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Arcola Energy, AVID Technology and Eaton announce new partnership to develop battery and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains

(L to R) Ryan Maughan, Managing Director at AVID Technology Group with Ben Todd, CEO of Arcola Energy and Andrew Hodgson, Non-Executive Chairman at AVID Technology Group.

Hydrogen and fuel cell system engineers Arcola Energy, automotive clean tech firm AVID Technology Group and global power management company Eaton have announced plans to jointly participate in a government sponsored programme to develop battery and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

The team will jointly develop a range of zero-emission powertrain sub-systems that will be available separately or as optimised fully integrated powertrains for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The full system will be integrated into a heavy goods vehicle as a unique zero-emission powertrain demonstrator.

Arcola Energy, a UK developer and Tier 1 supplier of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, leads the project. Arcola Energy will collaborate with partners to further expand and productionise its powertrain platform for bus and truck applications from its new facility in the Liverpool borough of Knowsley.

AVID and Eaton will collaborate to pair AVID’s power-dense EVO-brand electric motor with Eaton’s four-speed medium-duty electrified vehicle transmission to create an integrated motor drive for electric commercial vehicles with best-in-class efficiency and power density.

The collaboration is supported and partly funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which aims to develop a leading position for UK businesses. The project represents a unique partnership between established global Tier 1 suppliers and UK technology companies.

Ben Todd, CEO at Arcola Energy, said: “This project brings together a powerful combination of hydrogen, fuel cell, battery, electric machine and drivetrain capabilities from recognised leaders in their respective fields. The outcome will be a compelling offer to vehicle manufacturers – fast, low-risk, high-quality, cost-effective approaches to electrifying their fleets, whatever their fuelling preference – plugin, hybrid or hydrogen.”

Ryan Maughan, Managing Director at AVID Technology Group, said: “It is a pleasure to be working with Arcola and Eaton on this programme. We hope that by developing a much more efficient integrated electric drive unit using AVID’s cutting edge motor and electronics technology and Eaton’s multispeed transmission expertise, we can help to significantly increase market uptake and functionality of battery electric and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles; both of which have an important role to play if we are to decarbonise the heavy-duty sector.”

Jeff Lowinger, President of Eaton eMobility, added: “We are pleased to be able to adapt our industry leading electrified vehicle transmission to AVID’s line of efficient motors to create an industry leading solution.”

Sunil Maher, Project Delivery Lead at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, said: “The UK is at the forefront of future powertrain development and this collaboration represents further progress in commercialising technologies that meet both customer and environmental requirements. Decarbonising commercial HGV fleets remains a significant challenge, but one that must be met in order to comply with ever tightening tail pipe regulations.”