Detroit’s Inventev and Ann Arbor’s New Eagle Agree to Joint EV Commercial Van Development

Ford Transit-based Proof of Concept EV to be Demonstrated at NAIAS AutoMobili-D

DETROIT, Jan. 5, 2017: Inventev and New Eagle have agreed to mutually pursue the conversion and sale of all-electric-drive full-size commercial vans. Inventev will serve as the up fitter and distributor, while New Eagle will provide the core propulsion system and controls. The New Eagle-powered proof of concept van will be demonstrated with Inventev in AutoMobili-D during the press and industry preview days of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) from Jan 9-12.

The companies anticipate technology development to occur in Southeast Michigan between Ann Arbor and Detroit. Inventev was a 2016 recipient of a $500,000 Department of Energy ARPA-E Agency grant, and was paired with a Michigan $50,000 MATch Energy Grant to support proof of concept of its proprietary plug-in hybrid medium duty truck technology. New Eagle is a sub-recipient of the grant and key supplier to the ongoing effort for key components, control systems and physical vehicle integration.

Separate from the grant, the two companies see synergy for near-term development of an EV commercial van and a faster-to-market opportunity. If several enablers fall into place, production and sale is targeted to begin during the 2018 model year. Inventev will provide a focus on commercial fleet customer requirements, supply chain and manufacturing, while New Eagle performs core drive system design and development. While still in early stages of development, the two companies see potential job creation and retention in Michigan, numbering over one hundred, as a direct result of the project.

“The environment to support commercial truck electrification has been changing rapidly at the federal, state and municipal levels," said Dave Stenson, founder & CEO of Inventev. "We feel this near-term product offering will address specialty fleet customer needs and be complementary to Inventev’s core technology ‘The Energy SWAT Truck’ that will develop in parallel.”

A specific van model has not been finalized for production, but several OEMs offer products that are well-suited for the up-fit. Order process, logistics and up-fit accommodation are factors in the decision.

“Our approach to EV and hybrid technology development is quite modular and adaptable to various vehicle models,” said Rich Swortzel, president of New Eagle. “We first integrated the EV van proof of concept system on a Ford Transit which is a strong candidate for the next stage of development.”

Both companies see supporting trends in the industry and marketplace toward electrification. This includes battery development, environmental policy and declared intent by public and private fleets to operate with lower emissions and less dependency on higher-cost carbon-based fuels such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane.

“The numbers are starting to add up to real scale for an up-fit approach to address the all-electric demand in very specific applications,” concluded Stenson.

About Inventev LLC: Inventev is a Detroit-based startup with patented technology to create medium duty commercial truck electrification solutions. The leadership team is rooted in decades of automotive product strategy, development and engineering and has won a $500,000 U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E grant and related $50,000 Michigan MATch Energy grant among other awards. The company seeks to establish a Detroit Advanced Vehicle Integration Center (DAVIC) in the city. The systems Inventev develops are targeted for up-fit to truck chassis from the major automotive OEMs to satisfy specific needs of commercial fleet customers with features and lower total cost of ownership. (http://inventev.com)

About New Eagle: Based in Ann Arbor, New Eagle works alongside its customers to help them take their ideas from concept, to prototype, to production. Using the MotoHawk® and Raptor® model-based development tools, New Eagle creates custom embedded software that’s integrated onto proven hardware.  This allows customers to take their product to market quickly. The mechatronic applications we develop—autonomous, vehicle control, alternative fuel engine control, hydraulics, and electric and hybrid systems—are used in a variety of industries such as on-highway vehicles, work trucks, construction, mining, rail, marine, material handling, power generation, and military. (http://neweagle.net)

Radio Podcast: Opportunity Detroit with Dave Stenson

Opportunity Detroit: WJR

Radio Podcast: December 16, 2106

Inventev CEO gets pitch meeting with Department of Energy chief

Source: Crains Detroit Business

September 16, 2016.: Dave Stenson hit the entrepreneurial jackpot Friday afternoon.

The founder and CEO of Inventev LLC, a TechTown Detroit tenant, got to make a half-hour slide presentation of his technology and market opportunity to Ernest Moniz, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Stenson's presentation came less than three weeks after he applied to the DOE for a $4.5 million grant to help fund a proposed project he is calling the Detroit Advanced Vehicle Integration Center, which would help him take his company to market and serve as a home for software developers and other startups breaking into the automotive market.

Inventev is in the prototype stage and wants to sell after-market transmissions and battery packs to provide work trucks with job-site energy generation.

The DOE is expected to announce whether it has approved the proposal next spring.

"I heard the secretary was coming a month ago. I feel blessed, if you want to use the word, for the chance to explain the concept and tell him about our team," said Stenson, who formerly was the executive director of General Motors Co.'s performance division and chief technical officer with Hummer.

Moniz was in town for the day for a series of meetings and events. In the morning, he attended the groundbreaking for a 10-acre solar-array project DTE Energy is building on a 10-acre parcel of land in Detroit, at the site of the former O'Shea Park near I-96 and Greenfield Road.

Then came a clean-energy roundtable discussion at NextEnergy, a closed-to-the-media meeting that was attended by about 20, including representatives of the city, utility companies and private businesses to discuss projects and issues of the day.

Moniz then was given a tour of what NextEnergy bills as the NextHome, a small model house built in the parking lot that serves as a test bed for various projects, including one by Nextek Power Systems, a NextEnergy tenant that installs direct-current power systems in homes and businesses, to replace more expensive alternative-current systems.

Then came the meeting with Stenson in NextEnergy's lobby.

Moniz said he wanted to meet with Stenson because of the DOE's ARPA-E program, or Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which was modeled after the Department of Defense's DARPA program for high-risk, high-reward research.

In January, Inventev received an ARPA-E grant of $500,000 to help commercialize its technology, which was awarded its first patent in April. That grant came with a $50,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and $200,000 in in-kind contributions from various businesses and partners.

"Through 2015, about 200 ARPA-E projects had been completed, all with a tech-to-market component. Of those, 36 companies were formed and 10 products are on the market," Moniz said. "In this business, that's a good record."

At 2:30 p.m., Moniz and his staff left NextEnergy for a visit to the Ford Rouge plant.

"They're going to let me drive an F-150 aluminum truck," Moniz said. "That ought to be interesting, since I haven't driven in a couple years."

50 startup companies to display mobile tech at Detroit auto show

Source: Crains Detroit Business

December 06, 2016 3:00 p.m.: The North American International Auto Show announced Tuesday that nearly 50 startup companies will exhibit mobility technologies at the show in January.

The group is part of the NAIAS' AutoMobili-D showcase, which runs during media and industry preview week, Jan. 8-12, at Cobo Center in Detroit. Detroit-based Inventev LLC and Ann Arbor-based Splitting Fares Inc., doing business as SPLT, are the only locally headquartered startups participating in the program.

Inventev is developing and marketing a mobile power-generation system for work trucks and is seeking to open a vehicle development center in the city of Detroit. SPLT developed an app to create a community for carpooling.

The rest are from around the U.S. and Canada, Dubai, London, Portugal and elsewhere, NAIAS said in a news release.

These startups will showcase technologies ranging from "artificial intelligence and machine learning, to autonomous and connected platforms to infrastructure communications and security applications," the release said.

Detroit-based Techstars Mobility, an accelerator designed to bring startups to Detroit, assembled the list of startups for the program.

"These companies are fueling the innovation that is part of the massive change of the automotive industry shift to the mobility industry," Ted Serbinski, managing director of Techstars Mobility, said in a statement. "They recognize the importance of being present at the center of the automotive industry: Detroit."

General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Co. along with IBM Corp., Magna, Schaeffler and ZF Group will be a part of AutoMobili-D. The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. are also partners of the event.

Inventev seeks backers to open Detroit center

Source: Crains Detroit Business

 August 14, 2016. Inventev LLC, a TechTown Detroit tenant that is developing and marketing a mobile power-generation system for work trucks, is seeking financial partners for its quest to open a vehicle development center in Detroit.

The startup is submitting a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy on Aug. 29 for the plan, which it is calling the Detroit Advanced Vehicle Integration Center. Inventev is seeking a $4.5 million grant but needs matching support from new equity partners, project funding, in-kind support, economic development incentives or other sources.

Dave Stenson, Inventev's founder and CEO, said the company would use the center to take its product to market, but also serve as a home for software developers and other startups breaking into the automotive market.

"We think establishing a vehicle development hub downtown would be unique," Stenson said. "We hope it could start out small and expand into a large development space for others."

If Inventev achieves its matching support, the DOE would notify the company whether it is awarding the grant in spring 2017. It received a $500,000 DOE grant in January.

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