William County Facilities and Fleet Management Assistant Manager Darrel Reynolds. “With the direction of the board to be carbon neutral by 2050, we need to start bringing in efficient vehicles now.”

The county is expected to have 80 all-electric, plug-in hybrid or hybrid vehicles in its fleet by 2024. The vehicles will meet user needs. “What we’re looking for is that vehicles should be replaced in the normal cycle, that there’s a viable electric or hybrid version for every department’s needs,” Reynolds said. “We’re not going to give them an electric vehicle to give them an electric vehicle and that we’re not just getting rid of vehicles just to introduce electrics and hybrids.”

All-electric and hybrid vehicles save on maintenance and fuel costs. “All the stats say there are 1,000 fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle, which means you’ll save money on maintenance and repairs,” said Brent Lineberger, director of customer service. of the Prince William County Facilities and Fleet Management Department. “For example, oil changes are a thing of the past with electric vehicles. Your brake wear is reduced because you’re using regenerative braking to slow the vehicle down, so that kinetic energy is fed back into the battery if you’re using a hybrid.

Fuel-efficient vehicles benefit the county and pay for themselves in the long run. “It’s going to make the county have less emissions coming out of the tailpipes. It’ll probably save more money because you’re not spending $5 a gallon at the pump for fuel. You’ll spend pennies on an electric charge,” Lineberger said. “Most of your maintenance costs are going to be reduced, but we haven’t seen the statistics in Prince William County yet. We look at industry statistics.

The county recently installed 10 charging stations at the McCoart Government Center and will install more throughout the county as needed. “We are working with property management and facility construction management to put in place the necessary infrastructure to support additional vehicles. Our goal is to have the infrastructure in place before we get the electric vehicles,” Lineberger said.

Facilities and fleet management will also require support as the county adds new vehicles. “In addition to rolling out hybrids or electric vehicles, we want to make sure there is a supplier who can support us after the sale. Things fail and we need to have good parts distribution,” Lineberger said. “We will also need to train our technicians to ensure they work safely around these products and can support vehicles as we move in this direction.”

As manufacturers replace existing gasoline models with comparable EV and hybrid models, facilities and fleet management will be able to easily replace older vehicles. “It will not be something that we have to justify why we give them an electric vehicle. It should be the same thing they drive, just with a different power source,” Reynolds said.

The Chevy Bolt is rated at 275 miles on a charge, which will meet most county needs.

Submitted by the Prince William County Government.

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UBS on how to invest in electric vehicles, the growing adoption of electric vehicles https://sfeva.org/ubs-on-how-to-invest-in-electric-vehicles-the-growing-adoption-of-electric-vehicles/ Mon, 25 Jul 2022 00:50:00 +0000 https://sfeva.org/ubs-on-how-to-invest-in-electric-vehicles-the-growing-adoption-of-electric-vehicles/

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Connecticut Adds More Electric Vehicles to List of Rebate Programs | stonington https://sfeva.org/connecticut-adds-more-electric-vehicles-to-list-of-rebate-programs-stonington/ Sat, 23 Jul 2022 00:30:00 +0000 https://sfeva.org/connecticut-adds-more-electric-vehicles-to-list-of-rebate-programs-stonington/

HARTFORD — Connecticut officials have begun rolling out sweeping new legislation aimed at reducing vehicle emissions, including adding 10 more electric vehicles that will now be eligible for the state’s rebate program.

The legislation, which increases funding for the initiative, raises the MSRP cap for eligible purchased and leased battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles to $50,000. In turn, state residents who meet certain income requirements can qualify for incentives of up to $9,500 depending on vehicle type.

“We’ve seen a doubling, a doubling in the number of electric vehicles registered on the road here in Connecticut over the past two years as people … grapple with high gas prices,” said the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection. Commissioner Katie Dykes at a press conference highlighting the new law Friday in New Haven. Dykes said the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association has seen an increase in customers wanting access to electric vehicles.

The new law will also usher in the state’s first e-bike voucher program. Dykes said the first public meeting was held this week to gather feedback on how to design the initiative. Additionally, the state agency has begun crafting a $20 million distribution plan for electric school buses — spending that is also expected to trigger federal funding.

Meanwhile, the state is making up to $4 million available to public and private entities to purchase and install lightweight mapping stations. The funding comes from a 2018 settlement between the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and Volkswagen over violations of the Clean Air Act.

Dykes said his agency also began working on regulations that would implement California’s air quality standards for medium and heavy-duty motor vehicles, another key part of the new legislation.

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Colorado to receive $57 million in federal funds to expand electric vehicle charging network https://sfeva.org/colorado-to-receive-57-million-in-federal-funds-to-expand-electric-vehicle-charging-network/ Thu, 21 Jul 2022 01:18:45 +0000 https://sfeva.org/colorado-to-receive-57-million-in-federal-funds-to-expand-electric-vehicle-charging-network/

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – The Federal Highway Administration announced this week that it will allocate $57 million to Colorado to build more fast chargers and electric vehicle charging stations.

“Colorado is a leader in this area,” said Kay Kelly, chief of innovative mobility for the Colorado Department of Transportation. “In 2019, we had almost 60,000 electric vehicles registered and that was the sixth in the country.”

KRDO

The money, to be distributed over the next five years, will increase the state’s share of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Corridor System by 44%, from 2,193 miles of roads to 3,164 miles, and will cover 80% of charging infrastructure costs.

CDOT

According to a statement from CDOT, charging stations must be built within one mile of the National Corridor – which includes Interstate 25, US 50 and US 160 in southern Colorado – and there cannot be more than 50 miles apart between stations.

Interestingly, US 24 is not part of the National Corridor, but CDOT expects it will eventually be included.

KRDO

According to CDOT, Colorado Springs has nine Chargers, Pueblo has three, and Fountain has one.

Colorado has seven existing corridors and will add six more under the new funding, primarily in Denver areas.

KRDO

Filling system gaps is especially difficult in largely rural southern Colorado, with only a few charging stations south of Pueblo between the Kansas and New Mexico lines, or west between Pueblo and Salida.

KRDO

La Junta, Limon, Trinidad and Alamosa are the only small communities in the region known to have charging stations.

KRDO

Another challenge is that CDOT does not own or operate charging stations and provides funding to public, private, and non-profit organizations that want to build, own, maintain, and operate the stations.

The funding is in line with CDOT’s goal, with its partners, of having nearly one million zero-emission vehicles – including transit vehicles and medium-to-heavy-duty vehicles – by 2030.

KRDO

CDOT also says that building more stations will create new jobs needed to install, maintain and operate the infrastructure.

Some of these new jobs are at the Phil Long EV Outlet in Colorado Springs, a company that sells electric vehicles and has chargers for up to ten vehicles.

KRDO

“We get maybe one vehicle a day from people who want to recharge,” said store manager Robert Strange. “But that’s going to increase as gas prices continue to be high. You can start a charging station with an investment of a few thousand dollars. And we’re trying to follow states like California, which will stop charging. sell gas-powered vehicles in a few years.”

KRDO

CDOT spokesman Tim Hoover said the industry will grow even more as rural and small town dwellers catch electric vehicle fever.

“For example, there’s a three-year waiting list for the Ford F-150 Lightning,” he said. “And more makes and models are on the way. People in these areas are finding that ERV trucks can accelerate quickly and have enough power to haul things, pull things, and do the other tasks they would do with vehicles. petrol.”

KRDO

CDOT is currently working on a plan to expand the state’s electric vehicle network and is seeking public comment through Friday. For more information, visit: cdot_innovativemobility@state.co.us.

]]> Richard Mearns: Electric vehicles reduce emissions | Columnists https://sfeva.org/richard-mearns-electric-vehicles-reduce-emissions-columnists/ Tue, 19 Jul 2022 00:30:00 +0000 https://sfeva.org/richard-mearns-electric-vehicles-reduce-emissions-columnists/

Some skeptical readers have wondered if electric vehicles, or EVs, are really cleaner than gasoline-powered cars when considering CO2 emissions across production/use cycles. Since this is an important question, I did some research on the subject.

All of the studies I found were consistent with the conclusion that, throughout the life cycle of an electric vehicle, it is cleaner than current alternatives and is getting cleaner every day. For example, MIT, a highly respected research university (https://tinyurl.com/2c2aks6m), reported the following results from a July 2021 study:

Average operational emissions from electric vehicles were 200 grams of CO2 per mile compared to 275 grams per mile for gasoline-powered hybrids (which, by the way, are significantly cleaner than standard gasoline-powered cars and trucks).

The MIT researchers further stated, “We predict that by cleaning up the grid, we can reduce emissions from electric vehicles…to about 50 grams per mile by 2050.” (Duke Energy is on track, currently getting more than a third of its energy from clean sources, with plans to close all of its coal-fired plants by 2030 and to produce zero emissions by 2050).

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While acknowledging the additional environmental impacts of electric vehicle production, Florian Knobloch, fellow at the Cambridge Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance, noted that “these higher production numbers are seen as an upfront investment, which pays off fairly well. quickly due to lifetime emission reductions.

One more comment on this: our lawmakers continually complain that EVs aren’t paying “their fair share” for the roads. They actually pay an additional annual registration fee of $140, which is equivalent to the current state gas tax (38 cents per gallon) for someone driving a 28 mpg gasoline car on 10,316 miles (and which charges the gas-powered car owner exactly $0 for the climate change increase in the cost of using his vehicle).

The writer is a member of the Greensboro Sierra Club.

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Automakers look South to build electric vehicle batteries https://sfeva.org/automakers-look-south-to-build-electric-vehicle-batteries/ Sat, 16 Jul 2022 18:39:58 +0000 https://sfeva.org/automakers-look-south-to-build-electric-vehicle-batteries/
Hauke-Christian Dittrich/photo alliance via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) – You won’t find many electric vehicles on the back roads of Alabama and Tennessee, but thousands of residents in those states are building them to meet growing demand.

Automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Volkswagen are investing billions of dollars in high-tech factories that will supply the batteries needed for the transition to electric vehicles.

Last month, Volkswagen of America opened a $22 million Battery Engineering Lab (BEL), a 32,000 square foot facility near its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lab engineers test batteries for safety, durability and quality in extreme weather conditions and the company’s ID.4 compact SUV, currently imported from Germany, will roll off the assembly lines for US consumers later this year. More than 4,000 workers are employed at the Chattanooga plant, and Volkswagen plans to hire 1,000 new production team members by the end of the year.

Producing batteries locally “makes us faster,” Wolfgang Maluche, vice president of engineering at Volkswagen of America, told ABC News. “Chatanooga [will] become Volkswagen’s hub for electric mobility in the United States.

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According to Arun Kumar, managing director of consulting firm AlixPartners, which forecasts a global electric vehicle market share of 54% by 2035, more battery factories are coming and southern states will continue to benefit.

“Southern states are definitely aggressive… 46% of vehicle production in the United States currently occurs in the South. It’s no surprise to me that more investment is being made there,” Kumar told ABC News. “This is just the beginning. The era of electric vehicles is real.

Gil Tal of the Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Davis said Southern states are “fighting hard” to be chosen by automakers, offering attractive tax incentives and investment programs. favorable. As the Biden administration pushes consumers toward electric vehicles, setting an ambitious goal of making half of all new vehicles sold electric by 2030, Tal, like Kumar, expects automakers to diversify their Supply Chain.

“Demand is growing for electric vehicles and there will be new regulations that force their sale,” Tal told ABC News. “Battery production is changing and getting better and more efficient. Any company that sells a significant amount of cars in the United States will build battery factories here.”

Producing these high-tech batteries in the United States solves many of the headaches that have plagued automakers in recent years, Kumar explained. Tesla, the nation’s top seller of electric vehicles, produces batteries and electric motors for the Model 3 at its Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, which opened in June 2014. The site currently produces more batteries in terms of kWh than all the others. automakers combined, making it the largest battery factory in the world, according to Tesla.

Mercedes, which has said it will go all-electric by the end of the decade, will invest more than 40 billion euros in battery electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030. Bibb County plant joins the network global battery production company with factories on three continents.

In September, Ford Motor announced it would build twin battery plants in central Kentucky to power a new line of Lincoln and Ford electric vehicles. Another drum campus in Tennessee will focus on next-generation F-Series electric pickups like the F-150 Lightning. The two projects will cost $11.4 billion and create nearly 11,000 new jobs, Ford said. The Dearborn automaker expects 40-50% of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030.

At the end of 2019, BMW expanded its battery plant at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, doubling its battery assembly capacity. More efficient fourth-generation batteries are being assembled on site for the BMW X5 and BMW X3 plug-in hybrid electric variants and 120 employees have been specially trained to work on the new line, having completed an extensive program of battery production, robotics and electricity online. quality inspection as well as end-of-line testing, BMW said.

States in the traditional “car belt” are still vying for investment dollars from automakers. Panasonic, one of Tesla’s main suppliers, announced this week that it will build a new US lithium-ion battery cell factory in De Soto, Kansas, investing $4 billion and creating up to 4,000 new jobs. The factory will mainly supply batteries to Tesla, but is not limited to the company, Reuters reported.

Stellantis has announced that it will build an electric vehicle battery plant in Kokomo, Indiana, with its partner Samsung SDI. The plant, scheduled to launch in 2025, would create 1,400 jobs in and around Kokomo, Stellantis said, for a total investment of $2.5 billion.

Ultium Cells, a joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors, will open a new 2.8 million square foot plant in Lansing, Michigan, its third battery cell manufacturing facility in the country. At least 1,700 manufacturing jobs will be available at the site, and workers will supply battery cells to Orion Assembly in Michigan and other GM EV assembly plants.

Automakers’ southerly shift and intense focus on electric vehicles has some longtime workers in the industry worried about their future. According to Kumar, electric vehicles require 40% fewer powertrain assembly hours than a gas-powered vehicle. Workers with basic skills in combustion engine technology would need significant retraining to work in a battery factory, he noted. Electric vehicles in general are less complicated to manufacture, not very labor intensive, and many parts of the process are automated.

“Workers are worried about job security and fear their sons and daughters won’t have jobs” in the industry, said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University’s Ross School of Business. from Michigan. “Working in a car factory is often a family affair – and they are great jobs.”

The United States can be considered a laggard in EV battery production compared to China, where EVs quickly caught on with consumers and government leaders who viewed batteries as an essential industry. Gordon argued that automakers are tackling U.S. battery production at the right time and that any sooner could have been a foolhardy move.

“People would have laughed 10 years ago if automakers had wanted to build these factories,” Gordon said. “They would be obsolete today. The underlying technology is changing so quickly and for the better.

What will happen to these factories and the workers if electric vehicle sales in the United States slow down in the next five or ten years?

“Interest in electric vehicles will not die out,” Tal said. “Automakers have a secure market for electric vehicles. All of these investments are not going away.

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