The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

New Transmission Draws Interest from EV Makers

November 23, 2010

PROVO, UT - VMT Technologies announced that two electric vehicle manufacturers -- Kentucky-based Vision Motor Cars and Korean-based Leo Motors -- have requested the use of VMT's new transmission technology for their cars.  

VMT unveiled its "Universal Transmission" earlier this month, claiming it could replace many of the current transmissions -- including "continuously variable transmissions" -- and improve gas mileage. The company is selling licensing agreements to original equipment manufacturers. VMT, a technology development and licensing company, began working on its new transmission technology in 2005. 

According to VMT, Universal Transmission functions as a positively engaged, infinitely variable transmission with an engaged neutral, and it eliminates the need for a clutch or torque converter. 

VMT Technologies CEO Richard Wilson said the Universal Transmission is particularly beneficial to the hybrid and EV market because it eliminates the need for the controller. In addition, the transmission can allow EVs to use much smaller battery configurations, resulting in cost savings for manufacturers, he added. 

Vision Motor Cars, based in Williamsburg, Ky., has submitted five years' worth of purchase orders totaling $348 million for its new line of all-electric drive delivery vans, mini-vans and sports cars. "VMT technology, coupled with our power system, will be the best EV combination in the world -- increasing efficiency and range of our trucks by 30 to 50 percent," said Vision Motor Cars President Brooks Agnew. 

VMT is also considering an offer from Leo Motors, whose purchase orders would total more than $480 million. 

Vision Motor Cars has offered to perform final assembly to make its high-efficiency motor an integral part of the lightweight design of the Universal Transmission. 

"In addition to multiple business and technology review meetings in Korea for the past year, we have also met with many U.S. companies," said Mark Stoddard, VMT managing partner. "We're entertaining offers from several of them to fulfill the orders for these electric vehicle applications, as well as many other non-electric applications in our leapfrog technology." 

VMT speculates that the Universal Transmission may be able to help automakers meet government CAFÉ requirements ahead of the 2017 deadline. 

"Our new transmission -- with an engaged neutral -- allows engines to run closer to their 'sweet spot' right out of the hole," Stoddard said. "According to electric vehicle experts, the potential benefits of the Universal Transmission technology are the reduction of the drain on the electric motor controllers and battery packs, and less power surges due to the engaged neutral." 

VMT said it expects more automakers will show interest in licensing the Universal Transmission technology for other classes, sizes and ranges of vehicle applications. 

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