AUBURN HILLS, MI – ALTe Powertrain Technologies (ALTe), a developer of range-extended plug-in electric hybrid powertrain for light commercial fleet vehicle applications, has installed its powertrain system in a second line of vehicles – the Ford Econoline E-350 platform. ALTe has already implemented conversions in Ford F150 trucks. This new line will offer more choices to fleet managers who seek to convert their fleets to plug-in electric hybrid.
ALTe began engineering development on the Ford E-350 platform in late 2011, reflecting the popularity of this vehicle in the fleet industry. There are currently more than 125,000 E-350 vans of the 2004-2010 model years registered to corporate, government and utility fleet owners in the U.S., according to the company.
“This successful conversion is another example of how ALTe’s plug-in electric hybrid powertrain will revolutionize the fleet industry,” said John Thomas, CEO and co-founder of ALTe. “With this new conversion, ALTe sees a huge opportunity to reach more fleet customers and show them how their used fleet vehicles can gain a second life with better fuel economy when equipped with an ALTe powertrain.”
ALTe’s road tests revealed that this E-350 cutaway chassis prototype can drive approximately 25 miles in an all-electric mode and then deliver nearly 15mpg in a charge-sustained mode. These performance levels should continue to improve as ALTe incorporates production level components and refines various engineering algorithms. For a typical fleet vehicle that drives 45 miles per day, the combined mode fuel economy would be over 30 mpg, while a similar Ford E-350 cutaway chassis with a V-8 engine is only able to achieve less than 9 mpg, based on data provided by major fleets.
ALTe will deliver the E-350 prototype to its first potential fleet customer for evaluation in this month, with plans to build more prototypes for customer evaluations throughout the year. ALTe is aiming for a spring 2013 product launch date for the U.S. market.
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