WABCO Holdings Inc., a Tier One manufacturer of mechanical, electronic, and mechatronic systems for commercial vehicle braking, stability, and transmissions, acquired Ephicas — a developer of sidewings and other fuel-saving aerodynamic fixtures for trucks and commercial vehicles.
Ephicas was established as a commercial venture following an initial development at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The company indicates its mission is to achieve “a reduction of 20% in both fuel costs and carbon emissions in the global long-haul road transport industry”.
"The Ephicas team has successfully applied aerodynamics expertise to commercial vehicles by inventing uniquely designed SideWings for trailers, which reduce the vehicle combination’s air drag and further increase safety through robust, easy-to-handle protection against splash-water and under-run," WABCO chief technology officer Christian Wiehen explained.
Financial details of the acquisition will not be disclosed. Ephicas’ three founders will join WABCO. Hessel Jongebreur will become a product line leader with WABCO's Trailer Systems business, responsible for developing the OptiFlow portfolio. Gandert Van Raemdonck, technical head, and Hjalmar Van Raemdonck, operations head, will be responsible for ongoing innovation and operational delivery of OptiFlow products.
WABCO indicated it intends to “leverage” Ephicas’ expertise and patented technologies to develop its own series of aerodynamic products – to be called OptiFlow™ - to increase vehicle efficiency and reduce fuel consumption for trucks, trailers and buses.
WABCO's first OptiFlow product will be sidewings for trailers. The Ephicas SideWing, introduced last year, is installed on over 100 vehicles for 17 major European commercial vehicle fleets. Reportedly, it delivers long-haul fuel savings up to 5% and independent tests verify that these fuel savings are up to three times greater than those delivered by comparable competitive products.
The new, aerodynamic SideWing trailer will be part of WABCO’s Intelligent Trailer Program, immediately available to trailer builders and fleet operators worldwide.
"Like WABCO, Ephicas is an innovator of breakthrough technologies for vehicle efficiency and an industry pioneer for bringing these technologies to market. Together, we expect to accelerate WABCO's drive for leadership in the field of commercial vehicle aerodynamics," stated WABCO vice president, Trailer Systems and Aftermarket Nick Rens. "We see a growing opportunity in aerodynamics as commercial vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators around the world seek to meet government targets for vehicle emissions while satisfying their own requirement to enhance fuel efficiency."
"Ephicas has proved its ability to invent, patent and deliver breakthrough aerodynamic solutions for commercial vehicles," said Hessel Jongebreur, Ephicas’s leader. "By joining forces with WABCO, we can further leverage mutual innovation power and contribute to WABCO’s technology leadership while also delivering OptiFlow solutions to a global customer base."