Lightning Receives CARB Executive Order for Transit Bus Repower Powertrain


Lightning Systems, a developer of zero-emission powertrains for commercial fleets, has received an executive order from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the Lightning Electric Transit Bus Repower, with CARB’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) approval expected in the coming weeks.

The Transit Bus Repower is a full-featured powertrain conversion of an existing diesel transit bus to a battery-electric bus.

“The Transit Bus Repower powertrain is a product that our customers have been demanding for some time,” says Nick Bettis, director of business development at Lightning Systems. “Transit buses are excellent repower candidates for a variety of reasons, including the wide availability of parts and experienced service mechanics. It makes additional investments in these older buses both safe and sensible. Just as important, a repower keeps these buses out of the landfill, making the repower choice the most sustainable option today.”

The Lightning Electric Transit Bus Repower is available for order now, with delivery in six months. It offers a range of up to 200 miles (depending on the configuration), and the powertrain features an active, thermally managed battery system, sourced from a Tier 1 battery cell manufacturer.

Lightning’s first Transit Bus Repower powertrain was deployed in a 2004 30-foot GILLIG bus and has been on the road with a transit operator in Colorado for the past nine months. During this time, the Lightning Systems analytics team has collected data from the 1 Hz Lightning Telematics on the vehicle and analyzed the impacts of cold and hot weather on efficiency, range and battery life. Using this data, the team is now able to provide customers with real-world range expectations in a variety of weather and load conditions.

With California and other states now beginning to mandate zero-emission vehicles, “a repower is a cost-effective and timely solution for transit agencies,” according to Tim Reeser, Lightning Systems’ CEO.

“It is half the cost of buying a new electric bus, and with leasing and financing options available, many transit fleets will find that the Lightning Transit Bus Repower is cash-neutral – meaning the monthly finance payments are the same price as the fuel and maintenance savings,” Reeser adds.

In addition to these operational savings, customers can benefit from several funding programs that states such as California, Colorado and New York have implemented to promote commercial EV adoption. Eligible California customers can receive up to $71,250 in HVIP vouchers toward the price of the vehicle.

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