Zeus Electric Chassis picks assembly partner

Edison to build pilot battery electric Class 5 trucks for Sacramento utility in 2024

Zeus Electric Chassis Inc. of White Bear Lake, Minn., and Edison Manufacturing and Engineering, Inc. of Port Huron, Mich., have agreed via a memorandum of understanding to partner in the production of Class 5 chassis cab work trucks starting in 2024.

Edison The Class 5 work truck from Zeus Electric Chassis. (Illustration: Zeus)

“It’s great that we can bring the Minnesota and Michigan ecosystems together to launch our product,” said Zeus Managing Director Dave Stenson. “We look forward to working with the Edison team in finalizing the specifics of the agreement and deliver these highly anticipated and great-performing EV work trucks next year.”

Zeus is in later stages of design and validation to become an OEM of battery electric zero emission work trucks suited for multiple commercial applications. As evidenced by high levels of interest at ACT Expo in Anaheim, Calif. in May, the traditional chassis-cab configuration remains the popular choice of many utility, municipal and service companies to perform professional tasks. Transportation and delivery applications are easily supported, as well.

Zeus trucks have attracted attention with their unique appearance and have undergone a redefinition of chassis underpinnings to be more attractive to commercial fleet customers in performance, serviceability and cost. Zeus has defined a Class 5 launch configuration of 2WD with a dual rear wheel e-axle, conventional cab and a new 800 V electrical architecture.

Edison is a contract manufacturer that specializes in flexible, capital-efficient production of low volume mobility and mobility-related products, such as specialty vehicles. Its sister organization, PJ Wallbank Springs, Inc. has been a trusted tier one automotive component manufacturing supplier since 1982, also based in Port Huron. Zeus said Edison excels at production execution, as well as process development for low volume production.
As the agreement is further defined, Edison may also assist Zeus with process engineering. The parallel development of the assembly process while Zeus completes product development is a great match. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has publicly supported Zeus’ efforts to bring electric work trucks to market and provided pilot orders to prove their resolve.

The first units to be built by Edison in 2024 are targeted for delivery to SMUD.

Edison Vice President and General Manager Brandon Bartneck said “We are delighted to join this journey with Zeus to electrify the commercial fleet work truck market segment, and we’re excited about Zeus’ differentiated product. We continue to grow our portfolio as a trusted production partner for companies launching new products in the electrification space, and we’re eager to further expand our impact.”

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