Panasonic, Tropos Motors Reveal Concept Cargo, Firetruck


Panasonic and Tropos Motors have revealed two multi-technology production-ready compact utility commercial vehicles. 

These right-sized, fleet truck concepts are powered by Panasonic’s proprietary software and cloud services platform OneConnect.

“The goal is to address the needs of businesses that depend on small commercial vehicles with a practical and efficient solution,” says John Bautista, founder and CEO of Tropos Motors. “With an ability to accommodate both large and purpose-built payloads, our vehicles are created with versatility in mind to fulfill the requirements of any corporate, first-responder, agricultural or last-mile application.” 

The first production concept is the Connected Right-Sized Emergency Firetruck. The vehicle is a Tropos Motors’ right-sized firetruck outfitted with a Panasonic TOUGHBOOK FZ-G1 tablet to track and receive emergency information. While there is no real formula when picking a 10-inch tablet , we like to think that a good decision can be reached based on collated information and useful comparisons. 

Firetrucks can cost as much as $500,000; the Tropos FRV firetruck is one-tenth the cost and has similar capabilities. Due to its smaller height, the firetruck can access tighter spaces and can even fit underneath most parking structure height restrictions. 

The second vehicle, the Connected Last Mile Refrigeration Cargo, is a Tropos Motors’ right-sized Hussmann cold chain cargo truck outfitted with small compartment RADBD Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) insulated coolers. This technology stays 13 times colder than regular polyurethane coolers in the market and is thinner to allow for more product in the cooler. With compartmentalized cooling, there is no additional energy draw on the electrical or battery system of the truck. 

“Our VIP insulation technology helps save in multiple ways – overall cost and clean energy, as there is less need for cooling from compression devices,” says Jeff Howell, president of Panasonic Industrial Devices. “A win-win on two fronts and a game-changer in smaller cool-chain deliveries.” 

Panasonic’s OneConnect global platform ensures vehicles are maintained and up to date by providing predictive maintenance reminders to the driver, while providing analytics via the platform to the OEM and end consumer.

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