Our Next Energy signs $200 million battery pack deal with Shyft Group

The batteries will supply Shyft’s Blue Arc, a new line of electric last-mile-delivery vehicles. The company declined to specify customers, but its largest clients include Amazon Inc. and FedEx Corp.

It also has an initial order of 2,000 electric vehicles from North Carolina-based Randy Marion Automotive Group. The loss of defunct Electric Last Mile Solutions is Shyft’s gain. Marion had placed an order of 1,000 units from Troy-based ELMS before the company crumbled, and Mullen Automotive Inc. absorbed its assets.

ONE will produce a new variation of its 79kWh Aries battery for Shyft’s Class 5 truck. ONE is dividing the battery into two 62 kWh segments and double stacking them for 248 kWh and 540 volts. The company said the flexible configuration allows for better energy efficiency and more discretion over how to use vehicle storage capacity, a key concern for delivery vehicles.

LFP batteries do not contain nickel or cobalt — elements that are problematic for their limited supply and origins. The chemistry offers less range than the current industry standard NMC (nickel, manganese, cobalt), but LFP is ideal for last-mile delivery vehicles that are frequently charged. Shyft’s other battery supplier, California-based Proterra, makes NMC batteries.

Shyft joins Berkshire Hathaway, Motiv and Bollinger Motors, also acquired by Mullen last year, as ONE customers that have been announced.

ONE’s commercial vehicle batteries are being produced in a Piston Group plant in Van Buren Township near ONE’s planned $1.6 billion plant, which will make batteries for passenger vehicles.

Production for the Shyft batteries is to begin at the end of the month. The company announced last month that it would invest $16 million at its plant in Charlotte, MIch., to build EVs.

“We feel very confident in the product’s ability to function in their system because we have been driving their vehicles in metro Detroit for months,” Ijaz said.

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