Fleet EV developer Lightning eMotors has unveiled a new rolling chassis, purpose-built for Class 4 and 5 commercial EVs. The proprietary Lightning eChassis can support 1,500 lbs greater Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) on average compared to other commercial vehicles in the same class. With the debut of its new eChassis, Lightning eMotors has claimed the title of the first commercial EV manufacturer to offer both purpose-built trucks and electrified conversions of legacy OEM platforms.

Lightning eMotors ($ZEV) is a Colorado-based auto manufacturer specializing in electrified solutions for commercial fleets. Its team designs, engineers, customizes, and manufactures EVs to support a wide array of its fleet customer needs.

Lightning eMotors’s current lineup includes electric conversions of everything from Class 3 cargo vans to Class A motor coaches, and the company has also helped develop electric emergency vehicles, such as a BEV ambulance alongside REV Group.

This past November, we reported that Lightning eMotors’ latest customer was All Aboard America! Holdings, a US-wide transit specialty sales and service provider specializing in highway coach vehicles. The purchase included a diesel-powered, 70-seat Van Hool TD925 double-decker bus that was electrified by Lightning eMotors to feature a 640 kWh battery capacity, delivering over 200 miles of range.

Up until this point, Lightning eMotors has specialized in electrifying platforms developed by other OEMs. However, with its latest announcement, the commercial EV manufacturer can offer its fleet customers purpose-built EVs on its own proprietary platform as well.

First EVs on the new Lightning eMotors Chassis are expected to arrive mid-2022.

Lightning eMotors shared news of its new proprietary chassis through a press release today alongside details of its progress to this point.

The Lightning eChassis was developed with Metalsa, a provider of structural components and chassis for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries. Joe El-Behairy, president, e-Mobility growth business unit at Metalsa, spoke to the collaboration:

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. 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. We are confident that this new rolling chassis, combined with our integration capabilities and ability to scale manufacturing rapidly, will support Lightning’s growth plans.

Lightning eMotors explains that the design of its eChassis can accommodate various battery sizes and configurations, as well as different powertrain integrations and wheelbases. Furthermore, the Class 4 or 5 EV chassis can be modified to include a cab, be completely stripped, or come as a cutaway configuration.

Lightning eMotors claims the eChassis can support a larger GVWR than other platforms on the market, providing its fleet customers with more possibilities for increased passenger and payload capacity.

Pre-production units of the new commercial EV chassis are expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2022. Production units are expected to follow before the end of 2022.

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