Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) and Enova Systems (NYSE Amex: ENA) announced today that they have jointly executed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enter into an all-electric commercial chassis development program.
The development program includes 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. Freightliner’s 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 MT-45 chassis is used by a range of customers including UPS and Federal Express.
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, SC, and the Enova facility in Torrance, CA.
“The technical, economic, and environmental factors driving increased demand for pure electric commercial vehicles are rapidly converging,” said 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.”
Said Mike Staran, President and CEO of Enova Systems, “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. 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.”
Many national fleet operators currently served by the two companies have clearly stated their desire to deploy all-electric commercial vehicles in the 2010 timeframe.