Tropos Motors ABLE low-speed electric work truck
One ABLE Electric Work Truck
By Bill Moore
John Bautista's worked on a wide range of electric vehicles, including Zero Motorcycles. Now he's rolling out a low-speed electric work truck built with automotive-grade components called ABLE.
Most of the time we in the EV world media tend to focus on the "big stuff": Tesla's Model 3 'production hell', lithium battery breakthroughs, European 'supercars', the growing list of Chinese electric car startups.
But there's also another class of EVs emerging, ones designed for congested urban jungles where traffic crawls along at speeds comparable to the horse-n-buggy era more than 100 years ago.
Tropos Motors' ABLE electric Compact Utility Vehicle, or eCUV for short, happens to be in this class of electric vehicle: a small, nimble EV designed not so much to move people, but transport their goods and tidy up after them. They aren't sleek, stylish or necessarily pretty, but they get the job done at speeds under 25 mph, plenty fast for off-street, on-campus assignments for which they're designed.
As seems to be the trend the last few years, starting way back when with Zap World, the ABLE is a rebranded Asian import that else in the world,Asia and Europe especially, goes by the name METRO. Where most vehicles in the NEV class are essentially beefed up golf carts, Tropos Motors founder and CEO John Bautista asserts that the ABLE is built with automotive grade components, enabling it to carry and even tow heavier loads than its competitors from the likes or Polaris and John Deer.
Using commercial grade lead-acid batteries, the ABLE has a working range of 40-50 miles per charge. An upgraded glass mat AGM battery option will increase this and Bautista says a lithium-ion battery module is in development.
What's also interesting about the ABLE is that it can be quickly and easily be adapted to multiple roles, from logistics to fire-fighting, and now, as of an announcement this week, to street sweeping.
The interview with Bautista is just under 30-minutes and divided into two segments. Be sure to listen to both.
Video Part 1
Video Part 2
Originally published: 12 Apr 2018
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