LONG BEACH, Calif. – Pegasus Specialty Vehicles, a Dunkirk, Ohio-based company spearheaded by veterans in the school and transit bus industries, announced details of a newly penned agreement with the nation’s largest bus dealership, Creative Bus Sales, during a media event held at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo on May 11, in Long Beach, California.
Pegasus will be building Type A school buses and electric shuttle and paratransit buses using the Zeus Electric Chassis Power Platform to deliver what it says will be categorically different from the gas or diesel conversions that dominate the market today. The ground-up design of the Zeus Z-19 cab-chassis is purpose-built and optimized for bus body installation and system integration.
The deal with Creative Bus Sales 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 are well positioned to compete.
“We’re very excited to take on the Pegasus product line and the timing couldn’t be better,” said Jason Hohalok, sales manager for California for Creative Bus Sales. “Our customers have been looking for new and better solutions, and the Pegasus Type A school buses and electric shuttle and paratransit bus bodies on the Zeus Electric Chassis provides us with exactly that.”
With all-wheel-drive, independent suspension and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 19,500 pounds, a Pegasus Bus on a Zeus Z-19 Power Platform is different from other vehicles in the Type A school bus, shuttle and paratransit bus categories. Its electric motors generate a continuous rated 290 horsepower and 2,040 foot-pounds of torque, enabling it to operate in inclement weather, on challenging topographies and allowing it to transport a payload of up to 8,000 pounds within a standard range of 150 miles.
The Zeus chassis offers a purpose-built platform for the Pegasus bus body. In addition to incorporating an all-electric drive train, the modular battery concept inherent in the Zeus design offers the flexibility needed to fully integrate powering climate systems and power-entry lifts with the chassis systems. The sturdier build of the Zeus frame rail system, and the resulting market-leading payload, will accommodate larger-sized buses on the same platform.
Barrington was quick to see the advantages of the Zeus design and was one of the first to sign an initial purchase order placed with Zeus for four chasses. “From our first conversation I knew that I wanted to put a bus body on the Zeus chassis. Working with Zeus and having a chassis purpose-built to suit our needs is unheard of. Because it’s not a conversion, the Zeus platform is designed to meet the unique requirements of an all-electric design,” says Barrington. “Being in and around the industry and having a chassis supplier ask us what we want, then building the chassis to meet that, is exactly what we want to do with our buses for our customers.”
“The level of cooperation and joint development between Zeus and Pegasus is what’s necessary to change an industry,” said Bill Brandt, chief revenue officer for Zeus. “Gradeability, reliability, safety, and overall vehicle productivity, will all be optimized with this approach.”
Significant funding on both the state and national 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. While states individually manage their VW Beneficiary Mitigation settlement funds, most include significant opportunity for electric bus grants. 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.
The agreement with Creative Bus Sales provides a national dealership base for Pegasus and allows the company to leverage its extensive service network and long-established expertise in the bus market. Creative Bus Sales is an HVIP-registered dealer for customers in California. Zeus Electric Chassis has been awarded an Executive Order (EO) from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its model year 2022 Z-19 and Z-22 all-electric work trucks.
About Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc.
Zeus is a leading class 4-6 purpose-built, severe-duty, electric work truck solution in North America. The company’s mission is to engineer and manufacture uncompromising, full-electric vocational solutions that address environmental and industry needs. Zeus’ ground-up approach and willingness to co-develop allow its customers to reimagine their future business models. Zeus is well networked within the eMobility ecosystem, partnering with market-leading technology suppliers, work truck OEMs, end-user fleets, and nonprofit industry leaders with the mission of accelerating EV adoption nationwide. Learn more at www.zeuselectricchassis.com.
About Pegasus Specialty Vehicles, LLC.
Pegasus Bus is spearheaded by industry-proven leadership, experienced as reputable expert innovators in the school transportation and manufacturing industries. Its management team brings a culture of creativity, flexibility, effectiveness, efficiency and teamwork to producing competitively priced modern school and shuttle buses that address market needs that have been ignored by existing bus manufacturers. Located in West Central Ohio Pegasus is positioned to be able to service the entire U.S. and Canada from one location. The company provides buses for both school and transit bus industries. Pegasus Bus leadership is well recognized by bus dealers, school bus contractors, school district transportation operators, and decision-makers who have expressed dissatisfaction with current products that do not provide the features these buyers need and want. Learn more at www.ridepegasus.net
About Creative Bus Sales
Creative Bus Sales offers dedicated sales, parts and service departments to help you in all stages of bus ownership. As a family-owned business with experience in the transportation industry since 1980, it’s no coincidence that Creative Bus Sales has grown to become the nation’s largest bus dealership. In addition, its new and used buses undergo a bumper-to-bumper inspection to help protect customers’ investments. Customers further benefit from the company’s strong manufacturing partnerships, the largest in-stock inventory, and a nationwide team of experts. Learn more at www.creativebussales.com