Spartan Fleet Vehicles and Services, a business unit of Spartan Motors Inc. that goes to market under the Utilimaster and Spartan Upfit Services brands, has signed an exclusive supply agreement with Motiv Power Systems. The agreement provides Spartan exclusive access to Motiv’s EPIC all-electric chassis in manufacturing Class 4-6 walk-in vans for a minimum of three years. With this joint commitment, the companies can produce zero-emission, economical and reliable all-electric walk-in vans for fleets, and expect to build hundreds of such vehicles over the course of the agreement, according to an announcement.
“Our key customers have been asking Spartan to provide an EV solution. Our exclusive supply agreement with Motiv answers their question and demonstrates Spartan’s ability to innovate and advance the markets we serve, and we believe it places us ahead of the curve in the EV fleet market,” says Daryl Adams, Spartan Motors president and CEO.
“Today, under our Utilimaster brand, we have over 800 purpose-built alternative fuel fleet vehicles on the road, many of them powered by electric drive systems. These all-electric powered vehicles have logged many miles, and have proven to be durable, reliable, emissions-free alternatives to the internal combustion engine powered chassis,” Adams says. “This exclusive agreement allows us to apply over 40 years of fleet vehicle manufacturing knowhow and our Utilimaster Work-Driven Design process to Motiv’s proven expertise and market ownership of the electric propulsion space. Together, we intend to produce innovations that will shape the future of economical and environmentally friendly fleet design.”
Motiv’s all-electric EPIC chassis provides universal charging compatibility and secure remote telematics and diagnostics, no matter where the route leads, resulting in a walk-in van with a 100- to 150-mile range per charge and up to 30 percent gradeability, according to the announcement.
“Through this agreement, Spartan and Motiv further demonstrate our shared vision that electric commercial vehicles are an important part of our future,” says Jim Castelaz, Motiv CEO. “It further allows both companies to commit to the scale necessary for us to continue our joint leadership in electric walk-in vans and pair our reliable, proven EPIC all-electric chassis with Spartan’s reliable products and well-deserved reputation for manufacturing excellence.”
Utilimaster and Motiv worked together in early 2017 to develop a commercially available EV walk-in van concept. At the same time, Utilimaster and Motiv jointly integrated the EV requirements into Utilimaster’s final stage chassis and body manufacturing processes, located at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bristol, Ind. Motiv selected Spartan and Utilimaster for the bilateral exclusive agreement because of Utilimaster’s longstanding market leadership position and ability to provide fleets of all sizes with broad, innovative solutions, according to an announcement.