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Plug-in Hybrid Truck Still Has Hurdles To Jump

It's been a while since we've checked in with ALTe and its plans to convert big work vehicles like the Ford F-150 into plug-in hybrids. So, when we saw a demonstration vehicle sitting outside the San Jose Convention Center at the Plug In 2014 Conference last week, we had to get a closer look. When we did, we realized that it's been quite some time since we've been in a Ride & Drive vehicle that was all beat to heck.


Commercial fleet vehicles typically have longer lifecycles, meaning they drive around for years with less advanced, less eco-friendly powertrains. ALTe (featured on TRANSLOGIC 102) hopes to change that by retrofitting light duty trucks with electric and plugin hybrid-electric technology.


Green transportation can come in all shapes and sizes. Most of what we've seen from automakers are generally small, svelte, and aerodynamic cars--the largest consumer plug-in to go on sale this year will be the Ford C-Max Energi--but other segments could stand to benefit from a little green power themselves. We're talking heavy-duty, purpose-built work trucks. Enter Auburn Hills-based plug-in hybrid conversion outfitter, ALTe.


The crew at Translogic took the time to stop by and see the the team at ALTe Powertrain Technologies. Founded by a group of former Tesla Motors executives, the company focuses on building plug-in hybrid conversions for fleet vehicles. From creations like a Ford F-150 with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and two 60 kW electric motors to full-size delivery trucks, buses and vans, the company is focused on reducing fuel consumption on some of the largest and hardest-working machinery out there. ALTe sa


Plug-in hybrid conversion specialist ALTe Powertrain Technologies says that it has inked a three-year deal with Remy Electric Motors. Terms of the agreement call for Remy's HVH 250 electric motor (sure seems like this powerhouse of a motor is used in a fair amount of vehicles) to provide motive power and act as an on-board generator for ALTe's converted plug-in vehicles. Technically speaking, ALTe calls their system a "range-extended electric powertrain." We'll call it a plug-in hybrid.


With 10.2 million fleet vehicles in use in the U.S., innovative start-up company Alte saw a market opportunity to develop a plug-in hybrid conversion that would transform the nation's inefficient vehicles into the fleet of the future. The company, founded less than two short years ago, hopes to convert 500,000 fleet vehicles over to extended-range plug-in hybrids in the next six years. While conversions are quite a regular occurrence, Alte offers something that most don't: a 50,000 mile powertra



Former Vice Chairman and President of Cerberus-controlled Chrysler (and CEO back in the Daimler days) Thomas LaSorda may have left the Pentastar galaxy but that doesn't mean he's done working in the transportation space. He has just recently found his way to the "green" side of the industry having joined the board of directors of Electrovaya Inc.

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