EVmatch pilots MUD charging solution with two Vermont utilities

The mission of California-based startup EVmatch, a charging solution provider that was profiled in the latest issue of Charged, is to make charging stations more readily available to EV drivers. The company offers two solutions: a peer-to-peer sharing platform that makes private chargers available to the public; and a subnetwork platform, which allows a customer to create a small EVmatch network within their property. This enables multi-family dwellings, such as apartments or condo associations, to easily process payments and make reservations.

EVmatch is now testing its subnetwork platform through pilot
projects with two Vermont utilities: Green Mountain Power and the Burlington
Electric Department.

“EVmatch presented a solution that is of particular
relevance to our customers,” said Burlington Electric Department General
Manager Darren Springer. “We serve 17,000 residential customers, 60 percent of
whom are renters. This platform offers an affordable and logistically simple
way for property owners to make EV charging available to multi-family
residences.”

Burlington Electric currently has 15 charging stations in
the Burlington area. The EVmatch pilot will create 16 new charging stations in
2020, with a focus on multi-family residences.

The EVmatch platform works for those customers by offering a
manager (property owner or homeowners association) an app-based program that
allows residents to reserve and pay for charging time. Because the platform
runs on WiFi, it’s less expensive than alternatives that run on cellular and
use RFID technology for payments. The property owner can also choose to make
the chargers available to the public when not being used by residents, for
example, during the work day, and to charge different rates to residents and
the public.

Green Mountain Power already has two EVmatch-enabled charging
stations in operation at a condo complex near Mount Snow. “Small businesses,
condos and multi-family dwellings are a huge unmet need in Vermont,” said Green
Mountain Power’s Graham Turk. “EVmatch allows a ‘subnetwork’ of users – in this
case, residents or employees – to easily reserve and pay for charging through
the app.”

Burlington Electric and Green Mountain Power are both founding
partners in DeltaClimeVT, an accelerator program that attracts climate economy
start-ups from around the country.

“Working with utilities is an important component of testing
and growing our platform,” said EVmatch founder and CEO Heather Hochrein. “Through
DeltaClimeVT we were able to discuss, troubleshoot and test real-world
situations that are applicable not only to Vermont, but to rural, middle-income
states around the country.”

BMW revamps battery materials supply chain, signs supply contract for raw lithium

BMW Group has signed a €540-million contract with China’s Ganfeng Lithium for the supply of raw lithium from mines in Australia. The carmaker has restructured its supply chains for its upcoming fifth generation of battery cells. From 2020 on, it will directly source both lithium and cobalt. The raw materials will then pass on to BMW’s two cell manufacturing partners, CATL and Samsung SDI.

BMW says this new process will ensure full transparency as to where raw materials come from. In the future, it will source cobalt directly from mines in Australia and Morocco. Supply contracts will ensure the company’s supply up to 2025.

BMW is increasing its order volume for battery cells from CATL to €7.3 billion, and also has signed a €2.9-billion contract with Samsung SDI for its fifth-gen electric powertrains, which it plans to make entirely free of rare earth metals.

The automaker plans to have 25 electrified models in its lineup by 2023, more than half of which will be fully electric. The company also aims to double its sales of electrified vehicles between 2019 and 2021.

Dr. Andreas Wendt, member of the BMW Board of Management, said, “The projected order volume [from Ganfeng Lithium] totals €540 million. In this way, the BMW Group is securing 100% of its lithium hydroxide needs for fifth-generation battery cells in its high-voltage batteries. Our need for raw materials will continue to grow. By 2025, for lithium alone, we expect to need about seven times the amount we do today.”

Dominion Energy selects Thomas Built Jouley for electric school bus initiative

Dominion Energy has selected Thomas Built Buses (TBB) as the
provider of 50 electric school buses, which will make up the initial phase of
Dominion’s electric school bus replacement program in Virginia. According to TBB,
this program represents the largest deployment of electric school buses in the US
to date.

TBB’s Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley is powered by Proterra technology. It features
a 220 kWh battery pack, a two-speed transmission and a quoted range of up to
134 miles. It charges in roughly three hours via the Proterra 60 kWh DC fast
charging system, and can supply power back to the grid using vehicle-to-grid
(V2G) technology.

Dominion plans to partner with local Virginia school
districts to replace diesel buses with electric in phases, adding 200 per year
for the next 5 years.