Tue, Mar 29, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Delta teams up to develop extended-range electric bus

By Jason Tan  /  Staff reporter

Tapping into the booming electric vehicle sector, a consortium led by Delta Electronics Inc (台達電) yesterday said it would spend NT$1 billion (US$34 million) on research and development to produce Taiwan’s first extended-range electric buses by the first half of 2013.

Delta, the world’s top supplier of switching power supplies, has expanded into the electric vehicle market, and together with its partners aims to manufacture extended-range power systems next year, followed by the mass production of vehicles by 2013, according to a statement.

Delta’s collaborators include the Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院) and the government-funded Automotive Research and Testing Center (車輛研究測試中心), among others.

If the consortium’s buses start commercial operation in 2013, by 2015 they would constitute 15 percent of the 2,200 buses produced annually in Taiwan, the statement said.

According to Wu Ming-ji (吳明機), director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ department of industrial technology, the majority of buses produced nationwide currently rely on propulsion technologies from overseas or have major power-train parts imported from abroad.

The reliance on imported technologies and parts has held back the development of the nation’s bus manufacturing industry, the group said, and it intends to make a breakthrough and develop locally built vehicles with local technologies.

The so-called “extended-range” concept means that there is an additional power system embedded in each vehicle. The system will be either gasoline or diesel-powered and propel the bus when the electricity-powered battery is running low.

The conventional power source will complement the electric batteries, which are still expensive.

Delta vice president Simon Chang (張訓海) said in the statement that such vehicles are expected to increase efficiency by 40 percent and reduce diesel usage by 30 liters a day

Delta CEO Yancey Hai (海英俊) said last month that the company has started to provide automakers in the US, Europe and Japan with electric power supply components that it developed on its own.

Hai said the supply volumes are expected to climb in 2013 and contribute about NT$10 billion a year to the company’s total revenue within the next three to five years.

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