ALTe Powertrain Forms Joint Venture With Inmatech to Produce Hybrid Electric Storage Devices

April 21, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

ALTe Powertrain Technologies, the Michigan developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertrain, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to form a joint venture with Inmatech, Inc., a developer of advanced supercapacitors, to produce and sell hybrid electric storage (HES) devices composed of batteries, supercapacitors and control electronics. The blend of supercapacitors with lithium ion battery cells will enable longer life for the battery cells while reducing cost by as much as 40% for an equivalent size battery composed exclusively of lithium ion cells. The applications will range from automotive batteries to stationary grid power leveling devices.

According to the companies, by combining key competencies of both companies, the joint venture will enable quick market penetration with a leading performance product at significantly reduced cost, providing robust technology in ALTe’s plug-in hybrid electric powertrain kits while allowing the joint venture to provide HES devices to the automotive and grid infrastructure markets.

To assist in bringing the HEV devices to market, ALTe and Inmatech have submitted grant applications through various federal funding agencies including the Department of Energy. The companies claim that initial feedback has been very positive and the projects are now being evaluated by government technical specialist teams. Should the grants receive final approval, the JV will be able to accelerate product development and production operations to facilitate sales in early 2014.

"We are very pleased to be entering into a relationship with Inmatech, as we will be able to provide the best battery solution for our customers while opening new opportunities to expand our business to further supply the automotive industry’s growing need for advanced electric powertrain equipment," said ALTe Founder, Chairman and CEO, John D. Thomas. "We view this initial response from the Department of Energy as an important testament to the potential of this relationship and the value of the technology we are developing," he said.

Stefan Heinemann, President & CEO of Inmatech, declared, "I am thrilled to launch into the JV with ALTe as it will accelerate our plans to bring this novel material based supercapacitor to market, offering dramatic cost savings to the industry with very high energy density."

ALTe’s Range Extended Electric Powertrain will replace standard V-8 engines, retrofitting into existing fleet vehicles as well as in "glider" applications of new vehicles to increase their fuel economy by up to 200% and lower emissions. Most recently, ALTe announced a partnership with Manheim, an automotive reselling service, to create installation centers for fleet conversions across the country.

The company will be announcing its first fleet customers in the coming months, and ALTe’s electric powertrain system will be installed in commercial and government fleets beginning next year.