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Motiv Power Systems control system runs all-electric bus on two separate battery types

Over the past six months, Motiv Power Systems, an electric drive power control system provider (earlier post), has successfully run its demo all-electric bus on two different off-the-shelf battery types, demonstrating the universal battery compatibility of its electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS). This reduces both time and expense in the design of new EV trucks and buses.

The bus clocked up to 125 miles on a single charge and operating costs at $0.10/mile, 83% less than an equivalent diesel vehicle. By using modular hardware and software reconfiguration, the ePCS eliminates time and cost related to engineering and testing for different battery configurations, making the ePCS a battery agnostic technology for any EV truck or bus, Motiv says.

The Motiv ePCS works with a wide range of batteries, motors, and chassis. This flexibility allows fleets to choose their battery vendors as well as vehicle range and power. Through its intelligent software control algorithms, Motiv’s ePCS actively manages power flow between all electrical components in the vehicle.

Motiv CEO Jim Castelaz is presenting the full set of findings at HTUF 2012 today.

Data presented at this session at HTUF 2012 was acquired by the Motiv ePCS, using Motiv’s Android-based Remote Telemetry System (RTS). This RTS provides real-time, secure, wireless data connectivity of the shuttle bus with the Motiv cloud. The RTS monitors operations such as performance, battery charge, route, component health and vehicle status to provide detailed analytics to fleet operators for predictive maintenance and service.

The Motiv demo bus was built for Bauer Transportation under an award from the California Energy Commission.



Very interesting approach to add more flexibility into future BEVs battery packs. This could eventually manage multiple standardized battery plug-in modules and racks to allow owners to add extra modules (not necessarily identical) at a latter date when batteries become more affordable, to increase e-range, if required.

Commercial airplanes have been equipped (for decades) to take a very wide variety of plug-in electronic modules in the same racks.

It should not be a major challenge to design PHEVs/BEVs to accept 4 to 12 plug-in battery modules.

Who will convince manufacturers to do it?


".. operating costs at $0.10/mile, 83% less than an equivalent diesel vehicle."

At 1/6th the fuel cost, besides lower maintenance, buy it.


If the operating cost doesn't include battery depreciation, it's not a very good comparison.  10¢/mi is around 1 kWh/mi for power, which suggests that it's the only item included.

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