Wrightspeed and Matthews Specialty Vehicles today announced a teaming agreement to develop, convert, and deliver battery-powered and range-extended electric buses, trucks, and specialty vehicles with industry-leading performance, efficiency, and total cost of ownership. The companies are currently fulfilling their first order from Allen Global Enterprises (AGE) to develop and produce 30 tactical Mobile Detection Systems (MDS) vehicles. Wrightspeed and Matthews’ strategic collaboration aims to produce 5,000 vehicles over the next five years.
“We are proud to team up with Matthews and set a new standard in performance and efficiency for electric commercial vehicles and buses.”
“Matthews is the premier specialty vehicle and bus manufacturer with an unparalleled reputation for safety and reliability,” said Alan Dowdell, VP of business development, Wrightspeed. “We are proud to team up with Matthews and set a new standard in performance and efficiency for electric commercial vehicles and buses.”
Matthews and Wrightspeed together bring a unique combination of real-world, on-road experience and powertrain technology. For the specialty vehicle segment, vehicles up to Class 7 will be able to operate on full battery electric power or perform extended missions with Wrightspeed’s on-board range extenders. Specialty vehicles in the medical, education, and law enforcement sectors will benefit greatly from Wrightspeed’s high-efficiency powertrain that delivers incredible torque to ensure these vehicles can operate safely even in high-grade conditions.
“Wrightspeed’s medium and heavy-duty powertrains are a great fit for Matthews vehicles,” said Dennis Hoag, VP sales and marketing, Matthews Specialty Vehicles. “The full solution and modularity will help accelerate our entrance into the electric vehicle space. Wrightspeed is a great partner for Matthews and for our customers.”
AGE and Matthews are currently working with Wrightspeed to convert MDS to an all-electric vehicle. John Allen, AGE’s founder and CEO, stated, “Wrightspeed’s EV technology not only gives MDS an extended travel range but also allows MDS to stay on station for as long as two weeks while operating all systems onboard. This is critical to the mission whenever MDS is utilized in such events as a natural disaster. This entire team, consisting of exceptional people and technologies, is working together to make the world a safer place with MDS.”
The Matthews vehicles will be designed to have gross vehicle weight (GVW) up to 53,000 lbs., range up to 500 miles, and gradeability of over 35 percent, while providing the most efficient kWh/mile rating available. Renewable/compressed natural gas (RNG/CNG) or hydrogen-powered onboard chargers will be available as an option for extended range and, as in the case of MDS, extended stationary run-time.
Since 1967, Matthews has been a staple and one of the strongest dealers in the school bus industry. With innovation in the company’s DNA, they were able to launch their very own specialty vehicle division, Matthews Specialty Vehicles. Matthews custom builds state-of-the-art vehicles for some of the most prominent healthcare, education, law enforcement, and government organizations in the world. As an industry leader in transportation and specialty vehicles, Matthews is excited to bring electric vehicle solutions to market.
The powertrains will be manufactured in Wrightspeed’s 110,000 sq. ft. Alameda, CA facility and installed at both of Matthews’ state-of-the-art facilities in Greensboro, NC, and Upstate New York, totaling 300,000 sq. ft. Both school buses and command control vehicles are available for pre-order now, with first deliveries in the second half of 2022.