Electric Vehicle Steps : Step Catalogue : AVS Steps


AVS Steps, the world’s largest automotive step specialist, has launched a new cassette step, the EX range.  The product has been under development with AVS for over two years, and has been chosen by Mercedes-Benz as its factory fitted product of choice for Sprinter Minibuses.

With the increasing demand for extended warranties in the global vehicle marketing industry, the EX range has been designed to address the need for a robust powered step that delivers the reliability expected of modern passenger transport vehicles, and is supported with a full two year manufacturer’s warranty that can be extended to three.  Four sizes are available with tread widths ranging from 600 to 1200mm, with the larger steps comfortably accommodating two adults. 

The need for reliability also drove AVS to develop a new heavy duty twin-armed motor, and this underwent over a million test cycles to prove its reliability. The motor delivers seven times the power of a standard electric step, and is easily controlled via a heavy duty control box.  

Keith Clarke, managing director, AVS Steps, said: “Our whole product ethos is built around reliability and reducing any possible downtime, as we appreciate this can impact on our customer’s businesses and the smooth operation of essential services.  We also recognise that steps are not always foremost in people’s mind and in reality only become a concern when they go wrong; therefore we wanted to produce a step that customers could almost ‘fit and forget’. The EX range meets these requirements and provides a quality product that is tough enough to withstand day to day usage in any environment.”

Building on its 20 years reputation for product reliability and quality, AVS has designed additional safety features in the EX range, including full automatic working option, automatic step closure when the door shuts, and an optional touch sensitive strip which detects any contact with objects and automatically cuts the motor.  Unlike competitive models, the strip works on an independent circuit and is unaffected by adverse step conditions such as mud.  Further options include an illuminated front edge.

The EX range of slide-in slide-out cassette steps have an aluminium tread assembly which is enclosed in a 2mm thick galvanised steel case.  It is self-cleaning and suitable for all commercial and private passenger uses including mini-buses, ambulances, utility vehicles, transit vans, school buses, etc., and can be fitted to hinged, sliding and power operated doors.  

Although step maintenance is not a legal requirement, AVS advises that the best way to keep the steps in tip top condition is to wash them on a monthly basis, and by having a service at six-monthly intervals. AVS operates a nationwide servicing facility through accredited agents in the UK and a growing number in Germany and other countries.  Every step is labelled with a unique traceable reference number to allow AVS to instantly recognise the step wherever it is in the world.

 “There is a perception that electrically operated steps are less reliable than manual alternatives – this is in fact not the case, and we would go as far to say that the EX range is more reliable than any other electric or manual step currently available on the market.  A testament to the reliability and rigorous testing of the EX range is its endorsement by one of the world’s prestigious motor vehicle manufacturers – Mercedes-Benz - with whom we have enjoyed a good working relationship for many years. 

The development of the EX range has resulted in us securing a five-year contract with Mercedes-Benz, and the reasons pointed for this success is quality and value for money combined.  The EX 600 with the sensitive strip is now installed on all Sprinter minibuses on both side doors and cab doors,” continued Keith.

Self-installation of the EX step range is straightforward with fitting kits available for most popular vehicles which include instructions, wiring plans with free online support.  AVS also provides a nationwide fitting service (in the UK).  AVS Steps is ISO9001-2000 accredited.

October 2007

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