UQM, Eaton and Pi Innovo collaborate on electric drivetrain
UQM Technologies (NYSE MKT: UQM) has partnered with Eaton’s Vehicle Group and Pi Innovo to develop an electric powertrain system for the medium- and heavy-duty commercial EV market.
Eaton will supply a 2-speed transmission, Pi Innovo will provide the transmission control unit, and UQM will contribute its current PowerPhase HD220/HD250 motor and inverter system. The complete electric drivetrain system will be called the UQM PowerPhaseDT.
According to UQM, the 2-speed transmission provides a greater speed and torque range than what’s possible with a direct drive system, allowing a smaller electric motor to drive large vehicles.
“Perhaps the biggest benefit is the fact that the 2-speed transmission keeps the electric motor operating in the highest efficiency region for a greater portion of the drive cycle,” said Josh Ley, UQM’s VP of Technology. “This, coupled with the extremely high efficiency of the UQM PowerPhaseDT, will enable the highest overall vehicle efficiency, saving cost in batteries and increasing range.”
“We have done extensive market research and believe that this offering will be the ideal drivetrain solution for electric and range-extended commercial vehicles,” said UQM CEO Joe Mitchell.”
UQM expects to have prototypes ready by fall and to begin production early in 2017.