Kevin Jones / FleetOwner
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Shyft debuts new brand, Class 3 EV delivery van, all-new chassis

March 9, 2022
Specialty vehicle manufacturer and upfitter said it was responding to customer requests for help in meeting last-mile delivery needs with new commercial-grade EV “ecosystem.” New southeast U.S. plant will begin building delivery of Blue Arc EVs by 2023.

INDIANAPOLIS—The Shyft Group debuted a “go-to-market” brand, Blue Arc EV Solutions, along with a trio of new products here at Work Truck Week 2022 on March 9 that included an all-electric Class 3 delivery walk-in van; a commercial-grade, purpose-built EV chassis; and a remote-controlled charging station the specialty vehicle maker calls 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,” Shyft CEO Daryl Adams said via a  press release distributed at Work Truck Week.

See also: Ford Pro touts turnkey transition to EVs

“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,” Adams added. “We are ready to charge ahead and bring the EV promise to reality for future generations.”

Along with news of the new brand here, Adams announced that North Carolina-based Randy Marion Dealer Group will be its first U.S. dealer to offer Blue Arc’s all-electric Class 3 delivery van, which does not yet have a name. For 50 years, Shyft has been a specialty vehicle chassis manufacturer and body builder for the last-mile delivery segment, but in its release company leaders said Shyft will utilize its coast-to-coast manufacturing and service infrastructure for delivering EV solutions.

“We’re extremely excited to offer Blue Arc EV solutions to our customers,” said Brad Sigmon, VP of sales for first dealer Randy Marion Group. “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.”

Shyft’s proprietary battery-powered chassis features customizable length and wheelbase, making it well-suited to serve a wide range of medium-duty trucks and end uses, according to the company’s release. The chassis is an all-new design built from the ground up to accommodate the usage and duty-cycle demands of commercial vehicles, Shyft said.

“This all-new EV chassis and delivery van offers purpose-built, customer-focused work trucks that increase speed, efficiency and impact on our customers’ bottom line,” said Eric Fisher, VP and general manager of Blue Arc EV Solutions.

The modular design of the chassis will accommodate multiple weight ratings and classifications, based on build-out and usage. The lithium-ion battery packs provide 150 to 175 miles of range with the chance to extend that range with other battery options. The all-electric chassis is adaptable to last-mile delivery, work truck, mass transit, recreational vehicle, and other emerging EV markets.

The Blue Arc delivery van will be a 100% battery-powered Class 3 electric commercial delivery vehicle designed for high-frequency, last-mile delivery fleets. The cargo area features 635 to 800 cubic feet of storage and offers a choice of vocational packages specifically designed for functionality, according to the company. The lightweight aluminum and composite body design offer higher durability against scratches and dents. With vehicles ranging from 14 to 18 feet in length and a payload capacity of up to 5,000 lbs., Shyft customers can maximize productivity and minimize cost of ownership, including fuel and maintenance costs.

See also: Electrification at a 'tipping point' as fleets explore adoption

Blue Arc plans to integrate the latest in proven vehicle and driver safety technology such as 360-degree cameras, large in-dash HD camera displays, lane departure, and proximity sensors, and keyless and automated entry. Designed with the driver’s comfort and productivity in mind, the delivery van is easy to drive and easy to enter and exit for last-mile deliveries with multistop routes.

Vehicle prototypes are expected to reach customers for route testing in the coming months, supported out of the Shyft R&D facility in Plymouth, Michigan. Shyft expects to begin building the chassis and electric delivery vans at a plant in the southeastern United States by mid-2023.

The Blue Arc ecosystem also includes the Power Cube, a portable remote-controlled charging station with onboard energy storage to serve a variety of commercial vehicle needs.

Understanding that lack of EV infrastructure is one of the roadblocks to adoption, the Power Cube offers a unique solution, providing a mobile, customizable, commercial-grade EV charger that does not need to be connected to the grid. It has a fast and flexible deployment model that’s customizable for customer needs with varying configurations. This solution carries power onboard and can have vehicles up and charged in one to two hours. The Power Cube also is sustainable, supplemented with wind and solar power with panels that track the sun for maximum exposure and charging.

Shyft plans to debut the Blue Arc Power Cube next month.

About the Author

Scott Achelpohl | Managing Editor

I'm back to the trucking and transportation track of my career after some time away freelancing and working to cover the branches of the U.S. military, specifically the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard. I'm a graduate of the University of Kansas and the William Allen White School of Journalism there with several years of experience inside and outside business-to-business journalism. I'm a wordsmith by nature, and I edit FleetOwner magazine and our website as well as report and write all kinds of news that affects trucking and transportation.

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