A new Chinese-designed compact electric utility vehicle could be making its European debut after going into production in kit form in the USA.
Called the Tropos METRO, the all-electric vehicle is built in a modular fashion on a separate chassis, which contains a lithium-ion battery. It is claimed to be one of the cheapest and easiest to assemble electric vehicles in existence, and is supplied to its California-based distributor, Cenntro, in unassembled kit form from China.
The kits are then assembled at plants in California and New Jersey for distribution across the US, and the company say it is looking for similar distribution arrangements in Europe.
The METRO is currently available in three basic configurations, a pickup bed, cargo box, and tradesman package, all of which can be modified to suit the operator’s unique needs, before or after purchase. These include tipper bodies, dropside and delivery-specific box van bodies.
“The METRO is ideal for college campuses, municipalities and local business who are striving for the most contemporary transport options and a low carbon footprint,” said John Bautista, CEO of Tropos Technologies. “Hundreds of METRO vehicles are delivering goods, services, and passengers all over Asia, and we’re excited to be the leading distributor in the US for such an innovative solution to the low-speed vehicle segment.”
The METRO has a power output of 10kW and a range of up to 120 miles, with a top speed of around 50mph. It can carry a payload of up to 545kg.
“With the METRO, we are pushing fleets to reimagine the value their compact utility vehicles bring to their overall operations,” said Peter Wang, CEO of the US assembly operation Cenntro Automotive. “Counterparts to the METRO simply do not provide the market the complete package customers are looking for, and at Cenntro, we’re dedicated to doing better than the status quo. From our 100% US final assembly to our integrated powertrain, Cenntro electric vehicles deliver high-value, dependable and low cost of ownership vehicles to meet market demand.”