The European branch of Californian electric vehicle manufacturer Tropos Motors has started manufacturing electric commercial vehicles in Germany with Mosolf Group in the city of Herne.
In future, up to 3,000 compact commercial vehicles in the L7E-CU category are to be produced here annually. The light transporters feature a small turning circle, adaptable body options and easy charging at domestic sockets.
Initially, the Herne plant will employ 15 people. Although the Covid19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the public presentation, workers have been able to start production in compliance with all pandemic-specific employee health and safety regulations. According to Tropos Motors Europe, around 50 new jobs will be created in the future.
Herne, located in Germany’s famous Ruhrgebiet industrial region, will not only be the company’s production centre – after-sales, quality management and sales will also be conducted there. Tropos Motors also aims to establish research and development departments in the same location in cooperation with the regional universities.
The light electric transporters produced in Herne will be adapted versions of the vehicle that Tropos Motors initially developed for the USA. They can be ordered with different bodies depending on the customer’s requirements, which can also be exchanged later with a few simple steps using an “Easy Swap” system – for example, from a box body to a flatbed. The vehicles named Able are 3.70 metres long and 1.40 metres wide. The net payload important for transporters is 565 kilograms. A useful detail for use in city centres or narrow factory premises is that the Able has a turning circle of less than four meters.
The Tropos Able ST is the standard model with an AGM battery for a range of 80 kilometres and a top speed of 40 km/h. The Able XR is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that lasts for 105 to 260 kilometres, depending on the model. The XR has a top speed of 85 km/h.
Because of its relatively small batteries, the Able only requires 230-volt sockets ie. from any domestic electricity supply with no additional charging equipment. Charging can be carried out – presumably overnight – in eight hours.
Gregory Hancke, Managing Director of Tropos Motors Europe explains that “Emission-free, quiet and cost-effective transport solutions are in greater demand than ever.” According to Hancke, the Able can also be integrated into digital applications such as central fleet management, predictive maintenance or sharing offers via an optionally available data box.
In Europe, the Californian company is cooperating with Mosolf Group, a German company primarily known as an automotive logistics company. The production of the Tropos commercial vehicles marks the Groups entry into the field of electric mobility. CEO Jörg Mosolf sees “enormous potential for sustainable and economically sensible mobility of goods, especially on the last mile and on company premises”. “Flexible and environmentally friendly transporters are required to enable CO2-neutral transport in regional and intralogistics”, says Mosolf.