TravelCenters (TA) to deploy 1,000 Electrify America DC fast chargers at 200 locations across major highways
The largest publicly traded full-service truck stop and travel center, TravelCenters of America (TA), is teaming up with Electrify America to deploy DC fast chargers along major highways to meet the growing number of electric vehicles on the road.
People are buying electric vehicles at a record pace as interest in zero-emission EVs has never been higher.
New EV sales volume reached over 800,000 for the first time last year, an increase of 65% compared to 2021, according to Kelley Blue Book.
More electric vehicles on the road mean additional charging infrastructure is needed to accommodate the surge. Although over 80% of charging is done at home, expanding the number of available public chargers can give EV drivers confidence on long trips or on the highway.
Electrify America currently operates one of the largest DC fast-charger networks across the US, with 3,435 fast chargers across 791 stations, according to their website.
Unlike many publicly available EV chargers, EA offers some of the fastest charging speeds. EA’s Ultra-Fast 150 kW and Hyper-Fast 350 kW options make them suitable for public deployment, especially along major highways.
TravelCenters teams up with Electrify America
In a significant partnership, TravelCenters is teaming up with Electrify America to offer EV charging at select TA/Petro locations.
The first stations are expected to roll out this year with a goal of deploying around 1,000 individual EV chargers at 200 locations along major highways over the next five years.
President and CEO of Electrify America praised the company’s new partnership, saying:
Electrify America is pleased to collaborate with an industry leader like TravelCenters of America to provide the critical infrastructure needed for EV drivers of today and tomorrow. Our combined strengths allow us to take bigger steps toward our shared vision of a more sustainable future.
Electrify America will handle the infrastructure deployment process and maintenance. Meanwhile, TravelCenters will gain access to the company’s charging network, allowing the locations to become visible to EV drivers to access via its mobile app.
In addition, the company says the network of charging stations will be available for most EV models.
The partnership is a win all around. Electrify America continues expanding its network with one of the most prominent truck stops and travel centers. TravelCenters will see additional traffic as more and more drivers switch to zero-emissions EVs over the coming years.
And perhaps, most importantly, EV drivers will have more fast charging options along major highways.
Quick Charge Podcast: March 30, 2023
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Tesla is rumored to be planning a US LFP battery cell factory with CATL
Tesla is rumored to be planning a new battery factory to produce LFP cells in the US with China’s CATL, the world’s biggest battery manufacturer.
Over the last few years, CEO Elon Musk has said multiple times that Tesla plans to shift more electric cars to LFP batteries in order to overcome nickel and cobalt supply concerns.
Iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which don’t use nickel or cobalt, are traditionally cheaper and safer, but they offer less energy density, which means less efficiency and a shorter range for electric vehicles.
However, they have improved enough recently that it now makes sense to use cobalt-free batteries in lower-end and shorter-range vehicles. It also frees up the production of battery cells with other, more energy-dense chemistries to produce longer-range vehicles.
The main issue is that LFP battery cell production is currently almost entirely concentrated in China. Therefore, it creates a logistical problem for electric vehicles produced in other markets.
Furthermore, in the US, it creates a problem for automakers trying to take advantage of the new federal tax credit for electric vehicles, which requires that the batteries of electric vehicles be produced in North America in order for buyers to get the full $7,500 credit. It creates a demand to bring LFP production to North America.
Ford has recently announced a plan to partner with CATL, the world’s biggest battery cell manufacturer, to build LFP battery cells at a $3.5 billion factory in Michigan.
Now Tesla is rumored to be doing the same thing. Bloomberg first reported the rumor:
The EV maker discussed plans involving Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. with the White House in recent days, said the people, who asked not to be identified revealing private conversations. Tesla representatives sought clarity on the Inflation Reduction Act rules that the Biden administration is finalizing this week, according to some of the people. Rohan Patel, the company’s senior global director of public policy, was among those involved with the discussions, one of the people said.
The report is light on detail, but it states that Tesla is looking at a similar structure to Ford’s own deal with CATL. Texas has also been rumored to be a possible location for the new factory.
The LFP cells would enable Tesla buyers to get the full tax on the base Model 3, which is about to lose the incentive because its cells currently come from CATL’s Chinese factories.
Heart Aerospace finds a new partner to develop ES-30 electric plane battery
Swedish electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace is joining forces with BAE Systems to develop a battery system for its ES-30 electric plane.
Heart partners with BAE to develop electric plane battery
Heart Aerospace is paving the way for sustainable electric air travel to become the norm with its leading-edge zero-emission aircraft.
We first covered the company in 2021 after it made waves with its ES-19 electric airplane. The aircraft was designed to carry up to 19 people up to 250 miles (400 km), perfect for short-distance travel.
The innovation was enough to attract an investment from the third largest US air carrier, United Airlines, in July 2021. United committed to purchasing and deploying 100 ES-19 electric aircraft to its fleet as it works to erase emissions from its fleet “without relying on traditional carbon offsets.”
Air Canada, the largest airliner in Canada, invested $5 million into Heart last year in addition to ordering 30 of its newest model, the ES-30.
Heart introduced the ES-30 last year, an electric plane driven by four electric motors and a battery system. The electric aircraft will have a fully-electric zero-emission range of up to 200 km (124 miles) and 30-minute fast charge capabilities. Hybrid reserve turbogenerators allow travel of nearly 500 miles (800 km) at 25 people max.
To advance the ES-30 battery system, Heart is partnering with BAE Systems, best known for its leading defense and aerospace solutions. The battery system will be the “first of its kind” for a conventional takeoff and landing regional aircraft, operating with zero emissions and significantly reduced noise.
The collaboration will utilize BAE Systems’ over 25 years of experience electrifying heavy-duty industrial vehicles. Chief operating officer at Heart Aerospace, Sofia Graflund, said:
BAE Systems’ extensive experience in developing batteries for heavy-duty ground applications, and their experience in developing safety critical control systems for aerospace, make them an ideal partner in this important next step for the ES-30 and for the aviation industry.
Heart Aerospace says it already has 230 orders and another 100 options for the ES-30 electric aircraft. In addition, Heart says it has a letter of intent for another 108 planes. The ES-30 is scheduled to enter service in 2028.
Heart Aerospace is aiming to double the all-electric range of its aircraft by the late 2030s with close to 250 miles (400km) range. In addition to offering zero emissions, electric airplanes feature lower costs (electricity compared to jet fuel) and less maintenance due to engine repair.
Although 124 miles may not seem like much, it will be perfect for regional air travel while building a base for the future of zero-emission air travel.
The 30-minute fast charge feature is perfect for turning around flights quickly in between loading passengers and luggage.
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