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Tesla is inviting its Energy customers living in California to join Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and help stabilize the grid. Virtual power plants aggregate the capacities of energy resources and enhance power generation along with trading or selling power on the electricity market. Back in 2020, our own Steve Hanley shared that Tesla was expanding into both solar microgrids and virtual power plants. Steve wrote about Tesla’s virtual power plant plan in the UK at the time. Less than a year later, Tesla is now setting one up in California.

Tesla noted that its Virtual Power Plant in California is in the beta stage and pointed out that the California grid operator predicted that there will be a continued need for Californians to support it through the end of this year. Tesla’s invite encourages its customers to help create the largest distributed battery system in the world while avoiding dependence on the least efficient fossil fuel power plants.

Once customers have opted in, Tesla will dispatch their Powerwalls when the grid needs support, without risking customers’ own energy security. Tesla listed several benefits of participation in its new Virtual Power Plant.

Benefits

  • Exporting Credits During Peak Periods. Customers don’t need to make any changes to their home energy usage behavior, and if they’re part of a net energy metering program, they could earn credit for their energy that is sent to the grid during events.
  • Cleaning The Power Grid. When the grid is in critical need of additional electricity, the least efficient fossil-fueled- generators come online. With Tesla dispatching customers’ Powerwall during the critical need, this helps to reduce dependence on those generators and helps clean the grid.
  • Stabilizing California’s Grid. By opting in, Tesla Energy customers will help California reduce or even avoid blackouts during severe emergencies. Powerwall can keep the lights on for all in the community.
  • United as A Tesla Community. The Tesla community is pretty amazing, but this takes that level of community even higher. Tesla Energy customers will team up with other Powerwall owners who are helping Tesla to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Customers will help build the largest distributed battery in the world — with over 50,000 Powerwalls.
  • Energy Security. Powerwall customers will not lose any of their energy security. Instead, Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but will not discharge below your backup reserve. Customers can adjust their backup reserve to control how much their contribution to the VPP is.

Tesla noted that eligible Powerwall owners will be able to enroll in its Virtual Power Plant starting on July 22, 2021. Details on program eligibility will be announced soon.


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This ultra-fast compact EV charger has an integrated battery – and it’s coming to the US

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This ultra-fast compact EV charger has an integrated battery – and it's coming to the US

ADS-TEC Energy today debuted ChargePost, a compact battery-based EV charging system that enables ultra-fast charging without the need to extend the existing grid.

ChargePost is an all-in-one design that integrates the battery, electronics, cooling system, and charger in a compact container that ADS-TEC Energy says requires less than 21.5 square feet (2 sq m) of ground space.

Each ChargePost, which is 100% made in Germany, is equipped with two charging points that give drivers up to 300 kW DC power with one charging point and 150 kW with two charging points in use at the same time. It has a configurable 143 or 201 kWh battery capacity. Battery modules can be swapped out as needed, which increases the charger’s longevity. ADS-TEC says it only takes five minutes of charging at ChargePost for more than a 100 km (62-mile) drive.

The integrated charging cable with uncooled CCS1/CCS2 connector is at least 3 meters long. It has a 10-inch touchscreen interface and an “easy-to-use” payment terminal. 

From the first half of 2023, ChargePost will be capable of feeding stored energy back into the grid, and it can also be paired with solar.

DS-TEC says that ChargePost can be set up quickly with a forklift and that its instillation is plug-and-play. Because it’s battery-based, it can connect directly to any existing, power-limited, low-voltage grid. That means it can be installed in a variety of locations, including inner cities and rural areas where high-voltage grids often aren’t available.

ChargePost is on the market now in Europe, and it’s expected to be launch in the United States in 2023.

Read more: Electrify America’s first megawatt-level battery storage-backed charging station reduces stress on the grid


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Canoo (GOEV) delivers EV pickup for US Army use – which makes sense

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Canoo (GOEV) delivers EV pickup for US Army use – which makes sense

EV maker Canoo (GOEV) is on a mission to provide electric vehicles for multiple uses with its flexible Multi-Purpose Platform. Canoo announced today it has officially delivered its Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) EV based on the platform to the US Army.

Meanwhile, the military implementing electric vehicles can do more than protect the planet from climate change.

Founded in 2017, Canoo has overcome several hurdles in bringing its “use case” EV platform to market.

With nearly $1 billion in investments and over 250 patents, Canoo’s Multi-Purpose Platform was born. Despite the technological advancements, Canoo was running out of funds, expressing “substantial doubt” in its ability to continue operations.

Canoo quickly secured a purchase agreement with Walmart to provide at least 4,500 EVs in exchange for exercisable warranted shares, giving the company a lifeline.

The company’s “Made in America” approach has positioned it well to benefit from the incentives provided by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. After choosing a 630,000-square-foot facility in Oklahoma City, Canoo says it’s ready to begin commercial production.

The company’s Multi-Purpose Platform is finding plenty of “use cases” outside of the typical commercial customers.

NASA recently chose Canoo’s proprietary EV platform to transport crew members to the Artemis launch pad. Yet the EV makers platform is capable of more than just transporting from point A to B, as the US Army has given Canoo another opportunity to showcase its technology.

Canoo supplying electric vehicles for the US Army

In July 2022, the US Army tapped Canoo to supply an EV for analysis and demonstration. The partnership comes after the US Army released a new climate strategy in February, including implementing electric vehicles to lower climate emissions.

The American EV maker announced today it has successfully delivered its Light Tactical Vehicle to the US Army, fulfilling its initial contract terms. CEO Tony Aquila commented on the achievement, saying:

The LTV is another milestone proving the power of our technology and how it can be used, even in tactical situations.

Canoo’s LTV comes loaded with an all-wheel drive system delivering up to 600 hp. To support off-road driving, the LTV features a raised suspension, air-springs, and 32-inch all-terrain tires.

Many are wondering – can electric vehicles make a difference?

Canoo-US-Army
GM Defense electric military vehicle

How the US Military can benefit from deploying electric vehicles

Canoo isn’t the only automaker supplying electric vehicle technology for military use. GM Defense, the advanced defense mobility innovation unit of General Motors, was selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DUI) to develop a battery pack that can power functional electric military vehicles.

The DIU is a unit of the Department of Defense specializing in “strengthening our national security by accelerating the adoption of leading commercial technology throughout the military.”

Electric vehicles offer benefits over their gas-powered peers. They’re stealthier, more powerful, and have technologically advanced options.

A recent post from the Modern War Institute at West Point highlights the US Military’s need “to take advantage of this electrification trend and follow fast in adopting the best new technologies,” offering insights into the case for electric military vehicles.

  • The US Military is the largest institutional consumer of petroleum fuels globally, using up to 4.2 billion gallons of fuel annually.
  • Over $9 billion was spent on fuel by the Defense Logistics Agency in 2019 (they pay a premium).
  • The price of delivering fuel to remote operations can be as much as $1,000 per gallon.
  • Fuel convoys are especially vulnerable to attacks. Between 2003 and 2007, one in eight casualties in Iraq were due to protecting the convoys.

We are seeing examples of how electric vehicles are already winning out over their gas-powered counterparts in the war between Russia and Ukraine. Russian military vehicles sat in a 40-mile-long convoy after a fuel logistics mishap.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian snipers used tactical electric bikes to silently sneak into their target area, engage the enemy, and quickly flee before being spotted.

The examples show electric vehicles may prove to be more beneficial in the military than many assume. EVs can save the military money on maintenance and fuel costs while providing silent, rapid transportation.

Perhaps, more importantly, it will reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, which can be used to start or prolong a war.

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Tesla Semi Delivery Event news hub: Livestream and updates

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Tesla Semi Delivery Event news hub: Livestream and updates

Tesla is holding its “Tesla Semi Delivery Event” today at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) to deliver the first electric truck to customers. The company is also expected to have a presentation about the production version of the truck.

Here’s our news hub for the event, where you can watch the livestream and get updates.

Three years late, but it is now here. Tesla is going to deliver the first production version of the Tesla Semi electric truck to customers – to PepsiCo, to be more specific.

The Tesla Semi was first unveiled in 2017, and it was supposed to enter production in 2020, but it was delayed several times.

Now the automaker is finally ready to make the first deliveries after having started low-volume production at a facility outside of Gigafactory Nevada in October.

Today, Tesla is expected to deliver the first few units to Pepsi. After the launch of Tesla Semi in 2017, PepsiCo placed one of the biggest orders for Tesla Semi – 100 electric trucks to add to its fleet. The company planned to use 15 of those trucks for a project to turn its Frito-Lay Modesto, California, site into a zero-emission facility. Last year, PepsiCo said that it expected to take deliveries of those 15 Tesla Semi trucks by the end of the year before it was delayed again.

On top of the first deliveries, Tesla is expected to give an update on the specs and pricing of the electric truck, which are expected to be updated from the original 2017 unveiling.

Those are the base expectations for the event, but there could also be a few surprises since Tesla used the original Tesla Semi unveiling for a surprise unveiling of the Tesla Roaster.

We never know.

Tesla Semi Delivery Event livestream

Here we are going to share posts based on the most important news coming out of the Tesla Semi Delivery Event:

Refresh the page to get the latest information.

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