Model 1 Commercial Vehicles, America's largest bus and transportation services dealer, has announced the sale of 403 new Ford E-Transit passenger vans to the California Vanpool Authority (CalVans).
CalVans is a public transit agency that offers a vanpool program to California commuters. The company connects residents in areas with low population density with employment centers, meeting the needs of farming community and its workers in particular.
CalVans' fleet of Ford E-Transit vans was upfitted by Forest River Bus, a company owned by Berkshire Hathaway. The fleet includes both 9-person and 12-person passenger vans upfitted for different configurations and route needs, including The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and room for passenger bags and tools.
Before purchasing the Ford E-Transit vans from Model 1, CalVans' fleet of nearly 1,000 vehicles included many internal combustion engine units that had exceeded the recommended lifecycle or were reaching end-of-life. The company struggled to find parts to maintain old gas-fueled models or traditional unit options to meet timing demands.
"It's encouraging to see adoption of electric vehicles happening at a significant scale. We hope the move by CalVans – and their collaborative approach with Model 1 – emboldens other agencies and organizations to make the commitment to EV units," said Tony Matijevich, President of Model 1.
He noted that Model 1 has more units in stock as other organizations and agencies are expanding their fleets and considering EV.
"This single move will grow our fleet by more than 40 percent and save millions in miles not traveled in the next year – greenhouse gas- and gas-free," said CalVans Board Chair Steve McShane. The first upfitted E-Transit passenger vans will ship to California in a week or two, with bigger shipments to reach the Golden State in October and November.
Ford Pro North America general manager Tim Baughman applauded CalVans' efforts to reduce costs and its carbon footprint. He also said the automaker is "proud to provide electric solutions to help accelerate business productivity, lower total cost of ownership and make EVs more accessible to rural areas where clean transportation alternatives are needed."
Ford Pro builds the E-Transit as a Cargo Van, Cutaway, and Chassis Cab. The Cargo Van is converted to passenger van variants by third-party upfitters such as Forest River. For details on the passenger conversion, check out Model 1's video at the top of this page.
Model 1 represents more than 20 top commercial vehicles (bus, van, EV, and other alternative fuel) manufacturers across the country. The company was founded in 1980 in California as Creative Transportation Systems and was later rebranded to Creative Bus Sales. Currently known as Model 1 and headquartered in Indianapolis, it operates 23 dealer locations throughout the US and employs more than 400 professionals.