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Thomson Controller Report Summary

Project ID: 729758

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Thomson Controller (The Thomson Controller is a fully pre-programmed vehicle and chassis smart control module designed to provide energy efficient and safe supervisory control to an electric vehicle powertrain.)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The rate of adoption of zero-emission buses has been slower than anticipated mainly due to concerns associated with price, availability, range, reliability and technical understanding on the part of the customer.
OEM’s have not prioritized sales of clean energy buses and customers have chosen less expensive, bus less effective technology options (hybrid).

Thomson Power provide a tangible method of retrofitting diesel buses and fleets to zero-emission electric power at mid-life, providing an accelerated path to a zero emission fleet. The Thomson Drive converts existing diesel buses to zero-emission battery electric zero tailpipe emissions and very low noise levels to offer transit agencies’ buses low operating and maintenance costs with a quarter the capital expenditure compared to new zero emission buses.

Thomson Power are looking to undertake the conversion of a bus from existing diesel power to zero emission electric power and demonstration of environmental, performance and economic benefits in existing operating environments. Thomson Power will work with a transit authority, carrying out the retrofit at their premises. The vehicle will be tested according to Thomson Power’s Vehicle Performance Test Plan. 12 months (4 seasons) of throughput, usage, and operations data will be collected from the bus, driving on one of the transit authority’s commercial routes. The results will be compared against the same data collected from a “control bus”: a standard, non-retrofitted, diesel bus operating the same/similar bus route. The aim is to collect research data and test the benefits of the technology to support commercial adoption.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the feasibility study, Thomson Power devised and approved a product development plan, clearly identifying the key tasks to be completed in order to ensure and demonstrate that their product meets all requirements for end users and potential customers. Thomson Power entered negotiations with public transit authorities and larger bus operators to demonstrate the technology with one of them during the planned innovation project. These included Transport for Ireland (Ireland), Transport for London (UK), Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (UK), Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (Germany), Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (Germany) and Schiaffini Travel (Italy).

In addition to setting a clear work plan, Thomson Power also strategized an effective route to market by developing a staged approach to market with an evolving business model to support the Company's growth. The market was addressed in detail (size, customers, regulations, etc.) and financial projections were also developed.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Thomson Power has developed advanced energy efficiency optimization software, electric drive and vehicle-to-grid technology. These advanced, adaptive energy efficiency optimization protocols eliminate driver behaviour as a variable. The market hotspot and initial focus is mid-life repower of municipal transit fleets allowing fleet managers to easily trade off marginally higher capital costs for significant reductions in operating expenses. The technology is being provided as an integrated solution initially, as part of the Thomson Drive, an electric powertrain leveraging the Company’s energy saving adaptive controller, which can be retrofitted into existing diesel buses, turning them into electric, low energy consumption, zero-emission and quiet vehicles at a quarter the cost of acquiring new generation buses or other heavy-duty vehicles.

The project is a crucial step towards enabling Thomson Power to empower the transport sector with their new high-quality, innovative and highly disruptive service. The service will offer public and private transit agencies across the world, bus retrofitting for their existing diesel fleets, leveraging and incredibly energy-efficient electric powertrain.

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