Plug-in hybrid conversion specialist ALTe Powertrain Technologies says that it has inked a deal with vehicle wholesaler Manheim to transform fleet trucks and vans into plug-in hybrid vehicles. Atlanta-based Manheim, which operates out of 145 locations in 19 countries on five continents, will install ALTe's conversion kits. These kits boast the ability to enable vehicles to go up to 30 miles under battery power.
Here's an ALTe history primer: two-plus years ago, the company had little more than a Powerpoint presentation demonstrating its ideas and worked out of a small place in Plymouth, MI. Now, with 185,000 square feet of space in Auburn Hills, MI, 16-plus employees (expected to be over 300 by 2012) and former Chrysler President Thomas LaSorda and former Chrysler sales executive Steven Landry on the company's board of directors, the future is looking bright. Add in a pending $101-million loan from the Department of Energy and the tie up with auction king Manheim, and the ball looks to be rolling in the right direction.
ALTe's estimated $25,000 conversion kit is designed to replace a V8 with a four-cylinder engine and a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which sends juice to an electric drive motor. The company claims that its plug-in hybrid setup is capable of boosting fuel economy by up to 200 percent (!). ALTe projects that Job Number 1 will roll out in the spring of 2012.
AUBURN HILLS, MI – April 7, 2011 – ALTe Powertrain Technologies, the Michigan-based developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertain, 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 (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.