The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Verizon announced that Verizon has replaced 234 of its existing gasoline-powered vans with hybrid-electric vans for use in New York City. Verizon purchased the new vans using rebates offered through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program—the largest purchase... Read more →


MAN Diesel & Turbo to convert 3 more coastal container ships to LNG

Wessels Reederei signed a letter of intent with MAN Diesel & Turbo regarding the conversion of three of its fleet to dual-fuel gas operation. The three ships are sisters to the Wes Amelie, a 1,036-TEU feeder container ship with an MAN 8L48/60B main engine that was retrofitted to a multi-fuel,... Read more →


UPS and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that new technology will be developed to convert UPS package delivery vehicles from diesel to electric. UPS and Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES LLC) will design, build, test and make the conversions. NYSERDA is providing $500,000 in... Read more →


Lightning Systems is accepting pre-orders for its new all-electric LightningElectric system for Ford Transit. (Earlier post.) The LightningElectric battery conversion package is available for Ford Transit as part of Ford Motor Company’s eQVM program. The product will be available first on heavy-duty Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating... Read more →


Hyliion, a developer of electrification systems for Class 8 trucks, introduced the 6X4HE System for long haul trucks. Easily attached to the truck frame, the 6X4HE is a self-contained system. Fuel savings of up to 30% stem from a blend of three technologies: 15% from electric hybrid, 12% from APU,... Read more →


XL Hybrids will begin production on the new XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Model Year 2018 Ford Super Duty F-250 pickups in first quarter 2018. This will be the first time that Ford F-250 trucks can be ordered by fleet customers with hybrid-electric drive technology; the XL3 system can... Read more →


Lightning Systems, a developer of efficiency and emissions improvement solutions for fleets, in partnership with New Eagle, a mechatronic control system provider, will introduce a full battery-electric upfit system for Ford Transit passenger wagon, van, cutaway and chassis cab models. The new LightningElectric zero-emissions package is available for Ford Transit... Read more →


Ford names Lightning Hybrids, XL Hybrids, Motiv Power its first eQVM upfitters

Ford is expanding its Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program to include companies that develop and install electrified and hydraulic hybrid powertrains for Ford trucks and vans. The new eQVM program kicks off with three developers: XL Hybrids, Motiv Power Systems and Lightning Hybrids. These companies offer electrification or... Read more →


Symbio has integrated a 15 kW (net) fuel cell range extender in a Nissan e-NV200 electric van, with plans to introduce the vehicle to the European taxi market. The new plug-in hybrid hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will deliver at least 500 km of range. Symbio unveiled the van at the... Read more →


First XL Hybrids XLP plug-in hybrid upfits to be installed on Ford F-150 pickups

XL Hybrids’s XLP plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) upfit solution (earlier post) will roll out on Ford F-150 pickup trucks beginning fourth quarter 2017. Ford, with its top-selling half-ton truck for any make and model, was chosen as the first OEM based on XL Hybrids’ order commitments from major fleet... Read more →


Groupe Renault has acquired the French company PVI (Power Vehicle Innovation), which specializes in the conversion of commercial vehicles to electricity or natural gas. PVI has previously worked with Groupe Renault on the development and electrification of the upcoming Renault Master Z.E. This large van, which was unveiled at the... Read more →


OSU’s series-parallel PHEV. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy and General Motors Co. announced that the Ohio State University (OSU) team was the overall winner of the EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future finals. The OSU team’s engineered 2013 Chevrolet Malibu featured a series-parallel plug-in hybrid drive... Read more →


Impact pathway approach for modeling policy interventions in (a) air quality and (b) climate impacts. Credit: ACS, Zia and Tanzila. Click to enlarge. An analysis by a team in Bangladesh found large air quality and associated health benefits accruing to the residents of Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh) as a... Read more →


Omnitek selects DD 12.7L Series 60 and Cat C15 engine models for diesel-to-gas conversion project at Port of Seattle

Omnitek Engineering Corporation has selected the 12.7 L Detroit Diesel Series 60 and the Caterpillar C15 engine models for the beginning of the second phase of a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency pilot project, which includes the development of diesel-to-natural gas engine conversion kits for these engine models and obtaining... Read more →


XL Hybrids’ third-generation inline post transmission motor and system components. Click to enlarge. XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 4 commercial fleet use (earlier post), unveiled its third-generation XL3 product release for model year 2014 vehicles. The XL3 system features... Read more →


PHEV powertrain company ALTe in new commercial vehicle JV in China with Henan Benma; target 10K units/year

ALTe Powertrain Technologies (ALTe), developer of a range-extended plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) powertrain for light commercial fleet vehicle applications (earlier post), will establish a new commercial vehicle manufacturing Joint Venture with the Henan Benma Company (Benma) in the Henan province of China. Henan Benma was originally part of a... Read more →


Axion Power and ePower Engine Systems enter 5-year agreement for use of PbC batteries in diesel-electric drivetrains for Class 8 trucks; tests suggest up to 35% improvement in fuel economy

Axion Power International, Inc, the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries and energy storage systems (earlier post), has entered a strategic relationship with ePower Engine Systems LLC. ePower Engine Systems specializes in the retrofit and conversion of diesel-powered Class 8 trucks into series hybrid-powered units inspired by the diesel-electric drives... Read more →


XL Hybrids hybrid drive unit in place. Click to enlarge. XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 3 commercial fleet use (earlier post), signed a non-exclusive installation partnership and distribution agreement with Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products (CVP), one of... Read more →


Johnson Controls to supply Li-ion pack for XL Hybrids aftermarket system; Class 1 to 3 commercial vehicle hybrid electric powertrain

XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 3 commercial fleet use (earlier post), signed a one-year supply agreement with Johnson Controls, Inc. for 1.8 kWh Li-ion packs for use in XL’s aftermarket hybrid conversion system. The packs, with a peak discharge... Read more →


EV Engineering fit the battery pack in the engine compartment of the Commodore to enable switching. Source: EV Engineering. Click to enlarge. The battery-switchable fully-electric Holden Commodore developed by EV Engineering in Australia (earlier post) recently unofficially broke the distance record for a production electric car, achieving 1,886 (1,172 miles)... Read more →


A prototype plug-in hybrid retrofit kit is applied to a research vehicle’s rear wheels. After switching on the traction motors, the vehicle fuel economy increased from 50–100%. Click to enlarge. A group at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), led by Dr. Charles Perry, who holds the Russell Chair of Manufacturing... Read more →


Components of the emDRIVE MD system. Click to enlarge. Ioxus, Inc., a manufacturer of premium performance ultracapacitor technology (earlier post) is providing ultracapacitors to ElectroMotive Design LLC (EMD), an engineering services company and a manufacturer of hybrid electric conversion systems for Class 2 through 8 buses and trucks. Ioxus’ ultracapacitors... Read more →


The XL Hybrids system in place. Click to enlarge. Testing at an independent EPA-certified vehicle laboratory showed a 21.2% reduction in fuel consumption achieved with XL Hybrids’ aftermarket hybrid electric powertrain (earlier post) on a light-duty cargo van on the UDDS cycle (urban conditions). The company had been targeting a... Read more →


Wrightspeed’s Geared Traction Drive integrates an electric motor, a two-speed gear box and an inverter. Source: Wrightspeed. Click to enlarge. The California Energy Commission CEC is awarding Silicon Valley startup Wrightspeed a $5.789-million grant for Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing. The grant is part of the CEC’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel... Read more →


CNG vehicle converter BAF acquires auto emissions solutions provider ServoTech Engineering

BAF Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp., has acquired ServoTech Engineering, Inc., an auto emissions solutions provider. BAF, the leading US provider of natural gas vehicle systems and conversions, recently produced its 20,000th compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle conversion. BAF is the first CNG converter to... Read more →


California Energy Commission awards more than $15M to advance biofuels, plug-in and V2G research

The California Energy Commission unanimously approved funding of more than $15 million to projects that will advance biofuels and electric vehicle research in California. These grants are provided through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The program, created by Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750,... Read more →


Diesel to natural gas conversion system. Click to enlarge. Omnitek has developed a kit that can be used to convert the globally popular Mercedes diesel engines OM904 and OM906 into natural gas engines. Omnitek’s proprietary diesel-to-natural gas engine conversion kit is used for bus and truck applications, as well as... Read more →


Update on ALTe; EREV powertrain company tracking for production-caliber units by December, production ramp in 1Q 2013

Extended range electric vehicle powertrain company ALTe (earlier post) is tracking to produce a limited number of production-caliber vehicle powertrains by December, and plans to ramp up production in the first quarter of 2013, said CEO John Thomas in a recent interview with Green Car Congress. ALTe is targeting fleet... Read more →


XL Hybrids conducting pilot tests of hybrid electric conversion systems for Class 1-3 commercial vans and trucks (updated)

XL Hybrids, Inc., a company working with a hybrid electric conversion system for Class 1 through 3 commercial vans and trucks (earlier post), is conducting customer pilot tests of its system. The tests will begin with the GM 2500 Series vans, including the Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans. The... Read more →


The BRABUS 4WD Full Electric. Click to enlarge. Boston-Power, Inc. (earlier post) and Protean Electric (earlier post) are working together to provide the lithium-ion battery systems and electric in-wheel motor solutions for two new advanced BRABUS vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. (Protean CEO Bob Purcell is also on Boston-Power’s... Read more →


The ALTe system converts conventional light-duty trucks into a range-extended electric vehicle. Click to enlarge. ALTe, the developer of a range-extended electric powertrain used to repower light commercial vehicles, is collaborating with Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to help validate the ALTe powertrain for the fleet industry. Under the... Read more →


Protean Electric’s through-the-road hybrid van. Click to enlarge. A European-based Vauxhall Vivaro van retrofitted with Protean Electric’s electric wheel motors (earlier post)applied in a through-the-road plug-in hybrid system (TTRH) has shown a more than three-fold improvement in fuel economy in hybrid mode over a conventional Vivaro on the New European... Read more →


Overview of the plug-in hybrid system for the F-150. Click to enlarge. Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. has launched a new line of hybrid vehicles—converted plug-in hybrid versions of the Ford F-150 pickup, the highest volume selling vehicle in the US. The conversions are based on the F-150 4... Read more →


ALTe Powertrain and Inmatech form JV for hybrid electric storage devices; Li-ion cells, supercaps, and control electronics

ALTe Powertrain Technologies, the developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertrain used to repower light commercial vehicles up to 26,000 GVW (earlier post), has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to form a joint venture with Inmatech, Inc., a spin-off from the University of Michigan and developer of advanced asymmetric... Read more →


ALTe Powertrain Technologies and Manheim partner to retrofit ALTe range-extended electric powertrains in fleet vehicles

ALTe Powertrain Technologies, the Michigan-based developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertrain (earlier post), is forming a partnership with Manheim, the automotive industry’s leader in remarketing services, regarding the installation of ALTe retrofit range-extended electric powertrains in fleet vehicles. Under the partnership, ALTe’s fleet customers will be able to take... Read more →


EPA updates rules to ease commercialization of alternative fuel conversion systems

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated rules making it easier for manufacturers to sell fuel conversion systems—i.e., systems that alter a conventionally-fueled vehicle or engine to enable it to run on an alternative fuel. The updated final rule covers alternative fuel conversion of light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty highway... Read more →


SCAQMD awards AC Propulsion $300K grant for 3 electric service van conversions

The California South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has awarded AC Propulsion a $300,000 grant to integrate its electric drive system technology into commercial service vans (three Ford E250 vans supplied by Comcast) in Southern California. AC Propulsion will launch the conversion program by developing the electric propulsion system... Read more →


REV delivers 1st of 4 battery-electric vehicles with V2G capability to TARDEC

Canada-based Rapid Electric Vehicles, Inc., has delivered the first of what it calls “Ancillary Power Vehicles” (APVs)—batter-electric vehicles with a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability—to the US Army Tank Automotive Research Center (TARDEC) in Hawaii this week in partnership with Honeywell Aerospace. The vehicles will make use of REV’s bi-directional charging capabilities... Read more →


Northern Lights Energy signs LOI to purchase 1,000 AMP electric SUV conversions over 5 years

AMP Holding Inc., a company engaged in the emission-free electrification of OEM vehicles, has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Northern Lights Energy (NLE) to support the introduction of all-electric SUVs into Iceland as part of a national electric vehicle (EV) project. Under terms of the letter of intent,... Read more →


Victoria Begins Major 5-Year Electric Vehicle Trial

Premier John Brumby launched the Australian state of Victoria’s Electric Vehicle Trial, with more than 50 organizations and 180 households to participate in the five-year, A$5-million (US$4.9-million) trial. (Earlier post.) About 60 vehicles will be used in the trial and have been provided by Blade Electric Vehicles, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan... Read more →


The Ashwoods Hybrid Drive System Layout. Click to enlarge. UK-based Ashwoods Automotive, a provider of hybrid-electric vans and hybrid drive systems, is offering a hybrid drive retrofit kit for panel vans. The proprietary system can be fitted in less than four hours and delivers a reduction in fuel consumption from... Read more →


AMP to Convert SUV to EV for Major OEM

EV conversion company AMP Holding Inc. has signed an agreement with a major OEM to electrify one of its SUVs. Under the terms of the agreement, AMP has received one current model SUV from an OEM and has already begun the engineering process. AMP anticipates completing the electrification process and... Read more →


REV Building Four Converted Battery-Electric Vehicles for US Military TARDEC Program; Electric Ford Escape and F-150 Vehicles as Part of Micro-Grid Project

Canada-based Rapid Electric Vehicles (REV) has begun production of four converted electric bi-directional charging Ancillary Power Vehicles (APVs) (earlier post) as part of the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC) Micro-Grid project at Wheeler Air Base, Hawaii. The order is for three REV 300ACXs and one REV... Read more →


Perspective: Drive Star Conversion Program Could Cut US Oil Use in Half by 2020

Perspective by Felix Kramer, Founder, CalCars Reprinted by invitation from the CalCars website [Calling the recent weeks “one of the most emotionally difficult times for me as I’ve seen people with far more clout than I fail to make headway in changing the lackluster, dispiriting and immensely frustrating responses to... Read more →


EPA Proposes to Streamline Approval Process for Fuel Conversion Systems

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to make it easier for manufacturers to gain approval to sell fuel conversion systems. Conversion systems allow vehicles to run on alternative fuels; most conversions involve switching gasoline or diesel vehicles to operate instead on a gaseous fuel such as natural gas... Read more →


Electric taxi driving through Ginza in Tokyo. Source: Better Place. Click to enlarge. Better Place launched a 90-day switchable-battery electric taxi in Tokyo in partnership with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, and Nihon Kotsu, Tokyo’s largest taxi operator. The project marks the next major milestone leading up... Read more →


City of Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson and Ontario Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid with the Burlington Hydro REV EV. Click to enlarge. Burlington Hydro Inc. (Ontario, Canada) has taken delivery of the first all-electric vehicle to be used in a commercial fleet application in Canada—the REV 300 ACX... Read more →


California Air Resources Board To Award Up to $1M for Hybridization of Existing Marine Vessel

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is soliciting a project for the hybridization of an existing marine vessel for an award of up to $1,000,000. This solicitation is issued under the Assembly Bill 118 (AB 118) Air Quality Improvement Program’s (AQIP), Advanced Technology Demonstration Project and is intended to fund... Read more →


Under the hood of the F-150 REEP. Click to enlarge. Michigan-based electric powertrain company ALTe LLC (earlier post) revealed its demonstrator Ford F-150 range-extended electric vehicle conversion at the 2010 National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show and Green Truck Summit. ALTe is developing light- and medium-duty series plug-in... Read more →


AMP’s drivetrain for the electric Equinox. Click to enlarge. Ohio-based Advanced Mechanical Products, Inc. (AMP), a company engaged in the conversion of new vehicles to full battery-electric drive, unveiled its latest all-electric conversion platform, the GM Chevrolet Equinox. The “AMP’d” Equinox is an up-fitted GM Chevrolet Equinox that will reach... Read more →