LightningElectric Zero-Emission Van to Go on Sale in Early 2018
By Ford Dealers as eQVM vehicle with Ford Warranties, Financing
Lightning Systems and New Eagle are unveiling today a zero-emission, all-battery version of the Ford Transit van, a 10,360-pound GVWR vehicle to go on sale in early 2018. LightningElectric Transit passenger wagon, van, cutaway and chassis cab models are to be available directly from Ford dealers.
Depending on battery option and drive cycle, the new vans will have an electric range of up to 125 miles, and a payload capacity of up to 3,500 pounds.
Under Ford’s eQVM/electric Qualified Vehicle Modifier program, factory vans will be converted and serviced “by Ford QVM-certified upfitters and dealers around the world,” states a release. Ford warranties will apply, and Ford financing will be available.
‘A Terrific Option’
Lightning branched beyond hydraulic hybrid drivelines via an announcement at this past spring’s ACT Expo in California (F&F, May 30).
Ford established the eQVM program, with Lightning as one of the first qualifiers, late this past winter (F&F, March 17).
“Our new LightningElectric model provides fleets with a terrific option to save money and achieve sustainability goals on a popular and serviceable Ford platform that is powerful, smooth, and quiet,” Lightning Systems CEO Tim Reeser says in today’s release.
Model-Based Design by New Eagle
Lightning worked with Ann Arbor, Mich.-based New Eagle on the design of the new EV. “New Eagle specializes in mechatronic controls, which are the electronic brains that drive mechanical systems,” and applies model-based design for real-time embedded systems in the fields of autonomy, electrification, hydraulics, and engine systems.
“We saw a real need for a zero-emissions product in this segment of the fleet market,” New Eagle president Rich Swortzel says in the battery Transit announcement.
“We have a product here that is going to be a favorite of many fleets,” he said.
LightningElectric upfits using “a volume-production ready high-voltage lithium battery pack” can be completed in hours by certified installers, the companies pledge. Battery packs will range from 20 to 80-kilowatt-hours, affording single-charge range of 25 to 125 miles.
LightningAnalytics Telematics Included
The vehicles will include LightningAnalytics, a cloud-based telematics suite that provides drive, route and predictive vehicle health scoring for maximum range and efficiency, is included on every LightningElectric vehicle.
“The analytics system provides fleets with real-time information to operate their fleet at peak efficiency,” states today’s announcement. The telematics systems is also available with LightningHybrid hydraulic hybrid vehicles, and as “a standalone product with a variety of modules to provide efficiency solutions to fleets.”
The LightningElectric Transit van was unveiled today at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in Novi, Mich.
LightningElectric pricing is to be released next week.
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Source: Lightning Systems with Fleets & Fuels follow-up