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FLO introduces new DC fast charger

IMAGE: FLO's new DC fast charger for electric vehicles, the FLO Ultra
FLO's new DC fast charger, the FLO Ultra. (Courtesy FLO)

Electric vehicle (EV) charging network operator FLO has introduced a new DC fast charger – the FLO Ultra – which it states can charge most electric vehicles to 80 per cent in 15 minutes with up to 320 kilowatts (kW).

With multiple electric vehicle charging stations connected, it can reach up to 500 kW. The FLO Ultra will be made of recycled aluminum. 

"EV demand and sales are topping all industry expectations and are now forecasted to exceed more than 45 per cent of U.S. light duty vehicle sales by 2030," Nathan Yang, FLO’s chief product officer, said in a statement.

"As new EV drivers hit the road, they will be looking for fast charging that is safe, accessible, convenient, intuitive and reliable. This is why we designed FLO Ultra – to provide the ultimate EV charging experience."

The chargers will be available beginning in 2024. It is being built to the standards of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, including the Buy America requirement.

FLO, the largest EV charging network in Canada, is headquartered in Quebec City. It was founded in 2009 as a subsidiary of AddÉnergie Technologies Inc.

It has installed over 70,000 fast and Level 2 EV charging stations in public, private and residential locations across North America. The chargers are assembled in Shawnigan, Que. and as of October 2022, Auburn Hills, Mich. It also has offices in Montreal, Vancouver and Sacramento, Calif.

In March 2022, SustainableBiz reported on FLO unveiling the CoRe+ MAX Level-2 charger — the most powerful in the North American market, charging vehicles up to 2.7 times faster than existing systems. In September, the company installed its 100th EV charger in New York City, as part of a pilot program that began in June 2021.

Magna to provide 2024 Silverado EV battery enclosures

Aurora, Ont.-based Magna International Inc. will produce the battery enclosures for the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV at its St. Clair, Mich. facility. Magna (MG-T) already produces the enclosures for the GMC Hummer EV at its St. Clair facility.

Production will begin later this year.

Battery enclosures house the batteries, electrical components, sensors, and connectors. They contribute to the structural and safety aspects of a vehicle’s frame and protect critical battery components from potential impact, heat and water intrusion.

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“The accelerating shift toward vehicle electrification opens up exciting growth opportunities for Magna beyond powertrain,” said John O’Hara, president of Magna’s body and chassis group in a statement. “We have been able to leverage our expertise to supply battery enclosures – a product for which we see strong potential going forward.”

Magna Electric Vehicle Structures, which opened in 2021, is planning a 740,000-square-foot expansion at St. Clair, with operations expected to start in Q4 2023. The expansion will add 920 jobs.

Government of Canada announces new EV charger funding

The Canadian government has announced investments of nearly $15 million for the installation of more than 2,350 electric vehicle chargers, including 2,100 across the Greater Toronto Area.

This funding was provided to 32 organizations including municipalities, multiresidential buildings, private firms and utilities. 

Around $1.7 million is going to the City of Brampton to install 175 chargers. The YMCA of Greater Toronto is also among the recipients.

Since 2016, Canada has invested $1 billion in the electric vehicle industry, and has installed more than 34,500 electric vehicle chargers to date.

The 2022 federal budget included an additional $900 million to Natural Resources Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to continue deploying zero-emission vehicle infrastructure. The CIB will invest $500 million to deploy an additional 50,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2027.

Lion Electric enters Mitsubishi agreement

The Lion Electric Company has an agreement with Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi HC Capital America, to offer financing to Lion school bus and truck customers in the U.S. and Canada via LionCapital Solutions' vehicle financing program.

"I am very pleased to announce this partnership with Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada and ENGS Commercial Finance Co., and to have financial partners who share Lion's sustainable transportation vision and values,” William Blanchard, head of LionCapital Solutions, said in a statement.

“This agreement will allow LionCapital Solutions to leverage Mitsubishi's vehicle financing expertise and capital to provide Lion customers with financing solutions specifically designed for Lion school buses and trucks, thereby making it easier and simpler for our clients to secure the financing required for the purchase of their Lion vehicles." 

According to a release, LionCapital Solutions’ financing can provide for up to 100 per cent of fleet electrification costs, including the initial cost of the vehicle, charging infrastructure and installation.

Saint-Jérôme, Que.-based Lion Electric (LEV-T) designs and manufactures Class 5 to Class 8 commercial urban trucks and all-electric buses and minibuses for schools, paratransit and mass transit.

NEO Battery Materials appoints chief science officer, establishes NBM America

Silicon anode materials developer NEO Battery Materials Ltd. has appointed Dr. Basudev Swain as its chief science officer, a key step in its silicon anode commercialization plan and expansion efforts.

Vancouver-based NEO (NBM-X) produces silicon anode materials through its proprietary single-step nanocoating process, which provides improvements in capacity and efficiency over lithium-ion batteries using graphite in their anode materials. 

“The depth of his experience in battery recycling will also boost our silicon waste recycling efforts as a value-added project when expanding into the U.S,” Spencer Huh, NEO’s president and CEO, said in a statement. 

NEO recently announced the establishment of NBM America Ltd., with an R&D hub and office in Ohio as part of its first phase. As a private company, NBM America will focus on securing funding opportunities including the Inflation Reduction Act and Department of Energy funding.

“Along with optimizing the current performance and economics with our R&D engineering team, I will invest my efforts into growing NBM America through silicon anode and value-added recycling expansion operations,” Swain said in a statement.

“Silicon waste recycling will come first, but as an extension, we will possess the capability to build recycling systems to recover critical battery materials, such as lithium and cobalt, and rare earth minerals in electronic waste.”

NEO signed a collaboration agreement with Oakville, Ont.-based NanoRial Technologies Ltd. to incorporate NanoRial's carbon nanotubes into its silicon anode material to improve the conductivity, capacity and charge rate of batteries.

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