Lightning EMotors Announces EChassis for Commercial EVs
Company claims to be the first commercial EV manufacturer to offer both electrification of legacy OEM platforms and purpose-built vehicles
Lightning eMotors has announced the availability of the Lightning eChassis platform for commercial EV applications. The platform, which was co-developed with Metalsa, will be available in several configurations including a Class 4 and Class 5 commercial electric chassis cab, a stripped chassis and a cutaway chassis.
With the addition of the eChassis, Lightning eMotors has become the first commercial EV manufacturer to offer both electrification of legacy OEM platforms and purpose-built vehicles. The Loveland, Colorado-based company expects pre-production units to be available by second quarter 2022. Regular production units are expected to be available before the end of the year.
“This collaboration with Metalsa will allow us to serve areas of the commercial vehicle market that are currently underserved with electrification options,” said Tim Reeser, CEO and co-founder of Lightning eMotors. “Bringing this solution to the commercial EV space represents another milestone in our strategy to offer our customers purpose-built, highly-customized zero-emission vehicles that deliver superior performance at a low price.”
Lightning eMotors states that the design of their eChassis accommodates various battery sizes and configurations, as well as different powertrain integrations and wheelbases. The flexibility of this design enables it to support a wide variety of applications and upfitter configurations. The company also states that their eChassis will support a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of approximately 1,500 pounds (680 kg) more than comparable platforms currently on the market.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Lightning eMotors to design, develop, integrate and assemble this first-of-its-kind flexible chassis, purpose-built to support the growing demand in the industry,” said Joe El-Behairy, president, e-Mobility Growth Business Unit at Metalsa. “Lightning’s commitment to innovation and putting high quality vehicles on the road quickly makes them the perfect customer to introduce this product.
Lighting eMotors believes that its partnership with Metalsa will help insulate it from the ongoing supply chain issues throughout the industry and will better position the company to deliver on production dates for the eChassis. The company expects to be first-to-market with their new eChassis and intends to deliver new vehicles at a swift pace.
Lightning eMotors also recently announced that its all-electric fleet had just crossed the million-mile mark for customer-driven and owned vehicles. The miles driven include public roads and highways across the U.S. and Canada on nine different vehicle platforms ranging from Class 3 through Class 7, and six different vertical market applications such as ambulances, cargo vans, delivery trucks, school buses, shuttle buses and transit buses.
According to Lighting eMotors, the company’s customer fleet is accumulating test mileage at a rate of over 25,000 miles (40,233 km) per month. The rate is expected in increase as Lightning accelerates its production and delivery of vehicles. At the time of writing, the highest milage Lighting vehicle on the road has logged over 54,000 miles (86,900 km).
The company’s current roster of legacy OEM chassis drivetrain electrification includes the Ford Transit, E-450, F-550, and F-53/59 platforms. GM applications include the 6500XD LCF chassis. Lighting also offers EV repower solutions for city buses and motorcoaches as well as a mobile DC fast charging unit which can be upfitted for commercial vans or trailers.