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Meritor Consortium Awarded £15.9 Million toward £31.9 Million Project to Develop United Kingdom's Low Carbon Capability

March 26, 2021 at 2:00 AM EDT
Grant Provided by Advanced Propulsion Centre UK and Innovate UK

TROY, Mich., March 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Meritor, Inc. (NYSE: MTOR) today announced that it is the recipient of the Advanced Propulsion Centre's (APC) Core Competition Program in the UK to partially fund the design and development of Meritor's 17Xe™ electric powertrain system for heavy-duty electric trucks and buses equipped with a single drive axle. Meritor, in consortium with its partners Danfoss Editron and Electra Commercial Vehicles, submitted the EPIC (Electric Powertrain Integration for heavy Commercial vehicles) Project.

"With this award, our consortium will develop a game-changing electric powertrain for heavy-duty 4x2 and 6x2 vehicles up to 44 tonnes without wheel-end reduction and up to 65 tonne vehicles with wheel-end reduction," said Chris Villavarayan, CEO and President, for Meritor. "This technology will provide commercial vehicle OEMs with the optimal solution to meet EU 2025 CO2 reduction targets and enable Meritor to significantly expand its Blue Horizon technology portfolio brand into Europe."

Jeff Herrin, Vice President of Research and Development at Danfoss Power Solutions, the Danfoss business segment that includes Danfoss Editron commented, "We're thrilled to be part of this powerhouse team that is joining forces to develop a next-generation, zero-emission electric powertrain. EPIC will provide a revolutionary solution to commercial vehicle OEMs, enabling them to meet global CO2 reduction targets by increasing efficiency, reducing weight, lowering cost and unlocking longer range than existing solutions on today's market."

"Electra is excited for the opportunity to be part of this UK-based electrification program as it transitions toward a net-zero future," said Sid Sadique, Chief Executive Officer and President, Electra Commercial Vehicles. "With range extension being a critical factor in the adoption of commercial electric vehicles, we can't wait to get started developing an efficient drivetrain solution with more battery space."

Each EPIC consortium member will each play a critical role in building and validating four different chassis:

  • Meritor: Overall integration of motor, inverter, transmission and carrier into the axle housing to enable packaging in existing vehicles, also transmission and geared carrier development and integration, transmission controller and software development, lightweight brake development, system validation and supply chain selection and development
  • Danfoss Editron: Electric motor and inverter, development and integration
  • Electra Commercial Vehicles: Mechanical and controls integration of battery-electric chassis

Technology

Meritor's 17Xe ePowertrain system will deliver up to 430kW of continuous power with a 800-volt rated electric motor for heavy trucks and buses in 6X2 or 4X2 configurations. The integrated system – which is suitable for full electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as well as series hybrid and plug-in hybrid configurations – provides efficient packaging designed for short wheelbase trucks, optimized gearing for energy regeneration, and a wide range of ratios. It will be designed to drop into existing chassis with minimal to no modifications to the suspension or frame.

Danfoss Editron's electric motor is based on a patented architecture and thermal management methodology which exceeds the APC's 2035 Roadmap targets for power-density. It also means that only one motor is required, a significant step forward in heavy-duty ePowertrain design, with most competitor products needing two motors to meet power requirements. Only requiring one motor is seen as a step-change in the industry, as it reduces parts, weight and cost while improving reliability.

EPIC will deliver zero CO2 emission potential for commercial vehicles, and other applications, operating in towns and cities across the UK. As part of this program, Meritor will create a European Centre of Excellence for eMobility in Cwmbran, South Wales, and Danfoss Editron will create an Innovation Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This project will create jobs in both Europe and the UK through the two new centres and future manufacturing capability.

About Meritor
Meritor, Inc. is a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking, aftermarket and electric powertrain solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. With more than a 110-year legacy of providing innovative products that offer superior performance, efficiency and reliability, the company serves commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, defense, specialty and aftermarket customers around the world. Meritor is based in Troy, Michigan, United States, and is made up of more than 8,600 diverse employees who apply their knowledge and skills in manufacturing facilities, engineering centers, joint ventures, distribution centers and global offices in 19 countries. Meritor common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MTOR. For important information, visit the company's website at www.meritor.com.

About Danfoss Editron
Danfoss Editron specializes in hybrid and electric powertrain systems for the marine, off-highway and on-highway markets. A business division of Danfoss, it develops and manufactures high-performance power systems for heavy-duty vehicles, machines and marine vessels, based on its unique synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet technology. Danfoss Editron powertrains deliver market-leading efficiency and are suitable for hybrid and electric applications within the power range of 30kW to 2,000kW. With operations in Finland, Denmark, China, United States of America and now in Edinburg, UK, Danfoss Editron has assembled an award-winning team to work on the technologies that will enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less.   

https://www.danfoss.com/editron

About Electra
Electra is a UK company with the vision to provide the commercial vehicle operator a clean, zero emission solution for city centre deliveries. The company is making city centre delivery a 100% clean and silent operation, allowing minimal impact of vehicles in our environment which are essential to keep our cities running 24 hours a day.

About Advanced Propulsion Centre UK
The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) collaborates with UK government, the automotive industry and academia to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies, supporting the transition to deliver net-zero emission vehicles. 

Since its foundation in 2013, APC has funded 150 low-carbon projects involving 375 partners, working with companies of all sizes, and has helped to create or safeguard over 50,000 jobs in the UK. The technologies developed in these projects are projected to save over 260 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions from 10.2 million cars.

With its deep sector expertise and cutting-edge knowledge of new propulsion technologies, APC's role in building and advising project consortia helps projects start more quickly and deliver increased value. In the longer term, its work to drive innovation and encourage collaboration is building the foundations for a successful and sustainable UK automotive industry.

In 2019 the UK government committed the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) to accelerate the development of a net-zero vehicle supply chain, enabling UK-based manufacturers to serve global markets. ATF investments are awarded through the APC to support strategically important UK capital and R&D investments that will enable companies involved in batteries, motors and drives, power electronics, fuel cells, recycling, and associated supply chains to anchor their future.

For more information go to apcuk.co.uk or follow us @theapcuk on Twitter and Advanced Propulsion Centre UK on LinkedIn.

About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. For more information, visit the UK Research and Innovation website. We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK's world-class research base.

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SOURCE Meritor, Inc.

Media Inquiries: Douwe Hilarius, +39 348 82 09 109, douwe.hilarius@meritor.com or Investor Inquiries: Todd Chirillo, +1 (248) 435-1571, todd.chirillo@meritor.com