Wrightspeed, Matthews Specialty Vehicles Convert Buses and Trucks to Electric


Wrightspeed and Matthews Specialty Vehicles are developing, converting and delivering battery-powered and range-extended electric buses, trucks and specialty vehicles. The companies are currently fulfilling their first order from Allen Global Enterprises (AGE) to develop and produce 30 tactical Mobile Detection Systems (MDS) vehicles. Wrightspeed and Matthews’ strategic collaboration aims to produce 5,000 vehicles over the next five years.

“Matthews is the premier specialty vehicle and bus manufacturer with an unparalleled reputation for safety and reliability,” says Alan Dowdell, VP of business development at Wrightspeed. “We are proud to team up with Matthews and set a new standard in performance and efficiency for electric commercial vehicles and buses.”

For the specialty vehicle segment, vehicles up to Class 7 will be able to operate on full battery-electric power or perform extended missions with Wrightspeed’s on-board range extenders. Specialty vehicles in the medical, education and law enforcement sectors will benefit from Wrightspeed’s high-efficiency powertrain that delivers incredible torque to ensure these vehicles can operate safely even in high-grade conditions.

“Wrightspeed’s medium and heavy-duty powertrains are a great fit for Matthews vehicles,” explains Dennis Hoag, VP sales and marketing for Matthews Specialty Vehicles. “The full solution and modularity will help accelerate our entrance into the electric vehicle space. Wrightspeed is a great partner for Matthews and for our customers.”

“Wrightspeed’s EV technology not only gives MDS an extended travel range but also allows MDS to stay on station for as long as two weeks while operating all systems onboard,” states John Allen, AGE’s founder and CEO. AGE and Matthews are currently working with Wrightspeed to convert MDS to an all-electric vehicle. “This is critical to the mission whenever MDS is utilized in such events as a natural disaster. This entire team, consisting of exceptional people and technologies, is working together to make the world a safer place with MDS.”

The Matthews vehicles will be designed to have gross vehicle weight up to 53,000 lbs., range up to 500 miles, and gradeability of over 35%, while providing the most efficient kWh/mile rating available. Renewable/compressed natural gas or hydrogen-powered onboard chargers will be available as an option for extended range and, as in the case of MDS, extended stationary run-time.

The powertrains will be manufactured in Wrightspeed’s Alameda facility in California and installed at both of Matthews’ facilities in Greensboro, N.C., and Upstate New York. Both school buses and command control vehicles are available for pre-order now, with first deliveries in the second half of 2022.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments