In the lead-up to the production of its first electric car, the Trident, Arizona-based Zero Electric Vehicles, Inc. has just unveiled its rolling electric passenger vehicle chassis, which it claims will have “proprietary energy capture technologies to maximize vehicle range.”
Although very few details are available on the product at this point, Zero Electric Vehicles, Inc. (ZEV — not to be confused with Zero Labs, which focuses on EV conversions for classic cars) is clearly taking aim at the perceived lack of range for current production models of electric vehicles with its statement that “range improvements have lagged many of the forthcoming enhancements to EVs,” and the company is claiming that the team is looking to “rapidly deliver technologies that focus on providing more sustainable solutions to an evolving electric vehicle market.” Again, not a whole lot of details are available to support that statement, which seems to be the focus of just about every new electric vehicle under development.
“ZEV’s modular, and more importantly efficient, platform enables longer range without introducing new overhead costs per vehicle. These efficiencies are optimized in each ZEV chassis’ to the customer required range. The second barrier relates to overall charge times (kW charging relating to periodic degradation). ZEV’s engineering and software teams have developed intellectual property to strike the perfect thermal balance during high charge cycles using current production battery technologies.”
However, with the announcement of the completed rolling chassis, ZEV is one step closer to building out the company’s Trident concept car into a marketable and production-ready electric vehicle, saying that the company’s engineering team “has constructed functional prototypes of proprietary energy capture devices, coupled with an advanced drivetrain control system based on the company’s intellectual property” and has integrated them into the new chassis. According to ZEV, the prototype modular chassis was begun in early October 2020 and completed mid-December 2020, and was shown to investors on December 14th.
The only specs released for the ZEV chassis so far are rather minimal:
- 4,000–7,000 lbs GVWR
- Dual Motor powertrain
- Dynamic Front & Rear Motor Control
- Multi-Variant Battery Configuration
- Range: 400–600 Miles Estimated EPA
- Reservations: January 2021
- Production: Q3 of 2021
- H2 Fuel Cell Option: Q1 2023
ZEV is also working on a “distributed manufacturing” model, which it claims will enable manufacturing on a “wider scale:”
“For example, a community with intent of producing a specific vehicle platform lacking traditional labor force would be constrained to a smaller manufacturing plant, resulting in low but specific volume production for their preferred market. Benefits from such facilities are lower labor costs, more efficient and manageable manufacturing lines, higher levels of QC, and offer sub-assembly lines for modular blueprint availability. Variable facilities, not owned by ZEV, have the ability to therefore license such manufacturing grid models and generate operational facilities that support local community economies.”
The company also makes claims for further EV efficiency gains, as well as a “configurable” and “extensible” battery system for its Trident model:
“ZEV’s high voltage power system minimizes thermal loss, while maximizing motor and drive ratio efficiencies for both city and highway speeds. The Trident SUV’s configurable battery system will offer the widest mileage range of any vehicle manufacturer. ZEV’s extensible battery system will allow customers to extend range without buying a new vehicle, plug n’ play modules are installed during service call.”
As with most marketing materials, it’s best to take all of this with a grain of sustainably harvested fair trade sea salt, but it may be that ZEV is a company worth keeping an eye on over the next few years.
For more info, see ZeroEVCorp.com.