Electric vehicle manufacturer Adomani will beta test UQM Technologies’ drivetrain for greater performance and efficiency. Shown here is a school bus converted from diesel to electric by Adomani.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Adomani will beta test UQM Technologies’ drivetrain for greater performance and efficiency. Shown here is a school bus converted from diesel to electric by Adomani.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturer Adomani Inc. is partnering with drivetrain component developer and manufacturer UQM Technologies Inc. for greater vehicle performance and efficiency.

Adomani will become one of the first beta partners to leverage UQM’s PowerPhase traction motor and integrated Eaton transmission system for its medium- to heavy-duty commercial fleet vehicles.

The UQM PowerPhase drivetrain is expected to enable Adomani to develop electric vehicles that realize increased performance, acceleration, and efficiency, as it uses the Eaton 2-Speed transmission and Pi Innovo Transmission Control Unit to provide greater speed and torque range. The drivetrain allows for better packaging, payload capacity, and lower cost when compared to direct or single-speed designs, according to the companies.

Additionally, the use of this system is designed to enable Adomani to achieve rapid vehicle deployment in an increasingly competitive market landscape.

Adomani will use the UQM PowerPhase HD250, a version of the drivetrain specifically designed for heavy-duty drive applications, including transit buses and school buses, to convert a series of vehicles for the beta testing. The drivetrain has been rated to operate at up to 95% efficiency, according to the companies.

The variable nature of the drivetrain is expected to enable Adomani to optimize performance and efficiency characteristics by adjusting the “shift points” of the transmission, depending on vehicle load and road conditions, to maintain optimal revolutions per minute ranges of the UQM electric propulsion system. This drivetrain system is expected to make it possible for a smaller electric motor to power larger vehicles, and allow Adomani to offer increased vehicle performance in the areas of gradability, acceleration, range, and efficiency.  

“The key to powertrain development is balancing acceleration and top speed with an efficient powertrain and optimal battery capacity,” said Jim Reynolds, CEO of Adomani. “This arrangement with UQM will enable us to improve custom and conversion vehicles with the highest possible overall performance and efficiency, allowing us to deliver substantial savings in overall costs and an increase in the vehicle range, which is very important for fleets that currently rely on diesel.”

“With us providing the full drive, we can offer Adomani a fully validated solution that will be more effective from a cost, performance, and timing standpoint,” UQM CEO Joseph Mitchell said.

The PowerPhase drivetrain will be incorporated into several upcoming Adomani vehicles.

Adomani also recently received letters of intent for 25 GreenPower all-electric school buses from nine school districts in California, according to electric school bus manufacturer GreenPower Motor Co.

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