Lightning eMotors, Metalsa Develop Rolling Chassis for Commercial EVs


Lightning eMotors, a provider of medium-duty and specialty commercial electric vehicles (EV) for fleets, has released the Lightning eChassis, a rolling chassis purpose-built for commercial EV applications.

The Lightning eChassis, developed with Metalsa, will be available for class 4 and class 5 commercial electric chassis cab, stripped chassis and cutaway chassis configurations. With the addition of the eChassis, Lightning eMotors is now a commercial EV manufacturer that can offer both the electrification of existing OEM chassis and purpose-built commercial EVs.

The design accommodates different battery sizes and configurations, powertrain integrations, and wheelbases, allowing Lightning eMotors to support a variety of vocational applications and upfitter partners. Lightning’s eChassis will support an increased gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of approximately 1,500 pounds more, on average, than platforms on the market today, thereby providing customers the potential to increase passenger and payload capacity for electrified ambulances and shuttle buses as well as delivery, refrigerated and work trucks.

“This collaboration with Metalsa will allow us to serve areas of the commercial vehicle market that are currently underserved with electrification options,” says Tim Reeser, CEO and co-founder of Lightning eMotors. “Bringing this solution to the commercial EV space represents another milestone in our strategy to offer our customers purpose-built, highly-customized, zero-emission vehicles that deliver superior performance at a low price.”

Lightning eMotors expects pre-production units to be available starting in the second quarter of 2022 with production units expected before the end of the year.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Lightning eMotors to design, develop, integrate and assemble this first-of-its-kind flexible chassis, purpose-built to support the growing demand in the industry,” comments Joe El-Behairy, president of the e-Mobility Growth Business Unit at Metalsa. “Lightning’s commitment to innovation and putting high quality vehicles on the road quickly makes them the perfect customer to introduce this product. The platform is designed to accommodate the evolving technology and ever-changing product requirements in the market.”

Metalsa is a provider of structural components and chassis for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries.

“One of the most exciting aspects of our partnership with Metalsa is the control it gives us over our chassis supply chain,” states Chelsea Ramm, vice president of global supply chain for Lightning eMotors. “Constraints on the automotive supply chain have impacted the entire EV market. The Lightning eChassis provides our customers with additional options and the flexible architecture to accommodate a variety of different powertrain needs and wheelbases.”

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