Freightliner Custom Chassis, Enova to develop all-electric chassis

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Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. and Enova Systems announced Thursday, Sept. 10, that together they will enter into an all-electric commercial chassis development program that will include close collaboration and will involve the engineering and integration of Enova’s 120kW and 90kW all-electric drive system technologies into target FCCC chassis platforms, including the MT-45 walk-in van chassis.

“The technical, economic and environmental factors driving increased demand for pure electric commercial vehicles are rapidly converging,” says Robert Harbin, president of the Freightliner Custom Chassis division of DTNA. “Our partnership with Enova Systems on this important development program is a clear indication that the market for these vehicles is approaching. We look to Enova to help us achieve our goal of having a profitable in-plant EV production program in the near term.”

Freightliner says its highest volume MT-45 chassis offers a gross vehicle weight rating between 14,140 and 19,000 lbs. and maximum payloads of 10,000 lbs. The strategic agreement consists of four phases that include the development of at least four vehicles and placement into national fleets. Design, engineering, integration and testing activities will be conducted at the Freightliner Custom Chassis plant in Gaffney, S.C., and the Enova facility in Torrance, Calif.

“Collaboration with FCCC, an OEM with market-leading positions with several ideal commercial vehicle platforms, provides us an immediate opportunity to penetrate markets not previously available,” says Mike Staran, president and chief executive officer of Enova Systems. “Our combined technologies and vehicle expertise will enable us to offer a wide range of flexible EV solutions that will ultimately allow us to gain market share in key segments.”