Increasing engine efficiency through extreme compression
Toyota and Tesla to build RAV4 Electric Vehicle at Toyota’s Woodstock, Ontario production facility beginning in 2012

ALTe working with PG&E to validate retrofitted range-extended electric powertrain for fleets

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 agreement, ALTe will retrofit one of PG&E’s 2007 Ford F-150 trucks with a version of its plug-in series electric hybrid powertrain. (Earlier post.) PG&E will evaluate the performance of the initial ALTe powered truck and provide data and feedback to ALTe.

A major initiative in our operation today is to electrify our fleet, and by doing so use clean energy to power clean vehicles. This project supports our efforts in that area and will continue to show PG&E’s commitment to the environment and to the citizens of California. If successful, the technology could ultimately be applied to a large number of vehicles and applications within our fleet of trucks and vans.

—Dave Meisel, PG&E’s Director of Transportation Services

The ALTe powertrain will include a 20 kWh lithium ion battery pack, a four-cylinder engine, Remy electric motors and proprietary communication interface modules. The powertrain is projected to provide an initial 30 miles (48 km) of driving in an all-electric mode powered directly from the lithium-ion battery pack. The vehicle can then drive an estimated additional 270 miles in a charge sustained mode before the vehicle would need to be either refueled or plugged in.

The battery pack can be charged within an eight-hour timeframe from a 110-volt outlet or in about four hours from a 220-volt outlet. Fuel economy is projected to increase by up to 200% with no loss in cargo capacity, increased torque, and similar horsepower and towing capability compared with the original V8 engine.

The ALTe powertrain is being targeted to the light truck market (full size pickups and vans) with a focus on commercial, government and utility fleets. ALTe is projected to start installing its electric powertrain systems in summer 2012 with the company beginning to accept purchase orders at the end of the 2011.



A massive retrofit program could please many million current gas guzzler monster owners if subsidies are high enough.

Done 100% locally with made in USA parts, it could be an excellent job creation program.


One truck, very ambitious...

Bob Wallace

A massive retrofit program should bring down the costs.

If battery manufacturers would provide battery packs designed to be dropped into a wide range of trucks then switch-over businesses could buy parts at a good price and convert in local shops. Getting to a 'one size fits all' system, as much as possible, would be critical to keeping costs low.

Even if it wasn't 100% 'made in USA' parts there would still be a lot of jobs created, the retrofits would be local.

And we would be cutting back on the $1 billion we spend per day to import oil. And this would be a very fast way to cut petroleum use, much faster than waiting for these trucks to be naturally replaced with new units.

That extra money, not spent at the pump and sent overseas, would be very helpful as it sloshed around local economies.

Additionally, more electrics waiting to charge late at night will boost our wind turbine installation rates. Having a customer for late night power means more profit for wind farms, more profits means more investment and that means more builds.

More wind farm builds means more inexpensive power for daytime hours. Another win for us all.

Four hours to charge 30 miles means a less vigorous charger than what will be in the 2012 Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus EVs. They will be able to grab that charge in two hours or less from a 220vac outlet.

If there were a large number of vehicles even needing four hours of charging utilities would have a place to put their late night supply peaks, and that would be very valuable to them. Wind which would not have to be curtailed.


Yes B Wallace...but it makes too much common sense to be supported by politicians, specially the flower parties.

Bob Wallace

So far EVs and battery plants have received decent support from the Administration.


huuuum...a $1/gal to $2/gal progressive Fed fuel tax would help more than current subsidies to convince buyers to go for more fuel efficient vehicles, would also help to reduce crude oil imports and the unsustainable huge USA fast growing debt. With the current political deadlock, a Presidential decree may be required. Otherwise, USA's credit rating may go down again in a few months from now.

USA's financial and political mismanagement in the last 10 years will bring about a worldwide depression is left unchecked for another 12 months or so. The country's financial affairs should be left in the hands of lobbies and speculators. If so, they will embezzle 95+% of the country's wealth and move it out.

The comments to this entry are closed.