Axion Power International, Inc., the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries and energy storage systems, has received an order from privately held ePower Engine Systems LLC. The order is for PbC batteries and management systems required to convert 10 Class 8 trucks from standard internal combustion engines (ICE) to ‘series diesel electric hybrid drive train systems’ utilizing ePower’s proprietary technology. The purchase order is an extension of the existing agreement between Axion and ePower and further validates the performance of the PbC batteries in this hybrid application. At ePower’s current specifications, each conversion kit System would require 56 PbC batteries and the PbC battery management system (BMS). Axion values each truck conversion battery order at in excess of $20,000.
The companies are concurrently negotiating a long term agreement for Axion PbC batteries and BMS for System conversion kits, that will be marketed by ePower to fleets, trucking firms and OEMs that are in the business of retrofitting Class 8 trucks and beyond. The agreement being negotiated would have minimums in order to retain pricing and sector exclusivity. Axion is free to market PbC batteries and technologies without restriction, except for the ‘series’ hybrid market, under the agreement being negotiated.
Axion Chairman & CEO Thomas Granville said, “The heavy trucking industry is a huge and unserved market when it comes to significantly improving miles per gallon of diesel fuel at affordable cost. Diesel fuel is the largest variable cost in trucking, with Class 8 trucks alone consuming more than 19 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually. With the current average mpg for these trucks being in the range of 6, each additional mpg is a huge percentage improvement that translates into proportional fuel dollar savings and emissions reductions. ePower testing to date, with PbC batteries, indicates significant savings immediately, with dramatic savings potential going forward. While our experience in the field is limited, we have not seen another system that even suggests they could bring the positive effect that ePower systems have on mileage enhancement and emissions reduction.”
Granville emphasized that the PbC batteries and BMS for ePower conversion System kits are not related to the PbC-based stop-start micro-hybridization technology that Axion has developed and tested for automotive vehicles; nor is it related to the PbC-based APU systems to run ancillary loads that enable long-run truckers to sleep in their cabs without idling their engines.