Quality Magazine

Freightliner Introduces All-Electric Walk-In Van Chassis

March 11, 2010

GAFFNEY, SC - Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) continues its legacy of engineering alternative-power products for the commercial vehicle industry with the introduction of its highly anticipated plug-in all-electric walk-in van (WIV) chassis. The new chassis model is the only one domestically engineered and the first in the industry to be completely all-electric (includes HVAC system) in North America.

The all-electric chassis, developed in partnership with Enova Systems, a developer and producer of electric and hybrid-electric drive system technologies for commercial vehicle OEMs, is built on the popular FCCC MT-45 WIV chassis platform.

FCCC presented the preproduction all-electric WIV chassis model at the 2010 National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show.

“In partnership with Enova we have developed an all-electric chassis to meet the environmental, economic and performance needs of our commercial vehicle customers,” says Bob Harbin, FCCC president. “Our vision is clearly focused on transitioning the all-electric chassis into the mainstream of our walk-in van production programs. This new program demonstrates that FCCC remains fully committed to engineering chassis options that lower operating costs and decrease carbon footprints for our customers.

“Unlike competitive models, our all-electric chassis is custom-built from the ground up for the walk-in van market, integrating the proven ergonomic advantages of WIV bodies,” Harbin added. “Competitor chassis are a cab chassis configuration and end up as box trucks typically built for the trucking industry. Competitor products do not offer the ergonomic benefits and safety features of a WIV such as curb-side exit, walk-through cargo area, direct access to cargo area from driver’s station, etc.”

Addressing the discussion in the industry surrounding recent federal funding for all-electric technology, Jonathan Randall, sales and marketing director at FCCC adds, “FCCC initiated our all-electric project well before stimulus money and federal grants were available for alternative-power transportation projects. FCCC viewed the all-electric project as the logical next step in its alternative-power product offerings, as well as a strategic opportunity to continue its leadership role in the WIV industry.”

The all-electric MT-45 chassis is expected to go into full production during the first quarter of 2011 and will undergo testing with major U.S. pickup and delivery fleets.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van, and school bus and shuttle bus markets. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.