AVEVAI, a Singapore-based tech company, launched its range of IONA electric light commercial vehicles (e-LCVs) at the 5th Guangzhou International Electric Vehicles Show in China.
Its first two models – in van and truck configurations – are designed specifically for use by delivery and service businesses, use cutting-edge supercapacitor battery hybrid technology to achieve an all-electric range of 330km (205 miles) for the IONA Van and 300km (186 miles) for the IONA Truck – up to 40% more than comparable e-LCVs. Supercapacitors are able to accept and deploy electrical charge much faster than conventional batteries, and are less affected by charge and discharge cycles, thereby giving them a longer life.
The graphene-infused supercapacitor technology used by AVEVAI in its IONA models is developed by Singapore-based e-SYNERGY, a provider of environmentally-friendly smart batteries and energy management systems. This system also extends the optimal productive life of the batteries, compared with existing products on the market. In addition to lowering the total cost of ownership, a factory warranty of five years or 200,000km (whichever comes first) ensures that no further battery-related expenses are incurred by the vehicle owner or operator.
Vehicle down-time is also reduced with fewer charging intervals and optimal charging versatility. A 22kW AC charging station will fully charge the IONA Truck in two hours, while the IONA Van takes less than four hours to be fully charged via a fast-charging terminal. Standard 220v charging is also available. The enhanced durability and performance of the batteries is assured in extreme weather conditions, enabling battery operation in temperatures as low as -40oC and as high as +70oC.
Designed by AVEVAI in Singapore, the IONA is built on a chassis developed in an R&D facility in Stuttgart, Germany, in cooperation with Daimler and Foton. The development process incorporates all performance and safety related elements, from brakes, bearings, drive and control systems, as well as insulation and NVH, to achieve the highest international standards for quality and meet stringent European safety regulations.
AVEVAI was founded in response to the growing demand from small- and medium-sized businesses for low-cost, flexible e-LCVs, driven by the growth of e-commerce. Featuring beautiful exterior and interior styling, the first two IONA models can be configured to exact customer requirements, with short and long wheel-base versions capable of carrying a payload of up to 2,500kg and as much as 18m3 of cargo.
The battery performance of the IONA range, proven under NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) testing, is the result of investment by AVEVAI and partner company e-SYNERGY in Singapore to research and develop innovative graphene-infused supercapacitor technology. IONA electric vehicles are powered by a revolutionary Graphene Energy Management System (GEMS) that can be customised for use in any electric vehicle, to enhance their performance and range and maximise the productive life of the battery.
The patented GEMS technology, which AVEVAI and e-SYNERGY plan to market in 2019, uses graphene-infused supercapacitors with very low internal resistance. Controlled by a proprietary smart algorithm, GEMS allows charging and discharging cycles to run in nanoseconds and the entire vehicle electrical system to store and distribute energy more efficiently and with greater flexibility. The system can also harness and utilise up to 85% of energy captured through regenerative braking, which contributes to a substantial extension in range of up to 40% in real-life road tests.
IONA is currently the only commercial electric vehicle powered by the innovative supercapacitor technology. Order books for the ground-breaking models are already open for sales and pre-orders, depending on the market. IONA models will be distributed directly by AVEVAI, with first deliveries from February 2019 and deliveries to other markets, including Europe and the USA, from May 2019.
IONA models provide passenger vehicle-levels of comfort rarely provided the e-LCV segment, including advanced smartphone connectivity. A 10.1-inch Android-based touchscreen provides access to a range of class-leading connected features, including GPS and driving records, calendar and weather updates, state of battery charge and energy consumption.
The interface also supports integration with smart supply chain and fleet management systems. The efficiency of the energy management system means that operators receive the accurate insight they need to make informed decisions about fleet utilisation and optimal route planning.
A manufacturing partnership has been agreed with China Foton Motor Co., Ltd. to build the vehicles at the FOTON facilities in Shangdong, China, ensuring the highest levels of build quality. With the factory and test drive facilities already established, orders are being taken immediately with minimal build time.
The AVEVAI company name is formed from the words ‘Autonomous Vehicle; Electric Vehicle; Artificial Intelligence’, hinting at future developments planned in other key mobility-focussed technologies. Partnerships with specialist automotive and technology partners will enable the fast development of innovative logistics software, including AI machine-learning and driverless technology for its next generation of products.