Fallbrook Moves Ahead With Chinese Bus Deal

In a move foreshadowed last month in its amended IPO filing, San Diego’s Fallbrook Technologies says today it has inked a deal with China’s Chengdu Bus Co. to put its accessory drive technology into buses made for use in the Chinese market by Chengdu.

Bill Klehm, Fallbrook’s chairman and CEO, calls the memorandum of understanding that Fallbrook signed with Chendgu “a major validation” of his company’s technology and its “potential to deliver fuel efficiencies for vehicle manufacturers.” In a statement issued by the company, Klehm says, “China is searching for ways to reduce its oil consumption and we believe the NuVinci CVAD (Continuously Variable Accessory Drive) can make a real difference in the public transportation sector.”

An accessory drive is a device that helps the alternator, air conditioning compressor, water pump, and other accessories run more efficiently. While accessories are powered by the engine, the CVAD enables each drive to optimize its own operating speed, regardless of what the engine is doing. Chendu makes 90 models of public transport vehicles for China’s highway market, including urban buses, highway buses, tourist buses, gasoline-powered cars, and specialized buses. A Fallbrook spokesman says Chengdu produces about 5,000 new buses a year, but the San Diego company has no way to tell at this point how many of those will be equipped with its CVADs. No financial terms were disclosed.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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