GM & Lightning eMotors to build medium electric trucks together

Lightning eMotors becomes General Motors’ first Specialty Vehicle Manufacturer (SVM). The two companies have agreed to cooperate to offer all-electric commercial vehicles in classes 3 to 6 in the future. Under the agreement, Lightning eMotors will electrify common platforms for GM’s medium-duty commercial vehicles.

These platforms can be used for vehicle applications such as school buses, delivery trucks and more. General Motors Fleet offers a variety of platforms designed for qualified Specialty Vehicle Manufacturing customers, according to a press release. Lightning eMotors will electrify certain GM platforms at its manufacturing campus in Loveland, in the US state of Colorado, according to the release. The finished chassis will then be delivered to commercial vehicle manufacturers.

“Commercial vehicles and commercial vehicle powertrains are complex, with thousands of unique components, requiring years of custom software development and on-road testing—and Lightning has products in fleet use today and ready for customers to roll out this year,” explains Tim Reeser, CEO and co-founder of Lightning eMotors. His company has products that are already in use in fleets today and that customers could introduce this year.

Lightning eMotors said it has seen “dramatic growth in orders from its customers over the last three years”. The company has developed a flexible manufacturing approach that enables scalable and cost-effective electrification for medium-duty specialised vehicles such as commercial vehicles, school buses and ambulances, it said. Electrification of these vehicles results in large operating cost savings, better performance and zero tailpipe emissions, he said.

In early January, Lightning eMotors introduced its own chassis for electric commercial vehicles. The Lightning eChassis accommodates different battery sizes and configurations, as well as powertrains and wheelbases, to support a variety of commercial applications. The first pre-production vehicles are expected to be available this year. Lightning Motors said it worked with Metalsa, a supplier of structural components and chassis for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries, to develop the new chassis. The eChassis is available for Class 4 and 5 chassis as well as for chassis with and without superstructures.


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