This Ford Transit Vans Gets Up To 66 MPGe, DC Fast Charges Too

APR 6 2018 BY MARK KANE 23

Lightning Systems’s all-electric conversion of the Ford Transit 350HD enters the market with a 61 MPGe in town and 66 MPGe highway rating (compared to 13 and 15 MPG prior to the conversion).

LightningElectric Ford Transit

The Loveland, Colorado-based company offers 50-mile and 100-mile versions and the two first customers are a FedEx Ground contractor in New York City, and XPO Sales, Inc. in Los Angeles.

Lightning Systems didn’t reveal battery capacity, but the pack is liquid cooled and can be recharged using DC in one half hour. Normal L2 AC charging takes six hours. The electric motors comes from UQM. Pricing remains unknown at this point in time.

Read Also – Ford Range-Extended Transit Van Gets Revealed: 30+ Miles/50 km range

Later this year, Lightning Systems intends to introduce a hydrogen fuel cell range-extended version with 200+ mile orange.

LightningElectric Ford Transit

The all-electric LightningElectric Ford Transit will be presented during the road show:

“Tours will start at Lightning Systems’ headquarters in Loveland, Colorado. One will go westbound to California and throughout that state (Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno, San Diego, Los Angeles, Long Beach), while the other will travel eastbound through Detroit to New York (Kansas City, Detroit, Albany, New York City). The westbound tour will end at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California, while the eastbound tour culminates at the 30th Annual Equipment & Vehicle Show in Queens, New York. At the end of the eastbound and westbound tours, Lightning Systems will make deliveries of the LightningElectric to Halo Event Group, a FedEx Ground contractor in New York City, and to XPO Sales, Inc. in Los Angeles.”

Test drives will be offered at the following tour stops:

Eastbound Tour

  • Loveland, Colorado – April 3
  • Kansas City – April 11-13
  • Detroit – April 16-20
  • New York City – April 24-27
  • Queens, New York, Equipment & Vehicle Show – May 17

Westbound Tour

  • Sacramento – April 10-11
  • San Francisco – April 12-13
  • Fresno – April 16-17
  • Bakersfield – April 18
  • San Diego – April 23-25
  • Los Angeles – April 26-30
  • Long Beach, ACT Expo – May 1-3″

Tim Reeser, chief executive officer for Lightning Systems said:

“The upcoming road show is a great chance for fleets to experience firsthand how quiet, smooth, and powerful the new LightningElectric is. It comes with all the benefits fleets expect from a Ford vehicle – interior comfort, warranty and top-class fit and finish – with the added benefits of a zero-emissions electric vehicle like instant acceleration and lower maintenance costs.”

“The LightningElectric is the full package. Engineering excellence combined with high-quality components validated by years of use in the industry, merged into a first-class, proven platform and supported by the Ford eQVM program and Ford dealer network for service and base-vehicle warranty. Add to this our industry-leading efficiency numbers, with the current government incentives landscape, and it is easy to see why we are already having to add to our production capacity.”

More about the LightningElectric Ford Transit:

LightningElectric Ford Transit

“The LightningElectric is a battery-electric drivetrain package for the heavy-duty Ford Transit, a product used extensively by commercial and government fleets. Lightning was one of the first to test under the newly released 2018 CARB efficiency and range validation test procedures for medium-duty vehicles, performed at the SGS Environmental Testing Center. Results demonstrated that the Ford Transit 350HD equipped with the zero-emissions LightningElectric drivetrain achieved 61 MPGe on EPA City routes and 66 MPGe on EPA Highway routes, compared to 13 and 15 MPG respectively for the identically configured gasoline Ford Transit 350HD.”

“LightningElectric is available for the Ford Transit as part of Ford’s eQVM program. The product, which went on sale earlier this year, is available for heavy-duty Ford Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Ford’s vehicle warranty covers the base chassis for vehicles with the Lightning drivetrain. Ford QVM dealers and upfitters perform installations and service.”

“The all-electric Lightning product features a state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled Lithium-Ion battery from a volume-ready world-class battery supplier that can be fast-charged in 30 minutes on DC fast charging and in six hours with Level 2 charging. Depending on battery option and drive cycle, LightningElectric has a payload capacity of up to 4,000 pounds.

Last month, Lightning Systems announced that it has developed a hydrogen fuel cell version of the LightningElectric developed in partnership with several industry partners that will extend the range of the vehicle to over 200 miles. The fuel cell uses hydrogen to charge the electric batteries for a longer-range zero-emissions fleet solution. This product will be available in summer 2018 with a focus on the California market where significant vouchers for fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure are available.

LightningAnalytics, a new cloud-based analytics system that provides drive, route and predictive vehicle health scoring for maximum range and efficiency, is available as an option with every Lightning Systems vehicle. The analytics system provides fleets with real-time information to operate their fleet at peak efficiency.”


Base Chassis (sold separately)Ford Transit 350HD Passenger Wagon, Cargo Van, Cutaway, Chassis Cab
GVWR10,360 lbs10,360 lbs
Electric Range50 miles100 miles
EV Conversion PriceContact Us
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)J1772 with CCS Combo for DC Fast ChargeJ1772 with CCS Combo for DC Fast Charge
Charge Time6 hours (level 2)
0.5 hours (DCFC)
12 hours (level 2)
1 hour (DCFC)
Payload (depending on vehicle configuration)2,000 – 4,000 lbs2,000 – 3,000 lbs
Maximum Speed55 mph (electronically limited)55 mph (electronically limited)
  • Base Chassis: Ford standard warranty
  • EV Conversion: Lightning Systems standard warranty (Powertrain and battery 5 year / 60,000 miles)
  • DC Fast Charge (50kW)
  • Analytics (predictive maintenance, route scoring, range analysis, driver behavior,
  • Upgraded 12V battery system doubles capacity to support additional accessories

Categories: Ford


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23 Comments on "This Ford Transit Vans Gets Up To 66 MPGe, DC Fast Charges Too"

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why cant the big three do this ? price has got to be out of control. wat about nationwide sales n service.

13-15 mpg? That is terrible! I take it that is on gasoline?
We have several diesel versions of this van at work and we are getting around 30/38mpg (UK) highway.
That is about 24/31 US I believe.

I don’t want to advertise diesel. But in large high mileage vehicles it makes sense, until plugins are widely available.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


“61 MPGe in town and 66 MPGe highway rating (compared to 13 and 15 MPG PRIOR to the conversion)”

Dude, I think his question still stands.

Dude, isn’t 66 more than twice as good as 24/31 on diesel (if true)? So his question still makes no sense. I am not going to mention the emissions footprint, which is not a concern to him probably.

I think he was still curious about the standard MPG rating before the conversion, gasp!

Bill’s comment below addresses much of it though.

But that would require reading comprehension.

Yeah I don’t get what FORD is doing here – they seem to be tip-toeing into this. 5 Years ago Ford had the AZTEC conversion Transit Connect, which someone from the Buffalo Area used to drive to the yearly Drive Electric things, after FORD had discontinued it and they were basically giving them away. Again, it had the same WHOPPING 3 kw charger as this vehicle has – fortunately ( I was mistaken on the 30/60 figure) this new vehicle has either 50 or 100 miles range supposedly. The old conversion had no integration to the vehicle at all – the only way you knew the truck was done charging was any indicator lights or clicks on the wallbox. Unfortunately, charging at the Pennington (Rochester) Library where the Drive Electric event was had only a 3 kw (at 200 volts) 15 ampere Round Voltec. And there was no indication whether the unit was done charging or not – of course, the thing charged so slowly that the truck was always charging. After disconnecting the cord – THEN the dashboard would display the amount of juice in the battery. But it seems to me history is repeating itself if Ford just… Read more »

Yes I was indeed.
Thanks for applying some common sense.

Just drove a BMW x1 that reported it’s average mileage was 17.5. I think you’d better check your prescriptions of you think a delivery van is getting 30 mpg, especially in the city.

Well Paul De Wit your gallons are 6/5ths what ours are (thats the figure I was given by Canadian friends) since although we have 4 quarts and you have 5 the size of the quarts is also different – 32 oz here, with 128 oz gallons. Or if you prefer 7 1/2 US gallons = 1 Cubic Foot. (62.43 pounds for water), so that might make the mileage seem worse than it is.

I personally get a kick out of the 30 or 60 mile range options that take 6 hours , or 12 hours to recharge.

They must be using a Whoppingly HUGE 3 kw charger!

VIA builds an EREV version smaller class van built on GM’s full sized pickup truck chassis. The range of an EV limits the amount of vehicles many fleets can use. This is why the VIA or a plug-in hybrid makes a lot more sense. Give that vehicle 50, 70, or 150 miles range and you up the savings and the practicality of a vehicle before it switches over to its gasoline generator at 35 to 45 miles per gallon. These vehicles are marketed to fleets because of the sheer cost of the battery packs. Electrified vans that can be used for commercial purposes RVs or People Movers need to be manufactured in large quantities to drive the prices down otherwise consumers will not be able to purchase them and fleets will find it hard to justify the initial cost unless large subsidies are involved from governments. Strangely, in the United States governments will subsidize Alternative Energy vehicles but they do not subsidize the electricity it cost to fuel them! Truly, there is a lot of work to be done. Extended range or PHEV Vans and trucks need to be manufactured in large quantities, that’s why the major manufacturers need to… Read more »

Not to be cynical, but has Via actually built these vans in any appreciable numbers? Seems like they’ve only done a handful of concepts, which is a bummer.

I can assure you ll see a whole lot of them in the con ing 5 to 10 years. In China alone 35 companies are working on commercial ev trucks. Even if 30 of them go down atleast 5 will make it to the international markets. Many of those are going to be in Chinese market this year.

In the coming 5 to 10 years

VIA? AFAIK, they never produced or sold any vehicles commercially.
They’re not even a wannabe manufacturer any longer — two months ago they turned themselves into the Americas distributor for Chinese company Geely.

How much do these cost, and what is the warranty?
I might just buy one of these and live in it.

I suspect Via Motors has merged with Zap! Industries.
Remember that fun 3 wheeled car and truck?

My electric RV is ~slowly~ lumbering into reality.

This one looks like under 24kWh pack, which is, uh, pitiful.

CNG engine powering front axle and BEV on the rear looks to be the best combo for me.

shows CNG is at the bottom (2009 dollars)

That was also my first thought. Gave up my diesel powered RV last year and switched to a small EV. But in the future I’d like to be able to travel by RV again and only if that’s 100% electric.

Renewable RNG is the way to go, check it out!

Anyone remember Azure Dynamics?

We need to get past this conversion stuff.

Genius, would pay for itself.