Clarience starts new initiative to boost range of commercial EVs

SOUTHFIELD—Clarience Technologies, formerly Truck-Lite, announced a new company-wide initiative to extend the range of electric vehicles by reducing the battery draw of EV lighting.

Called A2Z for e-Mobility, the initiative aims to bring EV-optimized LED lighting to trucks, trailers, and truck bodies sold under the Truck-Lite brand, though company officials say they expect the initiative will result in a broader set of energy-efficient solutions extending beyond LED lighting.

“We expect commercial fleets to seek every opportunity possible to extend the range of electric vehicles,” said Paul Sniegocki, Clarience Technologies executive vice president and CTO. “A2Z for e-Mobility represents how we are delivering more efficient solutions by applying modern-day technologies to help extend vehicle range.”

Calrience supplies electronic advanced telematics, LED lighting and safety components for transportation, and is the parent company of several companies that serve the commercial transportation market, including Truck-Lite, Ecco, Road Ready telematics and Davco filtration systems.

Although the first electric-powered commercial trucks arriving next year are expected to have an average range around 250 to 300 miles per charge, the degree to which outside factors will impact range remains uncertain. Many factors reduce vehicle range, including temperature, cargo weight, or the power draw required by the vehicle body or trailer.

A2Z for e-Mobility was designed to reduce loads that draw power from an electric vehicle battery. Clarience Technologies engineers were challenged to find new ways to reduce amp draw from electric lighting systems. Getting to as close to zero as possible inspired the name of this initiative—A2Z is short for “Amps to Zero”—and has driven focus on its product development.

Through advanced power management strategies, company engineers developed improved lighting electronics that reduced energy waste, while optics engineers looked at ways to improve photometric performance though reflector design and lens optics. In the end, A2Z for e-Mobility has already led to new designs that deliver a 50 percent or greater reduction in current amp draw.

Efficiency opportunities coming from A2Z for e-Mobility have been introduced first at Truck-Lite, who is now offering a series of more energy-efficient trailer and step van body lighting packages optimized for EVs.

Though A2Z for e-Mobility is already delivering results, Clarience Technologies sees this initiative as only in its infancy as its engineers continue exploring further efficiency opportunities.

The company is now looking at ways to optimize overall trailer, body and truck loads, including how the components can best be optimized with other electric components as well as the wiring harness connecting them. They are also using their expertise in connected technologies to develop smart lighting designed to integrate better with trailer, body or truck OEMs. This means a truck or trailer will be able to automatically adjust amp draw from LED lights to preserve its electric battery in certain scenarios.

The central premise of A2Z is to conserve energy in the vehicle’s battery and help the vehicle propel itself forward,” Sniegocki said. “With electrification coming to virtually every form of transportation, innovations that result from the A2Z initiative stand to benefit customers served by the entire Clarience Technologies family of companies.”

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