DETROIT — To increase its national visibility and accelerate its business development, Detroit start-up Inventev is participating in the Palo Alto-based Cleantech Open national business competition and has been named a semifinalist from the Midwest region.
As the developer of an innovative and patent-pending commercial fleet truck propulsion system, Inventev addresses the needs of mobile temporary power generation while equipping a daily work truck for common job-site tasks. Powering these tasks electrically (such as moving aerial lifts) avoid the noise, emissions, and high fuel consumption of idling a costly diesel engine all day. Leading market targets are the electric utility or cable company line-service “bucket” trucks. Many other vocational uses will show favorable paybacks as well.
“Everyone still has Hurricane Sandy in mind where there weren’t enough generators in the country to respond effectively…even bringing them from California,” said Inventev founder & CEO Dave Stenson. “We plan to integrate neighborhood generating capacity onto fleets of hybrid electric trucks saving fuel every day while also having the standby generating capability when needed.”
By using the same motors that will electrically drive the truck to generate utility-grade power when stationary, the Inventev system becomes very capital efficient versus trailer-mounted generators that can sit unused most of the time, often not maintained enough to be ready in case of emergency use.
“Without our integrated approach, businesses, utilities, and municipalities have two choices today. Pay for both an underutilized generator and a conventional work truck consuming lots of expensive fuel; or, roll the dice that you won’t need temporary power and fight to lease a high-capacity generator when everyone else needs one too,” said Stenson.
To assist in their start-up efforts and building linkages to strategic partners, Inventev has been working with NextEnergy, the Detroit non-profit with expertise in accelerating advanced energy-based technologies. “Inventev is an example of the type of advanced energy technology early-stage company that NextEnergy is pleased to work with,” said Jean Redfield, president & CEO of NextEnergy.
“They have a seasoned management team and are developing a technology we believe has great promise, both technically and commercially.” NextEnergy will also host a regional workshop for the Cleantech Open Midwest semifinalists in mid-July. The competition will conclude regionally in Minneapolis in October with finalists competing for national awards in November in San Jose, Calif.