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Boulder Electric Vehicle Closes Its Doors in LA, Colorado

Boulder Electric Vehicle, which we have discussed before, has closed its doors in both the Los Angeles area and is facility in Lafayette, Colorado. The company built medium-duty electric trucks mostly in a step-in and box-style format for commercial use.

The company was successful in getting some test vehicles into fleets as well as in convincing some small operators to purchase the EVs, but not enough of them to stay in business. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the company’s CEO Carter Brown says that they have not bankrupted the company, though they have laid off most of the nearly 100 employees at both facilities and removed their equipment to storage so they could give up their leases.  Read more »

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Eaton launches new line of medium-duty 7-speed dual-clutch transmissions with 8+% better MPG

Eaton has introduced Procision, a new line of medium-duty dual-clutch transmissions, that delivers 8 to 10 percent better fuel economy than a similarly equipped vehicle with a torque converter automatic.

Scheduled to be available in the North American market mid-year in 2015 and available globally in the future, the new 7-speed transmissions feature a dual-clutch design and electronic shifting that uses grade, vehicle weight and throttle input to provide optimal fuel efficiency and smooth, continuous delivery of torque to a vehicle’s wheels under all shift conditions. Read more »

Taiwan’s Aleees, Sony and Siemens team on electric buses

Taiwan-based Aleees, a supplier of nano-crystalline lithium iron phosphate cathode materials, has entered into an agreement to team up with Sony to advance electric buses in conjunction with Siemens. Alees has partnered for four years with Siemens on the production of E-buses, which have accumulated 1 million miles of practical operation.

Aleees also recently officially entered into the electric bus market in China. Alees has also developed a battery swap system for buses.

Aleees Group was founded in 2005 by the main shareholders of Ruentex Group., KPCB Fund, QVT Financial LP.

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Eaton Discontinues Diesel-Electric Hybrids

Eaton has pulled out of the diesel-electric hybrid game in North America due to government incentives drying up and diesel fuel prices stabilizing.

“We are no longer selling hybrid units in North America,” Michels said to Heavy Duty Trucking. “The reason we’re not selling in North America any longer is there really isn’t a market for those products. If the market comes back we’ll re-enter.”

The diesel-electric hybrid market has dropped to near-zero interest due to costs versus the alternatives such as natural gas. On the other side, Eaton is actively working with Chinese bus makers to market diesel-electric buses in that country.

With Eaton pulling from the diesel hybrid market, this means that most diesel-electric hybrid makers like Daimler and Paccar are no longer able to make hybrid big trucks as Eaton was their primary supplier.