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Wrightspeed and Matthews Specialty Vehicles partner to repower and convert buses and trucks into high-performance EVs; order for 30 MDS vehicles

Wrightspeed and Matthews Specialty Vehicles are teaming up to develop, convert, and deliver battery-powered and range-extended electric buses, trucks, and specialty vehicles with industry-leading performance, efficiency, and total cost of ownership.

The companies are currently fulfilling their first order from Allen Global Enterprises (AGE) to develop and produce 30 tactical Mobile Detection Systems (MDS) vehicles. Wrightspeed and Matthews’ strategic collaboration aims to produce 5,000 vehicles over the next five years.


MDS is a multi-purpose Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear, Explosive (CBRNE) detection tactical command and control vehicle.

Matthews and Wrightspeed together bring a unique combination of real-world, on-road experience and powertrain technology. For the specialty vehicle segment, vehicles up to Class 7 will be able to operate on full battery electric power or perform extended missions with Wrightspeed’s on-board range extenders.

Specialty vehicles in the medical, education, and law enforcement sectors will benefit greatly from Wrightspeed’s high-efficiency powertrain that delivers incredible torque to ensure these vehicles can operate safely even in high-grade conditions.

AGE and Matthews are currently working with Wrightspeed to convert MDS to an all-electric vehicle.

The Matthews vehicles will be designed to have gross vehicle weight (GVW) up to 53,000 lbs., range up to 500 miles, and gradeability of more than 35%, while providing the most efficient kWh/mile rating available. Renewable/compressed natural gas (RNG/CNG) or hydrogen-powered onboard chargers will be available as an option for extended range and, as in the case of MDS, extended stationary run-time.

Since 1967, Matthews has been a staple and one of the strongest dealers in the school bus industry. The specialty vehicle division, Matthews Specialty Vehicles, custom builds state-of-the-art vehicles for some of the most prominent healthcare, education, law enforcement, and government organizations in the world.

The powertrains will be manufactured in Wrightspeed’s 110,000 sq. ft. Alameda, CA facility and installed at both of Matthews’ facilities in Greensboro, NC, and Upstate New York, totaling 300,000 sq. ft. Both school buses and command control vehicles are available for pre-order now, with first deliveries in the second half of 2022.


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