Electric powertrain conversion

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Optimal EV and Fontaine Modification Work Truck & EV Solutions have introduced an aftermarket electric powertrain that  converts conventional gasoline- or diesel-powered trucks and buses to zero-emissions electric power.

The new Optimal EV E1-R is based on the Ford E-450 cutaway chassis. Fontaine will integrate the E1-R into a range of commercial vehicle applications including school bus, shuttle bus, delivery vans and specialty vehicles at its network of post-production truck modification centres.

The first range of solutions are for the Ford E-450 cutaway chassis, which is widely modified by upfitters throughout North America. With the new E1-R, upfitters looking for new vehicles are getting a product they’ve already designed and planned for, but with an electric powertrain. Plus, customers looking to repurpose existing vehicles have a new zero-emissions option.

From a sustainability perspective, repowering not only takes inefficient ICE vehicles off the road, but it also opens up a range of electric-drive solutions and options for truck upfitters and their customers, resulting in higher rates of EV adoption, less emissions, and better performing vehicles.

The E1-R powertrain will be available on 2018 to 2023 model year Ford E-450 cutaway chassis. The powertrain boasts industry-leading performance, with 280kW/1700Nm (375hp/1254lb-ft) on tap, OEM E-450 equivalent 30% gradeability, and 125+ miles (201km) of range. The system uses Proterra 113kW batteries and all power electronics and high voltage cables protected inside the vehicle’s frame rails.

Each conversion starts with a detailed vehicle inspection. The repowered vehicles are equipped with a new powertrain and user interface, with refreshed components where required.