The Navistar-Modec EV Alliance, LLC announces several additions to its sales, service and support network for the eStar all-electric truck—Chicago International Trucks (Chicago market), Rechtien International Trucks (Florida market), K. Neal International Trucks (military and government sales), Beltway Companies (Baltimore/Metro D.C. area) and DATTCO (New England area).
“Expanding our service and support for eStar customers to the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast is a great opportunity to continue growing our business,” said Mark Aubry, eStar vice president, sales and marketing. “The eStar all-electric truck is an exciting new product with amazing potential to revolutionize the industry and transform thinking when it comes to clean, efficient transportation.”
The eStar all-electric truck is the first medium-duty commercial vehicle to receive U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification as a clean fuel fleet vehicle as well as California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification as a zero-emissions vehicle. This Class 2c-3 electric truck—the first in its category—has a range of up to 100 miles per charge, making it ideal for many urban applications. When it returns to its home base at the end of the day, it can be plugged in and fully recharged within six to eight hours.
Unlike other electric trucks that are reconfigured models of fossil-fuel trucks, the eStar truck has been purpose-built for electric power, providing a competitive advantage with a low center of gravity (the battery placement is between the frame rails, not mounted on top) and a 36-foot turning circle. The eStar is engineered with superior aerodynamics, a walk-through cab and a quick-change cassette-type battery that can be swapped out in 20 minutes.
With zero tailpipe emissions, each eStar truck can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually. Drivers will be able to experience the ultimate in ergonomic design as the windshield provides nearly 180-degree visibility, the low-floor design provides easy loading/unloading and the noise level is near zero, which makes this nimble vehicle ideal for urban areas facing noise challenges.
The eStar all-electric truck transitioned from concept to reality in August 2009, when President Barack Obama traveled to a Navistar manufacturing plant in Wakarusa, Ind. and announced a grant of $39.2 million to be awarded to Navistar. The grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and deploy electric trucks in the United States.
“The collaboration between Navistar and the Department of Energy demonstrates the importance of business and government working together to make energy efficient vehicles a reality, and the continued need for research and development of advanced commercial vehicle technologies,” Aubry added. “As eStar units make their way into the day-to-day operations of leading fleets, Navistar continues to demonstrate its leadership in building a sustainable commercial electric vehicle market. We’re providing customers with the best technology available and helping create jobs throughout our supply chain while also reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and preserving our environment.”