Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), a high-efficiency plugin hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) solutions provider, has partnered with Greenkraft Inc., a manufacturer of alternative fuel automotive products, CALSTART and the California Energy Commission to develop a first-of-its-kind, Class-4 vehicle that combines the benefits of compressed natural gas (CNG) and PHEV technology.
In partnership with Greenkraft, CALSTART, and the California Energy Commission, the collaboration supports the rapid movement in California toward a zero emissions environment. The effort combines EDI’s intelligent PHEV powertrain with Greenkraft’s CNG-powered 14,500-pound, Class-4 medium-duty truck. EDI’s solution can improve the fuel economy of a conventional CNG-powered medium-duty truck by more than 40 percent.
According to Joerg Ferchau, co-founder and CEO of EDI: “The CNG-PHEV delivers a market-disruptive vehicle that will help fleets switch from petroleum-based liquid fuels—gasoline and diesel—to domestically available, cleaner-burning natural gas and electricity. Technology possesses tremendous potential for commercial viability and can play an essential role in helping California meet its long-term carbon reduction and short-term zero-emissions goals.”
In certain duty cycles with shorter daily mileage requirements or where periodic plug-in recharging is possible throughout the day, it may even be possible to completely eliminate the use of CNG, achieve 100-percent all-electric zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) operations, and achieve an effective MPGe of 26.9—an improvement of 300 percent over the baseline CNG truck.
EDI’s announcement came simultaneously with a grant approval for the combined partnership by the California Energy Commission of funding from its Energy Research and Development Division. The unanimously approved $900,000 grant, supports the state directive to accelerate research and development of advanced natural gas engine-hybrid electric vehicles for light- and heavy-duty applications.