Pegasus to buy additional Zeus electric chassis for Type A bus

By Chad Elmore19 July 2022

Pegasus Specialty Vehicle was one of company’s first customers

school bus Zeus has developed an electric cutaway Z-19 cab chassis for Type A school buses and electric shuttle and paratransit buses. (Illustration: Zeus)

One year ago, Brian Barrington, president of Pegasus Specialty Vehicle LLC, presented Zeus Electric Chassis Inc. with one of its first purchase orders. Building on that early collaboration, Zeus announced that Pegasus has placed an additional purchase order for 25 more chassis as the emerging bus-body builder grows its model lines and distribution network.

Zeus said the chassis offers a purpose-built platform for the Pegasus bus body. Independent suspension and all-wheel drive yield a safe and smoother ride, particularly in rural areas or in inclement weather conditions. The Zeus design offers holistic integration of all high- and low-voltage auxiliary functions, providing the flexibility needed to fully power climate systems and power-entry lifts with the chassis system. The battery thermal management system integral to the Zeus battery optimizes battery performance in all extreme ambient temperature conditions, from Minnesota winters to Arizona summers.

Initial delivery to Pegasus of its first Z-19 cutaway cab-chassis will be in Q4 2022. Once upfit at its Dunkirk, Ohio, facility, Pegasus said it intends to provide the vehicles to their dealers nationwide as demonstration vehicles.

Pegasus has announced agreements with dealers, including Creative Bus Sales. That deal enables all three companies to capture sales and win a portion of the abundant federal and state grant money incentivizing rapid electric-bus adoption. With Creative Bus Sales’ nationwide distribution footprint and deep market penetration, coupled with the unique BEV offering from Pegasus and Zeus, the organizations said they are well positioned to compete.

Significant funding on both the state and federal levels is accelerating the growth of the electric school bus market. Nationally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has allocated $5 billion over five years to replace diesel school buses across the U.S. and U.S. territories. Other state programs are being rolled out — for example, the California Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (HVIP) offers $130M for public school buses, and more is available for commercial and transit bus applications.

While the cutaway cab-chassis won’t be available until later this year, Zeus had its Gen II prototype chassis on dispaly in Reno, Nev., for the School Transportation News (STN) Expo, July 17-19. The prototype chassis incorporates all the key elements of the Zeus chassis design. The Zeus team was in the Pegasus booth at the show, ready to talk about the key differentiators of the Zeus design plus the developments in all-electric bus funding.

“We’re excited to be at the show and engage with bus industry experts as fleets introduce and expand their EV adoption initiatives. With new funding and incentives in place, the industry is ready to take advantage of EV advancements made by companies like Pegasus and Zeus” said Bill Brandt, Chief Revenue Officer at Zeus. “We’ve been very impressed with the bus body design being brought to market by Brian and the folks at Pegasus and look forward to being with them at the show to discuss our collective differentiated approach and production readiness.”

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