French Commercial EV Maker Keeps It Rolling

Electric Vehicle (EV) battery maker Valence Technology has just announced it has signed an extended supply agreement with the French firm PVI.

PVI, a manufacturer of industrial EVs, updated the supply agreement that was originally begun in 2008.

PVI bus

image via Valence Technology

Since the partnership was formed PVI has manufactured more than 120 electric commercial vehicles, including electric trucks and buses. All of this fleet, on the road in a number of European countries, has been fitted with Valence lithium phosphate battery systems.

Valence Technology, based in Austin, Texas, has also provided engineering support to the French automaker.

PVI’s electric powertrains are assembled into a number of public transport vehicles used in France. These include two sizes of OREAS minibuses (22 and 42-seaters), municipal refuse trucks and an 3.5-ton EV truck called the LCV, which is marketed by Renault.

The OREAS minibuses are in operation throughout France including on the Paris bus network, the RATP. The LCV, meanwhile, is deployed as a beverage delivery truck.

Valence Technology is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of long-life EV batteries and its equipment has been used worldwide to power commercial EVs and marine equipment.

“PVI’s association with Valence Technology was initiated over four years ago and their advanced battery systems have been invaluable as we introduce all electric vehicles in Europe,” Michel Bouton, CEO of PVI, said in a statement. “Most importantly, the reliability and safety tests we have conducted on Valence equipped vehicles have complied with all expectations for both PVI and also our customers.”

PVI is not the only French automaker to adopt Valence’s product to power their vehicles. At last year’s Geneva Auto Show, French automaker Courb debuted their new EV concept, the C-ZEN, that’s powered by the Austin firm’s lithium batteries.

The two-seat vehicle was designed with Valence in mind in order to capitalize on its reportedly long-lasting energy storage technology.

Valence worked with Courb on the project for two years, helping perfect the company’s patented lithium iron magnesium phosphate (LiFeMgPO4) battery, which reportedly boasts a three to four times longer life than traditional lithium cobalt products.

PVI’s electric buses meanwhile have an average charge range of up to 93 miles and can reach top speeds of 43 MPH. Compared to conventional buses of a similar specification they produce 100 tons less atmospheric CO2 a year.

The powertrain designed and produced by PVI for the buses is an electronic control module allowing for greater transmission efficiency and optimal electrical energy regeneration upon deceleration and braking. The system has a robotic gear box built-in that greatly enhances performance, according to the manufacturer.

Valence Technology’s vice president of sales and marketing R.J. Adleman said in a statement: “PVI understands the industrial market’s expectations for the availability of new EV models.”

 

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.