FCCC, Morgan Olson debut ‘next generation’ all-electric walk-in van

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Updated Sep 30, 2010

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and Morgan Olson on Wednesday, Sept. 29, launched their “next generation” all-electric MT-EV WIV walk-in van with new exterior and interior body styling, and a lightweight, aerodynamic design for improved efficiency. Introduced at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum, the van is built of lightweight, durable composites that are recyclable, while the interior of the cab features an automotive-style interior, maximizing driver comfort and productivity.

“The partnership to develop the MT-EV WIV new body styling with Morgan Olson was a natural progression for the all-electric vehicle,” says Jonathan Randall, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. “The new design was engineered to allow for improved aerodynamics without giving up the functionality of the vehicle. The MT-EV remains a rugged, productive work tool that also maintains maximum cargo capacity. By partnering with Morgan Olson, we have effectively developed the MT-EV WIV to meet performance, as well as environmental needs of our delivery vehicle customers.”

The MT-EV’s steel straight-rail chassis has a GVWR of 14,000 to 19,500 and is designed to reduce flex and bowing to minimize stress while carrying heavy payloads. The MT-EV has a flat-leaf spring front and rear suspension, allowing for a smooth, solid ride that minimizes cargo shifts on uneven road surfaces, while its all-electric nature allows for quiet operation. The MT-EV WIV has a one-piece bonded windshield for added visibility, while the headlamps and mirrors of the body were designed to be aerodynamic, taking into account windflow over the hood and cab.

“In addition to building a highly efficient delivery van with a distinctive new look, we have designed a vehicle that makes a powerful environmental statement,” said Steve Miller, vice president of sales and marketing for Morgan Olson. “It allows our customers to show their commitment to the environment while maximizing driver productivity.”

The instrumentation panel within the cab incorporates automotive styling and adds additional features that constantly monitor the EV operating system to provide the driver information, such as the battery state of charge data. Also, the vehicle performance gauge is included to assist the driver in the operation of the vehicle. The full-feature gauge and informational display includes a larger messaging center display area and prognostic information and is sealed, helping to protect it from dust and water projected from backsplash. The larger messaging center display area enables easier reading of fault codes and maintenance notifications. The incorporation of prognostic information provides the driver critical up-to-the-minute maintenance information, such as the life of the engine, transmission, oil and filters.

The all-electric chassis is specifically designed for the urban delivery vehicle market, and the Morgan Olson MT-EV WIV body provides additional safety to drivers, with features such as a curbside exit, walk-through cargo area and direct access to the cargo area from the driver’s station. The chassis utilizes Enova Systems’ 120kW all-electric drive system technology and is powered by Tesla Motors’ lithium-ion batteries.

“We are pleased with the continued progress of our work with FCCC,” says Mike Staran, Enova chief executive officer and president. “Our partnership further demonstrates that the appetite for these products is growing.”

The all-electric drive system features battery packs that provide up to a 100-mile driving range on a single charge, making it suitable for pickup-and-delivery applications. The battery pack will charge from fully depleted to fully charged in six to eight hours. In addition, the vehicle charging system is incorporated into the overall operating system, so no exterior devices are required to charge the truck.

The batteries featured on the electric system capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of the vehicle’s operation. The regenerative braking system reduces friction during braking, resulting in less brake wear and extended brake life. The regenerative braking system saves energy by recycling and storing it, which then can be reused to propel the vehicle instead of losing it to heat, as is the case with traditional brakes.