Iconic RV maker Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO) has launched an EV platform, and formed a strategic partnership with commercial EV chassis builder Motiv Power Systems for the development and supply of EV components. As part of the deal, Winnebago intends to make a financial investment in Motiv.
Winnebago’s EV is designed for short-range commercial applications such as mobile medical clinics, bloodmobiles and mobile classrooms. It’s based on a Class A RV platform, and uses Motiv’s Ford F53-based EPIC chassis, with six to eight battery packs. Expected range is 85 to 125 miles, and it will be available in 33-foot and 38-foot lengths with a GVWR up to 26,000 pounds. Winnebago has already conducted “significant road testing.”
“Winnebago has a rich history of product and feature innovation, and we are continuously evaluating new and emerging technologies to further that legacy,” said VP Ashis Bhattacharya. “It is our belief that all-electric/zero-emission vehicle applications continue to evolve to serve numerous end-user needs, and this is our first step as a participant in this space.”
Meanwhile, Champion Bus, a subsidiary of REV that manufactures small and medium-size commercial buses, has begun sales of a new electric bus built on a Motiv EPIC 4 Series Dearborn chassis. The new shuttle bus is based on the popular Ford E-450 platform, and features a Challenger EV body manufactured by Champion in Imlay City, Michigan.
Motiv predicts the new Challenger EV will deliver an 85 percent reduction in operating costs and a 66 percent reduction in maintenance costs. It is available for immediate purchase exclusively through Champion Bus dealers, and deliveries are to begin in the third quarter of 2018.
“With fixed routes and high fuel costs, we’ve long seen the shuttle bus market as an ideal use case for the EPIC Chassis,” said Motiv Director of Sales Kash Sethi.
“Both from an economic and carbon reduction standpoint, we have strong demand for clean energy alternatives to gasoline and diesel in the shuttle bus market,” said David Rhode, VP of REV Bus Imlay City. “Our integration with Motiv Power Systems helps meet this demand with the proven EPIC chassis, approved by Ford through its rigorous QVM standards, to deliver the performance and reliability that our customers have come to expect.”
Source: Motiv Power Systems