UQM Technologies says an unnamed European OEM will conduct a pilot trial of its full electric PowerPhase DT drivetrain solution.

The OEM will be running two of the DT systems for evaluation with the long term goal of an all-electric transit bus production programme.

UQM maintains its drivetrain in the PowerPhase DT provides a greater speed and torque range than direct drive systems, allowing smaller electric motors to drive large vehicles.

The UQM electric drivetrain system also allows for improved packaging, greater efficiency, greater payload capacity and lower cost when compared with direct drive or single-speed drivetrain strategies, says the supplier.

As battery costs rapidly decrease, heavy-duty commercial and transit markets see the economic potential of electric drive vehicles compared to large diesel engines and multispeed transmissions. Fuel savings of pure electric vehicles (>20 mpg equivalent) compared with traditional diesel (4mpg) and hybrid systems (6mpg) is enough to recover the investment in an electric drive adds UQM.

"With recent announcements in Europe and other markets about closing city centres to internal combustion and transitioning towards EV, we see the transit bus market as a key element to this important change," said UQM president and CEO, Joe Mitchell.

"After considerable success in the US market with our customer Proterra, we are now bringing our technology to Europe with the potential for volume production contracts. This is the clean, quiet, efficient and affordable solution for electric and range-extended electric buses."

The UQM PowerPhase DT pairs any of UQM's PowerPhase HD propulsion systems with Eaton's two-speed transmission and Pi Innovo's transmission control unit. All combined, this is a bolt-on, fully electric drivetrain system.

This approach allows customers in the medium- and heavy-duty EV commercial markets to achieve increased performance in areas of gradability, acceleration and efficiency.

The UQM drivetrain also addresses the need for full transmission EV systems, as enhanced performance and efficiency requirements are mandated by customer drive cycles, battery costs and environmental regulations.