Alcoa AFL Automotive and Maxwell Technologies announced today that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the development of a cold start system for the commercial transportation market. The companies will incorporate Maxwell’s BOOSTCAP(R) ultracapacitors with AFL’s power management system to develop an efficient engine starting system.
“This phase will focus on the meshing of Alcoa’s and Maxwell’s technologies to produce the cold start system, with a goal of producing a system ready for testing and evaluation by truck OEMs by the end of the first quarter 2007,” said Allen Zwierzchowski, President, Worldwide Components AFL Automotive.
“AFL and Maxwell have been interacting technically for some time, and we have identified cold starting for commercial trucks as a significant market opportunity that the companies have agreed to address through a formal collaboration,” said. Dr. Richard Balanson, Maxwell’s president and chief executive officer.
“AFL is a highly respected Tier 1 supplier to the automotive and commercial vehicle industries. Their electronic systems design expertise, manufacturing resources and strong worldwide contacts with auto and truck OEMs complement Maxwell’s capabilities as a leading provider of energy storage and power delivery solutions,” Balanson continued.
Helps save fuel and emissions; reduces costs to fleet owners
Increasing environmental regulations preclude the ability of operators to allow their trucks to run all night. More than 20 states have enacted or are proposing regulations that prohibit running diesel truck engines overnight to power so-called “hotel loads” – heating, cooling, entertainment and other driver comfort feature. Running those loads on battery power all night can leave the batteries with insufficient power to start the vehicle in the morning, especially in cold weather. “With the AFL-Maxwell cold starting system, the ultracapacitor pack would provide what amounts to an on-board jump-start capability,” Zwierzchowski explained.
“In addition, fleet owners incur significant costs due to vehicle downtime and jump-starting stranded trucks. Incorporating ultracapacitors to relieve batteries of demanding short-duration, high-current loads, such as cold starting, will improve overall system performance and reliability, extend battery life, and reduce battery maintenance and replacement costs,” Zwierzchowski said.
About AFL Automotive
AFL Automotive, an Alcoa business, is a world leader in the design, development and production of high quality electrical and electronic distribution systems for personal and commercial vehicles, working with vehicle manufacturers and their sub-suppliers in the major automotive centers in China, Japan, Asia, Europe and the United States. AFL Automotive has more than 60 locations in 11 countries and 35,000 associates around the world focused on its customers.
About Maxwell Technologies
Maxwell is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative, cost-effective energy storage and power delivery solutions. Our BOOSTCAP(R) ultracapacitor cells and multi-cell modules and POWERCACHE(R) backup power systems provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial electronics, transportation and telecommunications. Our CONDIS(R) high-voltage grading and coupling capacitors help to ensure the safety and reliability of electric utility infrastructure and other applications involving transport, distribution and measurement of high-voltage electrical energy. Our radiation-mitigated microelectronic products include power modules, memory modules and single board computers that incorporate powerful commercial silicon for superior performance and high reliability in aerospace applications.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the world’s leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa’s businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 129,000 employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.