EREV Developer ALTe to Establish Joint Venture with China’s Henan Benma
Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, ALTe Powertrain Technologies—developer of a range-extended plug-in electric hybrid vehicle powertrain for light-duty commercial fleet vehicle applications—now joins a growing line of automotive firms to have sought and found a savior in China.
Struggling ALTe will establish a joint venture with China’s Henan Benma Company.
Henan Benma will produce up to 10,000 commercial vehicles per year powered exclusively by plug-in hybrid systems engineered by ALTe. This effectively means that ALTe will no longer be an assembler of finished automobiles, but rather a supplier of technology.
ALTe initially intended to retrofit existing vehicles (mainly Ford trucks and vans) with its PHEV system. ALTe even considered the use of “gliders” later on down the line, but this deal with Henan Benma means that Ford is out and that ALTe-powered vehicles almost surely won’t be available in the US.
The JV will kick off production with an extnded-range 3-ton commercial truck. That will be followed by a medium-sized bus.
Henan Benma currently produces 20 different commercial vehicles for sale only in China. Its total production capacity is 300,000 vehicles per year.