Dana Announces Partnerships for Electric Vehicles

Dana's Steve Slesinski announces the company's new partnerships
Dana Director of Product Planning Steve Slesinski announces the company's new partnerships. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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ATLANTA — Dana Inc. announced three partnerships intended to advance its electrified powertrain business, including one with an unidentified major North American commercial-vehicle manufacturer to supply complete e-powertrain systems for a medium-duty vehicle program beginning next year.

Separately, Dana has also secured a new e-powertrain development project with a leading truck manufacturer it did not identify.

At the same time, Dana, in collaboration with Lonestar Specialty Vehicles, launched a fully electrified terminal tractor.

The companies made the announcements at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show here Oct. 27.

Dana forecast the medium-duty program would generate about $200 million in incremental sales, with vehicles available for order from the manufacturer in the second half of 2020.

The e-powertrain is configured as a direct drive system, which uses a motor to power a Dana-provided axle and driveshaft.

The trucks will feature Dana’s complete e-powertrain system, which consists of:

  • A Spicer Electrified e-propulsion system, comprising a Dana TM4 motor and inverter.
  • A Spicer Electrified e-power system, which generates, stores and manages the energy for the vehicle. This system consists of the battery packs, battery management system, on-board charger, power electronics cradle and electrified auxiliary systems.
  • Dana-developed software and controls that will enable the diagnostics and telemetry of the system, as well as thermal management.

With the second truck manufacturer, Dana is developing an electrified vehicle platform that will incorporate a Dana TM4 SUMO HP motor. Ideal for high-power applications, this motor is purposely developed for both hybrid and battery-electric configurations.


Lonestar Specialty Vehicles displays a fully electrified terminal tractor. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Meanwhile, Texarkana, Texas-based Lonestar, founded in 2014, specializes in the final-stage assembly and refurbishment of commercial vehicles. Dana’s e-powertrain system can be adapted by Lonestar into a vehicle with a nonpowered rolling chassis, or can be installed into existing vehicles with diesel engines to convert them into all-electric trucks.

“Dana engineered the electric powertrain from the ground up,” said Mark Wallace, president of Dana Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies. “This competency, augmented with Lonestar’s extensive vehicle assembly and refurbishing experience, provides fleets the ability to immediately outfit terminal tractors with complete electrified systems for reduced emissions and increased operating efficiencies.”

Blake Yazel, general manager of Lonestar Specialty Vehicle Group, told Transport Topics the arrangement with Dana “allows us to provide a powertrain that is captive to one [original equipment supplier]. So it is not cobbled together. When you can use one supplier to supply everything, and it is a big name like Dana, that’s a huge advantage.”

Dana’s powertrain includes the motor, inverter, power electronics cradle and battery systems. The collaboration also includes full vehicle integration education and training from the Dana team, allowing Lonestar to complete the vehicle integration in house, according to the Maumee, Ohio-based company.

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