Motiv Power Systems Raises $60 Million, Company is Converting Ford Trucks to Zero Emission EVs
【Summary】The San Francisco Bay Area company Motiv Power Systems announced today it has secured $60 Million in new equity funding. The company is a provider of an all-electric medium-duty chassis for buses and trucks, which is used to convert the vehicles to run on battery power.
While electric vehicle adoption is slowly growing for passenger cars, electrifying large fleets of medium-duty commercial trucks shows much more potential for immediate benefits, especially for fleet operators as a way to save big on fuel and maintenance costs and producing zero emissions. One such company is Motiv Power Systems.
The San Francisco Bay Area company announced today it has secured $60 Million in new equity funding. Motiv Power Systems is a provider of an all-electric medium-duty chassis for buses and trucks, which is used to convert production vehicles to run on battery power.
The Series B round of investment was led by Colorado-based GMAG Holdings Corp and Iowa-based recreational vehicle maker Winnebago. Motiv will use the new funding to continue its efforts to bring commercial electric vehicles into cost parity with fossil-fueled vehicles, according to the company.
"Over the last ten years, Motiv has proven its technology and business model," stated Matt Gallaher, Chief Financial Officer of GMAG Holdings Corp. "The commercial transportation industry is on the cusp of significant growth in electrification. We strongly believe in Motiv's technology as well as the management team driving its growth. We are excited to further support them as the company scales to meet the demand of the growing commercial EV market."
The EPIC Chassis
Last year, Motiv introduced its EPIC Chassis, an acronym for "Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis." The EPIC Chassis is a complete, body-ready, all-electric equivalent to the internal combustion powered medium-duty fleets vehicles in use today.
The EPIC chassis family features Motiv's proprietary operating software and power electronics compatible with the Ford Motor Company's E-450 Super Duty platform and F59 commercial truck platform. Automaker BMW is supplying Motiv with the batteries needed to convert the vehicles to electric.
The conversions are approved by Ford for its Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program. To qualify as a QVM, companies must be successfully evaluated by Ford on criteria such as engineering, the manufacturing process, quality control, and adherence to Ford's QVM guidelines while keeping in compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Motiv benefits from engineering insights and support from Ford to ensure the safety and reliability of the conversions.
For fleets using diesel and gas-powered vehicles, the EPIC architecture eliminates 100% of vehicle emissions, while significantly reducing operating and maintenance costs. The electric conversions also create a healthier environment for riders and communities while reducing driver fatigue.
Motiv says its EPIC platform offers up to an 85% reduction in fuel costs and a 66% reduction in maintenance costs, with acceleration and hill climbing performance on par with existing internal combustion engine powered vehicles. EPIC also is capable of receiving over-the-air software updates to add new features as they become available.
Motiv converted this California school bus to a zero emissions electric vehicle.
Motiv's EPIC E-450 conversion kit adds a 106 kWh battery pack paired with a 150 kW electric motor producing 200 horsepower. The battery pack offers an all-electric range of around 100 miles. The platform offers Level II charging, which can charge the vehicles battery to 50% in two hours. A full charge takes 8 hours.
Motiv's EPIC all-electric chassis solutions are available for a wide range of Ford's medium-duty commercial truck applications, including step vans, box trucks, school buses, shuttle buses and work trucks.
As a Ford eQVM certified producer, Motiv worked with Detroit Custom Chassis to optimize production requirements for the EPIC chassis to enable it to seamlessly slot into the same Ford assembly lines producing internal combustion engine-powered chassis. Detroit Custom Chassis is a Tier 1 supplier to Ford.
Motiv will use some of the new funding to establish an engineering and manufacturing center in Detroit, bringing California-based Motiv closer to its customers and manufacturing partners in the region. Motiv will continue its focus on market development to increase electric vehicle adoption throughout the transportation industry.
"As we have started deploying our products to some of the largest fleet customers in the U.S., we have been looking to expand our workforce and facilities to better support the growing demand we are seeing in the market," states Matt O'Leary, CEO of Motiv Power Systems.
In 2012, Motiv received a grant from the California Energy Commission to research and build a prototype manufacturing facility for its powertrain system, with the goal of converting production commercial vehicles to electric. Motiv's first major contract was in the same year with the city of Chicago to convert 20 garbage trucks battery power.
Collectively, vehicles powered by Motiv's EPIC chassis have accumulated over 750,000 real-world miles. Among Motiv's customers are the USPS and the City of Mountain View, CA, the home of tech giant Google.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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