Detroit Startup to Develop Hybrid Electric Vehicle, Power Generating System

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Detroit-based Inventev received $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to model, develop, and test elements of its commercial truck plug-in hybrid electric drive system that also generates job-site power.

“Our technical concept was of significant interest to ARPA-E (an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy) because the unique capability of generating low-cost temporary power with natural gas through dual use of a plug-in hybrid truck transmission is a new applied research frontier,” says Dave Stenson, founder and CEO of Inventev, based in TechTown, a nonprofit business innovation hub in Midtown. 

Stenson says Inventev is also the recipient of a $50,000 grant from NextEnergy through a fund established by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to provide cost-share for Michigan companies applying for federal grants.

Stenson says Inventev will use the funds to demonstrate its technology on a commercial truck fueled by stationary natural gas to generate cost-effective electric grid-quality power so the vehicle acts as a power supply. He says the system also supports the powering of hydraulics for uses such as aerial lifts on utility trucks and extended range hybrid-electric driving. A Ford Motor Co. F550 is being utilized as the base vehicle.

He says the Inventev system is cost-effective when compared to standby trailer-mounted generators because they sit unused most of the time, they are in short supply during widespread outages, and they lack maintenance to be ready for emergency use. 

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