Pegasus Specialty Vehicles is ramping up to begin production on new small- and medium-sized school buses.
The company based in Dunkirk, Ohio, was officially formed earlier this year. Brian Barrington, president of Pegasus, announced on Tuesday the opening of the body upfitting facility to produce diesel, gasoline and electric models that will roll off the assembly line in March or April of 2022.
He relayed to School Transportation News that Pegasus is pursuing the Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers certification to build bus bodies on the gasoline Ford E Series and diesel Ford Transit cutaway chassis, and it will be utilizing General Motor’s upfitter integration guidelines to build on the GM Express 3500/4500 cutaway chassis. Barrington noted that Pegasus is also seeking propane and CNG options.
Additionally, Pegasus is partnering with Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc., to offer an electric bus weighing up to the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 22,300 pounds and built on the Ford E Series 158-inch school bus chassis. A line of commercial shuttle buses is also in development.
“The Zeus chassis was never designed with a gas engine and then removed,” explained Barrington of the purpose-built chassis. “We will start with two different chassis from Zeus, their current model that is starting production which goes up to 17,000-pound GVWR, making it the most capable chassis in the Type A segment. The next chassis will go up to a 22,300-pound GVWR chassis and provides a different cab configuration.”
Barrington said a technology stack for the Zeus is expected to be finished the week after Christmas, which, he suggested, “separates the Zeus chassis from the competition as well as some of the things we are doing on the body side.”
Pegasus hopes to have one or both of the Zeus models on display at STN EXPO Reno in July.
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He also said the company plans to offer a medium-duty chassis starting at the 19,500 GVW chassis “with the potential to go bigger.”
“A 48-passenger school bus is the goal,” said Barrington, who started in the industry in 1995 as a quality manager and production supervisor of the now-defunct, Type-A brand Mid Bus. “With any luck, we will have that for STN [EXPO] in Indy.”