California-based Motiv Power Systems has delivered the first of seven fully electric mid-sized delivery vans to the United States Postal Service this week as part of a California Air Resources Board-funded program.
The new rigs utilize Ford’s E-450 platform, which get injected with a dose of modernity in the form of Motiv’s electric powertrain. Motiv is the leading supplier of electric medium-duty fleet chassis so it knows a thing or two about how to do it right. That leadership role was built on years of experience in the space, giving the United States Postal Service (USPS) confidence to move forward with the pilot, knowing that Motiv would build a robust electric powertrain that would hold up in the rain, sleet and snow that the USPS regularly runs its vehicles around in.
In contrast with the gasoline and diesel delivery vehicles they will replace, the new Motiv-powered step vans are:
Cleaner and quieter than ICE trucks
Less expensive to fuel and maintain
Up to 85-mile range per charge
106 kWh battery pack capacity
The new electrified delivery rigs take Motiv’s EPIC Chassis and drop a traditional USPS step van body on top for a zero emission vehicle that looks a bit too normal, if you ask me. Maybe that’s the beauty of the new vans — nobody will even know the difference.
Much like the USPS guarantees mail delivery, it is guaranteed that the drivers will notice the upgrade, as Motiv’s electric drivetrain will deliver a superior driving experience to USPS’s delivery experts. No more vibrations from the engine jarring fillings loose, and laggy acceleration replaced with the snappy torque from the electric motor and silence. It is hard to quantify the positive impacts that electric vehicles have on the day-to-day driving experience of an electric fleet vehicle because they do not show up on a company balance sheet, but there is no denying the improvement in comfort that electric vehicles bring to the table.
“We’re proud to now be a part of USPS’ long tradition of implementing the latest technology to green their fleet,” said Motiv CEO Jim Castelaz. “Our all-electric EPIC chassis have accumulated 500,000 real-world miles and are ideally suited to the USPS vehicle route characteristics. We’re thrilled that USPS has chosen Motiv to help meet their sustainability goals.”
The seven new vehicles will operate in California’s Central Valley and is home to some of the state’s worst air quality. The first vehicle in the 1-year pilot is already running parcels around in Fresno, California, with 3 of the remaining vehicles planned for deployment in Fresno and the 3 remaining vehicles being deployed in Stockton later this year.
The vehicles were funded by a grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The grant required matching funds from the organizations involved and includes scope for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at the USPS facilities in Fresno and Stockton, according to the grant documentation.