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Tufts Grants Rights for Mileage-Increasing Transportation Technology to Electric Truck

Tufts University has optioned rights to a technology that can recharge the batteries of any hybrid electric and electric-powered vehicle while it is driven. The Tufts-developed technology could increase by 20 percent to 70 percent the miles per gallon or total driving range performance of vehicles like the Honda Civic, Ford Escape, and Toyota Prius hybrids and the Tesla Motors and Phoenix Motorcars electric vehicles. The university's Office for Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration has granted an exclusive option for commercial rights to Electric Truck, a start-up company that hopes to design, develop, and market alternative energy technology solutions for the transportation industry.

This Tufts invention harnesses the movement of the vehicle to generate electricity used to recharge the battery continually while the vehicle is in motion. Since the technology actively uses the weight of a vehicle for energy recovery, it could help speed the expansion of the hybrid and battery electric vehicle market from cars to vehicles of greater size, weight, and payloads, such as SUVs, pickups, delivery trucks, mail trucks, school and city buses, and other light and medium duty trucks--vehicles that represent some of the biggest sources of emissions.

Tufts engineering professor emeritus Ronald Goldner and colleague Peter Zerigian developed the technology within the School of Engineering and received additional support in subsequent years from Argonne National Laboratory.

"Professor Goldner and Mr. Zerigian were passionate about the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide some relief to individuals and industry from the expensive and unpredictable costs of gasoline and diesel fuels," said Martin Son, associate director for the Office of Tech Transfer. "They were innovators who came up with this idea more than a decade ago and were truly ahead of their time."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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