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ALTe Partners with Industry Giant Manheim: First Step to Create Gas-Guzzler Retrofit Industry

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  • Felix Kramer
    Today, ALTe Powertrain Technologies, a Michigan startup created by electric vehicle experts (part of Tesla s original technical team in Michigan), with a staff
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 2011
      Today, ALTe Powertrain Technologies, a Michigan startup created by
      electric vehicle experts (part of Tesla's original technical team in
      Michigan), with a staff and board of seasoned auto industry veterans,
      is announcing an installer partner to convert fleet trucks to plug
      in. It's Manheim, the world's largest vehicle wholesaler, and the
      conversions will be available in multiple U.S. locations. ALTe
      http://www.altellc.com may be the first company to demonstrate a
      realistic technical solution and a business case for the "Big Fix"
      strategy that CalCars, Andy Grove, and others have been promoting.
      Its Ford F-150 pickup truck becomes a series plug-in hybrid (like the
      Chevy Volt) -- and for sales it's aiming first at public and private
      fleet markets. Yesterday, ALTE brought its prototype to Sacramento
      for demos and drives, attracting a large audiences of legislators and
      agency officials, including Caltrans, the state's Department of
      Transportation, which has a large fleet. Today it's at Sand HIll Road
      in Silicon Valley. Following soon after today's announcement will be
      news of the first customers -- and, we hope, a US Department of Energy loan!

      (Shortly after it goes out on email, this posting will also be
      viewable at http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html -- there you can
      add CalCars-News to your RSS feed.)

      BACKGROUND: WHY WE NEED THIS STRATEGY: Since declaring victory in
      2009 on our campaign to put plug-in hybrids on the map, the
      non-profit CalCars.org has shifted much of our focus to promote safe,
      affordable, warrantied conversions of large gas-guzzlers to PHEVs and
      EVs. Why? It's a spectacular achievement that we'll soon have a
      million new plug-in vehicles. BUT, because there are 250 million
      vehicles on the road in the U.S. and 900 million globally, the
      percentage of new plug-in vehicles in the total fleet (and the
      resulting reduction in petroleum use) will remain minimal for 15-20
      years. This is a point that San Jose Mercury News reporter Paul
      Rogers ably made Monday, saying, "However, it will take a decade or
      more until enough electric vehicles are on the road to make a
      significant impact [on emissions]."

      Of course, we can't wait decades to address climate change and energy
      security. That's why we're working for the emergence of a new global
      industry to retrofit millions of existing vehicles long before we see
      large numbers of new ones. This new industry will need mind-share,
      flexible regulations and standards -- and, for equivalent amounts of
      petroleum reduction, public incentives at levels similar to those
      available for new vehicles. For more analysis and information on this
      strategy, links to previous stories about ALTe, and information about
      other emerging companies in this industry, see
      http://www.calcars.org/ice-conversions.html .

      and see a roundup of new plug-in trucks, see "Plugging Electric
      Drivetrains into Trucks" at PlugInCars.com

      TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT: Here's the press release, also found at
      http://www.altellc.com and


      AUBURN HILLS, MI -- April 7, 2011 -- ALTe Powertrain Technologies,
      the Michigan-based developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertrain,
      is pleased to announce an agreement with Manheim, the automotive
      industry's leader in remarketing services, regarding the installation
      of ALTe powertrains in fleet vehicles. With this partnership, ALTe's
      fleet customers will be able to take their vehicle to a Manheim
      operating location and Manheim will retrofit their light trucks and
      vans with an ALTe series plug-in electric hybrid powertrain. The
      fleet customer will then reinsert the vehicle back into its fleet and
      realize fuel economy improvements of up to 200 percent.

      According to ALTe CEO John Thomas, "ALTe is excited to have the
      opportunity to work with Manheim, which is recognized as the world's
      leading remarketing company. Their reputation for quality and their
      familiarity with the fleet industry is a perfect fit for our business
      model. We look forward to their participation in the electrification
      of the automotive industry as we progress toward next year's product
      launch for ALTe."

      "We were extremely impressed with the ALTe technology, management
      team, and business model and are looking forward to expanding the
      broad range of services that we presently offer to our fleet and
      automotive customers," said Fredrick Standfield, Manheim's Vice
      President of Frontline Operations. "This partnership will allow us to
      utilize available capacity in our auction facilities and complements
      our strategy to grow our revenue base within the clean technology space."

      The major components of the ALTe powertrain will include a 20kWh
      lithium ion battery pack, a four-cylinder engine, electric drive
      motors, a generator, a proprietary hybrid controller unit and HVAC
      modules. The powertrain is projected to provide an initial 30 miles
      of driving in an all-electric mode, powered directly from the lithium
      ion battery pack. The vehicle can then drive an estimated additional
      275 miles in a charge-sustained mode before the vehicle would need to
      be either plugged in or refueled. The battery pack can be charged
      within an 8-hour timeframe from a 110-volt outlet or in about 4 hours
      from a 220-volt outlet. Fuel economy is projected to increase by up
      to 200 percent with no loss in cargo capacity, increased torque, and
      comparable horsepower and towing capability when compared with the
      old V8 engine.

      The ALTe powertrain is targeted to the light truck market (full size
      pickups and vans) with a focus on commercial, government and utility
      fleets. Job #1 for ALTe is projected for spring 2012 with the company
      beginning to accept purchase orders at the end of 2011.


      Manheim (http://www.manheim.com) is the world's leading provider of
      vehicle remarketing services. Through its 130 worldwide wholesale
      operating locations, Manheim impacts every stage of a used vehicle's
      life cycle, helping commercial sellers and automobile dealers
      maximize the full value of their vehicles. Drawing from its auction
      transaction volume, Manheim Consulting publishes the annual Used Car
      Market Report, the definitive source of data for the used car
      industry. Manheim Consulting offers a wide range of services
      including custom analytics, business optimization and macro economic analysis.

      Manheim is the online vehicle remarketing leader, connecting buyers
      and sellers to the world's largest, most comprehensive wholesale
      marketplace through its extensive in-lane and online
      offerings. Manheim.com receives nearly 900,000 visits each week.

      Additionally, Manheim offers services including reconditioning,
      certification, inspections, dealer financing, title management and
      marshaling, among others. Through its wide array of services and
      technologies, industry publications, customer support and educational
      offerings, Manheim gives its customers maximum control over how they
      buy and sell vehicles, helping them to conduct business in the most
      efficient way possible. In 2010, Manheim handled nearly 10 million
      used vehicles, facilitating transactions worth more than $50 billion in value.

      Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Manheim is a subsidiary of Cox
      Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company.


      ALTe is the developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertrain used to
      repower light commercial vehicles up to 26,000 GVW. The system will
      retrofit into existing fleet vehicles as well as in "glider"
      applications of new vehicles to dramatically increase their fuel
      economy and lower emissions. Designed to replace a base V-8 internal
      combustion engine powertrain, the system's patented technology
      improves fuel economy from 80% to 200%. Based in Auburn Hills,
      Michigan, the company is headquartered in an 185,000 square foot
      facility where it will assemble its powertrain kit that will be
      shipped to installation locations across North America. For more
      information, visit http://www.altellc.com.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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