NORTH HILLS, CA – Green Fleet editors had an opportunity to check out the latest technology from EVAOS (Electric Vehicle Add-On Systems) — a hybrid-electric version of the Ford F-150.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup company — founded by Don Matheson, former Tesla Motors director of engineering operations — is conducting demonstrations of its new system for fleet operators in the Los Angeles area this week as part of its Green Fleet Demo Tour. The pre-production model was on site Sept. 24-26 at the Galpin Ford dealership in North Hills, Calif.
Designed to double the fuel mileage of a regular gasoline-powered model while providing the power and towing capability of a diesel truck, vehicles equipped with the add-on system can achieve 45 mpg and travel up to 900 miles on a single tank of gasoline — positioning it to meet CAFE requirements through 2016 and beyond, according to the company.
EVAOS’ approach leaves the original engine, transmission, and electronic control system (ECM) unmodified. “We don’t touch the OEM engine and transmission,” according to Darrell Musick, VP of sales and marketing.
The company’s hybrid-electric system allows a straightforward installation that will be handled by any number of truck outfitters, upfitters, dealers, service shops, and fleet maintenance departments trained and certified by EVAOS. Basic installation will take about eight hours and doesn’t require any specialized tools, Musick said.
The EVAOS EV add-on system will be available initially for F-150, F-250, and F-350 Ford pickup trucks; however, the system’s interchangeability makes it flexible enough to work with any OEM. Matheson said the F-150 was selected for the initial model based on its proven sales record in the U.S. and because a hybrid version wasn’t currently offered in Ford’s truck lineup.
Inside, a flip-up touchscreen tablet allows drivers to select one of the vehicle’s multi-modes (hybrid, all-electric, ICE). The multiple operating modes provide fleets “the best of all worlds,” Musick said. “The operator selects the mode which best meets the needs of a given route.”
Outside, three electrical outlets (a 110V, 220V, and 12V USB port) are located on the side of the box that contains the batteries. All outlets are lockable and include a metal cover. The battery pack can be recharged from any Level 2 EV charging station or while in operation, with regenerative braking available. The vehicle also has a Re-Gen Mode that allows the battery to be recharged while driving.
The EVAOS system can be installed on the F-150, F-250, and F-350 models, starting at $38,000.
The company is planning to build six to eight units and is so far working with several fleets in California.
By Grace Suizo, photos by Lauren Fletcher