WABCO's OptiFlow is designed to increase vehicle efficiency and reduce fuel consumption for trucks, trailers and buses
Photo credit: WABCO
WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC), a tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, today announced it has acquired Ephicas, a pioneering company in the field of innovative aerodynamic solutions for commercial vehicles. Leveraging Ephicas' expertise and patented technologies, WABCO intends to develop a range of aerodynamic products – branded OptiFlow – that are designed to increase vehicle efficiency and reduce fuel consumption for trucks, trailers and buses.
WABCO's first product introduction from this acquisition under the OptiFlow brand is an innovatively designed and constructed aerodynamic SideWing for trailers. Launched by Ephicas in 2011, the SideWing is already installed on more than 100 vehicles within 17 major European commercial vehicle fleets, where it delivers long-haul fuel savings up to 5 percent. Independent tests verify that these fuel savings are up to 3 times greater than those delivered by comparable competitive products. Ephicas has also won several awards in Europe for its technology.
"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," said Nick Rens, WABCO Vice President, Trailer Systems and Aftermarket. "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."
"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," said Christian Wiehen, WABCO Chief Technology Officer.
WABCO's new aerodynamic trailer SideWing will be part of the company's Intelligent Trailer Program and it is immediately available to WABCO's global customer base of trailer builders and fleet operators.
The three founders of Ephicas will join WABCO. Ephicas' leader, Hessel Jongebreur, will become a product line leader within WABCO's Trailer Systems business, responsible for development of the OptiFlow portfolio. His fellow founders, Gandert Van Raemdonck, technical head, and Hjalmar Van Raemdonck, operations head, will be responsible for ongoing innovation and operational delivery of OptiFlow products.
"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."
Ephicas is a spin-off company from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, a center of technology innovation. Financial details of the acquisition are not being disclosed.