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Former Chrysler Execs Join Board of Extended Range Electric Vehicle Conversion Company ALTe

Tom LaSorda, former Chrysler Group President and CEO, and Steven Landry, former Chrysler EVP of North American Sales and Marketing and Global Service and Parts have joined the Board of Directors of ALTe LLC, the Michigan-based engineering and technology company developing a Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) powertrain system for vehicle conversions. (Earlier post.)

ALTe’a electric drive system, designed to replace a base V-8 internal combustion engine powertrain, improves fuel economy from 80% to 200%. The system’s “plug-and-play” modularity enables the powertrain to expand or contract depending on the vehicle type, and can be applied to vehicles using any type of fuel.

ALTe’s initial focus is on vehicles of light-to-medium duty fleets (such as taxis), which will obtain the greatest benefit of converting older, out-of-warranty vehicles from gasoline-powered engines to the REEV powertrain platform.

LaSorda joined the ALTe Board as ALTe’s Lead Director and investor. Landry joined the board to assist in dealer and business development for ALTe.

When I reviewed the business plan and conducted the due diligence personally it was obvious ALTe had tremendous potential. The idea of converting existing vehicles that had very low fuel economy with Range Extended Electric Powertrains is an advanced idea especially considering the patents that come with it. Based on this I made a personal investment in ALTe and further backed up my support by joining the Board as lead director. We will dedicate the time to help make this a big success.

—Tom LaSorda

ALTe aggregates battery chemistry, electronic modules and engine controls to convert normal internal combustion powertrain systems to range extended electric, without the fixed cost burden of manufacturing. This ultimately reduces emissions and operating costs for fleet vehicle users. When I sat with the ALTe team, it felt like the perfect but unique timing of having the right people, process and technology come together to provide a product that is increasing in demand.

—Steven Landry



Is converting an old vehicle at a cost of $12K to $20K a worthwhile endeavour?

Why not spend the same $$ to build or convert new vehicles to PHEVs that could last 10+ years and simultaneously scrap old gas guzzlers.

Selectively converting rather recent (3-year old ICEs with low mileage??) could make sense if the converted vehicles are used for taxis or similar heavy usages.


If a Crown Victoria taxi gets 10 mpg and now gets 20 mpg it could be worth it. Taxis put on a lot of stop and go miles and wear out in a few years. Saving four thousand dollars per year on fuel would pay it back in 3 years. The rest of the car is in good shape, but the engine and transmission need rebuilding.


It's not worthwhile, economically.

But for a fun - unique possesion it beats the heck out of a Hummer, MB or X-large screen TV.


If a thirty thousand dollar new taxi depreciates to six thousand of three years and one hundred thousand miles, then they have lost twenty four thousand dollars in three years. Now they have to put out another twenty four thousand for the next three years. The conversion pays for itself in three years in fuel savings, hence they save a lot of money.


Talk about trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! Trying to turn a Crown victoria into a RE-EV!
These old ICEs were never designed properly. An EV needs to be designed from the ground up to be light weight and have slippery drag coefficient.
But, hey, i guess it's better than sending them to the scrap heap immediately.


I tried to find the typical mileage of NYC taxis and came up with nothing direct, but a page on replacement of Crown Vics with Escapes allows a guess:

1/14 gpm - 1/36 gpm = 0.0437 gal/mi saved
.0437 gal/mi * $2.50/gal = $0.109/mi saved
$10,000+/yr / $0.109/mi = 90,000 mi/year or more

It looks like a $12,000 conversion could be paid back in maybe 18 months.  Maybe the vehicle itself will be worn out in 3 years, but if the drivetrain can be transferred to a new donor vehicle (maybe $3000 labor?) the investment can keep paying dividends.

I hope ALTe rakes in the bucks.  They deserve to.


London cabs.
These things were traditionally run ~ 1 - 2 Million miles.

If you check google images you will see that the later models are indistiguishable from the previous versions. They are timeless.

People go to London just to see them ride in one.
I think this applies to the Crown Vic as well.

That the economics are on track is good. Electric ones with sponsorship or signage would be promotional while still novelty or statement.

The 'logo, trademark' aspect may mean the shape stays serviceable for decades.


The old Checker Marathons went a lot of miles. The idea is the rear end will last, but the engine and transmission may be worn. So replace those and double the mileage. It takes a lot of passenger dollars to pay for a cab, driver and fuel. This gives them a bit more cushion for profit.


BEV for taxis is one of the top application due to the very high city streets mileage.

Why not mandate the progressive (5% or 10% more per year?) use of electrified taxis in all large cities. That would create a large demand and would promote mass production (or sustained conversion) of brand new e-cabs. Since a well built e-cab could or should last up to 1+ million miles it should be a better designed vehicle than the current Vics.

No need of new taxes. Taxis rates could be adjusted (+/-) to account for increased or decreased total operation cost.

Taxis licenses can easily be controlled. The ICE-BEV mix could be given out years ahead so every cab owner would know what is coming.


It may initially be done on green dollars more than a green environment. The taxi companies keep track of all of their costs and depreciation is a big one. After 3 year, they do this and after another 3 years they might buy a hybrid taxi. At some point the old vehicle is scrap and the new generations come along.

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