Silicon Valley-based Tropos Technologies is evolving from a distributor of the Cenntro METRO – a compact electric utility vehicle (eCUV) – to a manufacturer of electric low-speed vehicles and trucks.
Rebranding as Tropos Motors, the company will continue to distribute the METRO throughout the U.S. under the new ABLE product line, as well as develop additional eCUV offerings. The first of these offerings will serve the first responder market.
“The demand we see from the first responder market is for smaller and more maneuverable vehicles to meet their operational requirements, as well as vehicles that are of automotive quality but can be used indoors,” says CEO John Bautista. “The ABLE product line meets these needs as a dependable compact utility workhorse that’s still street-legal.”
According to the company, the ABLE EMSo bed package is designed to carry one patient on a full-size, standard ambulance stretcher; one EMS attendant seat; lockable storage for extra supplies, accessible from the attendant seat; and a fire extinguisher. The completely enclosed – or doorless – cab also includes a large rear window. The adjustable attendant seat may be locked in different locations on the seat guide rails to accommodate different emergency situations.
“The ABLE EMSc (contained) and EMSo (open) are ideal for large commercial buildings, production facilities, office parks or entertainment venues that cater to large crowds,” says Scot Harden, sales and marketing director at Tropos Motors. “This includes factory floors, large arenas, stadiums and concert venues, transportation depots, fairgrounds, convention centers, and other locations.”
Tropos has also released the ABLE FRV bed package. It can transport up to 125 gallons of water to emergency locations or can connect to stand-pipes, making it suitable to extinguish fires in large or small spaces, indoors and out. This upfit body for the standard ABLE vehicle comes with an electric rewind Hannay 4000 series reel and Scotty Around the Pump Class A foam system with a five-gallon foam cell, the equivalent of up to 1,000 gallons of water.
“The compact size of the ABLE FRV allows it to travel on stadium walkways and on the field, or along sidewalks within gated communities or campuses that standard trucks cannot reach,” adds Harden. “We also see uses on campgrounds where sprinkler systems and fire hydrants are not available and standard equipment may take a long time to arrive on the scene.”
According to the company, unlike other eCUVs that may be built on chassis that are too heavy, unbalanced or designed for internal combustion engines, the ABLE chassis is specially designed for electric utility vehicles. Likewise, the ABLE is not built on a repurposed golf cart or UTV chassis. The computer-designed chassis strikes a balance between high performance, efficiency, durability and versatility and features a lightweight, modular, well-balanced structure that leverages automotive-grade components, says Tropos.
The ABLE offers an on-road payload capacity of up to 1,100 pounds (1,500 pounds off-road) and a tight turning radius of 150 inches (12.5 feet). The 10 kW, zero-emission vehicle has 775 ft-lbs of rear wheel torque and an estimated 144 MPGe, up to 4.3 M/kWh, with a towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds. It has a variable range of 40–160 miles and a top speed of 25 mph or 35 mph, as defined by local laws, or 40 mph off-road, based on customization.