Utilimaster Corp., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., announced two new partnerships today (March 6) with key companies involved in the production of sustainable energy vehicles.
Utilimaster will be teaming with Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. to produce and market the all-electric zero-emission Newton Step Van. In addition, the company has partnered with Bi-Phase Technologies LLC to sell and market propane conversions for Isuzu N-Series gasoline vehicles.
Utilimaster and Smith co-developed an integrated walk-in van design using Smith’s Newton chassis platform. The Newton Step Van is available in configurations of 14,000- to 26,000- pound GVWR’s and 650-1200 cubic feet, and provides a range of approximately 100 miles on a single charge.
“The innovation and product performance found in the Newton Step Van sets a new industry standard for alternative propulsion walk-in vans,” said John Knudtson, vice president, product development for Utilimaster. “This was achieved by two leaders in the industry — Smith and Utilimaster — collaborating to integrate a new delivery and service solution. The Smith Electric partnership offers our clients an affordable green solution with a reliable all-electric vehicle platform.”
Under terms of the agreement with Bi-Phase Technologies, a Vehicle Modification Center was established at the Charlotte, Mich., campus where Spartan Motors assembles the Isuzu N-Series gasoline truck. Additionally, the Wakarusa, Ind., campus will offer propane conversions for vehicles with GM and Ford engines.
“The Bi-Phase partnership offers our clients an affordable green solution with a positive return on investment. Our clients appreciate a turnkey solution and a single point of release for vehicle, body, propane conversion, and custom upfit solutions,” states John Marshall, Utilimaster senior vice president, sales and marketing.
Utilimaster announced in February it would be moving operations in Wakarusa to nearby Bristol, beginning in this year’s second quarter.