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TransPower eTrucks, eSchool Buses

June 17, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

New Inverter-Charger Unit Among Key Design Advantages

San Diego-based Transportation Power – TransPower – expects new funding totaling about $1.3 million to support in-service tests of its 100% battery electric drivelines for port drayage vehicles and school buses.

TransPower wants to commercialize heavy-duty vehicles with a single-charge range of 100 miles.

TransPower would move these materials electrically. Photo courtesy of the Port of Long Beach

TransPower has been in stealth mode but has now uncloaked, as founder, president and CEO Mike Simon has shared details about features and suppliers with Fleets & Fuels.

The TransPower vehicles boast new battery packs, advanced automated manual transmissions, and – perhaps most significantly, Simon says – a unique, lightweight, high-performance ICU – for inverter-charger unit.

CAD rendering of TransPower's 'crown jewel' inverter-charger unit (the ICU) with photo of combined twin-motor and transmission assembly for heavy duty electric vehicles.

The ICU was developed with San Diego’s EPC Power Corp. Because it combines the similar circuitry needed to control the vehicle’s motors and manage its battery charging, it weighs just 150 pounds.

Other key suppliers include Quantum Technologies (NASDAQ:QTWW) for drive motors by China’s Jing-Jin Electric (JJE), Flux Power for battery pack components, and Dana Spicer for transmissions.

TransPower’s AC synchronous motors from JJE are rated at 150 kilowatts peak or 100 kilowatts (135 horsepower) continuous. They are the same motor supplied by Quantum for the Fisker Karma luxury hybrid electric sedan, Simon says. TransPower uses a single Quantum-JJE unit for school buses and yard hostlers, and two motors for Class 8 tractors capable of full-speed over-the-road work, or for garbage collection or off-road construction service. Each 150-pound ICU can handle one motor.

TransPower sees the 100% battery electric vehicle as a fundamentally simpler proposition than the hybrid.

All of TransPower’s vehicles have an automated manual transmission. TransPower applies its own controls to a Dana Spicer platform making for seamless shifting through five gears with a top RPM of 6,000.

Newly public Flux Power (OTCQB:FLUX) provides large-format lithium ion cells from Asia and a battery management system (BMS) for TransPower’s new “Mile-Max” brand, 15.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack.

TransPower is using the brandnames ElecTruck for trucks and ElecTrans for buses.

In addition to the new California grant money, the firm’s EVs have been proposed for refuse and Class 8 tractor trials with the City of Chicago.

Carolyn Paynton is TransPower business development manager. Tom Bartley is director of strategic development.

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Source: TransPower release and Fleets & Fuels interviews and research

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