Some confusion over whether Zeus Electric Chassis is a car dealership was cleared up Sept. 20 at the White Bear Township Board meeting. The board continued a public hearing on a conditional use permit (CUP) application requested by Zeus.

Zeus, a manufacturer of medium-duty electric vehicle chassis, needed an auto dealership license for its operations at 2320 Leibel Street, even though it doesn’t have a showroom or car lot or sell vehicles from its facility. Township ordinances do not allow dealerships in that area.

Jim Steffes from Zeus explained that the company builds chassis for trucks in the range of 450, 550 and up. They are part of a research and development group; they have built five units in their factory. The actual trucks are built in Oklahoma. The company is in competition with Ford, GM and Dodge. The trucks are built for specific end users; Steffes said the Sacramento Utility District is one of their customers. The state of Minnesota requires Zeus to provide VIN numbers for the chassis, hence the need for a dealership license.

The directors approved the CUP and welcomed Zeus to the neighborhood. “That’s the kind of business we like to see here,” remarked Ed Prudhon, chair.

In another action, the board let a petition from the local historical society die on the table. The society requested that certain historical aspects of the property along the Rush Line Corridor be preserved during the build-out of the project. Board members felt taking the petition into consideration could constitute an endorsement of the line, so they let it drop.


Cynthia Sowden is a contributing writer for Press Publications. She can be reached at or 651-407-1200.

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