AC Propulsion

Founded by Alan Cocconi in 1992.
Filed under:  Companies
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AC Propulsion Inc. is a California Corporation founded in 1992 to develop, manufacture, and license system and component technology for electric vehicle drive systems. Since its founding, AC Propulsion has emerged as a worldwide leader in producing EVs that meet the functional requirements of daily use.

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AC Propulsion logo.

In 1994, AC Propulsion introduced the AC-150, a 150 kW (200 hp) integrated drive system for compact to midsize passenger cars. At that time, AC Propulsion developed an electric vehicle based on a Honda Civic hatchback to demonstrate the AC-150's capabilities. Tested by Road & Track, that car achieved a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.2 seconds. In June, 1996, the same AC Propulsion EV, with 47,000 miles on it, set a range record of 145 miles over the "Pomona Loop" an urban driving circuit used by Southern California Edison to evaluate EVs. Energy consumption over the range test was 126 Wh/mile, the equivalent of 266 miles per gallon. No other EV, including advanced prototypes from major automakers has matched these levels of performance and efficiency.

In 1997, AC Propulsion introduced the tzero at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The tzero packages AC Propulsion electric drive technology in a 2-seat high performance sports car capable of 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, yet still able to reliably achieve 80 - 100 miles of driving range. The range and performance of the AC Propulsion EVs, is achieved with commercially available, cost-effective lead-acid batteries. AC Propulsion has developed sophisticated battery management and monitoring systems that extend battery range and operating life. By doing so AC Propulsion achieved what multi-million dollar alternative battery research programs have not yet been able to do: develop an EV that provides excellent range and performance with affordable batteries, not experimental, high-cost, prototype designs.

AC Propulsion operates from a combined R&D and manufacturing shop in San Dimas, California. The facility includes an extensive power electronics and electric motor development laboratory, electronics assembly and test equipment, a 200 hp dynamometer with automated data acquisition system, machine shop, automated battery test equipment, and complete vehicle service bays. In addition to the EV drive system development and manufacturing activity, AC Propulsion conducts R&D programs for automotive OEMs and other clients in areas such as electric and hybrid vehicle development, battery testing, and hybrid power unit development.

AC Propulsion founder and president, Alan Cocconi, received his engineering degree from California Institute of Technology. As an engineering consultant, he developed the drive and solar tracking systems for the GM SunRaycer which won the 1987 World Solar Challenge, a cross-country race for solar powered vehicles held in Australia. He then designed and built the controller for the original GM Impact that was introduced at the 1990 LA Auto Show and which has since evolved into GM's EV-1. For some early history of Alan Cocconi's connection with the GM Sunraycer and Impact, see Chapter 2 of Michael Schnayerson's book, The Car that Could.

(source: AC Propulsion).

tom hanks

SANTA MONICA - AC Propulsion has delivered the first eBox customer car to Tom Hanks on February 15, 2007. The actor and producer, a veteran EV driver, ordered his eBox after driving the first prototype last July. "I still have a Toyota RAV4 EV and never spent a penny on gasoline for it", said Hanks, "What AC Propulsion is doing is fantastic. I drove their tzero electric sports car a few years ago, so when they put the same technology in a four-door I wanted one for myself. It has double the range, goes fast, uses Li Ion batteries, and is incredibly roomy and comfortable. Oh, and I will also never have to put any gasoline into it!"

AC Propulsion Tzero : 1997   0-60 in 3.6 seconds. 3 built.
AC Propulsion   Official site.
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