A German manufacturer starts production of electric vehicles based on GAZelle NEXT vehicles

20 Sep 2019
German vehicle converter Elektro-Fahrzeuge Stuttgart (EFA-S GmbH) starts production of electric vehicles based on GAZelle NEXT for sales in Europe. EFA-S purchases GAZelle Next vehicles from Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ) and installs electric engines thereon. The first flatbed models with a tarpaulin cover based on GAZelle NEXT will celebrate their world premiere at the commercial vehicle trade fair NUFAM in Karlsruhe (Germany) from 26 to 29 September 2019. The start of supply is scheduled to the fourth quarter of this year.
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The key advantages of E35 electric vehicle based on GAZelle Next - the battery power that is twice the market standard and the latest battery technology providing power density of 170 Wh/kg - ensure an excellent range with low battery weight meaning that higher payloads can be transported.

“We are very happy working with GAZ”, adds Beutel, CEO of EFA-S, “because their vehicles are known for endurance, high functionality and low cost of ownership.”

Leonid Dolgov, Director of GAZ International underlines: “We are glad that EFA-S chose GAZelle Next for manufacturing and supply of electric vehicles based thereon. We are closely cooperating with EFA-S in order to meet customer requests to the maximum possible extent. We intend to work on this project based on the feedback from the customers, particularly that at the motor show in Karlsruhe, in order to develop sales thereof in Europe”.

Besides the standard flatbed models, EFA-S will produce customer-specific bodies for individual applications in collaboration with ORTEN Electric-Trucks. “We want to offer our customers an optimal solution based on a one-stop service. Instead of having to purchase the vehicle from one company and the body solution from another, we are focusing on one stop shopping. Here, the customer will buy a complete system from EFA-S: an environmentally-friendly vehicle offering both cutting edge technology and, at the same time, an individual logistics solution.”

Consideration of individual customer requirements applies not least to the heart of electric vehicles, namely the battery and drive. “We shall remain true to our philosophy and, with the E35, offer customers electric vehicles whose range and payload is tailored to the purpose for which they are being used”, explains Bastian Beutel. “The basic version of the vehicles is designed for a payload of around a ton and a range of 200 kilometres. This is quite sufficient for many applications in city logistics, in the community sector and for tradesmen.”

EFA-S uses a new generation of lithium iron phosphate batteries with ceramic separators for this purpose (LFP). The latest generation, which do not require nickel and cobalt either, have a power density of 170 Wh/kg. “This is over 40 percent more than the previous generation, which reached 120 Wh/kg.” EFA-S has been using the LFP standard very successfully for eight years and is one of the first users of the latest generation in Germany. “With our 80 kWh battery, we offer twice the battery power that is currently standard for electric vans.”

If required by the customer, EFA-S will install even bigger batteries. “We already have experience with batteries such as those for electric mobile homes, lifting work platforms or tunnelling machinery, which offer between 120 kWh and 244 kWh.” EFA-S electric vehicles have already driven more than five million kilometres in total, the majority of which has been in the challenging stop-start environment of the parcel and express service operated by UPS.

About EFA-S (www.efa-s.de)

ElektroFahrzeuge Stuttgart GmbH (EFA-S) specialises in the development, conversion and production of trucks run purely on electricity. The company has been majority owned by Beijing Zhonghuan Investment Management Co. Ltd. since 2016. Ltd. The Chinese partner, which specialises in the automotive sector, is the major shareholder in the listed Beijing WKW Automotive Parts and Wuzhoulong Motors among others. Beijing WKW emerged from a German/Chinese joint venture; it employs 8,000 staff and supplies automotive manufacturers in China and Europa. The bus manufacturer Wuzhoulong Motors employs 10,000 staff, manufacturing up to 30,000 buses per year, which are supplied to more than 40 countries worldwide. Wuzhoulong has specialised in buses with environmentally-friendly drives, most notably hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

To date, EFA-S has converted approximately 200 vehicles with internal combustion engines to environmentally-friendly electric vehicles and is regarded as a technological leader in this area. As long ago as 1990, co-founder, Reinhardt Ritter, converted a new VW Polo straight from the factory to high-voltage synchronous motor drive technology. From the outset, EFA-S put its faith in high-efficiency synchronous motors which have the lowest energy losses of all electric drives.

By combining these with high-voltage technology (up to 800 V) and a continuously-developed energy management system, EFA-S vehicles achieve maximum capacity for minimum power consumption. This has enabled the company to convert trucks of 18 tons permitted gross weight and a high payload to exhaust gas-free electric vehicles already. EFA-S works independently of manufacturers, converting vehicles of a wide variety of makes and models. The EFA-S conversion concept minimises the pollution which would be generated during the production of new vehicles and in operating with a conventional drive. It extends the potential uses of used vehicles and thus leads to economic deployment of quiet trucks with no exhaust gas emissions. It is cheaper to convert than to buy a comparable new electric vehicle.