Hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric trucks for commercial fleets could see greater adoption thanks to an agreement between Meineke and Echo Automotive. Meineke and Echo Automotive have signed an agreement under which Echo’s hybrid truck conversion kit can be installed at Meineke service centers. This will increase the availability of electrified commercial vehicles.
“We are extremely pleased to have Meineke onboard as a strategic partner,” commented Jason Plotke, Echo Automotive Chairman and President. “Our relationship with Meineke greatly assists us in scaling our business through the support of this highly recognized and respected national service provider and is a tangible advantage we are delighted to offer our customers.”
What does Echo Automotive offer? There’s some information on their website but not entirely satisfying to me – not enough details.
The components are what we’d expect. The battery pack location shown is a little curious, because you’d want the weight centrally located for purposes of balancing the vehicle weight.
The electric motor is integrated with the drive line, meaning that it’s sitting in the location of the transmission. According to the picture it supports regenerative braking, etc.
What’s most important to a fleet customer is the economics. EchoDrive says they target a 24 month payback time. To support this goal, the battery pack is scalable allowing the fleet owner to deploy just the amount of battery pack required for the application and to get the desired return-on-investment time.
The design can be fitted to many vehicle models thanks to adapter plates and brackets.
Fleet owners frequently a) modify vehicles for custom needs, b) replace the drive train to keep reusing the same vehicle for more years.
This means there’s an opportunity for vehicle electrification in commercial fleets. A fleet owner could adopt electrification at times they install new drive trains – simply by choosing to install an electrified drive train. Well, if only it were that simple, and this is where a company like EchoDrive comes into the picture. By offering a simplified kit to install a hybridized drive train, they can enable a wide range of mechanics shops to add electric truck conversion to the services they offer.
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