The huge push state side to embrace green cars may adopt a distinctly British influence when Zytek, a specialist in electric vehicle drivetrains, provides its advanced technology for a new US Government-backed electric commercial vehicle programme.
Under the terms of the deal, a range of electric delivery vehicles for the North, Central and South American markets will feature a highly integrated 70kW powertrain from Zytek. It will be developed with the support of £23million from a US Government grant as part of a joint venture company being established by US truck supplier Navistar and British electric commercial vehicle specialist Modec.
The e-drive system will provide the basis for electric vehicle development as it allows fast integration with new or existing platforms. A number of units are already in service as part of Modec's existing range and within Daimler's smart ed programme.
The Modec/Navistar application will be for a new generation of class 2c-3 vehicles that are optimised for suburban/urban pick and drop applications. The new vehicle will use a 70kW, 300Nm version of Zytek's e-drive with the grant helping to fund the development of an initial batch of 400 vehicles during 2010.
According to Zytek's sales and marketing director Steve Tremble, electric vehicles present a compelling solution for stop-start drive cycles.
"An EV's operating characteristics bring far more than zero emissions at the point of deployment," he said.
"A thoroughly engineered vehicle will bring substantial fuel savings, combined with high productivity, near silent operation and very low maintenance costs. E-Drive allows vehicle manufacturers to enter this market quickly with an electric drivetrain that provides the interfaces and functionality required to meet the most demanding technical and customer requirements."