Zytek, a U.K.-based supplier of electric vehicle drivetrains, will be developing a 70kW powertrain for a new electric commercial vehicle by Navistar and Modec.

Navistar is in the final states of approving a joint venture with Modec of the United Kingdom to produce and sell electric Class 2c-3 commercial vehicles in North, Central and South America. This zero emission all-electric delivery vehicle would primarily be used by drivers for local deliveries that involve stop and go driving.

The new venture is made possible through a $39 million U.S. government grant, which is part of an unprecedented $2.4 billion investment in 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects, funded through the Recovery Act.

The new vehicle will use a 70kw, 300Nm version of Zytek's E-Drive, which is also available in 55kW 120Nm and 55kW 160Nm versions. The grant will help fund the development, validation and deployment of an initial batch of 400 vehicles during 2010. Gross Vehicle Weight will be 12,100 pounds, and the latest lithium ion batteries will provide a range exceeding 100 miles.

"A thoroughly engineered vehicle will bring substantial fuel savings, combined with high productivity, near silent operation and very low maintenance costs," said Steve Tremble, Zytek's sales and marketing director. "E-Drive allows vehicle manufacturers to enter this market quickly with an electric drivetrain that provides the interfaces and functionality required to meet the most demanding technical and customer requirements."