Lion Smart and Vicinity Motor Corp. are expanding their cooperation as Lion receives a follow-up order to integrate a customized battery system solution. The total order volume is in the upper six-figure range, the company reports.
The new order comprises 80 battery packs. The contract involves the supply, and integration of additional 400V BMW battery packs into further demonstrator shuttle/transit bus models, built by Vicinity Motor Corp. Lion adds it will also deliver a plug-and-play solution for integrating battery packs.
“We are expressly pleased about the achievement of this next milestone and will continue working hard to expand and consolidate our customer base by further strengthening our sales force in North America,” said Thomas Hetmann, CEO of the Lion E-Mobility GmbH, when announcing the order.
Lion Smart reportedly received a first order to electrify a bus model from Vicinity, formerly Grande West Transportation Group, in November 2020. The Canadian company initially hired Lion Smart to test the integrability of battery pack solutions in its Vicinity bus model, which was only available with combustion or CNG drive. The contract specified tasks for Lion Smart in software, mechanical and electrical adaptation and the integration of said 400-volt battery packs from the BMW i3 into a demonstrator bus model.
Lion Smart is a Swiss holding and longstanding BMW partner and develops and implements integration services for vehicle battery system solutions based on BMW i3 batteries and modules.
Grande West Transportation, now Vicinity, is based in Aldergrove, British Columbia, specialises in mid-sized commercial vehicles for public and private companies. Lion Smart mentioned the prospect of follow-up orders in “significant numbers” from Vicinity this year when receiving the initial order.
The electric version Vicinity LT EV will be available in the 2021 bus model. So far, Vicinity only runs one electric bus, the Vicinity Lightning. According to the tech sheet on the website, it utilises floor-mounted BMW batteries and can carry up to 34 passengers.
Vicinity will build the electric bus at its facility in Washington state and is thus ‘Buy America Act’ compliant. The US government in May announced the ‘Clean Transit For America Plan’ which calls for replacing more than 155,000 commercial vehicles, from buses to vans, given these are primarily made in America.
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