Proterra announced another customer for its EV battery systems. Lightning eMotors (formerly Lightning Systems) intends to equip its electric vans with Proterra packs starting this year.

The new collaboration seems to be focused around the Lightning Electric Transit, a purpose-built Class 3 commercial vehicle, available in several popular configurations (including last-mile cargo vans, passenger vans, shuttle buses, ambulances, school buses and RVs).

The plan is to start with an annual production of nearly 100 units in 2021, and gradually ramp-up to up to 3,000 vehicles per year by 2023, which sounds pretty ambitious.

"Built by Lightning eMotors, the Lightning Electric Transit is the only Class 3 electric van currently available in the U.S. that allows for wheelchair lifts, custom floor rails, and custom bus doors. Lightning offers high-voltage integration to support battery operation of refrigeration systems, food-truck equipment, medical equipment, RV gear, and other upfitter add-ons."

Assembly of the Lightning Electric Transit, using Ford vehicles as a base, takes place at Lightning eMotors’ 231,000-square-foot facility in Loveland, Colorado.

Lightning eMotors electric van

Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors, underlines that the company has delivered more zero-emission medium-duty commercial EVs than any other manufacturer in North America.

We guess that the packs from Proterra should allow Lightning to simplify and scale up the production more easily.

“Proterra’s batteries are premium technology for premium vehicles. We are very pleased to be able offer their batteries on our industry-leading Lightning Electric vehicles. We’ve delivered more zero-emission medium-duty commercial EVs than any other manufacturer in North America, and Proterra’s batteries will allow us to give our customers even more range, power, and features on our purpose-built vehicles at the price they need to scale up their electric fleets.”

Proterra adds that its battery systems have been proven in more than 17 million service miles driven. Besides the use in its own electric buses, Proterra supplies battery systems also to Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), Thomas Built Buses, Van Hool, Bustech, Optimal-EV and most recently to Komatsu and Volta Trucks.

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