February 1, 2016, DETROIT- Inventev LLC was awarded a $500,000 grant from the ARPA-E agency of the U.S. Department of Energy to model, develop and test key elements of its commercial truck plug-in hybrid electric drive system that also generates job-site power. The targeted research will be centered in southeast Michigan led by TechTown Detroit-based Inventev, which is also a recipient of NextEnergy’s $50,000 MATch Energy Grant, a fund established by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to provide cost-share to Michigan companies applying for federal grants.
“Supporting companies like Inventev with the MATch Energy Grant positions start-ups to compete for federal funds, and ultimately keeps them on the path to growing new jobs," said Jean Redfield, president & CEO of NextEnergy, "NextEnergy looks forward to further supporting Inventev by providing testing and demonstration support services at our microgrid on our 2.8-acre campus in Detroit.”
Under the ARPA-E grant, Inventev will demonstrate its technology on a commercial truck fueled by stationary natural gas to generate cost-effective and flexible electric grid-quality power. In effect, the vehicle acts as a power supply. The system also supports both idle-free powering of hydraulics for uses such as aerial lifts on utility trucks and extended range hybrid-electric driving. Thus Inventev’s Energy SWAT Truck creates three main value propositions for the commercial fleet customer: Generate Electric, Work Electric and Drive Electric. A Ford F550 will be used as the base vehicle chassis for the project.
Other key collaborators include Pacific Gas & Electric Company, A123 Systems, BorgWarner, Ford Motor Co., NextEnergy, Product Assembly Group and Landi Renzo USA that have contributed in-kind material or other support of the project bringing the total project scope to $750,000 over 12 months.
"PG&E continues to aggressively pursue electrification of our fleet through multiple product solutions,” said David Meisel, senior director of Transportation Services at Pacific Gas and Electric. “The technology used by Inventev to harness the capability of electric vehicles to eliminate idling at jobsites and to generate exportable power to shorten or eliminate outages is a game-changer for the utility industry.
“I think the public/private partnerships such as the one demonstrated with this U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E grant project with Inventev are helping to shape our energy and transportation future."
Said Dave Stenson, founder and CEO of Inventev: “Our technical concept was of significant interest to ARPA-E because the unique capability of generating low-cost temporary power with natural gas through dual use of a plug-in hybrid truck transmission is a new applied research frontier. Paired with private industry and NextEnergy’s support, the project provides our first core round of funding. We hope to continue this momentum and complete our seed funding round.”
By using the same motors that drive the truck to also generate utility-grade power when stationary, the Inventev system becomes more cost effective versus standby trailer-mounted generators that can sit unused most of the time, be in short supply during widespread outages and lacking maintenance to be ready for emergency use.
About Inventev LLC: Inventev is a Detroit-based seed-stage startup with innovative technology to create medium duty commercial truck electrification solutions. The leadership team is rooted in decades of automotive product strategy, development and engineering and has won the Transportation Sector of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition among other awards. The systems Inventev develops are targeted for up-fit to truck chassis from the major automotive OEMs to satisfy specific needs of commercial fleet customers with features and lower total cost of ownership. (http://inventev.com)