New Orders Lead to Growth of Colorado’s Lightning Systems, Hiring 14 New Employees, with More Hiring to Come

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Commercial fleets and government agencies search for solutions to meet new regulations as well as sustainability and climate change goals, leading to company’s expansion

LOVELAND, Colo., Aug. 7, 2019 – An increase in demand for zero-emission vehicles is leading to the rapid growth of Colorado-based Lightning Systems. The company, which designs and manufactures all-electric powertrains for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, recently hired 14 employees, representing a 30 percent increase in workforce for the company.

Over the last few weeks, Lightning Systems has hired six software engineers, four new technical program managers and four marketing and sales employees. Senior level hires include Nick Bettis, director of business development, Brian Johnston, director of program management and regulatory compliance, Jeff Deery, production manager, two new business development managers, and a marketing manager.

“In the U.S., transportation accounts for 40 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, topping the charts for sources of pollution,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems. “Companies and government agencies are searching for solutions to meet new regulatory requirements as well as sustainability and climate change goals. As a result, we are seeing a tremendous increase in demand for our zero-emission powertrains. Lightning is leading the industry in speed-to-market and product quality and efficiency. In order to maintain that speed and quality we have hired top talent to augment our team—and we aren’t finished yet.”

Technicians reviewing a drawing.
Mike Volkmann, engineering services manager and Chris Neely, engineering services technician, review a class 6 truck drawing.

Lightning Systems now offers five different powertrains for commercial and government fleets. The Colorado-based company works closely with the auto manufacturers to certify their powertrains, which are installed by upfitters that regularly customize commercial vehicles.

Last month, Lightning Systems announced that its all-electric powertrains for Ford and Chevrolet medium-duty trucks and buses are now offered on a California state contract. State agencies, and city and county governments throughout California can order Class 3 to 6 shuttle buses, cargo vans, box trucks, cab-over vehicles, and stripped chassis models under the program.

Eligible vehicles include the Ford Transit 350HD Passenger Van and Cargo Van, Ford E-450 Cutaway Chassis, Ford F-59 Stripped Chassis, and Chevrolet 6500XD Low Cab Forward Truck. The contract term, which is estimated to be worth approximately $15 to $20 million in vehicle orders, is for two years with an option to extend the contract for two additional one-year periods. Lightning Systems estimates that 140 to 160 vehicles will be ordered under the contract.

“Our solution is different, because we offer powertrains for trucks and buses that already exist,” Reeser said. “We offer an all-electric option for vehicles, such as the Ford Transit and the Chevrolet 6500XD. These vehicles are very popular, and fleets are already familiar with them. They already know how they operate; their mechanics are familiar with them; they already know where to get spare parts; they can already get liftgates and shelfing and other accessories. We’re taking an already great vehicle, and we’re putting in a tightly integrated, elegantly engineered powertrain into that vehicle, so it drives better than the stock vehicle, but it is familiar to the customer and works in their daily routes.”

Once companies and government agencies realize the economic and environmental benefits of going electric, the speed of adoption will accelerate, Reeser said. The state of California, where Lightning Systems does a substantial amount of business, offers incentives to fleets to help offset the cost of zero-emission vehicles for medium- and heavy-duty customers. Other states such as Colorado, New York, and Texas also have incentive programs for Zero Emission Vehicles, as a part of the $2.7 billion diesel emissions settlement with Volkswagen across all 50 states.

According to Reeser, an important benefit of electric vehicles is low maintenance costs: no oil changes, less frequent brake repair, far fewer moving parts to wear out, and no gasoline/diesel to purchase, means that charging the battery is virtually the only cost of operation. “A typical electric delivery truck will save about $2,000 a month, half on fuel and half on maintenance,” he said.

About Lightning Systems
Lightning Systems designs and manufacturers zero emission all-electric powertrains for commercial fleets – from Class 3 Ford Transit vans to Class 6 work trucks and Class 7 and 8 city buses. All Lightning products are available today. The Lightning team works with forward-thinking fleets to provide the right electric powertrain on the right chassis in the right drive cycle. Lightning’s products improve a fleet’s operating costs and safety, and ensure they are driving the cleanest and most advanced technology available.

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