Plug-in hybrid vehicle technology and transmission systems developed at UC Davis have been licensed to Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI) of Palo Alto, Calif., under an agreement negotiated by the UC Davis InnovationAccess unit.
The technology draws on decades of work by Andy Frank, professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at UC Davis.
EDI was founded in 2006 to commercialize Frank’s technology. The company plans to partner with auto designers and manufacturers so that they can rapidly introduce advanced plug-in hybrid technology into their vehicles. The company also hopes to establish its own automotive research and development center in Davis, said Joerg Ferchau, the company’s chief executive officer.
The licensing package also includes an intelligent, continuously variable transmission that automatically selects the right power ratio and eliminates gear shifting.
Frank has been working on developing fuel-efficient vehicles for more than 30 years. He advises a team of UC Davis students that has designed and built a series of award-winning vehicles to take part in the Futurecar, Futuretruck and ChallengeX competitions, sponsored by the US Department of Energy and leading companies in the auto industry.