Low-Cost System to Install on OEM-Branded New Trucks
Michigan start-up Inventev is aiming for the aftermarket with a low-cost hybrid system that will allow work trucks to travel as far as 50 miles on batteries alone, and provide power takeoff electricity for tools and lifts and even small neighborhoods at the jobsite.
“We do not intend to re-brand the OEM’s truck,” says Inventev founder and CEO Dave Stenson. “We intend to supplement it.” A key design strategy, he says, is to “dual-purpose the electric machines in the driveline” to provide both motive power and PTO.
Inventev is developing an “integrated next gen hybrid architecture replacing the existing transmission with a single propulsion unit while retaining the OEM engine as installed,” states an excellent write-up this month by the Green Truck Association (an arm of the National Truck Equipment Association).
“Inventev’s ‘next gen’ integrated propulsion unit contains the necessary motors, clutches and gear ratios to operate the vehicle in multiple optimized modes (from full electric to a hybrid mix with the engine) for range extension or peak power needs,” states the GTA report. “Much of the existing vehicle architecture is maintained since the integrated propulsion unit is packaged in the space about equal to the existing transmission.”
Diesel Torque with a Gasoline Engine
Inventev-modified trucks will also feature a max power mode to allow gasoline engine power “to be augmented with the electric motor torque to provide a power boost replicating diesel output during peak load conditions.
“This feature is useful to customers who only need the high torque characteristics of a diesel selectively, but could otherwise lower their base vehicle price by opting for the base [gasoline] engine,” says GTA.
“We’re in a pre-hardware phase,” Stenson told F&F. Depending on his success with financing, a prototype truck could be available for show early in 2014.
He’ll be making the rounds of the NTEA-Calstart Green Truck Summit and NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis next week to spread the word about Inventev. “Between the Work Truck Show and the Green Truck Summit it is a particularly important industry event,” Stenson says, “in the top three of shows for companies in green technology and upfitting of trucks.”
Inventev is collaborating with Pacific Gas & Electric, Altec Industries, San Francisco’s Mission Motors and NextEnergy.
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Source: Inventev and GTA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up