Shyft Group, a specialty vehicle manufacturer and upfitter, is entering the electric vehicle race with Blue Arc EV Solutions.
The first three offerings will include an EV chassis, an all-electric Class 3 delivery walk-in van, and remote-controlled charging station known as the Power Cube.
“We created Blue Arc not just for companies looking to evolve their parcel delivery fleets to electric power, but for the people – for our customers and the drivers,” said Shyft CEO Daryl Adams. “Blue Arc is the electric mobility company that can deliver end-to-end holistic EV solutions and meet sustainability and performance goals with a full ecosystem of electric-powered solutions.”
The vans will range from 14 to 18 feet long, and with 635 to 800 cubic feet of cargo space they will feature a payload capacity of up to 5,000 lb.
The first dealer for the vans will be North Carolina’s Randy Marion Dealer Group, but a Shyft Group spokesperson confirmed to trucknews.com that there are also plans to bring the vehicles to Canada.
“The EV walk-in delivery van is going to be one-of-a-kind in the market because nobody else currently has the capability to manufacture both the chassis and the bodies like Blue Arc,” said Brad Sigmon, vice-president – sales at the Randy Marion Automotive Group.
The chassis itself features a customizable length and wheelbase, while the modular design will accommodate multiple weight ratings and classifications based on use, the company says.
The van’s 800-volt system will tap into lithium-ion battery packs offer a range of 240 to 280 kilometers, although those distances can be boosted with expanded battery options. An integrated solar roof package will add to the available power. The company plans to offer battery upgrades and buyback programs, too.
But the power itself won’t even need to come from a traditional grid. Blue Arc’s Power Cube is a remote-controlled charging station with onboard energy storage, and will charge vehicles in one to two hours, Shyft Group says. It will be supplemented using wind power and solar panels. That unit is scheduled to debut next month.
Meanwhile, the van’s aluminum and composite body helps to protect against scratches and dents, the company says. Inside, features include aluminum honeycomb shelving.
Promised technology is not limited to electrification alone. Shyft says it plans to integrate 360-degree cameras, in-dash HD camera displays, lane departure and proximity sensors, and keyless and automated entry.
Vehicle prototypes will begin route testing in coming months, with work supported by Shyft’s research and development facility in Plymouth, Mich. Production is scheduled to begin in the southeastern U.S. in mid-2023.