Clarience Technologies, an automotive technology company in Southfield, has introduced A2Z for e-Mobility, a company-wide initiative to develop more energy-efficient lighting solutions that extend the range of EVs by reducing battery amp draw.
The A2Z for e-Mobility initiative brings EV-optimized LED lighting solutions for trucks, trailers, and truck bodies sold under the Truck-Lite brand, though the company expects this initiative will result in a broader set of energy-efficient solutions extending beyond LED lighting that will benefit its entire family of companies.
“We expect commercial fleets to seek every opportunity possible to extend the range of electric vehicles,” says Paul Sniegocki, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Clarience Technologies. “A2Z for e-Mobility represents how we are delivering more efficient solutions by applying modern-day technologies to help extend vehicle range.”
Clarience Technologies provides electronic advanced telematics, LED lighting, and safety components for transportation and is the parent company of several companies that serve the commercial transportation market, including Truck-Lite, ECCO, Road Ready telematics and DAVCO filtration systems.
Although the first electric-powered commercial trucks arriving next year are expected to have an average range around 250-300 miles per charge, the degree to which outside factors will impact range remains uncertain. Many factors reduce vehicle range, including temperature, cargo weight, or the power draw required by the vehicle body or trailer.
A2Z for e-Mobility was designed to reduce parasitic loads that draw power from an electric vehicle battery. Clarience Technologies engineers were challenged to find new ways to reduce amp draw from electric lighting systems. Getting to as close to zero as possible inspired the name of this initiative – A2Z is short for “Amps to Zero” – and has driven focus on its product development.
The team understood a more energy-efficient LED light could not result in any tradeoffs – there could be no degradation in product performance including both lumen output and design quality. Through advanced power management strategies company engineers developed improved lighting electronics that reduced energy waste, while optics engineers looked at ways to improve photometric performance though reflector design and lens optics. In the end, A2Z for e-Mobility has already led to new designs that deliver a 50 percent or greater reduction in current amp draw.
Efficiency opportunities coming from A2Z for e-Mobility have been introduced first at Truck-Lite, which now is offering a series of more energy-efficient trailer and step van body lighting packages optimized for EVs.
Each A2Z-optimized lighting package being offered by Truck-Lite will feature the Super 44 4-inch round LED light known by its “pentastar” light pattern. Lamps are redesigned for multi-volt systems and feature 10-60VDC input which provides trailer manufacturers and walk-in van upfitters application flexibility. These lighting packages will deliver a current draw reduction of 50 percent or greater without sacrificing performance.
Though A2Z for e-Mobility already is delivering results, Clarience Technologies sees this initiative as only in its infancy as its engineers continue exploring further efficiency opportunities.
The company now is looking at ways to optimize overall trailer, body, and truck loads, including how the components can best be optimized with other electric components as well as the wiring harness connecting them. It also is using its expertise in connected technologies to develop smart lighting solutions designed to integrate better with trailer, body, or truck OEMs.
Smart solutions through connectivity integration with OEMs could enable two-way communications and more automated controls. This means a truck or trailer will be able to automatically adjust amp draw from LED lights to preserve its electric battery in certain scenarios.
“The central premise of A2Z is to conserve energy in the vehicle’s battery and help the vehicle propel itself forward,” says Sniegocki. “With electrification coming to virtually every form of transportation, innovations that result from the A2Z initiative stand to benefit customers served by the entire Clarience Technologies family of companies.”
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