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Michigan Mobility and Electrification Report mid July

Michigan Business Network
July 15, 2021 8:00 AM


Calling All Startups: The Startup AutoMobili-D Showcase at Motor Bella

Startups may now apply to display their cars and technologies at the Motor Bella Startup Exhibit at the Startup AutoMobili-D Showcase September 21-22. Produced by the Auto Dealers Association, this event allows automakers and suppliers to display their work in a diverse location with thrilling opportunities.

Startups interested in presenting must meet the following requirements:

  • Total revenue less than $10M
  • Total investment less than $10M
  • Less than 8 years old as of June 2021
  • May not be an owned subsidiary of a larger corporation
  • Must have less than 100 employees

You can find the Startup Automobili-D Showcase application and more information on Motor Bella at the landing page for the event. Click below to apply before the extended July 30 deadline


Governor Whitmer Announces National Award Recognizing Michigan as a Top State for Sustainable Development

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced that Michigan has tied for the third spot in sustainable development practices by Site Selection magazine, congratulating the state’s commitment to green energy practices and leadership in business growth and development.

Along with this recognition, Michigan also ranked 2nd for East North Central regional rankings, ahead of Ohio (3rd), Wisconsin (4th) and Indiana (5th). Four Michigan metro regions were recognized in the Top 10 in the East North Central region’s rankings: Grand Rapids-Wyoming (2nd), Lansing- East Lansing (3rd), Ann Arbor (7th) and Kalamazoo-Portage (9th).

Site Selection’s rankings are based on a mix of green metrics like LEED-certified buildings, renewable energy use and green building incentives with additional factors like corporate social responsibility and brownfield redevelopment. Michigan’s success comes as the state continues to implement projects to revitalize communities with efforts like the Community Revitalization Program and the Michigan Business Development Program.

American Center for Mobility Playing Long-Game Under New CEO Reuben Sarkar

The American Center for Mobility (ACM) in Ypsilanti has reached a key moment in time in the facility’s four-year history with CEO Reuben Sarkar, looking to financial stability and creativity to lead the sustainable future ACM is working toward.

"We want to be more than a test track," Sarkar said. "We want to be an ecosystem that brings you value, connections, networking, business opportunity. Small startups want exposure. They want to be able to walk around and meet new people and get new business."

Mobility Spotlight: MCity Experiencing Some Risks and Many Rewards of Autonomous Testing

The University of Michigan’s MCity gave 7 Actions News a peak behind the scenes of its unique testing facility on a ride in one of the autonomous vehicles used for testing. 

As MCity makes progress toward creating technology for cars to safely drive themselves, work remains on issues around cybersecurity, public policy and insurance.

Click below to learn more about MCity’s testing facility and its work with the transportation solutions of tomorrow in the 4-minute segment.

Michigan Mobility Funding Platform: Rolling Applications Now Open

The Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have partnered to launch the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform aimed at providing vital grant funding to mobility and electrification companies of all sizes looking to deploy their technology in Michigan.

The funding platform is designed to accelerate investment in solutions that create safer, more equitable and environmental conscious transportation for all Michiganders, as well as fostering mobility and electrification companies with high trajectories in Michigan and want to play a key role in the state’s mobility ecosystem. Grants are focused in three primary areas:

  • Sustainable Futures: Improve environmental sustainability by encouraging electric vehicle adoption and the buildout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • Equitable Futures: Alleviate mobility barriers and increase access to affordable and reliable transportation options
  • Multimodal Transportation: Modernize existing transportation systems and keep Michigan at the forefront across all connected and autonomous transportation modes

Click below to learn more about eligibility for testing environments and real-world deployments, rolling application periods through September 2021, and past grant recipients.

Troy-Based Electric Last Mile Solutions Makes Stock Market Debut, Eyes Fall Van Launch

Troy-based Electric Last Mile became the latest electric vehicle startup to go public, directing attention to the launch of its commercial electric van aimed at last-mile deliveries, “Urban Delivery.” It will be the first electric van of its size to launch in the U.S and is expected to have a range of about 150 miles.

"Today is an important achievement for ELMS and a significant milestone in our mission to transform last mile productivity for our customers with efficient, sustainable and connected e-mobility workstations intended to improve their bottom line," said founder and CEO Jim Taylor.

Meanwhile, the startup is also planning a second vehicle — the Urban Utility — an electric medium-duty forward truck, with a working prototype planned to be released later this summer.

You’re Invited! Virtual Mobility Meetup – July 14

Join MICHauto and the MEDC for the virtual mobility meetup on Wednesday, July 14 from 4-5 PM EDT. Registration now open!

During this meeting, attendees will hear from Mike Kenhard, chief technology officer and vice president of engineering for XL Fleet. XL Fleet is a leading company in fleet electrification solutions for commercial and municipal vehicles. The company focuses on developing and producing technology that converts vehicles into hybrids. Learn more about the company’s recently announced expansion in Wixom here.

Joining the Meetup
A confirmation email with the link to join the meeting will be sent upon registration. Following the opening remarks and presentation, the event will open up for facilitated networking.

Keep the conversation going with Connect Space
Virtual Mobility Meetup Connect is an ongoing connection platform through Connect Space. Separate but complementary from the virtual mobility meetup webinar, mobility meetup attendees can register in the platform at any time and connect with others via the PlanetM app. Users can set up meetings within the app or take things offline.

For more information, please contact Devon O’Reilly by phone at (313) 402-0371.

Resources and Opportunities
Upcoming Events
In the News

Stellantis Plans to Go Big on EVs. Here’s What’s in Store
Global auto-making giant Stellantis NV said it plans to spend more than $35.5 billion through 2025 to release an array of new plug-in models, the company’s boldest statement yet on how it plans to compete in the industry’s intensifying electric-vehicle race.

The car company, formed earlier this year through the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and France’s PSA Group, also plans to get more involved with battery development and sourcing, aiming to drive down costs on one of the most expensive components for an electric car.

Executives said Thursday its strategy would support the establishment of five battery factories in North America and Europe and it aims to offer electrified options under all 14 of its brands, which include Jeep, Ram, Peugeot and Citroën. Among the new models planned are an electric Ram truck, expected to arrive in 2024, and an electric Dodge muscle car to be released that same year.

GM Looks to Source Lithium in U.S. to Advance EV Battery Production, Lower Carbon Emissions
General Motors Co. in Detroit has formed a strategic investment and commercial collaboration with California-based Controlled Thermal Resources to secure local, low-cost lithium through a closed-loop, direct extraction process that results in a smaller physical footprint, no production tailing, and lower carbon emissions compared to traditional methods.

A significant amount of GM’s future battery-grade lithium hydroxide and carbonate could be sources from CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen Lithium and Power development in the Salton Sea Geothermal Field located in Imperial, California.

“Lithium is critical to battery production today and will only become more important as consumer adoption of EVs increases, and we accelerate towards our all-electric future,” says Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “By securing and localizing the lithium supply chain in the U.S., we’re helping ensure our ability to make powerful, affordable, high mileage EVs while also helping to mitigate environmental impact and bring more low-cost lithium to the market as a whole.”

Magna announces education program for employees
Automotive supplier Magna International is partnering with work force education provider InStride to launch a pilot program that will provide qualified employees access to undergraduate degree programs free of debt.

The initiative, Educational Pathways for Innovative Careers (EPIC), will be available for U.S.-based employees beginning this month.

The program will provide coursework that lets employees address the skills they'll need to keep up with continued advances in the auto industry. The goal is for employees to expand their knowledge and skills so that more advanced vehicles can be designed and built.

Mayco International in Sterling Heights and LyteHorse Labs to Build Stand-Up Electric ATV
Mayco International, a Sterling Heights-based leader in automotive “art to part” delivery, is partnering with Canadian electric performance vehicle company LyteHorse Labs to manufacture its stand-up electric ATV.

The LyteHorse started as a stand-on hop-off golf vehicle, and has since evolved into an all-wheel-drive, high-performance work utility vehicle with the capability of carrying both people and equipment. The motor integration and design provide more than 2,500 pounds of towing capacity over a wide variety of terrains and use scenarios.

With Mayco’s partnership, LyteHorse Labs can deliver the stand-up electric ATV at scale using Mayco’s resources.

Rochester Hills-based OEM supplier takes part from $98 to $2 with new 3D printer
Jim Miller, founder and president of Rochester Hills-based Air and Liquid Systems Inc. was a little hesitant about the idea of 3D printing.

Miller decided to keep an open mind when his shop manager, Ryan Wenzlick, told him about a new program through Automation Alley that was furnishing local manufacturers with 3D printers at no cost.

"I have to tell you that I was very skeptical," he said. "I didn't really have an appreciation of how a 3D printer could be applied to making our parts."

Working mostly with OEM suppliers, Miller's company provides industrial equipment and services to the paint finishing industry. ALSI has experienced steady growth over time, and has several strong patents in its market. The company prides itself on continuously innovating to answer customer needs as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.


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Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.