UQM Technologies, which develops propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, says it has secured the first electric bus customers for the PowerPhaseDT heavy-duty drivetrain pilot program.
According to the company, 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.
UQM says these customers will work in close collaboration with suppliers Pi Innovo and Eaton to develop heavy-duty commercial and transit all-electric vehicles, enabling them to rapidly deploy vehicles to market. Applications for early PowerPhaseDT adoption include transit buses and school buses.
The PowerPhaseDT will be delivered to early adopters this fall for pilot program deployment, and production systems will be available in early 2017.
According to UQM, the drivetrain in the PowerPhaseDT provides a greater speed and torque range than direct-drive systems, allowing smaller electric motors to 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 PowerPhaseDT 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.”
PowerPhaseDT 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.