Lightning Systems Takes Orders, Reveals Details of All-Electric Ford Transit


Lightning Systems, a Colorado-based developer of efficiency and emissions improvement solutions for fleets, has announced it is accepting pre-orders for its new zero-emissions LightningElectric system for the Ford Transit.

The LightningElectric battery conversion package is available for the Ford Transit as part of Ford Motor Co.’s eQVM program. The product will be available first on heavy-duty Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Conversions and service are performed by Ford QVM-certified upfitters and dealers around the world.

In the U.S., the electric-vehicle conversion is $69,000 for vehicles with an electric range of 50 miles and $89,000 for vehicles with a range of 100 miles, according to Lightning Systems. Deliveries will begin in early 2018. Vouchers and grants are available in some regions for zero-emissions vehicles, the company notes.

“The new LightningElectric is an excellent choice for commercial and government fleets that would like a zero-emissions product that uses no fuel, but gets the job done with no compromises,” says David Brosky, vice president of sales for Lightning Systems. “The braking and acceleration feels like a gasoline-powered Ford Transit. The vehicle is smooth and quiet with excellent performance and will please both drivers and passengers.”

Ford’s vehicle warranty covers the base chassis for vehicles with the LightningElectric upfit, and Ford Motor Credit financing is available. According to Lightning Systems, installation can be completed in just hours by certified installers. Featuring a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery system, LightningElectric will accommodate full charging in six hours with Level 2 charging and less than 30 minutes for DC fast charging. Depending on battery option and drive cycle, LightningElectric will have a payload capacity of up to 4,000 pounds.

Lightning Systems worked with New Eagle on the design of the LightningElectric system for the Ford Transit. New Eagle specializes in mechatronic controls, which are the electronic brains that drive mechanical systems.

As recently announced, UQM Technologies has been chosen by Lightning Systems as its strategic electric-vehicle propulsion system supplier for its EV platforms. UQM will provide powertrain components for LightningElectric, including the gearbox, an electric motor and the inverter, as well as software controls for optimum performance and efficiency.

Earlier this year, Ford also named Lightning Systems one of the first to achieve eQVM status (Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifiers) for its LightningHybrid system, a hydraulic hybrid energy recovery system that Lightning Systems claims offers 50% NOx reductions and up to 25% fuel savings for urban drive cycles. Applications include delivery trucks, shuttle and paratransit buses, refuse trucks, and rear-engine transit buses. The system is available now, worldwide on more than 25 platforms, the company adds.

Both the LightningElectric and LightningHybrid systems are certified by Ford’s new eQVM program. The company notes LightningAnalytics, a new cloud-based analytics system that provides drive, route and predictive vehicle health scoring for maximum range and efficiency, is available as an option on every LightningElectric vehicle and is also available with the LightningHybrid system.

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