Editor’s note: The growth of the electric vehicle industry will be beneficial to the electric utility industry which in turn will benefit the wind industry and the nation as a whole as it reduces its need for imported oil. Although most of the activity mentioned here is in China, the development comes from U.S.-based UQM.
- Key customers selected for pilot program include Hybrid Kinetic Group in Hong Kong, Wuzhoulong Motors and Yangtse Bus through ITL in China, and ADOMANI in the U.S. market.
- Applications for early PowerPhase DT adoption include transit buses and school buses.
- Initial pilot program underway through fall of 2016.
- Production systems available in early 2017.
UQM Technologies (UQM, Longmont, Colo.) has secured global commercial customers as early adopters of its full drivetrain, the PowerPhase DT. These early adopters include Hybrid Kinetic Group, Wuzhoulong Motors and ITL for a Yangtse full-size bus in China and ADOMANI in the U.S. These companies will work in close collaboration with UQM, and suppliers Pi Innovo and Eaton, to develop heavy-duty commercial and transit all-electric vehicles, enabling them to rapidly deploy vehicles to market. The PowerPhase DT will be delivered to early adopters this fall for pilot program deployment.
The UQM drivetrain in the PowerPhase DT provides a greater speed and torque range than direct-drive systems, letting smaller electric motors drive large vehicles. The new system also allows for improved packaging, greater efficiency, greater payload capacity and lower cost when compared with direct drive or single-speed drivetrain strategies.
“These key customers represent strategic markets, which will increase speed to market for this drivetrain,” said Joe Mitchell, President and CEO of UQM. “After extensively vetting many interested parties, UQM has selected these partners. They have all expressed a sincere desire to work with us on the initial launch, understand the advantages of the UQM PowerPhase DT system and provide the market potential for significant volume utilizing this product solution. This is the ideal drivetrain solution for electric and range-extended commercial vehicles.”
PowerPhase DT uses UQM’s current PowerPhase HD220/HD250 motor and inverter system, Eaton’s two-speed transmission and Pi Innovo’s transmission control unit, creating a fully electric drivetrain system. This allows customers in the medium- and heavy-duty EV commercial markets to achieve increased performance in areas of gradability, acceleration and efficiency. The system also addresses the need for full transmission EV systems, as enhanced performance and efficiency requirements are mandated by customer drive cycles, battery costs and stringent environmental regulations.
As battery costs rapidly decrease, heavy-duty commercial and transit markets see the economic potential of electric drive vehicles compared to large diesel engines and multispeed transmissions. Fuel savings of pure electric vehicles (21 mpg equivalent) compared with traditional diesel (4 mpg) and hybrid systems (6 mpg) is enough to quickly recover the investment in an electric drive.
UQM Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of power-dense, high-efficiency electric motors, generators, power electronic controllers and fuel cell compressors for the commercial truck, bus, automotive, marine, military and industrial markets. A major emphasis for UQM is developing propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. UQM is TS 16949 and ISO 14001 certified and located in Longmont, Colorado. For more information, please visit www.uqm.com.
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