PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) –
A Pulaski County startup, spearheaded by a former top Volvo executive, is working to bring the first fully electric truck to the New River Valley.
Behind an unmarked door at the NRV Business Center, developers have been working to create the next generation of electric trucks that could be a gamechanger for the industry.
“We’re really at the beginning of a complete paradigm shift,” said founder and CEO of Trova Commercial Vehicles Patrick Collignon. “We have so much emerging technology that is so much better for the environment that provides a more sustainable answer to the massive fuel consumption of the past.”
Collignon said the diesel engine in trucks is reaching an end point and the automotive industry is looking for alternatives like a fully electric truck.
Jason Greene from Manufacturing Service Solutions has partnered with the startup to help get a prototype into full production.
“It’s a special feel to know that what you’re going to work towards he has his goals set on nothing but creating jobs,” Greene said.
Models are in the works with a goal to begin production in 2022. We couldn’t get everything on camera until Trova is able to secure patents for designs.
“It could really bolster our supply chain supply chain providers in Pulaski County and throughout the region,” said Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet. “It’s really what strengthens and stabilizes our economy and it creates opportunities we don’t even know of yet.”
Collignon said he chose Pulaski County for its talent pool and advanced manufacturing capabilities.
“I can see this area to be a prime area for us to grow the largest electric vehicle factory on the east coast of the U.S.,” he said.
Collignon said the plan is to grow an industrial base to provide this truck for other manufacturers and to become their partners in making these vehicles.
“We have no ambition to compete with the big establishments, OEM’s, in the very first stage,” he said. “What we’re after is niche markets where we can create a unique positioning for our vehicle.”
Trova’s goal is to create new opportunities for folks in the New River Valley. The next step is to showcase its electric vehicle.
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