Order Is for Kits for Mileage-Boosting Heavy Truck Retrofits
Pennsylvania’s Axion Power is spreading the word that ePower Engine Systems, also of Pennsylvania, has ordered Axion’s PbC brand lead-carbon batteries for kits to retrofit ten Class 8 trucks with a mileage-boosting series hybrid electric drive.
“The two companies are currently negotiating a long-term agreement for Axion to supply PbC batteries and battery management systems for system conversion kits that will be marketed by ePower to fleets, trucking firms and OEMs in the business of retrofitting Class 8 trucks,” says an Axion spokesman.
“They are committing to using our batteries,” Axion CEO Tom Granville told F&F. Axion’s PbCs, he says, are “the only ones that allow the application to work as desired.”
The Axion batteries have activated carbon negative electrodes allowing them to withstand the repeated deep discharge cycles required of an ePower-type hybrid (F&F, June 11). They can be manufactured on a conventional lead acid battery production line.
Fuel Economy Could Be Doubled
The ePower upfits are being tested by several fleet operators, among them Iowa-based Keane Thummel Trucking.
The upfits are said to increase fuel efficiency from about 5 miles per gallon to about 10 mpg, while satisfying customers’ hauling requirements.
“ePower has targeted the retrofit market,” Axion says, “as 37% of the 2.7 million U.S. trucks are 5 to 12 years old, have outlived their drivetrain warranties but usually have remaining life in their chassis, bodies and other parts.”
“ePower believes its retrofits will pay for themselves through fuel savings alone in 18 to 24 months.”
The long-term agreement now being negotiated could result in exclusivity on both sides: ePower would use Axion’s batteries only and, for the heavy truck market, Axion would sell only to ePower. “We’re willing to lock ourselves up and sell exclusively to them,” Granville says.
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Source: Axion Power with Fleets & Fuels follow-up