The introduction of Motiv's Argo Series comes at a time when it was much needed, considering there has been an important surge in demand for medium-duty EVs as more and more businesses are planning to transition to electric fleets.
New regulations adopted by California, for instance, require all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold or registered in the state to be zero-emission by 2036. These new laws, along with environmental, social, and governance commitments, mean that a considerable number of medium-duty electric trucks will need to be deployed in the near future, and Motiv can surely capitalize on the current status quo.
According to Motiv, the new Argo is designed to support all medium-duty applications across Class 4-6, such as shuttle buses, box trucks, refrigerated vehicles, vocational vehicles, and other specialties, and combines the company's "proven powertrain technology with a new driver-centric cab to deliver an unparalleled EV experience."
With 14 years of experience in the field, Motiv Power Systems is well positioned to provide a modern cab design that fits real-world needs. And indeed, the new Argo is more advanced than other competitor medium-duty EVs.
Firstly, the company favored composites over sheet metal in its construction, mainly to offset the weight of the battery pack, and it claims that the cab is more energy efficient compared to other designs.
The Argo cab was also designed with stairs instead of a ladder to facilitate entry and exit and features a command seating position, which helps bring the battery forward and thus reduces the pressure on the rear axle. Moreover, the company paid close attention to the driving position, which has been designed to minimize fatigue and maximize visibility.
Argo is built on Motiv's advanced platform, which the company announced earlier this year and was developed in collaboration with Nidec. The powertrain includes a new patented six-phase motor and controller and is said to produce up to 1,770 lb-ft of torque, comparable to a Class 8 diesel combustion truck.
The platform also uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries instead of lithium-ion units. These kinds of batteries are cheaper and more durable, and although they have a lower energy density, Motiv claims an Argo EV equipped with the base 158 kWh battery will still be able to offer 150 miles (241 km) of range.
Still on the topic of the powertrain, Motiv claims it will be a simpler system compared to other EV trucks, with less cabling and fewer parts, which will result in lower maintenance costs.
The truck manufacturer is yet to release details about pricing but says it intends to keep it under the $250,000 mark. Argo is already available for pre-order, with production set to begin early next year, while the official road debut will happen only in late 2024.