Let's round up the recent highlights in EV news you might have missed, including…
- New sources of lithium for EV manufacturers
- Budding partnerships between companies and cities to expand green infrastructure
- Growing efforts to make both zero-emission delivery and EV charging accessible to commercial retailers
EV manufacturers find possible new source of lithium in oil and gas wastewater
As zero-emission incentives continue to drive demand for EVs, automakers could stand to face a lithium shortage as early as the year 2025. This soft, silvery-white metal is an essential component in the production of EV batteries, with most batteries containing around 8-10 kg of the substance.
However, a potential new source of lithium has emerged in the form of oil and gas wastewater.
Executives have begun to develop ways to extract lithium from the brine found in producing wells. A 2021 study concluded that the wastewater produced by one week of hydraulic fracturing in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale could generate enough lithium for up to 300 EV batteries.
Though the technology is not yet market ready, energy companies like Exxon Mobil are currently exploring various methods of direct lithium extraction with plans to utilize these methods in large-scale lithium processing plants as soon as possible.
SWTCH Energy and it’selectric partner up to deliver curbside EV charging in urban areas
Curbside EV charging company its’electric has recently announced a partnership with SWTCH Energy to meet the growing demand for EV chargers (particularly in urban areas) by expanding accessible and affordable curbside EV charging across the United States.
itselectric works with cities and property owners to supply a network of Level 2 curbside chargers that also offer revenue sharing opportunities for property owners. The company installs and maintains all chargers, which draw power from nearby buildings, thus eliminating the lengthy and costly process of connecting EV chargers to the city utility lines.
SWTCH Energy’s management software will enable itselectric to seamlessly monitor and control the entire charging network. The platform provides features like real-time monitoring, driver billing, 24/7 maintenance alerts, and charging fee remittance.
Overall, this exciting collaboration will help maximize charger earnings and ensure network reliability, advancing EV infrastructure and accessibility in cities.
Prologis enables EV fleet transitions with flexible charging infrastructure
Transitioning to an all-electric fleet is a complicated and expensive process. From upfront vehicle costs to the installation of charging infrastructure, many fleets struggle to meet the massive investment of funds and resources required to make the switch.
Prologis, a global leader in the logistics industry, hopes to change that.
The company plans to allow commercial fleets to charge their vehicles at dedicated charging hubs that will be conveniently located near busy ports in order to provide maximum flexibility for drivers. They have already established charging stations in two Southern California cities with future expansions on the horizon.
By eliminating the cost of installing on-site EV chargers, Prologis aims to enable commercial fleets to electrify faster.
Hertz teams up with NYC Mayor to electrify the city
On September 20, 2023, NYC Mayor Eric Adams officially announced a new citywide project: “Hertz Electrifies New York City.” The goal of the project is to support the construction of a greener economy in NYC and bolster the city’s efforts to fight back against climate change.
The partnership between Hertz and NYC will enable sustainable vehicle practices by:
- Donating five EVs to automotive technical schools run by the NYC Department of Education.
- Adding 1,700 EVs to Hertz’s NYC fleet for leisure and business customers.
- Providing EV education and training opportunities for students at four public high schools.
- Creating 100 new Hertz-based jobs in the area.
Hertz Electrifies is the next step in NYC’s journey toward attaining net-zero transportation emissions by 2050.
Startups help retailers meet last mile zero-emission delivery standards
With the growing pressure among businesses to reduce emissions and meet sustainability goals, a unique opportunity has opened up for European and U.S. delivery startups. These companies have committed themselves to offering zero-emission, electric last mile deliveries to retailers in urban areas looking to stay on track with rigorous environmental impact plans.
Notable startups include Germany's Liefergrun, the UK's Zedify and Packfleet, and New York-based DutchX. Hoping to secure market share before shipping giants like FedEx and Amazon fully transition to zero-emission fleets, these startups use their routing technology to focus on scaling up to meet demand while maintaining competitively low prices.
Fluid Truck has also taken on this mission by partnering with IKEA to help the company reach its goal of 100% zero-emission last mile home deliveries by 2025. Since 2021, Fluid Truck has provided flexible access to electrified fleet vehicles for IKEA’s NYC and LA markets, enabling the global retailer to jumpstart its sustainability commitments.
Zero-emission last mile delivery companies have already gained about $1 billion in collective funding and will most likely continue to grow alongside the needs of both consumers and retailers.