Emerging World Technologies (EWT), part of the Virleo group, has reportedly sold 31 multipurpose security vehicles to the Jixi municipal government in far northeastern China for R72 million. EWT is partnered with the state-owned China Special Automotive Group (CSAG) and must deliver a sample unit as well as 30 pilot units by the end of November.
The Engineering News reports today Virleo owner Craig Savides says the “modular all-terrain system” (MATS) vehicles will be provided as knock-down kits and assembled in China. Each kit weighs around eight tons. Following delivery of the sample unit and the first 30 units, Virleo will supply another 150 units to CSAG, bringing the order to 181 units, with a possible value of R420.3 million.
“We will ensure skills transfer to the Chinese company,” Savides told the engineering daily. Savides did not immediately return defenceWeb’s calls. After unit 100, the mechanical drive train of the security vehicle will be replaced with a hybrid drive train, the Engineering News added.
Savides says it is possible to build any type of body on the MATS platform. The platform is assembled from various parts, such as axles, control instrumentation and engines, all produced by well-known existing manufacturers. From these standard components, Savides and his team then create standard modules – such as suspension, power-pack, driver and chassis modules – which can be put together in various configurations.??”We can go up to 28mt and eight wheels.”
Bodies that can be fitted onto the platform include passenger cabins to create buses, cargo beds or armoured shells.
The hybrid diesel-electric version of the MATS is the MATHS – or modular all-terrain hybrid system. ??”The result is a very flexible, green automotive platform that is future-friendly.” After completing delivery of all the units, Savides says that CSAG will acquire a licence from Virleo to produce their own Maths vehicles. “We have registered a patent on the platform.”
Pic: The EWT logo on a parts packing crate. Source: defenceWeb, EWT archive 2006