Allison Transmission has  announced one of the biggest shakeups in the company’s century long history, revealing  that it has acquired the electric vehicle systems division of both  Vantage Power and AxleTech which the company famous for its automatic transmissions believes will enable it to stay a player in the commercial vehicle driveline business as the landscape changes in coming years.

Vantage Power is a specialist developer of  electrified propulsion and connected vehicle technologies for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. Vantage Power’s work includes battery technology development, vehicle integration and vehicle control systems. Allison says  that Vantage Power’s technologies have been deployed in a wide range of applications, including complete electric hybrid repower systems for buses-to-grid energy storage.

Meanwhile Allison says that AxleTech designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services axles and integrated electrified axles for on- and off-highway heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

“Vantage Power’s entrepreneurial spirit and technological advancements complement our strategic priorities to meet and exceed our customers’ demands,” says David S. Graziosi, President and CEO of Allison Transmission. “AxleTech’s highly integrated solutions in the EV space and their presence in Allison’s end markets complement our position as a leading propulsion solutions provider.

David Graziosi, president and CEO of Allison Transmission, says both acquisitions align with Allison’s “leading innovator position” in propulsion technology, and complement its existing capabilities to advance electrification adoption in commercial vehicles.

“Through this and other growth initiatives, we will continue to build upon our conventional and electric hybrid products today while differentiating ourselves in the electrification and fuel cell markets,” he said

In the wake of Allison’s announcement that it had acquired two specialist electric propulsion companies, the automatic transmission specialist  has announced it has integratedan AXE Series electric powertrain in one of Peterbilt’s Model 579EV electric Class 8 truck for evaluation and testing.

Allison is claiming the truck now features 1,475 horsepower of 1,100 kilowatts of power, delivering what it believes is industry-leading performance and efficiency

The company statement said that amidst the global pursuit of electrification in the commercial vehicle industry, it has announced the development of highly efficient and powerful axles for electric vehicles.

The company’s new AXE Series propulsion system, which have come into the Allison portfolio on the back of the Axle Tech acquisition will deliver viable, industry-changing electric solutions for the market.

Allison launched the technology and made the Peterbilt announcement   at the Advanced Clean Technology Expo in Long Beach, California, last week.

“Allison is pleased to be building upon its legacy of innovation and believe this product will be a significant step in taking the industry to the next level of electrification and we value this opportunity to work with an industry leader,” said Mr. Graziosi,

At the same Expo, Allison also announced a collaboration with bus maker Alexander Dennis aimed at bolstering the electrification of transit buses.

The companies announced that they are working together to develop efficient, powerful electric buses.

The companies say that the first step in the strategic alliance is Allison’s new ABE Series electric powertrain systems for low-floor bus applications ( again acquired through the acquisition of Axle Tech).

The ABE Series electric powertrain systems will be fitted into Alexander Dennis’ interurban and commuter Enviro500 3-axle double decker buses as part of its launch order for the Foothill Transit in North America.

Allison says the buses, which have the same footprint as a conventional single-decker bus, can carry up to 86 seated passengers and provide superior handling while delivering a quiet and smooth zero-emission ride.

“Allison has a long history with the bus and transit market utilizing our electric hybrid system. This is the next evolution of electrification in this market, and we are pleased to meet the needs and expectations of our customers,” said Mr. Graziosi.

President of  Alexander Dennis Robert Davey said  the company was delighted to collaborate with Allison on its first electric double decker order in North America.

“As the world’s largest double decker bus manufacturer, we see an increasing demand for electric buses, which combines the same high-passenger capacity and outstanding comfort that our vehicles are renowned for, with zero-emission technology. Partnering with Allison, and leveraging their technology expertise, is helping us achieve this goal,” he said