Australian electric commercial vehicle developer SEA Electric has partnered with Canadian company Exro to accelerate the development of Exro’s Battery Control System (BCS) in second-life storage applications.
Exro bills itself as “a clean technology company pioneering intelligent control solutions in power electronics to help solve the most challenging problems in electrification” and this week announced that it would work with SEA Electric to test its new class of power electronics for electric motors and batteries.
SEA Electric will provide Exro with electric delivery vehicles intended to showcase and help accelerate the development of the company’s Battery Control System, helping to identify the end of first-life battery sources and, hopefully, demonstrating an example of a circular economy that impacts both sustainability and energy consumption by providing commercial electric vehicle batteries a second life.
In return, the strategic partnership will see Exro invest $US5 million ($AU6.5 million) in SEA Electric through a share offer.
“Exro’s technology will continue to open new opportunities with applications that have cost-prohibitive components on the market today,” said Tony Fairweather, CEO of SEA Electric.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with Exro and help to optimize the utilization of batteries in a second-life application.”
The new strategic partnership expands on an existing partnership between the two companies which was signed in July 2020 and which focused on enhancing electric powertrain technology for heavy-duty trucks and delivery vehicles. The two companies’ plans included the co-development and testing of powertrains based on Exro’s Coil Driver and the SEA-Drive technologies.
Expanding upon this original agreement, SEA Electric will now provide Exro with two electric delivery vans to showcase Exro’s Battery Control System by the second half of 2021. The agreement is intended to focus specifically on utilising electric truck batteries for energy storage applications, facilitating a second-life battery storage market. To this end, the two companies will co-develop the Battery Control System for operational validation.
Further, the agreement expands upon the 2020 partnership to commercialise the Exro Coil Driver in SEA’s electric trucks to now include a Class 8 electric truck for the Canadian market and volume production targets of 400 trucks minimum by the second-year post validation.
“This is a big deal for Exro, a major catalyst for Exro toward our vision of becoming a leader in power electronics for mobility and energy management,” said Sue Ozdemir, CEO of Exro.
Exro’s “first intelligent” Coil Driver is able to drive any AC motor and provide increased performance and power across a wide range of applications.
The company recently completed in-house testing of Mexican electrical equipment supplier Potencia Industrial’s electric vehicle motor integrated with Exro 100 Volt Coil Driver. The integration will now move to further testing by the Potencia team to ensure operational validation in an electric car application.
Exro also announced that it had signed an agreement with Land Electric Motorcycles to produce up to 2,000 units of its Coil Driver for the company’s District electric motorcycle.