Canadian Manufacturing

Companies partner to bring electric vehicle costs down

VANCOUVER: Rapid Electric Vehicles Inc. (REV), a Vancouver-based company that develops electric vehicles and specializes in vehicle-to-grid networks, has partnered with the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) to create a new company focused on making it easier for North American companies to add electric vehicles to their fleets.

High prices have been a barrier to the rollout of electric vehicles, especially within public and private fleets. And although many believe prices will decline with advances in new technology and economies of scale, both are stunted by the classic ‘chicken and egg’ problem.

Many fleet owners and operators have voiced strong interest in electric vehicles that promise significant monetary savings and predictability. However, the reality is that many simply can’t afford them due to the high initial cost of the lithium battery packs, which can sometimes double the price of the car.

To advance the electric vehicle industry, TAF has agreed to finance a subsidiary company with REV that will drive a fleet-focused strategy that takes the high capital cost of the battery out of the equation for electric vehicle buyers.

“We’ve heard the same thing again and again from fleet managers at all levels of government including municipal and utility stakeholders,” says Jay Giraud, REV’s CEO. “High battery prices are the only obstacle for them. Paying for the battery upfront is like buying five years of fuel right now. So like fuel, the battery needs to be a consumable, not a commodity.”

The soon-to-be named new company will own the battery pack and rent them on five and ten-year terms, bringing the price of the electric vehicle as low as par with the conventional alternative. This enables fleets to shift the focus of their current capital budgets away from conventional trucks and safely invest in electrical vehicles.

Using proprietary wireless technology developed by REV, the new company will be able to monitor its battery assets remotely, ensuring their useful life is managed and optimized and goes beyond the duration of the rental term. With REV’s combined technology and business model in place, government-owned electric vehicles can be used to store and return energy to the electricity grid without worry to long-term battery performance and life, thereby improving power reliability to homes and buildings, and reducing the chance of power failures.

Two weeks ago REV launched a new class of vehicle called the Ancillary Power Vehicle (APV). APV’s are designed to respond to wireless signals and act as energy storage infrastructure on the power grid. REV currently has several units in production, four of which are scheduled for delivery to its first APV customers, Honeywell Aerospace and the US Military. As part of an advanced micro-grid program, the APV technology suite will be deployed and tested at the Wheeler Air Force base in Hawaii this Fall.

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