BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University's acclaimed Electric Vehicle Institute has designed a new piece of technology, and this time officials hope to profit from it.
The BGSU board of trustees approved an agreement yesterday that will allow the university's patented hybrid booster drive - a propulsion system - to be tested and used exclusively by Goshen Coach of Elkhart, Ind., in small transit buses.
The licensing marks the first such relationship ever at the university, officials said. Possible proceeds are unknown.
"Finally, we are in the game," said Tom Trimboli, assistant to the president in the office of general counsel.
Specifically, the agreement calls for the university's hybrid diesel/
electric propulsion system to be tested in five prototype buses. The parties will determine whether the hybrid bus can be successfully commercialized.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Trade Administration have approved the sale of those first five buses, officials said.
The system increases fuel mileage in vehicles that make frequent stops, such as buses and postal trucks. It does so by recovering energy that is normally lost during braking.
The arrangement with Goshen Coach could be a windfall for the Bowling Green economy as well.
In the agreement, BGSU specified that it would reduce its fees if Goshen selects a local contractor to assemble the system for the company.
The university's technology college has installed the patented system in both a bus and a truck. The college has received several grants since the late 1990s to build and test motor systems, including work in conjunction with NASA.
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