UQM Technologies has been awarded a $1 million supplement to an existing U.S. Air Force contract to convert a conventional one-half ton pickup truck to all-electric operation using currently available technologies. The contract supplement provides funding for an additional vehicle testbed and for the continued development of an electronic motor/generator controller that uses high operating temperature silicon carbide power-switching modules.
The USAF expects to field test the controller in the all-electric pickup truck testbeds being built by the company and powered by lithium-ion batteries. The contract supplement increases the total contract value to $2.83 million and extends the expected completion date to Nov. 30, 2008.
Jon Lutz, UQM Technologies' director of engineering, said silicon carbide power modules offer the advantage of substantially higher operating temperatures when compared to traditional silicon modules. The funding supplement will allow UQM to continue development of a new generation of motor/generator controllers that are able to operate in harsher environments.