California Company Is Quietly Developing Powerful Hybrid Retrofits
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Evaos is quietly developing a plug-in hybrid electric add-on for multiple vehicle platforms, starting with the Ford F-150 pickup. “We can do any truck,” says Evaos founder and CEO Don Matheson, former director of engineering operations with Tesla. “We’re starting with Ford because they’re the most popular truck on the planet.”
Evaos stands for electric vehicle add-on system. The firm claims a unique and proprietary method of adding electric-hybrid capabilities to most gasoline or diesel pickup trucks. The technology is scalable to Class 7 vehicles, with the Class 1-3 range representing the likely market sweet spot.
Evaos is looking to provide fleet operators with substantially better fuel efficiency – typically about 50%, or more if the fleet can run primarily in all-electric mode, with power export capabilities running from built-in USB chargers for cell phones to a 57-kilowatt output capable of powering a building.
Evaos adds a small, powerful, liquid-cooled AC induction motor – currently 225 kilowatts/300-horsepower with plans to go larger – and a 27-kilowatt lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack built with off-the-shelf prismatic cells.
“We’ve selected a safer battery chemistry and an inexpensive one so we can get the product on the road,” Matheson says. If a customer wants a higher performance battery, Evaos will accommodate him.
“We’ve sized the pack for 30 miles all-electric and 60 miles hybrid,” Matheson says. Hybrid mileage is estimated at 45 miles per gallon on the highway and 24 to 32 mpg in town. Mileage will be even better for duty cycles using primarily electricity.
The Evaos battery pack is fitted in a cabinet in the truck bed, designed so that cargo like sheet rock can slide underneath, and tools can fit inside. The J1772 charge port is on the side of the pack. The pack can easily be removed for installation on a different vehicle. “Right now we build the packs ourselves,” Matheson says. “We will outsource that later.” Evaos has engineered its own BMS/battery management system.
Twice the Power and Torque
Evaos promotes a “practical approach to electrification,” leaving the truck’s original engine, transmission and electronic control system unmodified while for many vehicles providing approximately twice the power and torque, “making the additional expense of a V-8 or diesel engine option unnecessary.”
Drivers have full control over an Evaos vehicle’s three driving modes, ranging from all-electric to parallel hybrid. Because Evaos keeps the vehicle’s factory engine, “There’s no range anxiety,” Matheson says.
Unlike most other plug-ins, the Evaos system is designed so that the engine can charge the battery while the vehicle is cruising. And, in case of battery, motor or other electric-drive breakdown, the truck will operate conventionally.
‘Under-Promise and Over-Deliver’
Evaos plans to offer its add-on system through conventional automotive dealers. The company has been operating under the radar, quietly lining up contracts, but expects to start promotional efforts soon. The first priority, Matheson says, is the vehicle.
“Our style is to lay low,” he told F&F. “Under-promise and over-deliver.”
Michigan-based U.S. Army advanced vehicle development veteran Paul Skalny is chief sales officer and director of strategy development at Evaos.
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Source: Evaos with Fleets & Fuels follow-up