Colorado-based Lightning Systems has recently renamed itself to Lightning eMotors as the company expands its business to complete electrification solutions for commercial fleets (from the initial focus on fleet-related subsystems and software).
The company more than doubled its manufacturing space earlier this year, significantly ramped up production and doubled its workforce to meet growing demand for various types of commercial EVs, from medium-duty vans, through trucks to coaches. On top of that, a new Lightning Energy division offers turnkey charging solutions.
One of the latest projects is a partnership with ABC Companies to offer a motorcoach-diesel-to-electric-repower program.
The conversion of old vehicles to electric is doubly environmentally friendly, because it not only replaces the emission of the diesel but also allows the use of the vehicle longer (instead of buying new). Moreover, conversions are usually less costly.
Lightning eMotors already delivered the first repowered motorcoach - 2012 Van Hool T2145 - which will be used in the San Francisco area. More are being readied.
"...the partners have created a five-step process for identifying, assessing and converting a wide range of “donor” diesel coach models that fit the criteria for fast-track battery electric conversion. The repower kits are engineered by Lightning eMotors and will be installed by ABC technicians. The program will launch under ABC Companies SVT (Specialty Vehicles and Technologies) division, underscoring the company’s focus on lowering EV market cost of entry barriers for coach operators."
The repowering offer will be available also for many popular shuttle vans. Later in 2020, ABC intends to introduce its first fully battery-electric OEM-produced Van Hool motorcoach (Van Hool CX45E). We wonder how long of a range those coaches will have.