GAFFNEY, SC – Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) and Enova have launched a program aimed at making commercial electric vehicles more accessible and affordable to fleets. 

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, manufactures premium chassis for commercial vehicles including delivery walk-in vans and shuttle buses. Enova develops hybrid and electric drive systems and components for commercial vehicles. The two companies' newly launched Green for Free program allows fleet executives to purchase all-electric vehicles for the cost of a diesel-powered commercial vehicle. The savings fleets incur from the reduced maintenance and fuel savings of the electric vehicles is then used over a period of time to cover the incremental expense for the technology, the companies said. 

The Green for Free program will use the FCCC All-Electric Walk-in Van (WIV) chassis powered by the Enova drive system. Fleets with set routes in pickup and delivery applications are best suited for the Green for Free program because they have predictable drive routes and return each night to the company depot. 

“FCCC and Enova recognize that the Green For Free program is necessary in order to make all-electric vehicles more affordable, and therefore more accessible, to fleets,” said Bob Harbin, FCCC president. “We want to help those fleets interested in reducing their energy consumption and environmental impact by enabling them to purchase more alternative-fuel vehicles at one time because of the reduced upfront costs.” 

FCCC and Enova plan to deploy a total of 3,000 alternative-fuel vehicles within a two-year time frame, beginning no later than the third quarter 2012, as a result of the Green for Free program. 

Enova and FCCC developed an integration method for both new and retrofit applications. FCCC’s all-electric chassis is built upon the FCCC MT-45 chassis, which is capable of handling heavy payloads. 

“This business model has the potential to stimulate tremendous and rapid growth, helping achieve economies of scale through cost reduction, resulting in an excellent value proposition for the commercial fleet operator,” said Mike Staran, Enova president and CEO.