The Motiv Argo is a new modular medium-duty electric truck

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The Motiv Argo is a new modular medium-duty electric truck


Enlarge / Fleets looking for a medium-duty electric truck now have a new option.

Motiv

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles account for about 23 percent of US vehicle emissions. That’s much less than the amount of greenhouse gases emitted each year by light-duty vehicles, but if anything, businesses can often have a clearer case for electrification, whether that’s to save money on annual running costs or to meet ESG goals. The annual Advanced Clean Transportation Expo is currently underway in Las Vegas, and yesterday Motiv Electric Trucks revealed the production version of its new modular medium-duty EV, the Argo.

Motiv has been around since 2009 and has been selling electric powertrains for school buses, step vans, box trucks, and even trolleys. Now it’s branching out with its own vehicle, the modular Argo, which is capable of carrying up to 14,000 lbs (6,350 kg) with a range of up to 200 miles (321 km).

“Overnight we’ve moved from a company primarily serving a narrow slice of the $20 billion medium duty truck market to one that can serve nearly that entire market,” said Motiv CEO Scott Griffith. “The launch of Argo is a transformational moment for our company as we can now offer more vehicles and options to help more fleet customers meet their sustainability goals.”

The Argo looks somewhat futuristic—certainly in comparison to a step van or box truck—and has an integrated cab-chassis design. Argo says that maximizing visibility was a key design target, with low curbside windows, plus the option of side-view cameras in addition to passive mirrors. There are also design features meant to improve driver safety, too, including safety railings and self-cleaning interior steps to help prevent what Motiv says are the most common operator injuries.

Motiv developed the Argo’s powertrain together with the Japanese company Nidec. Although Nidec originally designed the electric motor to operate at 800 V, Motiv developed a new control algorithm that allows it to run at 350 V instead, which it previously told Ars is more cost-effective. The battery pack uses a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry and was developed together with Our Next Energy.

The Argo comes in a range of wheelbases, from 178 inches (4,521 mm) to 252 inches (6,400 mm), with dock-height and lower profile options for almost any application you might want a medium-duty truck for, Motiv says. Pricing will be based on how many trucks a customer orders as well as the specifications, but Motiv told Ars that it “will be price competitive with other Class 6 electric trucks.”



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