Motiv Power Systems has partnered with Champion Bus on the first OEM-integrated fully electric shuttle bus to customers looking to go electric with a bus manufacturer they know and trust.
The new shuttle uses Motiv’s fully electric EPIC 4 series Dearborn chassis as the foundation of the vehicle, which means zero emissions and a CARB-certified platform that smoothens out the process of obtaining relevant rebates for customers. The Champion Challenger EV is based on the robust Ford E-450 platform, which is paired with Champion’s Michigan-built Challenger EV body.
Motiv Power System’s director of sales, Kash Sethi, shared the company’s excitement over the new partnership:
“We are excited to be part of this program with Champion. With fixed routes and high fuel costs, we’ve long seen the shuttle bus market as an ideal use case for the EPIC Chassis. Past deployments have borne this out and having Champion on board as an OEM marks the realization of this vision on a much larger scale.”
On an even more positive note, Champion Bus shared that it is moving into electrified buses due to strong demand from customers. It’s one thing to build a strong product, but to have customers lined up and asking for the solutions, that’s a dream for just about any company. (If only CleanTechnica readers lined up for our “Future Is Now” and “Keep Calm And Charge On” shirts and coffee mugs like that.)
“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, Vice President and General Manager of Champion’s parent company, REV Bus in Imlay City, Michigan. “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 from Champion.”
The shuttles net out to a total cost of ownership that’s lower than petrol shuttles due to the expected 85% reduction in operating costs, led by the lower cost of fuel. Maintenance costs are also a game-changer, estimated to be 66% lower than conventional vehicles, which translates to more time on the road instead of in the shop getting oil and filters changed every few weeks.
Out on the road, these shuttles offer comparable performance to their internal combustion counterparts, but with a significant improvement in the rider’s experience thanks to a smoother, quieter ride that doesn’t smell like exhaust. As an aside on that topic, one of my least favorite parts of flying is the shuttle ride to and from the various airports, parking lots, and hotels because their diesel engines make me feel like the vehicle is trying to shake me out of my shoes as I suck in the moist diesel exhaust.
The shuttles are available for purchase today exclusively through Champion Bus dealers with deliveries commencing in the third quarter of 2018.