Type A school bus manufacturer Micro Bird has acquired a controlling interest in the electric vehicle (EV) drivetrain integrator and supplier GranTuned Automobiles (Ecotuned).
The acquisition, which went into effect on Thursday, positions Micro Bird for growth in the light- and medium-duty EV market, according to a news release from the OEM. As part of the agreement, all three founding members of Ecotuned will reportedly continue to be shareholders and play a key role in the evolution of the company.
“Over the years, Micro Bird has evaluated many up-and-coming EV companies and found in Ecotuned a more optimized, efficient, and technologically-advanced solution that is faster to install, due to its patented cradle system, and does not compromise on safety and performance,” said Steve Girardin, president of Micro Bird.
Founded in 2011, Ecotuned has developed EV drivetrains for light- and medium-duty applications. Its energy-efficient EV solution comes predominantly from a proprietary two-speed EV transmission, battery management systems (BMS) as well as advanced algorithms, which allow for a smaller electric motor, less batteries and more useful payload, without compromising performance, according to Micro Bird. The Ecotuned drivetrain comes standard with Level 2 and 3 charging and is vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable.
“Micro Bird was one of our first customers and we have enjoyed a very close partnership and collaboration,” said Andy Ta, founder of Ecotuned. “We look forward to working even closer together and see Ecotuned achieve its full potential.”
For more than five years, Micro Bird and Ecotuned have been working together to perfect the medium-duty EV powertrain, which is currently offered in the Micro Bird G5.
In addition to the school bus segment, Micro Bird plans to deploy its Micro Bird G5 with Ecotuned EV powertrain in the commercial bus segment. Ecotuned also plans to expand its EV powertrains in class 3 to 7 segments across various vocations.