AC Propulsion, a global leader in electric drive design, development and manufacturing, announced that its CEO Tom Gage has been chosen as one of Automotive News’ Electrifying 100, a list of the “most influential people leading the global transformation of the automobile to an electrified fleet.” Gage and 99 others, including Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s CEO, and Takeshi Uchiyamada, father of the Toyota Prius, will be honored tonight in Dearborn, Mich., as part of the magazine’s Green Car Conference.
“It is an honor to be included in this impressive list of leaders and pioneers,” Gage said. “The honor really goes to our entire team at AC Propulsion, past and present. It has been our great privilege and pleasure to help usher in the era of mainstream electrification and we shall continue to innovate as the world increasingly moves to vehicles that provide transportation without petroleum.”
AC Propulsion is widely credited with playing a seminal role in the modern electric vehicle (EV) era. As CEO for the past 10 years, Gage has led the company toward commercialization of the proprietary electric propulsion technologies it has developed since 1992 including drive systems, controls, battery packs and high-power onboard charging systems.
These technologies were conceived by company founder, Alan Cocconi, who helped develop General Motors’ historic EV1. The EV1 showed the world that a car could have high performance and high efficiency – if it’s electric. One year after Gage came on in 1996, AC Propulsion upped the ante with introduction of the tzero electric sports car. At that time, the tzero could accelerate faster and use less energy than any car on the road.
In 2003, AC Propulsion’s pioneering installation of high-power li-ion batteries gave the tzero even better acceleration and efficiency: a blistering zero-to-sixty in 3.6 seconds and 300-mile range on the highway. The vehicle won the 2003 Michelin Challenge Bibendum, which led to full commercialization of AC Propulsion technology. Tesla Motors licensed the technology to launch its Tesla Roadster and BMW purchased drive systems to power its 600-car MINI E production. The same technology powers the Yulon Luxgen electric minivan, now on sale in Taiwan, and the electric MonoTracer MTE-150, which won its category in the 2010 Progressive Automotive X PRIZE and will launch production this year.
Under Gage, AC Propulsion also produced the world’s first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable electric vehicle, the eBox, and coined the term V2G. The United States Postal Service is testing a mail truck outfitted with AC Propulsion’s V2G technology. “We see V2G as fundamental for EVs,” Gage said. “Without V2G, EVs are just a big load on the grid. With V2G, the grid and EVs work together. Efficiency is increased and costs are decreased. That’s what the Postal Service likes about the idea.”
During Gage’s tenure, AC Propulsion has expanded into China. A wholly owned production facility has been operating in Shanghai since 2006. A larger facility and expanded marketing operations are being established in Beijing to support the strong growth and government focus on electric transportation in China.
AC Propulsion continues to develop new and upgraded technology and to add to its portfolio of U.S. and international patents.
Before joining AC Propulsion, Gage was a senior consultant in the Global Automotive Practice at SRI International. Prior to that, he was a manager in the Product Planning and Regulatory Strategy Office of Chrysler Corp.
About AC Propulsion:
AC Propulsion is a global leader in the development, design and manufacture of electric vehicle technology. AC Propulsion’s proprietary tzero technology is a complete solution for electric vehicles, and can be customized for every class of electric vehicle, from a sports car to an SUV to an 8-ton city bus. AC Propulsion is also a leader in the development of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capable vehicles, as well as the research and development of V2G technology.