Mike Holden, News 5 Cleveland
A town once known for coal mining and steel mills has entered a new era. New Philadelphia, Ohio, which is just 75 miles south of Cleveland, has become the new mecca of electric vehicle manufacturing. It’s thanks to a company known as “Battle Motors”.
The business has helped transform the town and created employment opportunities for all.
Officials report more than 400 jobs have been created by Battle Motors, so far.
The company has become a multi-million-dollar community staple.
The people behind it say they’re not slowing down anytime soon.
On the assembly line at Battle Motors, work is well underway to diversify the trucking industry for the next generation of use and performance.
"EV is bringing us into the non-refuse. What I call commercial market," Stan Mikalonis, Chief Revenue Officer of Battle Motors, said.
Each day, hundreds of employees work as a team to create medium and heavy-duty electric garbage trucks and vocational work vehicles.
With zero emissions—the focus is on green and clean energy that won't harm the environment.
"These chassis which you can see here can also be used in the delivery market. Utility market. And pretty much anything you can put a body on," Michael Patterson, CEO of Battle Motors, said.
For New Philadelphia area father of two and longtime welder Raymond Tharp, he blends work and family. His sons Kyle and Cody are employed there as well.
"For both of my sons to be able to come here and have a chance to advance here, the one son's learning graphic design and graphic engineering. My other son is directly under me. It's remarkable," Tharp said.
Tharp says Battle Motors has helped revive an area that has seen businesses come and go over the years. When he started working here a little over a year ago, he was one of roughly 180 staffers.
Now, he says there are more than 480 employees.
"It's been a Godsend because we've lost a lot of industry in this community. A second chance? Second chance for sure," Tharp said.
Battle Motors was previously known as the Crane Carrier Company.
Dating back to 75 years ago, that company modified, reinforced, and re-manufactured surplus military vehicles.
Michael Patterson's ownership in 2021 ushered in a new era of manufacturing and development.
The Toledo, Ohio native founded Romeo Power then ultimately Battle Motors—finding a gap in the market and pivoting toward electric vehicle production.
"You've got a legacy platform with the best technology and the most safety features," Patterson said.
Patterson says investing in business here has paid off as EV demands are growing.
"Revenues are up 650%. So, right now we do just about what Crane Carrier was doing every year, we do that about every month," Patterson said.
Officials behind Battle Motors say the secret to their success is evolving with technology and demand.
Each truck they produce is rechargeable and comes with its own charging station.
They utilize the Revolution Operating System, which is shown on the dashboard of the vehicles.
Battle Motors is the only company that uses state-of-the-art flat-screen technology.
"This tells you everything about the battery. It tells you how many charge cycles it has. How many more miles you have with it. We can actively control the charging capability remotely," Paul Marsolan, Chief Software Officer Battle Motors said.
Patterson says electric vehicles have changed the game, and they're already looking toward additional growth with 100 acres of build space available on-site.
"The plan is to double the facility again. Make additional vehicles. There is a lot of potential," Patterson said.
Battle Motors is looking to hire more staff as they will build at least 5,000 more trucks in the near future.