Utilimaster unveils electric, grocery-delivery vehicles

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Spartan Fleet Vehicles and Services’ Utilimaster brand has introduced three new vehicle platforms – a pair of electric designs, and a body specifically developed for increasingly popular last-mile grocery deliveries.

A walk-in van developed alongside Motive Power Systems is charged by lithium-ion batteries and promises the same performance as a traditional-fuel-equivalent vehicle, complete with an 85% reduction in operating costs and 66% reduction in maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle.

The second electrified chassis developed in a collaboration with Cummins was designed for the parcel delivery market. Like the Utilimaster Reach, this unit is built on Isuzu’s strip chassis, with a powertrain delivering a 135-km range using three BMW batteries, 3,200-lb. payload, and a charging time of less than six hours. The range jumps to 190 km between charges with four batteries.

Packaged in a Class 3 platform with a 22,000-lb. gross vehicle weight, related tests have been ongoing since last October, and production is scheduled for this summer.

A last-mile grocery delivery vehicle, meanwhile, includes a temperature-controlled truck body with a cargo area that can be divided for refrigerated, frozen, and ambient temperature goods.

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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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