The UK battery developer Hyperdrive Innovation and Hybria, an electric drive specialist firm from Finland have agreed to develop an all-weather series of prototypes of non-road mobile machinery and special vehicles such as snowmobiles or boats.
The partnership is strategic and most of all fitting with Hyperdrive supplying their lithium-ion battery system to motor specialist Hybria. Says Chris Pennison, CEO of Hyperdrive: “Our joint expertise in batteries and electric drivetrains is hugely complementary to our strategy to provide a game-changing energy storage offer for electric machines which provides a compelling alternative to and can operate in the same environment as a ‘pure’ diesel power equivalent.”
Together they will construct said prototypes that will include a new generation of electrified snow vehicles, construction machines, boats, materials handling and farming equipment designed to operate in adverse weather conditions.
Hybria, in particular, is well-versed in cooperation and will also supply the propulsion for an autonomous electric minibus made with a partner from Japan reportedly. The Gacha Shuttle Bus is also designed to work autonomously in challenging weather, especially heavy rain and snow. For this, Hybria has developed an electric four-wheel drive drivetrain. Add to this a 25kWh battery system with electrical pre-heating for the bus. Pre-heating is supplied from mains and can be used to warm up batteries after overnight parking in icy weather. The electric bus runs at speeds of up to 40 kph and accommodates 16 people. Once unveiled, the Gacha shuttle bus will start its final phase of testing in Helsinki in 2020. Passenger service will follow suit in three Finnish cities, namely Espoo, Vantaa, Hämeenlinna.
For Hyperdrive the partnership with Hybria is part of their strategy to expand internationally. In April 2018, Hyperdrive signed a long-term agreement with Foxlink Automotive Technology to manufacture, sell and distribute its modular battery pack under Hyperdrive’s intellectual property rights across Asia. So now it is Scandinavia.
hyperdriveinnovation.com (original press release)