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Partnership targets fleet retrofits

Deal between ALTe Powertrain Technologies and Manheim focuses on outfitting light-duty fleet vehicles, improving fuel economy from 80 percent to 200 percent.
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Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

Want to address the efficiency of your fleet, but don't have the wherewithal to invest in brand-new electric, hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles like some of the big companies that have really taken an evangelistic approach?

You may be interested in a new partnership struck between ALTe Powertrain Technologies, which is a company that makes electric powertrains, and Manheim, which remarkets fleet vehicles.

The deal calls for Manheim to retrofit light trucks and vans with an ALTe series plug-in electric hybrid powertrain and then 'reinsert" them back into corporate fleets. The retrofits are schedule to start in spring 2012. The retrofits will start at three Manheim pilot facilities, expanding out to up to 65 outlets across the United States if all goes well.

The companies figure it is possible to improve the fuel economy of existing vehicles by up to 200 percent using the retrofit technology. I'd like to see that number independently confirmed, but it IS clear that retrofitting the roughly 900 million vehicles on the road today will be an important part of the push for better fuel economy and fewer emissions over time. This link from the California Cars Initiative has information about retrofit implications.

Said Frederick Standfield, vice president of frontline operations for Manheim:

"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."

What's in the powertrain? The components include a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, along with a four-cyclinder engine, electric drive motors, generator and other modules. The initial range in electric mode is 30 miles, with a boost up to 275 miles in "charge-sustained" mode. The battery pack recharges in eight hours from a 110-volt outlet or in four hours from a 220-volt outlet.

Related posts on SmartPlanet about fleet efficiency:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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