Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, is growing its stake in commercial vehicle electrification with the purchase of U.K.-based Vantage Power and of the electric vehicle systems division of AxleTech of Troy, Michigan. The twin acquisitions were announced on April 23.
Stating that its electrification strategy “leverages and extends current electric hybrid technologies, develops new electrified propulsion solutions, and expands system and integration level capabilities in alternative propulsion,” Allison said the acquisitions “will complement its existing capabilities to advance electrification adoption in commercial vehicles.”
Allison is not the only global transmission manufacturer to expand into the electrification of commercial vehicles; other transmission makers engaged in the growing field of electric trucks include Eaton and Germany’s ZF.
Allison said Vantage Power specializes in developing electrified propulsion and connected vehicle technologies for medium- and heavy-duty OEMs and their Tier 1 suppliers. Its primary focus is on battery technology development, vehicle integration and control systems, and vehicle connectivity and telemetry.
Vantage Power’s technologies have been deployed in a range of applications, from hybrid repower systems for buses through to grid energy storage systems. David S. Graziosi, president and CEO of Allison Transmission, remarked that, “Through this and other growth initiatives, we will continue to build upon our conventional and electric hybrid products today while differentiating ourselves in the electrification and fuel cell markets.”
Vantage Power was acquired for approximately £7 million ($9 million), according to Allison.
Allison said AxleTech designs, engineers, manufactures, sells, and services axles and integrated electrified axle solutions for on- and off-highway heavy-duty commercial vehicles. “AxleTech’s highly integrated solutions in the EV space and their presence in Allison’s end markets complement our position as a leading propulsion solutions provider,” said Graziosi.
The electric vehicle systems division of AxleTech was acquired for a transaction price of $123 million, Allison stated.
Last month, in a webinar held for reporters, AxleTech stated that it focuses on a power-agnostic, between-the-wheels electrification technology that it contends can provide integrated, in-axle systems that provide the same or better power and efficiency as conventional diesel powertrains.
At the time, AxleTech also noted that it planned to launch at this week’s ACT Expo in Long Beach, California, “the most efficient electric powertrain in the world for Class 6-8 trucks,” as well as a compact and powerful system for low-floor transit buses.