Motiv Power Systems Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

FOSTER CITY, Calif. — This year, Motiv Power Systems is celebrating 10 years of “Freeing Fleets From Fossil Fuels.” With partners like Ford, BMW, Winnebago, Spartan/Utilimaster, Champion Bus, Creative Bus Sales, Collins Bus, ABC, Transtech Bus, and more, the company says it has become a recognized leader in all-electric chassis for commercial trucks and buses.

Collectively, Motiv’s EPIC chassis have traveled over 750,000 real-world miles driven by customers such as Aramark, Bimbo Bakeries USA, USPS, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), over a dozen school districts and more.

An event celebrating Motiv’s 10th anniversary will be held at its Foster City headquarters on Oct. 3, 2019, from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Dignitaries including Foster City Mayor Sam Hindi and San Mateo Mayor Rick Bonilla will be present to commemorate the occasion and comment about the landmark. California Air Resource Board (CARB) Air Resources Supervisor Peter Christensen, President and CEO of CALSTART John Boesel, and others will also speak.

“As a freshly-minted Stanford engineer in 2009, I would have never imagined that the market for electrified commercial vehicles in 2019 would be as strong as it is today,” stated Jim Castelaz, CTO and founder of Motiv.

Motiv’s EPIC (Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis) are CARB-certified, GSA-approved, and available for many configurations.
Motiv’s EPIC (Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis) are CARB-certified, GSA-approved, and available for many configurations.

“Back then,” he noted, “Motiv was a small team asking big questions about how to tackle the complex challenges of using electric power to move people and goods along fixed routes. I knew that we had one distinct advantage over passenger cars—predictability. We knew where these vehicles would be housed and serviced, the routes they would drive each day, and where they would return to charge each night.”

Ten years ago, Motiv’s work surrounded consulting contracts and projects. By 2013, the company had released the first production model all-electric school bus in the U.S. through a partnership with TransTech Bus. As Motiv’s technology grew and matured from pilot projects to full deployments, the business case for reducing fleet operating costs by 85 percent emerged.

In 2017, Motiv was the first all-electric chassis OEM to secure Ford’s electric Quality Vehicle Modifier (eQVM) status. In 2018, Motiv released its turn-key Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis (EPIC) that was based on the Ford platform. That same year, it became the first Tier 1 supplier of a CARB-certified all-electric stripped chassis.

Then in 2019, Jim Castelaz stepped into the role of chief technical officer and welcomed board member Matt O’Leary as Motiv’s new CEO.

“The introduction of the EPIC chassis was a game-changer for our customers. It streamlined compatibility with numerous standard vehicle body types. [It also] helped customers match our chassis offerings to their vehicles for their applications,” recalled O’Leary. “This shift to a turn-key chassis platform allowed everyone to focus less on technical configurations, and more on vehicle uses cases, cost savings, and how to integrate electric commercial vehicle operations into their overall fleet operations.”

Moving forward into the next 10 years, company officials said that Motiv will continue to bring commercial electric vehicles into parity with fossil-fueled vehicles without incentives.

Motive plans to focus on continued market development, plus further technology innovation and differentiation. Through these activities, Motiv will do its part to help the transportation industry as a whole shift the balance in favor of EVs.

“I believe that within the next five years, the EV industry will no longer need to pursue incentives or subsidies for adoption. The global scale of battery production and growth of EV adoption, along with innovation in hardware and software, provides an opportunity to create additional applications and use cases to bring even more value to fleets,” stated Castelaz. “It’s exciting to see what the next 10 years holds for Motiv and the industry at large, as we all work together to continue to Free Feets from Fossil Fuels.”

About Motiv Power Systems

Founded in 2009, and headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Motiv Power Systems, a leading provider of software and technology to electrify medium-duty commercial vehicles, is committed to freeing fleets from their dependence on fossil fuels.

Motiv’s EPIC (Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis) are CARB-certified, GSA-approved, and available for many configurations. Those include step vans, box trucks, work trucks, shuttle buses, school buses, trolleys and other specialty vehicles. An EPIC offers uncompromised performance and functionality without the pollution, noise, heat and vibration of gasoline or diesel power.

Motiv is the only Ford eQVM-approved provider of all-electric chassis for commercial trucks and buses, and benefits from engineering insights and support from Ford to ensure safety and reliability. With more than 550,000 miles logged among several of the largest fleet operators in the U.S., the EPIC family eliminates 100 percent of vehicle emissions. That dramatically reduces operating and maintenance costs, and creates a healthier environment for riders and communities, while also reducing driver fatigue. For more information and career opportunities, please visit and follow us on Twitter @motivps, Facebook and LinkedIn.