Motiv’s electric Powertrain Control System allows truck builders a choice of batteries

Motiv’s ePCS is a modular system that fits on a conventional truck chassis, enabling builders to easily add an electric option to their chassis lineups.

 

Many improvements in battery technology are in the pipeline, as new designs that have been successfully tested in laboratories are poised to make their way to production lines soon. That’s great news, but for EV builders, it poses a dilemma that’s already familiar to computer buyers – no one wants to commit to using a battery that could be obsolete in a year or two.

California-based Motiv Power Systems believes it has found a solution. Its new electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS), on display this week at HTUF 2012, is a modular electronic control system that fits on a conventional truck chassis, enabling builders to easily add an electric option to their chassis lineups. The ePCS is not dependent on one particular battery – it’s designed to be “agnostic” to battery voltage or impedance, and to be compatible with all the leading battery packs on the market, as well as future battery technologies. The company is building a “library” of batteries and other components that can plug in to the ePCS with no reconfiguration.

Motiv’s system is designed to allow truck builders to mix and match off-the-shelf batteries and motors to create different vehicle configurations, and to enable easy upgrades as battery costs decrease. According to the company, 15 to 30 kWh off-the-shelf battery packs are the right size to allow a modular powertrain design, with battery packs being added for longer ranges or heavier vehicles. Using different batteries on future trucks involves a simple software re-configuration of the Motiv ePCS.

 

Image: Motiv Power Systems