A scalable, modular approach to vehicle electrification can enable the manufacture of zero-emissions medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on existing production line facilities.
Vehicle electrification can be undertaken using a scalable, modular approach with Motiv Power Systems' electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS). The ePCS is a product that enables conventional truck builders to easily and quickly build trucks with zero-emission, all-electric powertrains on their present assembly lines. This has been aptly demonstrated through installation of the ePCS on first-of-their-kind electric vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty sectors. The Motiv ePCS is the key part of Motiv's upfit packages, which combine all the components that electrify vehicle chassis such as the Ford E450, Ford F59 and the Crane Carrier COE2 chassis. These flexible upfit options have already been used in diverse vehicle applications including school buses, shuttle buses, walk-in vans, work trucks and refuse trucks. And while electric vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty sectors have long been of interest to the industry due to the cost stability of electricity as a fuel type, vehicles have been slow to come to market. The engineering costs associated with developing new vehicle types makes it hard for new vehicle builders to enter an already saturated marketplace.
However Motiv works within this space as a partner with existing vehicle builders to expand their portfolio to include electric versions of their existing vehicles. Within the Motiv ePCS are a variety of components that make the single product suite capable of electrifying any truck or bus with a variety of commercially available battery packs and motors. One such component is from Semikron's off the-shelf SKA12 converter famiy, which covers an electric power conversion range of 10kW to 150kW. These converters have been developed specially for vehicle electrification, such as light trucks and buses, agriculturaland construction machinery, marine applications and cars. They are manufactured in high volumes and therefore greatly reduce the cost hurdle on the way to vehicle electrification. Motiv adds the intelligence to Semikron's electric power conversion, enabling it to integrate with the rest of the upfit package and vehicle components.At the heart of Motiv's ePCS is the adaptive power converter (APC) - a programmable voltage converter that enables multiple battery packs to be independently managed. The iAPC contains a buck-boost converter pulling large amounts of power to run the motors on the vehicle and capturing power back during regenerative braking. Multiple APCs are on every vehicle, with one managing each battery pack, which enables the system to intelligently modify the power load to maintain an optimal operating environment. Motiv's ePCS is robust and flexible enough to handle vast energy requirements ranging from 80kWh to 200kWh with multiple battery packs. Motiv has also used this APC to demonstrate multiple battery chemistries on the same shuttle bus, something not possible with any other electric truck builder today. The ePCS includes Motiv's own charger, which rectifies three phase AC grid power for recharging the main batteries when the vehicle is plugged in. This 60kW onboard charger communicates with the APCs to charge the batteries while optimizing the system's health.This approach to building allelectric vehicles using off-the-shelf components and an upfit package that works with commercially available chassis typesis more market friendly. Motiv-equipped vehicles apply extensive engineering in the ePCS to an emerging market, with substantially reduced costs. While electric vehicles remain expensive due to the higher upfront costs (including battery packs not required on a gaseous fuel vehicle), this process of working with OEMs means expertise is efficiently employed across the industry and fits into an existing model that customers are comfortable with.