Lithium metal anode technology developer Li-Metal Corp. has signed an exclusive agreement with Mustang Vacuum Systems Inc. (MVS), which develops and manufactures a technology that is key to Li-Metal's lithium anode production.
MVS will provide physical vapour deposition (PVD) machines to Markham, Ont.-based Li-Metal (LIM-CN) and its customers. The machines will increase the productivity and commercialization of Li-Metal’s roll-to-roll PVD technology, which produces battery anodes via its vaporized lithium metal deposition process.
Anodes are one of two electrodes that comprise a battery, including those in electric vehicles (EVs). In traditional anode production, chunks of lithium are flattened into a very thin foil. Li-Metal uses what it refers to as deposition technology, using lithium carbonate as its main input.
The end product has the same storage capacity, but is more cost efficient and allows for more cells to be used in the battery.
“With PVD for advanced battery materials the key is intensifying the productivity of the process, and having the right equipment plays an important role in helping the technology achieve these important metrics,” Kunal Phalpher, Li-Metal’s president told SustainableBiz in an email.
MVS acquires Li-Metal shares as part of relationship
“Furthermore, this exclusive partnership with MVS gives us the ability to leverage large-scale advanced equipment development and manufacturing capabilities to better position us to deliver both high-performance, cost-effective anode materials and equipment to our current and prospective customers.”
Sarasota, Fla.-based MVS will become a Li-Metal shareholder as part of the agreement. Li-Metal will issue 4.375 million common shares and 21 million warrants to MVS.
Phalpher said Li-Metal plans further definitive agreements with MVS, including a master supply agreement for the exclusive supply of PVD equipment and technologies, support services for PVD, and an operation and production agreement.
Li-Metal states it operates the highest-intensity PVD lithium metal anode process in the battery industry, is engaged with 27 automakers and battery developers, and is actively sampling anode materials with 12 next-generation battery developers for product qualification.
Additional details of the agreement, such as finances or scale, have not been disclosed.
Hillcrest adds an advisor
Hillcrest Energy Technologies has added veteran automotive executive Dan Coker as a strategic advisor.
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Vancouver, Hillcrest develops control systems and electric power conversion devices for EVs. This includes the high-efficiency inverter, which will lead to lighter, smaller and more powerful powertrains.
Coker is the former CEO of Gentherm Incorporated in Farmington Hills, Mich., which created the first thermoelectrically heated and cooled seat system for the automotive industry.
"Hillcrest possesses a technology platform with the potential to disrupt power conversion possibilities across numerous sectors,” Coker said in a statement. “Over the past two years, they've built a solid foundation and I look forward to working with the Hillcrest team as we accelerate into commercializing technologies and scaling the business."
Exro chairman steps down
Exro Technologies Inc. chair Mark Godsy has stepped down and been succeeded on an interim basis by board member Rod Copes.
One of Exro’s products is the Coil Driver, an inverter that utilizes coil switching — the ability to switch electric motor configurations while in use, to maximize speed and torque. The Coil Driver eliminates the need for multiple motors and gearboxes, which are commonly found in most EV models.
It also produces the Cell Driver for commercial and industrial energy storage.
According to a release, the transition aligns with Calgary-based Exro’s (EXRO-T) evolution into series production in Q3 of this year and “ongoing leadership enhancement” as the company prepares for a NASDAQ listing.
"With completion of Phase 1 of its world-class manufacturing facility, and innovative engineering and services centres, Exro is positioning itself as a technology leader delivering much-needed critical solutions to energy transition industries,” Copes said in a statement. “I am looking forward to this exciting next phase at Exro.”
GreenPower records record deliveries in Q4
GreenPower Motor Company Inc. delivered over 120 EVs in its Q4 which ended in March.
Founded in Vancouver, GreenPower (GPV-X) is a manufacturer and distributor of all-electric, zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles serving the cargo and delivery market, shuttle and transit space, and school bus sector.
The majority of the deliveries were EV Star Cab and Chassis, and included EV Star Cargoes, EV Stars, EV250 and a Type D BEAST all-electric school bus.
"GreenPower demonstrates strong growth with our third consecutive quarter of record deliveries with more than 120 vehicles delivered to customers across the country. This increase represents a six-fold increase from a year ago," GreenPower CEO Fraser Atkinson said in a statement.
"We look forward to continue building on the momentum with our current order book and strong demand across our entire product portfolio."
This quarter, GreenPower also delivered its first electric refrigerated box truck.