Arizona is quickly becoming a hub for electric vehicle manufacturing and the rest of the country is taking note.
There’s so much going on with major EV companies here, including Lucid Motor Company, Nikola and Atlis Motor Vehicles, that it’s hard to keep up. Thankfully, we’ve done the work so you can get up to date.
Here are some of the latest developments.
Atlis Motor Vehicles (AMV) has started production of fast-charging battery cells
Atlis Motor Vehicles, the Mesa-based transportation technology startup, has begun production of its super charging battery cells at its Mesa factory.
These cells are designed to charge in as little as 15 minutes and will power batteries with up to a 500-mile range. The company claims these battery cells will be the first in the industry to charge in such a short amount of time.
Currently, Atlis plans to produce enough cells to power its XP platform and Atlis XT, an electric work truck set to debut in late 2022. A commercial launch of the cells is tentatively scheduled for late this year.
Atlis CEO Mark Hanchett told Forbes that the delayed roll out will help hedge against supply chain disruptions, especially the global semiconductor shortages. He also said that the battery commercialization will likely be a strong source of revenue as more of the world starts to adopt EVs. The AMV batteries have the potential to create a more robust battery supply chain in the U.S.
Nikola’s electric truck has its first ride
For months, Nikola Motor Company has been taking heat from critics who have been skeptical about whether or not the company’s electric truck even exists. As a result, Nikola has been under significant pressure to deliver the Nikola Tre daycab, especially after a short seller alleged that the company was built on false claims made by founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton. Milton resigned and the company has been trying to restore credibility.
After all that, the company finally provided proof of concept during FreightWaves’ exclusive ride last Thursday, June 17. The ride took place on a 1.9-mile oval track in the Phoenix area. According to FreightWaves, the truck is very real, modern, minimalist and almost silent. And it “can turn on a dime.”
The first batch of Alpha versions of the production-intent Nikola Tre are undergoing validation testing here in Arizona and will go into production at the company’s new facility in Coolidge starting July.
TuSimple’s self-driving truck network expanding east from Arizona
TuSimple, a self-driving truck technology company based in San Diego, has announced plans to open a new facility in Texas. The company says this will allow its trucks to start carrying freight between the southeastern U.S. within six months.
While the company is based out of California, the TuSimple test facility is located in Tucson and the company’s network for electric heavy-duty trucks started in Arizona. In May 2021, the company successfully shipped a truckload of watermelons from Arizona to Oklahoma, with the truck driving itself for 80% of the trip. It drove itself from Tucson to Dallas – about 950 miles. A human safety driver was on board but didn’t control the truck.
In Q4 2021, TuSimple plans to demo its self-driving truck technology by using driverless electric trucks to haul freight eastward. The company plans to roll out an autonomous freight network nationwide by 2024.
TuSimple debuted on Nasdaq earlier this year.