Michigan-based ALTe Powertrain Technologies, developer of a range-extended electric powertrain for light commercial vehicles, has announced this week that it will establish a new commercial vehicle manufacturing joint venture with the Henan Benma Company in the Henan province of China.
Benma currently produces 20 models of commercial vehicles for the Chinese market, and has a production capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year. Benma and ALTe will form a new OEM that will assemble and sell commercial vehicles powered by ALTe’s plug-in electric and hybrid powertrain systems under a new brand nameplate.
Benma has committed to an initial purchase order for 1,000 units, and the plan is to ramp up volume to 10,000 vehicles per year. Production will start with a 3-ton commercial truck and a medium-size bus as quickly as ALTe can complete the application engineering and validation testing.
“We have always observed that an informed strategic investor would be our best ally and that is precisely what we have found with Benma,” said ALTe CEO John Thomas. “Working together with Benma in China and the USA, we expect to implement the technology improvements and cost reductions to enable broad adoption of plug in electric hybrid powered vehicles.”