Motiv Power Systems
Motiv worked with Nidec to design and patent a six-phase motor and motor controller, which produces torque that, according to Motiv, surpasses internal combustion engine counterparts. Motiv also co-developed its battery interface to the new battery system, the first ONE Aries LFP battery system on the market, which is capable of reaching a 200-mile range on a single charge. The base version is rated at 150 miles of range.

Motiv launches next-gen all-electric MD truck

April 28, 2023
California-based OEM boasts that the new medium-duty EV—built to customer specs in such configurations as step van, box truck, shuttle van, or work truck—will have a 200-mile range on a single charge and feature torque comparable to a Class 8 diesel.

Motiv Power Systems, the Bay Area-based maker of medium-duty 2-ton to 6-ton-payload battery-electric trucks and buses, on April 27 debuted what the company is billing as its next-generation all-electric MD model that has a range of up to 200 miles on a single charge and torque comparable to a Class 8 diesel tractor.

To develop the chassis for the new MD model, Motiv worked with Nidec Corp., a Japanese maker and distributor of electric motors, to design and patent a six-phase motor and motor controller featuring torque that surpasses counterparts with internal combustion engines, according to an April 27 release from Motiv, which also co-developed and has patents pending for the battery interface to the new MD truck’s battery system, the first ONE Aries LFP system on the market. Motive says the system has a 200-mile range on a single charge, but the base version is rated at 150 miles.

See also: Electrification reveals light up Work Truck Week again

The bodies atop the new chassis and electric drivetrain will be custom-built and fine-tuned to each customer’s needs for such vehicles as step vans, box trucks, shuttle vans, or work trucks, according to the company. A Motiv vehicle was available to ride or drive at Work Truck Week 2023 and a Class 6 electric van used in grocer Giant Food’s delivery operations built by Motiv also was on display. Motiv also has built vehicles for private fleets such as Cintas, Bimbo Bakeries, and Purolator, and more than 150 vehicles developed by the 14-year-old Foster City, California-based company have been driven more than 2.5 million miles with fleets across North America.

“Motiv’s new technology platform tackles key barriers to electrifying a commercial fleet: payload confidence, range anxiety, and serviceability concerns. And we’ve done so in collaboration with our customers,” Tim Krauskopf, CEO of Motiv Power Systems, said in the company release. “The driver holding the wheel every day is our target—and our success at getting them to advocate for Motiv’s EVs is the best validation for adoption.”

See also: Biden administration OKs California waivers to mandate electric trucks

Motiv’s new truck and others like it arrive as the trucking industry faces increasing pressure to electrify in the face of newly accelerated net-zero regulations and with federal tax breaks, fuel-price volatility, corporate sustainability initiatives, and consumer pressure part of the mix. Many businesses are eager to transition to EVs but need established vehicles that can service 2-ton to 6-ton payloads (Motiv’s market niche) with reliability and even better driving experience than traditional diesel- and gasoline-burning trucks, according to the company.

Other features of the new Motiv EV include:
  • Simplified design: The new EVs have built on Motiv’s previous iterations to embody an efficient, reliable design by combining 12 different parts into a single, high-reliability unit with fewer wires and cables. The simplicity improves serviceability and limits maintenance needs. Plus, the vehicles use less refrigerant, which is more climate friendly and more robust.
  • Enhanced driving range: The new ONE Aries LFP battery allows fleets to drive the full 150- or 200-mile range with a maximum rated payload, opening the door to electrification for companies with large payload requirements like linens and office supplies.
  • Battery safety and sustainability: The LFP battery is free of nickel and cobalt, the company said, lowering costs and creating a more sustainable raw material supply chain. The chemistry and design of the LFP battery increase safety by eliminating the potential for thermal events, the company said. The batteries also are manufactured in the U.S., growing innovation and opportunity in America.
  • Customizability: Fleets can select two or three battery packs to suit range needs. The new technology design supports customized body builders, including providing several charge port locations, multiple high-voltage accessories for HVAC and power take-off, and many specialized body requirements.
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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