Inventev’s next generation technology is converting commercial fleet trucks into plug-in hybrid electric vehicles which they call Energy SWAT Trucks. The company’s technology enables specific work functions, including generation of utility-grade electrical power for neighborhoods and small businesses. Today, these power needs could be addressed with a dedicated generator set mounted on a trailer. However, these expensive devices are often grossly underutilized when compared to a daily-use work truck with this built-in capability. The technology brings power to the job site for daily work tasks or resiliency from unplanned outages (e.g. storm response) using either battery storage or longer-duration on-site power generation. Through their integrated drive unit and electrical power system, Inventev is addressing several negative trade-offs of the hybrid truck industry by offering multiple value propositions for the customer in one truck, including: fuel and maintenance savings; emission reductions using electric power to drive and work; and on-site generation of electric power.
While Inventev’s technology had the ability to address challenges of utility and other commercial vehicles, the company recognized NextEnergy’s ability to provide critical support to move the technology toward commercialization. NextEnergy has provided Inventev with market research and greatly supplemented the company’s opportunities to engage with prospective customers and funding partners. Through business consulting services, NextEnergy has contributed to Inventev’s success in several business plan competitions and accelerator programs. With the support of NextEnergy, Inventev won the $25,000 Transportation Sector Prize at the 2014 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and finished in first place during the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest Fall 2013 Cycle.