Tropos Motors Looks To Scale With New Supplier Agreement With Panasonic

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Tropos Motors has partnered with the world’s leading automotive battery supplier, Panasonic, in a new deal that will see the two companies working together to build up the next generation compact commercial vehicle.

Compact commercial vehicles represent the second largest class of fleet vehicles and were early leaders in the electrification of transportation. Campus managers, facility managers, maintenance personnel, landscaping crews, and more sought out electric transportation solutions for their ability to travel indoors or out, across vast campuses and buildings. Until recently, the segment was served largely by vehicles utilizing lead-acid batteries, but a new generation of electric vehicles is arriving to serve a wider range of functions.

Tropos Motors has been an early player in the electric compact utility vehicle (eCUV) segment for years, with a lineup of purpose-built compact electric vehicles that allow fleet managers to build up exactly the capability they need, at a price point that is often far lower than full-sized vehicle offerings.

“Panasonic is working together with Tropos Motors to address the needs of businesses that depend on small commercial vehicles with the right mix of technologies and electrification solutions that also add societal value by providing cleaner alternatives,” said Scott Morrison, director of advanced engineering at Panasonic Automotive. “If you can have a vehicle that has all of the capabilities of a larger truck, but in a smaller package, that is what makes it more appropriate for the job. It is not about down-sizing. It is about right-sizing,” he continued.

Panasonic was an early leader in vehicle electrification solutions with its Panasonic Automotive Systems Company business and is now pushing beyond its long-standing partnership with Tesla to partner with other automotive manufacturers. Its early experience in the market make it a great partner for Tropos Motors as it looks to standardize its vehicle offerings and scale up its operations.

“Panasonic has positioned themselves as a trusted source in end-to-end transportation energy solutions,” said John Bautista, founder and CEO of Tropos Technologies. “One of the things we at Tropos Technologies bring to Panasonic is our ability to take their technologies and put them into practical applications very efficiently in our Tropos Motors vehicle platforms,” he concluded.

Downstream from manufacturing, Tropos Motors has named Wolter Group LLC as its Midwest distributor. The Wolter Group has built its company on supplying fleet managers with not just equipment and service, but with solutions to help them reduce the cost of their fleets over time. They are looking to leverage their 55 years in business and the relationships built over the years to bring a new generation of compact electric vehicles to fleet managers.

“As a Midwest leader in material handling, plant, warehouse and facilities management, power systems and sustainability, as well as fleet management, we are pleased to have the Wolter Group associated with Tropos Technologies,” said Jeffrey Esfeld, director of National Fleet Sales & Business Development for Tropos Motors. “Our innovative approach to electric utility vehicles will enhance their product offerings to the world-class companies in their service area.”

The Midwestern United States is a typically conservative segment of the market that has not historically been at the forefront of adopting electric vehicles. Tropos and the Wolter Group hope to break the mold and leverage Tropos’ ABLE vehicles to enable fleet managers to cut costs even further by right-sizing their fleets.

“Becoming the Midwest distributor for Tropos Motors is a natural partnership for us,” said Jerry Weidmann, president, Wolter Group. “Our team is skilled in reducing the total cost of ownership of fleets and has navigated many customers through the process of converting from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles. We look forward to expanding our electric equipment portfolio to better serve customers.”

Why buy a full-sized fire fighting vehicle when a smaller, more nimble Tropos fire response vehicle has all the same capabilities AND can drive indoors? Why contract out street sweeping around the campus when a Tropos ABLE can do the same job and save money? Opportunities vary from application to application, but these new vehicles change the conversation completely.

If you are in the market for a Tesla, find someone locally who you know (like, someone you know in real life) and use their referral code. If you don’t know anyone with a Tesla, go find someone at your local Supercharger and try not to be a creep and ask them for their referral code (they won’t mind). If that doesn’t work, ask a co-worker or a distant relative, post on Facebook or Twitter, or just hit up Google. If all of that fails and it’s an odd-numbered day and not too sunny out, you can use my Tesla referral link to get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging, I guess. Here is my referral code:

Sources: Panasonic, Tropos

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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