Weekly Update

Autobahn GmbH, Model2Life, Volvo, Siemens, Renault, Lancia, Chrysler, Canyon

News from 16 February 2024: Autobahn GmbH, Model2Life, Volvo, Siemens, Renault, Lancia, Chrysler, Canyon

News from 16 February 2024: Autobahn GmbH, Model2Life, Volvo, Siemens, Renault, Lancia, Chrysler, Canyon

Topics at a glance

The awarding of contracts for around 1,000 fast-charging points at service areas, China's establishment of a solid-state battery consortium, Volvo Cars' new mobility innovation test center, the global debut of the new Lancia Ypsilon, a new electric sports coupe concept from Chrysler, and the electrification of a classic – these are the news highlights from the seventh week of 2024. 

The awarding of contracts for around 1,000 fast-charging points at service areas, China's establishment of a solid-state battery consortium, Volvo Cars' new mobility innovation test center, the global debut of the new Lancia Ypsilon, a new electric sports coupe concept from Chrysler, and the electrification of a classic – these are the news highlights from the seventh week of 2024. 

Topics at a glance

The German federal government aims to create a denser network of fast-charging stations along highways in the coming years to further promote electric mobility and facilitate the transition to electric vehicles. The long-term goal is to have an electric car charging station available every ten minutes. The Autobahn GmbH of the federal government has now announced that by 2026, contracts for about 1,000 new fast-charging points at 200 unmanaged service stations have been awarded. The contracts were won by Fastned Deutschland GmbH & Co KG, E.ON Drive Infrastructure GmbH, the bidding consortium Autostrom Nord, and TotalEnergies Marketing Deutschland GmbH. This allocation is part of the so-called Germany Network, which aims to ensure a total of almost 9,000 fast-charging points at over 1,000 locations in the future. 

Autobahn GmbH
(c) Adobe.stock.com

China has launched a consortium named the China All-Solid-State Battery Collaborative Innovation Platform (CASIP), according to a report by the Japanese economic newspaper Nikkei Asia. The alliance includes battery manufacturers CATL, CALB, EVE Energy, SVOLT, Gotion High-Tech, and BYD's battery subsidiary FinDreams Battery. It also features several state-owned manufacturers from the automotive industry, as well as private companies BYD and Nio. Additional participants include representatives from government and academia. 

The new consortium aims to focus primarily on basic research, key technologies, joint development, and manufacturing of electric vehicles with solid-state batteries, as well as establishing a corresponding supply chain. 

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(c) Adobe.stock.com

Under the guidance of the "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) chair at the RWTH Aachen University, the "Model2Life" research project has investigated reuse scenarios for mobile battery systems over the past three years. The focus was also on how the development of cell and system concepts could be designed early on to meet the requirements of later "Second Life" applications. 

By examining reuse scenarios and developing models to simulate battery behavior, the project aimed to significantly increase the reuse rate of used battery cells, thereby contributing to sustainability. As part of the initiative, a mechanical space model, a thermal model, an aging model, an electrical circuit model, and a cost and CO2 model were developed or adapted. These models demonstrate the importance of simulations in the battery development process. 

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(c) Adobe.Stock.com

Volvo Cars has announced a new center for mobility innovations in Gothenburg, Sweden. The "Mobility Innovation Destination Torslanda" is designed to serve as a testing ground for the development of technologies such as wireless and bidirectional charging of electric vehicles and autonomous driving. The campus will be linked to the Gothenburg Green City Zone initiative. In this zone, the city of Gothenburg, along with Volvo Cars and other companies, researchers, and stakeholders, aim to test new technologies for vehicles and infrastructure in order to achieve emission-free transportation by 2030. In addition to new buildings and facilities for testing, technology, and materials, the campus will also open up to startups and business partners. Volvo Cars is collaborating on the construction with real estate developers Vectura Fastigheter and Next Step Group. 

The goal is creating an ecosystem where the future of mobility can be developed across different fields – from cars and technologies to infrastructure. The first new building, covering an area of 25,000 square meters, will be exclusively used by Volvo Cars and designed as a wood hybrid to reduce the CO2 footprint by 15 percent compared to a traditional steel and concrete frame. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2024, with the first building expected to be completed in 2026. 

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Volvo Cars
(c) Volvo Cars

Siemens has unveiled a new software named "Simcenter E-Machine Design" that aims to facilitate electromagnetic and thermal simulations to expedite the development of electric motors and reduce reliance on physical prototypes. Siemens seeks to assist manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs) and their suppliers in predicting the performance of electric machines, such as axial flux electric drives. Axial flux motors, known for their higher power density, can help increase the range of electric vehicles. However, they are quite complex, making advanced simulation approaches potentially valuable in cutting development costs and time. 

Siemens Digital Industries Software
(c) Siemens Digital Industries Software

The Israeli battery developer StoreDot has achieved a new milestone in the development of its rapid-charging XFC battery cells "100in4", designed to enable recharging 100 miles of range in just four minutes. The company reached 1,100 cycles in a lab test with a 3Ah prototype cell and plans to make this technology ready for mass production by 2026. This lab test is part of the "100inX" technology roadmap. StoreDot announced in 2022 its initial stage "100in5", aiming to develop a battery cell that can recharge sufficient power for 100 miles or 160 kilometers within five minutes.  

The company has set a goal to commence series production of the "100 in 4" technology by 2026. Following this, by 2028, they plan to develop the "100in3" technology, which aims to enable vehicles to recharge for a range of 160 kilometers in just 3 minutes. This technology is anticipated to utilize solid-state cells, which are expected to have an energy density of approximately 450 Wh/kg. 

Simultaneously, the American battery manufacturer 24M has introduced a new electrolyte named Eternalyte, intended to improve the cycle stability of lithium-metal batteries. This involves reinventing both the manufacturing process and the cell/pack design to create a full suite of innovative battery solutions that enable next-generation technologies like lithium-metal, according to the company. 24M claims lithium-metal batteries could achieve a total range of over 500,000 miles and a range of 1,000 miles per charge. 

Renault's subsidiary Mobilize has developed a smart AC wallbox capable of bidirectional charging, set to hit the market this year. This means the electricity stored in an electric car's battery can be fed back into the power grid when necessary. The Mobilize PowerBox is designed to support charging capacities of up to 22 kW, depending on the electrical installation and the vehicle's charging capability. It is compatible with all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles equipped with a Type 2 plug. The initial production capacity is targeted at 65,000 units annually, in collaboration with electronics specialist Lacroix. The goal is to eventually introduce the charging station for all electric vehicles under the Renault Group brands. 

Renault Communications Rights Reserved
(c) Renault Communications Rights Reserved

At a world premiere in Milan, Lancia unveiled their new Ypsilon, signaling the brand's electric renaissance. The new Ypsilon, based on the Stellantis group's e-CMP platform, will be offered as the brand's first model in an all-electric version. With a 115 kW electric motor and a 54-kWh battery, the electric compact car is expected to deliver a range of over 400 kilometers (about 250 miles). The launch in Germany is scheduled for mid-2025, starting with the fully electric, limited edition Lancia Ypsilon Cassina Limited Edition, limited to 1,906 units. 

By 2028, Lancia plans to introduce three new vehicles, with the second model following the Ypsilon in 2026, which will be exclusively equipped with all-electric powertrains. 

Lancia/ Stellantis Group
(c) Lancia/ Stellantis Group

Chrysler has introduced the Halcyon Concept, a study of an electric sports coupe that offers a glimpse into the brand's electric future. The vehicle is distinguished by its innovative battery technology, which avoids critical raw materials such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese, promising a significantly lower CO2 footprint. The concept is based on the Stellantis STLA Large platform and, according to Chrysler, features an 800-volt battery system with lithium-sulfur batteries. Furthermore, the concept car's battery is designed to allow for inductive charging while driving. Chrysler plans to offer only electric vehicles from 2028. 

Chrysler / Stellantis Group
(c) Chrysler / Stellantis Group

The EU Flagships project has unveiled its first cargo ship converted to fuel cell propulsion in collaboration with its partners. The "H2 Barge 2", offering a capacity of 1.2 Megawatts, will operate on the Rhine between Rotterdam, Netherlands and Duisburg, Germany and is supposed to save 3,000 tons of CO2 per year. Equipped with six 200kW fuel cells for a total output of 1.2 MW, the H2 Barge 2 represents a significant step towards emission-free waterborne transport. The project's initiators aim to further promote emission-free transport on water. 

(c) Flagships.EU

In a remarkable project for Hollywood star Jason Momoa, the British company Electrogenic converted a 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II into an electric vehicle. Originally powered by a 7.7-liter inline-six engine, the vehicle has been equipped with 93-kWh batteries and an electric motor expected to deliver 150 kW and 310 Nm of torque. 

(c) Electrogenic

 BH Bikes has introduced the "Monty" brand with three new cargo bike models. They unveiled three models, the V8, V6, and V4, designed for both commercial use and private city rides. Equipped with an 80-Nm motor and a removable battery, the Monty cargo bikes are said to handle a payload of up to 85 kilograms. These new models are expected to be available at specialty retailers starting in April and will be presented live for the first time in Germany at the Cyclingworld Europe in Düsseldorf, Germany from March 15-17. 

Monty / BH Bikes
(c) Monty / BH Bikes

Bicycle manufacturer Canyon has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. In collaboration with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), Canyon has set short- and long-term goals to reduce its emissions, aligning with global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The company plans to cut its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 51 percent by 2032 and by 90 percent in 2050. All progress and current metrics will be disclosed on the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) website, allowing the public to check the latest status. 


Ford has announced the name of its all-electric Puma, which will be called the Puma Gen-E and is set to be unveiled later this year. The electric Ford Puma, like its combustion engine counterparts, will be produced at the Ford Otosan plant in Craiova, Romania. 

BYD has announced the unveiling of four new vehicles at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Among them is the Seal U DM-i, the brand's first plug-in hybrid for Europe. Additionally, the electric vehicles BYD Tang, Denza N7, and Yangwang U8 will debut in Switzerland. 

On Valentine's Day, Mercedes-Benz introduced a limited-edition G-Class model called “Stronger Than Diamonds”, which is limited to 300 units. Each of the four stainless steel door pins in the vehicle, features an inset diamond of 0.25 carats, and the outer door handle is adorned with a Mercedes logo embossing in a diamond design. Furthermore, the vehicle key is uniquely designed with a genuine silver plaque on the back, the special model name, and a diamond embossing. 

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