Composites let van shed half a ton

Sept. 20, 2012
Vehicle manufacturer creates Reach van that meets environmental requirements.

Spartan Motors Inc.

Use of composites let engineers redesign a walk-in commercial van and eliminate nearly 1,000 lb, which means the van will meet upcoming greenhouse-gas emission requirements for vocational vehicles. The van, developed by Utilimaster, Bristol, Ind., a wholly owned subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., Charlotte, Mich., is called the Reach and was a joint project between Utilimaster and Isuzu.

The lightweight composites, coupled with Isuzu’s 4JJ1-TC clean diesel engine and an aerodynamically streamlined body, boosts fuel efficiency by more than 35%. This level of fuel efficiency translates into an 11-ton reduction of CO2 emissions per vehicle each year. Spartan figures larger Reach fleets will realize fuel savings of up to $3,000 per vehicle annually.

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