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REV Introduces AC Direct Drive System for Ford Ranger and Escape EV Conversions

British Columbia-based REV Technologies (formerly Envia, earlier post) has introduced its REV AC Direct Drive system for the conversion of the Ford Ranger and Ford Escape to battery-electric vehicles. The system features a 92% efficient, 90 kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. In October, REV announced a supplier relationship with Valence Technology, a provider of lithium iron phosphate cells.

The REV pure battery Ford conversions offer up to 34kwh of power for an all-electric range of up to 200 km (124 miles). The electric version offers faster acceleration, increased horsepower and torque, a lower center of gravity and improved weight distribution, according to REV.

There are no chassis modifications on the vehicle and its original driving characteristics and Transport Canada safety certification remain intact. The vehicles are safe and street legal on all roadways in Canada.

REV’s new AC Direct Drive powertrain is available for all new vehicle conversion orders. The conversion process replaces the older powertrain with the AC Direct Drive System. This process reduces the number of moving parts in the powertrain from more than 900 to less than 10, according to REV.

The province of British Columbia, Canada recently announced a program to support the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles with an initial test of 6 vehicles which will later be increased to 34 vehicles. (Earlier post.)

This is a strong commitment towards a sustainable transportation system. REV is responding with electric vehicle conversion technology that meets the needs of BC fleets and is being deployed now.

—Jay Giraud, Founder and CEO of REV Technologies

REV recently celebrated the grand opening of the REV Showroom and Garage in downtown Vancouver, the first electric vehicle showroom in Canada. Orders are currently being taken for delivery in the second quarter of 2009.

To further support electric fleet vehicle deployment, REV is also bringing off-board charging technology to its customers, and will be demonstrating this technology by installing 110V and 220V Chargepoints from Coulomb at the REV Showroom early in 2009.



Wow- sounds great! What is the cost? Availability?


Wouldn't a PHEV conversion of an Escape (hybrid) be cheaper? And better?

Henry Gibson

It is economically expensive engineering to make a long distance battery vehicle to run on the highways. Small charging engines should always be available to reduce the price of the battery pack. Lithium battery packs can increase the cost of the electricity to three or four dollars per kilowatt hour from ten cents. The motor and electronic drive for the motor also increase the cost. The individual cycle capacity of the battery in kilowatt-hours multiplied by the number of cycles allowed, multiplied by three dollars gives the cost of current lithium batteries.

Consider an OPOC generator or engine technology from Honda generators.

The emphasis on electric drive is very expensive compared to the hydraulic drive system of the UPS hybrid vehicle.

Artemis has invented pumps and motors that would improve the efficiency by as much as a factor of two and has demonstrated that in a commercial car. If you want plug in capability, it can be added at low additional cost.

Lead acid batteries are perfectly adequate for hybrid and plug in hybrid vehicles, and are available at much lower cost and have greater safety and are being improved by Firefly and EFFPOWER and others.

The ZEBRA battery has the same or better capacity at much the same cost as lithium but is safer and has been tested for millions of miles. It is also more environmentally robust and can work in the highest and lowest temeperatures on the face of the earth with very simmple heating and cooling. Yes it is known that it must be kept hot. Insulating cases are well built and the heat can be used for instant vehicle heat if necessary in cold climates to reduce the energy needed to heat the vehicle very much like electric storage heaters. If more ZEBRA batteries were sold more could be bought at lower prices instead of maintaining the very high prices of multiple lithium batttery experimental companies. The materials in a ZEBRA battery do not represent a large part of the price. They have one fourth or less the nickel as a hydride battery. ..HG..


The batteries being used are Valence.
The are 100%. You can shot them with a gun and nothing...
Valence batteries are obvious choice over Lead Acid because of power, weight, longevity, etc. etc.

if you don't believe me just go to thier website


@ HG

You should really consider a form letter dude. It would save some time.

I agree with you regarding hydraulic hybrids. The maintenance and engineering appeal of BEVs (both low), however, seems to be winning out.


I agree HG, advanced lead acid and/or nimh are the only affordable ways to go now. Companies with really great technology are out of money like They have a lead acid battery similar to firefly that delivers twice the power of the best deep-cycle for similar weight but they apparently ran out of money last year. Lithium is awesome if you want to pay $50,000 for a small truck. But if you can't price it in the same range as ICE, no one will buy it. I even think the backyard mechanic EV conversion market would go from thousands of conversions to millions if we could get lighter batteries. Why is so much money and research going into lithium when the world supply may never support mass production? If the technology to cut the weight of lead acid batteries in half exists, why would it go unfunded? You would expect a bidding war. Even if it was just to make trolling motor batteries for fisherman easier to carry, the woldwide market would be in the billions.


There's a chick-magnet for you; 'look, I'm a rugged he-man [see my pick-up truck?]. But wait I'm also *sensitive* [it's an environmentally friendly electric].' Yeah right. Not impressed.


There's a dichotomy here in the way they present these vehicles. A landscape of the rugged outdoors but then advertising a 100mph top speed in a domain that clearly cannot support it.

The problem I have, and it came to light during a recent Tesla topic also, is that a single ratio gearbox is really stretching the power bandwidth of an induction motor particularly if you are advertising speeds of up around 100mph. Some may remember the EV1 back in 1990 adopted a very realistic 9500rpm at 60mph for good acceleration, culminating with an 11,900rpm spin rate at 75mph.

You really have to risk spinning that motor as close to mechanically destructive rpms as you dare at top speed in order to get meaningful rpms (and corresponding power) back down at the lower speeds. There is no free lunch. That extra 25mph that their Ford Ranger has over the EV1 will cost REV a 33% increase in both motor and controller capacity without improving acceleration one iota. That's my point.

In the industrials that I work on, a 100HP machine @1800rpm being typically an 840lb behemoth, weight for a stationary application is generally not a problem. What this means for a mobile app., such as a pickup truck for example, is that the requirement for similar power can be met with a more practical 84lb machine if a 10:1 gear reducer is used. Nothing you didn't know anyway, save for those hubmotor guys !

Since the motor now needs to reach 18krpm, which is scary fast (although possible) in a large machine, the tendency then is to limit the top end vehicle speed instead.
No one is stopping you from installing a much larger machine and electronic controller at much greater cost to do all this. It will be an exercise in specmanship and give no real value to the client other than bragging rights.

Installing a multi-ratio gearbox as an after thought will cost even more. Gearchanging with electric motors brings synchronizing problems that can severely stress mechanical systems as Tesla discovered.

From a sales perspective why make provision for those higher top ends, which you can't demonstrate, if it spoils an acceleration figure that you can ?


Your 100 HP machine only weighs 840 pounds because you're driving it at 60 Hz.  Power of an induction motor is directly proportional to the drive frequency; drive your 4-pole motor at 400 Hz and you get 670 HP at 12000 RPM, or just downsize the motor.  Increasing the number of motor poles increases the torque proportionally.


In the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car" one of the people developing the motor drive called it a 3 channel 100,000 watt amplifier, which is essentially what it is.

When you design a motor to run at higher frequencies than 60 hertz, the size and weight goes down for the same power output. This is why Tesla's is so powerful and the size of a watermelon.

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