Lightning Introduces Gen 2 Model of Electric Ford Transit Powertrain


Lightning Systems, a developer of zero-emission drivetrains for commercial fleets, has introduced a Generation 2 model of its Lightning Electric system for the Ford Transit.

The system is a battery-electric drivetrain package for the Ford Transit 350HD, used by commercial and government fleets. Thanks to new thermally managed NMC battery chemistry, the new powertrain has 20% longer range than Generation 1, with battery configuration options for 60- or 120-mile ranges (based on certified dynamometer testing). In addition, these new batteries are housed under the floor of the vehicle, with no impact on ground clearance, creating a more seamless integration, says Lightning.

The latest powertrain offers a peak power of 160 kW (equivalent 215 horsepower), a torque rating of 994 Nm (733 lb-ft) and a top speed of 65 mph (software limited). The system is available for the Ford Transit passenger van, cargo van, cutaway and chassis cab models. It achieves 61 MPGe on certified dyno testing, compared to 13 mpg for the gasoline version of the same vehicle.

Featuring a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery system, the Lightning Electric accommodates a full charge in 1 hour (60-mile range) or 1.5 hours (120-mile range) with Lightning’s DC fast-charging option (using standard CCS-combo charging). Depending on battery option and drive cycle, the vehicle has a payload capacity of up to 4,200 pounds.

“Our Generation 1 customers loved the smooth and quiet ride, excellent power, and fit and finish of our Gen 1 Ford Transit all-electric platform,” states Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems. “We now have built on that foundation and added more range, moved all the batteries under the vehicle, and given it a higher top speed. With the latest certified dynamometer testing, we remain the leaders in tested and certified commercial EV efficiency; no other Class 3 vehicle has certified to 61 MPGe (1.8 miles/kWh).”

Originally introduced in 2018, the Lightning Electric Ford Transit Powertrain is available as part of Ford Motor Co.’s eQVM program. The product is available on heavy-duty transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating. Installation and service are performed by global Ford QVM-certified upfitters and dealers.

“We are proud to partner with Ford on a platform that is proven and ubiquitous with commercial vehicle customers,” Reeser adds. “The Lightning Electric Ford Transit allows us to work with hundreds of Ford upfit, accessory and service partners – so customers can easily access the accessories and service they need for their fleet.”

The powertrain includes a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty. Ford’s vehicle warranty covers the base chassis for vehicles with the Lightning Electric upfit. Ford Motor Credit financing is available, along with electric vehicle vouchers and incentives in many states.

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