ALTe Partners with Industry Giant Manheim: First Step to Create Gas-Guzzler Retrofit Industry
- 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
TO GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHY BATTERIES WORK WELL IN LARGE VEHICLES,
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
ALTe POWERTRAIN TECHNOLOGIES AND MANHEIM ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO
INSTALL ALTe POWERTRAINS IN FLEET VEHICLES
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.
ABOUT ALTE POWERTRAIN TECHNOLOGIES
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.
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Felix Kramer fkramer@...
Founder California Cars Initiative
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