Tevva Motors, the UK start-up behind pioneering range-extending technology for delivery trucks, has announced plans to expand its research and development programmes thanks in part to a new grant from the Department of Transport (DfT).
Earlier this week DfT announced the winners of a £20m funding competition aimed at boosting low and zero-emission technology in the UK’s freight and logistics industries.
Tevva Motors, winner of Transport Technology of the Year at December’s BusinessGreen Technology Awards 2016, was awarded around £2.2m by DfT to further develop its range extender electric powertrain systems for freight vehicles.
A small 1.6-litre diesel engine powers the range extender itself, which operates only when the battery needs charging while driving, as the battery can be charged via the grid at night, for example. A third of the truck’s energy needs are also sourced through regenerative braking, which stores energy created from applying the brakes to use as power to accelerate.
Tevva was given £1.1m in investment for research into its electric battery technology and a further £1.08m to fund development of two demonstration trucks featuring a new motor and Nissan batteries.
The research programme will also accelerate the integration of refrigeration technology with the Tevva range extended drivetrain, Tevva added in a statement, paving the way for its technology to be used on food delivery vehicles.
Speaking to BusinessGreen last month following their award win, chief executive Asher Bennett said the firm’s range extender technology is one of the best solutions for upping the number of “clean miles” driven by freight operators each day.
“Every mile you drive in an electric vehicle is real cheap compared to driving a diesel truck, but if you’re stuck doing those very short routes, you’re not accumulating those cheap miles so you’re not saving a lot of money nor dirty diesel emissions,” he explained. “This range extender saves it all. People sometimes ask: ‘But this is a range extender, so the truck has emissions?’ But because of the range extender the truck is doing 100 clean miles per day, while a pure electric truck is doing 30 clean miles a day. So which is greener?”