Expanding the Company's Horizons into Alternative-Fueled Vehicles
LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ArvinMeritor Inc.
(NYSE: ARM) has entered into a new alternative-power vehicle development
program -- with an electric drivetrain -- with Unicell Ltd., a medium-duty
body builder with operations in Toronto, Ontario, and Buffalo, N.Y. The new
electric drive vehicle, with a GVWR of 16,000 lbs., will be equipped with a
fully-electric drivetrain and will be demonstrated to the public in 2006.
The initial vehicle application is for pickup and delivery vehicles. The
particular fleet name is being withheld pending completion of the vehicle
"This is an exciting new vehicle application for our expanding role as a
true systems integrator. We are leveraging our experience in electric drive
axles and are gaining the know-how to design similar systems for other
applications, such as school bus and low-floor bus and coach vehicles," stated
Garrick Hu, vice president of Advanced Engineering for ArvinMeritor's
Commercial Vehicle Systems business unit.
Hu commented that many commercial vocational applications exist where this
type of zero emissions vehicle will become dominant over the next five to 15
years, primarily due to reduced emissions in urban environments. The rate of
adoption will be largely dependent on the cost of battery energy storage
relative to the cost of fossil fuel.
On the Unicell vehicles, the team of ArvinMeritor engineers acknowledges
that the new electric drivetrain system will provide the fleet operator lower
energy costs, zero emissions and considerable operations efficiency.
"It's very encouraging and inspiring to be working with ArvinMeritor on
this project," said Roger Martin, chairman of Unicell. "We were delighted to
discover just a year ago that ArvinMeritor's long-term vision in this area
matched ours. We've covered much ground together since then. Our primary
focus is to create a cost-effective tool for our customer -- a delivery
vehicle that is more productive and safer, with lower maintenance costs and
lower energy costs. The social benefits are important, too -- zero emission
operation, zero crude oil consumption and a reduction of more than 80 percent
in 'well-to-wheels' greenhouse gas emissions."
For over 15 years, ArvinMeritor has been designing and manufacturing
electric drive axles, specifically for low-floor buses in Europe. This new
drivetrain system relies on onboard energy storage and delivers the torque to
the wheel ends via motors integral to the vehicle's rear axles.
Unicell is a progressive manufacturer and distributor of truck bodies and
equipment, with a sales force that covers the Northeast region of the U.S. and
all of Canada. Unicell has successfully brought to market several ground-
breaking "best in class" truck bodies for Ford and General Motors trucks. For
more information, see http://www.unicell.com .
ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier $8 billion global supplier of a broad
range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle
industry. The company serves light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and
specialty original equipment manufacturers and related aftermarkets.
Headquartered in Troy, Mich., ArvinMeritor employs approximately 31,000 people
at more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 25 countries. ArvinMeritor
common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol
ARM. For more information, visit the company's Web site at:
SOURCE ArvinMeritor, Inc.
D. Mike Pennington
both of ArvinMeritor, Inc.