Canadian Manufacturing

Micro Bird acquires controlling interest in EV drivetrain integrator

Ecotuned has successfully developed an EV drivetrain for light and medium duty applications.

August 13, 2021  by CM Staff

Micro Bird G5 electric minibus with Ecotuned (CNW Group/Girardin Autobus Inc)

DRUMMONDVILLE — Micro Bird Holdings (Micro Bird), a Blue Bird and Girardin joint venture and North American company involved in the Type A school bus market, has acquired a controlling interest in the EV drivetrain integrator and supplier GranTuned Automobiles (Ecotuned). This acquisition better positions Micro Bird for growth in the light and medium duty EV market by bringing core electrification-expertise and value to both Micro Bird and the broader Blue Bird Corporation.

“Over the years, Micro Bird has evaluated many up-and-coming EV companies and found in Ecotuned a more optimized, efficient and technologically-advanced solution that is faster to install, due to its patented cradle system, and does not compromise on safety and performance,” said Steve Girardin, president of Micro Bird.

Ecotuned has successfully developed an EV drivetrain for light and medium duty applications. Its energy-efficient EV solution comes predominantly from a proprietary two-speed EV transmission, battery management systems (BMS) as well as advanced algorithms, which allow for a smaller electric motor, less batteries and more useful payload. The Ecotuned drivetrain comes standard with Level 2 and 3 charging and is V2G capable.

The transaction is effective Thursday August 12, 2021, and all three founding members will continue to be shareholders and play a role in the evolution of the company. “Micro Bird was one of our first customers and we have enjoyed a very close partnership and collaboration,” said Andy Ta, Ecotuned Founder. “We look forward to working even closer together and see Ecotuned achieve its full potential.”

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The Micro Bird and Ecotuned partnership has achieved over 80% market share in the school bus segment over the last twelve months.

In addition to the school bus segment, Micro Bird also plans to deploy its Micro Bird G5 with Ecotuned EV powertrain in the commercial bus segment; more details to come soon. Ecotuned also plans to expand its EV powertrains in class 3 to 7 segments across various vocations.

“We are very excited about this highly-strategic acquisition,” said Phil Horlock, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Bird Corporation. “This acquisition reinforces our leadership in the EV school bus market while positioning Micro Bird and Blue Bird for significant growth in revenue, profitability and value for our shareholders. We look forward to utilizing Ecotuned’s significant EV capabilities within Blue Bird.”


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