Fallbrook Technologies (Fallbrook) and Ningbo Shentong Group (Shentong), a Tier 1 automotive supplier to the Chinese automotive industry, have signed a joint venture agreement to develop and market Fallbrook's NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmissions for electric-powered passenger cars and light trucks in China and abroad. The joint venture, named "Shentong Fallbrook CVT Company, Ltd.," will operate out of Yuyao, Zhejiang province, China.
The joint venture will initially focus on developing the market for Fallbrook's NuVinci CVP transmissions and electric vehicle drivetrain systems in China as well as to develop the supply base and fabrication processes as well as the know-how to manufacture those products, including delivering prototypes and small production runs to Fallbrook. Over time, the joint venture will begin manufacturing, marketing and selling affordable NuVinci CVP transmissions and other drivetrain components to vehicle manufacturers in China and abroad.
"China is moving aggressively to support the development of electric vehicles," says Lifeng Fang, General Manager of Shentong. "Shentong has already invested in alternative energies and has a considerable interest in supplying components for this new market segment. We are committed to developing the capabilities to develop and manufacture Fallbrook's NuVinci CVP transmissions to serve the Chinese and export electric vehicle markets."
"Fallbrook's NuVinci CVP technology provides enhanced performance for light electric vehicles in areas such as acceleration capabilities and extended vehicle range, while, at the same time, extending battery life," says William G. Klehm III, Fallbrook's Chairman and CEO. "We are committed to establishing local application and manufacturing capabilities in China. We are proud to be entering this partnership with Shentong, which was facilitated through our ongoing relationship with Advanced Strategic Leadership (ASL) Automobile Science & Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd and we're excited for the potential this joint venture holds."
Fallbrook has a successful history of extending the capabilities of light electric vehicles. Unlike direct drive transmissions that depend upon high performance motors and power-electronics, the NuVinci CVP uses a set of rotating and tilting balls positioned between the input and output components of the transmission that tilt to vary the speed ratio of the transmission. The overall functionality of the vehicle is improved through the global management of electrical energy using the transmission to manage current levels and usage. As a result, the NuVinci CVP offers a seamless and continuous transition to any ratio, enabling electric vehicle drivetrains to achieve more torque for quick starts with less current draw, and thus improve battery life and vehicle range.