Lightning eMotors Announces 2nd Generation Diesel/CNG to Battery-Electric Repower Program for 40-foot Transit Buses

Repowered buses to provide private and municipal agency fleets electric options at less than half the cost and one-third the lead time

LOVELAND, Colo. – Lightning eMotors, a leading provider of zero emissions medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle technology for fleets, announced today it will now offer a second-generation repower program for high-demand 40-foot transit buses. This new offering in Lightning’s growing lineup of Class 3-8 commercial electric vehicles will be available to municipal and private transit agencies throughout North America.

By repowering existing transit buses from diesel or CNG internal combustion to zero-emission battery-electric powertrains, Lightning will help transit customers electrify their fleets at less than half the cost and in one-third the lead time of acquiring new electric buses. Repowered buses will feature an up to 560-kWh battery system and deliver more than 200 miles of real-world range on a single charge.

While repowering diesel-powered commercial vehicles has been common practice for many years, due to the chassis and body often outlasting the powertrains, repowering these vehicles with electric powertrains presents a fast, affordable and environmentally responsible opportunity for many fleet operators.

Lightning eMotors is a proven manufacturer in the public transit market, having deployed over 300 new and repowered vehicles across multiple sectors, including full-sized transit, micro-transit, last-mile delivery, emergency response, school buses and others. A leader in repowering commercial vehicles since 2008, Lightning produced the first repowered electric transit bus, deployed in Colorado for the city of Boulder in 2018. This first-generation vehicle is still in operation today and continues to provide valuable proof-of-concept data over thousands of miles and service routes. Lightning has since become a preferred provider of commercial vehicle electrification via its certified repower programs for motor coaches, school buses and recreational vehicles with market-leading partners including Blue Bird, Forest River, Collins Bus and ABC Companies.

“Lightning’s transit bus repower program provides transit agencies a significantly more affordable and faster way to electrify their bus fleets and ensure clean and quiet operation for passengers and pedestrians alike,” said Mac Burns, director of product management, Lightning eMotors. “With increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions and offer clean transportation solutions, we are confident fleet operators will see the sustainability benefits of converting existing diesel-powered vehicles to electric power rather than letting them end up in a landfill.”

Customers who choose Lightning eMotors repowered transit buses will qualify for the same federal and state funding as new electric buses, including the Federal Transit Administration’s Low and No Emission Vehicle Program. Lightning will advise customers on how to best leverage the government incentives currently available.

“There has never been a better time for transit fleet operators to accelerate the transformation of their fleets to zero-emission electric,” said Nick Bettis, director of marketing and sales operations for Lightning eMotors. “Available federal and state-level funding provides a much-needed solution to the financial challenge in electrifying fleets in this sector and, with Lightning’s Transit Repower program, fleet managers can extend the lifecycle of current fleets quickly, affordably and responsibly versus new purchases.”

Lightning will repower the buses at its Loveland, Colorado, factory or at one of Lightning’s Authorized Repower Partners located nationwide. Additionally, for large fleets that want to repower a large quantity of buses, Lightning can train the fleets’ maintenance teams to install Lightning’s electrification kit on their own.

Additionally, Transit Repower operators will also have access to Lightning’s full suite of complementary products and services, including Lightning Insights open API fleet telematics software, Lightning Energy stationary chargers and Lightning Mobile portable chargers.

The first repowered buses under this program are expected to deploy in 2023.


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