A modular all-terrain hybrid system – MATHS – developed by South Africa’s Virleo Group is attracting interest from a number of governments, including China’s, according to Engineering News Online, citing Virleo’s owner Craig Savides.
According to Savides, Beijing is interested in buying 10,000 MATHS units. He is also talking to governments in Algeria, India, Jordan and Thailand as well as SA’s National Defence Force and Police Service.
The MATHS platform, which is still in development, is a series hybrid diesel–electric system onto which customers can fit any type of body including buses, trucks and armoured vehicles.
The parts come from existing OEMs and are turned into standard modules – such as suspension, power-pack, driver and chassis – which can be put together in various configurations.
“We can go up to 28 tons and eight wheels. The result is a very flexible, green automotive platform that is future-friendly,” Savides told Engineering News.
As yet, Virleo still requires funding to build a prototype vehicle.
Despite that, Beijing wants to buy the intellectual property rights to build 10,000 MATHS units to produce multi-purpose security vehicles – each costing around US$350,000 – with the first 200, representing a year’s work, built in South Africa.