US giant snaps up London electric powertrain developer

April 25, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Electric powertrain and battery specialist Vantage Power has been bought by US giant Allison Transmission.
London-based electric powertrain and battery specialist Vantage Power has been bought by US giant Allison Transmission.

Allison is the world's largest maker of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, and alongside Vantage Power it has also bought AxleTech’s electric vehicle (EV) systems division as part of a signficant shift to electric powertrain systems.

Vantage Power has particular focus on battery technology development, vehicle integration and control systems, as well as vehicle connectivity and telemetry. Its power technologies have been deployed in a wide range of applications including complete electric hybrid repower systems for buses to grid energy storage. It has developed a highly tuned and very well tested cell welding process which overcomes the complexities traditionally associated with welding lithium-ion cells to current-carrying busbars. This simpler technique can reduce both the part count and the cost of joining cells into blocks.

VP also has extensive intellectual property in BMS software for high voltage lithium-ion battery systems and has proven this in real-world operation through a library of proprietary algorithms. It has also developed advnaced thermal management systems, ranging from immersive cell cooling through to direct contact evaporativeand isothermal structural elements as well as forced air cooling.

The company has its own in-house cell testing lab in London, which allows electrical characterisation of battery cells as well as life cycle tests with application dependent duty cycles, and to verify the cell manufacturer’s claims. It also has an in-house pilot manufacturing line for a full high voltage, liquid cooled battery system. This uses individual cylindrical cells and pre-manufactured parts that go through multiple stages of welding and modular manual assembly for an electric powertrain.

    “Vantage Power’s entrepreneurial spirit and technological advancements complement our strategic priorities to meet and exceed our customers’ demands,” said David S. Graziosi, President and CEO of Allison Transmission. “Through this and other growth initiatives, we will continue to build upon our conventional and electric hybrid products today while differentiating ourselves in the electrification and fuel cell markets.”

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