Model 1 and CalVans Partner for Massive Ford E-Transit Fleet

Model 1 Commercial Vehicles, a leading national dealer in bus and transportation services, has entered into an unprecedented agreement with the California Vanpool Authority (CalVans). The deal involves CalVans acquiring 403 new Ford E-TransitⓇ vans to expand its fleet significantly. CalVans is a public transit agency specializing in vanpool services, connecting low-density residential areas to employment centers, with a particular focus on the agricultural sector.

Why It Matters

This collaboration is instrumental in pushing the envelope for electric mobility on a large scale. It allows CalVans to replace aging, gas-powered units in its nearly 1,000-vehicle fleet, which had reached or were approaching the end of their operational lifecycles. By modernizing its fleet with electric vehicles, CalVans aims to reduce both its carbon footprint and long-term operational costs. This transition comes at a crucial time when many vehicle dealers are grappling with supply chain issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Key Points

  • CalVans’ new fleet will include both 12-person and 9-person Ford E-Transit vans, retrofitted by Forest River Bus to meet specific route and accessibility needs.
  • The upgraded vans are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are certified to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Companies such as Forest River Bus, BraunAbility, Q’Straint, and Freedman Seating Company were involved in the certification process.
  • Model 1 was uniquely prepared to meet CalVans’ tight timeline due to their prior investments in electric vehicle (EV) inventory, infrastructure, product support, and technical training.

Bottom Line

This large-scale acquisition of Ford E-Transit vans by CalVans, facilitated by Model 1 Commercial Vehicles, represents a monumental step in the commercial adoption of electric vehicles. It sets a precedent for other agencies and organizations, encouraging them to transition to more sustainable transportation solutions. Tony Matijevich, President of Model 1, and Steve McShane, CalVans Board Chair, both expressed enthusiasm for the deal’s positive implications, not just for their respective organizations, but for the broader push toward green transportation alternatives. Tim Baughman, General Manager of Ford Pro North America, emphasized that the deal highlights Ford’s commitment to making electric vehicles accessible to rural areas and enhancing business productivity.


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