Motiv launches electric cab-chassis

Argo truck configurable for range of applications

ACT Expo The Argo is Motiv Electric Trucks’ first fully-integrated cab-chassis design. (Photo: Motiv)

Motiv Electric Trucks, a California-based OEM of medium-duty electric trucks and buses has launched Argo, its first-ever fully-integrated cab-chassis design. The company said the new truck expands the number and type of vehicles and applications that can be electrified.

Available in multiple configurations, the company said Argo supports a wider variety of vehicle heights for dock-height or lower-profile applications, and a wider range of truck body lengths for applications like work site vehicles (short dump trucks and aerial lifts); walk-through delivery trucks (step vans); 30 ft. dry freight or refrigerated trucks; and buses.

“Overnight we’ve moved from a company primarily serving a narrow slice of the $20 billion medium duty truck market to one that can serve nearly that entire market,” said Scott Griffith, CEO of Motiv Electric Trucks. “The launch of Argo is a transformational moment for our company as we can now offer more vehicles and options to help more fleet customers meet their sustainability goals.”

Argo’s design incorporated learnings from Motiv’s 15 years and 4 million miles of vehicles on the road and was informed by substantial customer participation and feedback. The result, said the company, is a new truck that is  energy efficient, safer for pedestrians and drivers and offers the highest payload of any medium-duty electric vehicle.

Motiv said the Argo series offers these benefits:

  • Heavier payloads, longer range: Argo trucks haul up to 14,000 lb. of payload and can drive up to 200 miles. The cab’s lightweight composite structure coupled, with the Aries LFP battery that was co-developed with Our Next Energy, provides fleets with industry-leading range and payload, all without requiring a commercial driver’s license.
  • Safety: Argo’s safety-focused design began with an emphasis on visibility. Forward command seating, low beltlines, larger windshield with microwire defrost and a low curbside window provide drivers more direct views of their surroundings to keep pedestrians safe, said Motiv. Front and rear camera and optional e-mirrors offer additional visibility enhancements. Argo engineering also prioritized driver safety. Curbside, forward-facing entry and exit with two full-length safety railings and full-size, high-friction, self-cleaning interior steps help mitigate the most commonly-occurring operator injuries.
  • A truck for drivers: Designed for operator heights ranging from 4 ft. 11 in. to 6 ft. 3 in., Argo was built to maximize accessibility and thus expand the pool of potential drivers, said the company. A heated seat with adjustable lumbar support and armrests enables better driving posture, allowing for improved vehicle control while reducing fatigue. Intuitive navigation, climate control, cup holder and charger ports are within an arm’s reach for everyone, minimizing distractions. The 6 ft. 3 in. interior allows drivers to step in, stand up and stretch, and offers ample storage space and room for one or two optional jump seats.
  • Uptime and durability: Built in partnership with TPI Composites, the Argo cab uses advanced structural composite materials and processes that provide dramatically higher corrosion and impact resistance as well as better repairability and stronger structural integrity. As a result, the cab gets damaged less frequently and can be repaired faster. Motiv’s Gen 6 technology featuring the Motiv Smart Hub improves reliability by reducing cables and replacing wires with circuit boards. The Argo has superior service access from within the cab to expedite maintenance, empowering fleets to spend more time on route.
  • Energy optimized: Energy optimization is in the Argo cab’s composite structure, which the company said provides superior insulation versus metal cabs. Other features include built-in microwire heat on the windshield to save on defrosting energy and seats heated and cooled with specially-designed airflow.
  • Compatible with 14 ft. to 30 ft. truck bodies.The Argo comes in wheelbases ranging from 178-in. to 252-in. Available in a dock-height configuration with standard 295/75R22.5 tires or a lower-profile height with 245/70R19.5 tires, Argo works in almost any medium-duty application.
  • Diesel-equivalent torque: Argo’s patented motor and controller, co-developed with Nidec, offers torque comparable to a Class 8 diesel and motor performance comparable to an 800V system, all using a 400V system that is compatible with all DC fast chargers.

Motiv said it has developed, manufactured and deployed electric step vans, box trucks and shuttles to businesses for the last 15 years, putting more than 300 vehicles on the road that have collectively driven 4 million miles and delivered approximately 240 million pounds of goods. In 2023, the company’s electric trucks collectively achieved a remarkable 98 percent uptime, according to company diagnostic data.

“We’ve come a long way from the early days of the electric truck industry – every year we see substantial improvements in uptime and performance coming from design improvements we’ve developed hand-in-hand with customers” said Jim Castelaz, Motiv’s founder and Chief Technology and Revenue Officer. “Many fleet customers have pointed out the simple design of our new Gen 6 architecture, how much less copper we use and how well cables are routed, how easy it is to access our patented smart hub and how easy our software is to integrate; this apparent simplicity took years for us to optimize and now our customers can finally reap the benefits.”

Today, 10 of the largest medium-duty truck fleets in North America have deployed Motiv vehicles, including Purolator, Vestis (formerly Aramark Uniform Services), Cintas, Bimbo Bakeries and others. Further, Motiv said it now accounts for 45% of electric step vans in California and 19% of step van deployments in the U.S. overall.

The Argo series of vehicles are in the USA and are now avialable for order.

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