• Aug 6, 2011
AC Propulsion, a global company involved in electric drive design, development and manufacturing, has delivered a battery-powered eBox to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) for tests that evaluate vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies. The research aims to advance the integration of electric vehicles with Denmark's grid.

The eBox delivery came on the fifth anniversary of the vehicle. Tom Gage, AC Propulsion chief executive officer, stated:
We built the first eBox in June 2006. It has over 70,000 miles and still goes well over 100 miles on a charge, so we are gaining confidence in the longevity of lithium-ion batteries.
All told, AC Propulsion has only 25 eBox vehicles in circulation. Most belong to universities, utilities and automaker, but some are driven by private individuals, including Academy Award-winning actor, Tom Hanks, who took delivery of the first consumer eBox back in 2007.

As a refresher, the eBox is an electric conversion designed and developed by AC Propulsion and based on the 2006 Scion xB. The Scion's internal combustion engine is removed and replaced with the AC Propulsion tzero electric drive system and 625 pounds of lithium-ion batteries. Range is listed at up to 180 miles between charges and top speed is 95 miles per hour.

[Source: AC Propulsion | Image: Claus Ableiter – C.C. License 2.0]
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DENMARK UNIVERSITY IMPORTS eBOX EV FOR V2G RESEARCH –

AC PROPULSION CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF eBOX WITH DANISH DELIVERY


-- After Five Years and 70,000 miles, the First eBox Still Exceeds 100-Mile Range With No Problems --

KONGENS LYNGBY, DENMARK (July 13, 2011) – AC Propulsion, a global leader in electric drive design, development and manufacturing, today announced delivery of an AC Propulsion-powered eBox to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), near Copenhagen. DTU's will use the eBox to evaluate Vehicle to Grid (V2G) operation as part of a research program. The research aims to advance integration of electric vehicles (EVs) with Denmark's electric power grid, which has extensive wind power generation capacity.

"Integration between the power grid and electric vehicles will become essential and beneficial as EV numbers increase over the next decade," said Tom Gage, AC Propulsion CEO. The University of Delaware (UD) has developed communication and control systems for V2G technology and has had good results on the U.S. grid, Gage said. "In Denmark, UD will now shift focus to another important application of V2G research--buffering intermittent renewable energy resources. Working to integrate the power grid and EVs, as part of the Smart Grid initiative, makes economic sense because it benefits EV users and provides power back to the grid. We are happy to be working with DTU and look forward to furthering V2G implementation in Europe."

DTU had to clear regulatory hurdles to import the eBox, which is not homologated in Europe, but the university needed an eBox, specifically, because it is equipped with AC Propulsion's patented integrated charger. This charger allows grid-connected charging and discharging at up to 18 kW. UD and DTU are working with Nuvve, which is licensed in Europe to deploy UD control technology for aggregating EVs to provide large blocks of power. This feature is essential for DTU's investigation of buffering the huge but intermittent power generated by Denmark's offshore wind farms. With V2G, for example, a fleet of EVs plugged in to the gird can balance the variable ups and downs of power generated from the wind.

AC Propulsion is a pioneer in the development of V2G systems and has supplied eBox vehicles to several V2G test programs. With V2G technology, EVs that are plugged in can provide grid support functions even as they are recharging their batteries. This grid support is valuable as the EV owners get paid for the use of electricity obtained from the car. A fleet of five eBoxes has been in revenue-generating service at the UD by providing grid regulation for more than two years. The Denmark researchers will work with UD and Nuvve to investigate V2G compatibility with the European grid and determine the necessary requirements for using V2G technology with Denmark's increasing reliance on wind energy. The eBox delivered to DTU was manufactured by AutoPort, Inc., of New Castle, Delaware, a tier 2 upfitter that does electric car conversions based on the AC Propulsion drive train and vehicle design.

The eBox delivery to DTU came on the fifth anniversary of the vehicle. "We built the first eBox in June 2006," Gage said. "It has over 70,000 miles and still goes well over 100 miles on a charge, so we are gaining confidence in the longevity of lithium-ion batteries."

AC Propulsion has 25 eBox vehicles in circulation with customers and vehicle test programs. Most belong to research operations at universities, utilities and car companies, but many are driven by private individuals who want a good EV with lots of power and lots of room. Tom Hanks bought the first consumer eBox in Los Angeles, there are eBox vehicles all over North America, and now, thanks to DTU, there is an eBox in Europe.

The eBox is an electric conversion designed and developed by AC Propulsion and based on the 2006 Scion xB. The Scion's internal combustion components are removed and replaced with the AC Propulsion tzero electric drive system and lithium-ion batteries. The eBox was the model for BMW's MINI E which uses the same AC Propulsion drive system and battery as the eBox. Late last month, a modified version of the AC Propulsion drive system was the force behind the 1st place winner, Exhibition class, at the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb where the Yokohama-sponsored EV recorded the fastest time ever for an electric car at 12 minutes and 20 seconds.

About AC Propulsion

AC Propulsion is a global leader in the development, design and manufacture of electric vehicle technology. AC Propulsion's proprietary tzero™ technology is a complete solution for electric vehicles, and can be customized for every class of electric vehicle, from a sports car to an SUV to an 8-ton city bus. AC Propulsion is also a leader in the development of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capable vehicles, as well as the research and development of V2G technology.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Michael Walsh
      • 3 Years Ago
      I loved the eBox back in the day. But it's so last decade now.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder how they got that registered in DK with our draconian EMI certification rules for EVs. you might want to pick a more aerodynamic vehicle Tom..
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      AC Propulsion was a true pioneer. But like Think, Aptera, and Green Vehicles, they are becoming pointless now that the big auto makers are in the game. They'll probably be able to collect license fees though.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Very true Spec. AC propulsion, was indeed a true pioneer. But don't you think they were always more of an R&D company, developing technology for other to put into mass production? If that's the case, they should be be very much in demand as the EV industry expands.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I wonder what ACP is doing now? Tom moved on to help show how great V2G is. Even the LEAF and MiEV have V2H options but only sold in Japan so far. The US will wake up to it soon. Just like GRID Tied Solar a GRID Tied EV can pay for itself and provide you with comfort.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        yeah Tesla more or less just copied the design and paid license. but ACP could very quickly become completely redundant if the automakers go it alone. ACP has shown very very little innovation over their 20 year life. still the same huge power electronics box and the same massive price. it's a pretty good product though but 25k$ is feet of clay
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          IMO they are going at full capacity trying to keep up with demand from having to supply components to all these test fleets of major OEM's. They are the grand daddies of the modern EV and will always be in demand. They do not make the EBox because they are to busy supplying e drive-train components and it is my guess they have some important patents that will keep the dough rolling in. If they ever go back to producing EBoxes we will know they are having to earn money doing that but at this time they are not.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          @EVSUPERHERO. Your analysis sounds spot on!
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          The whole Tesla biz plan was based on commercializing the Tzero.
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      I suspect you can still get an Ebox in the US through Auto Port of Delaware. It will cost you $70k and you will have to wait a couple months. I believe that is the vehicle they demonstrated to BMW which convinced BMW to buy over 600 units of ACP's drive train and put them in the Mini Cooper for the Mini E study. With a built in level 2 charger capable of 18 kw, it puts all of the offerings from the major auto makers to shame, and most of the minors. Only Tesla is also at this level. The Scion was probably chosen for ease of conversion, not aerodynamics. There have been reports of a Taiwanese made mini van coming with ACP's drive train, but I do not recall a mention of the V2G ability being enabled. You can get that through the Auto Port E box conversion. Look at it this way, a fully charged E box can power your home during an outage for days, with a maximum output near 18 kw. That is enough power to keep not just the lights and refrigerator on, that is enough to also run the central air conditioning for awhile. This _should_ be standard equipment for all EVs in a few years, but I am not holding my breath.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        Jim, There are 7 models of EV vans and Minivans, produced in the ROC. The latest two offering are from Luxgen a division of Yulon Motors. These are designed for Export. I have had the opportunity to drive two of the Luxgen prototypes and they are very impressive in terms of quality and performance. Especially, when dealing with hilly terrain. ABG has briefly covered Ev's and hybrids emerging from the ROC. While the Western media is obsessed with discussing the potential of PRC automotive industry, the Japanese, Korean and Indian manufacturers are viewing ROC and Thai automakers, as the real potential export rivals over the next decade.