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Largest-Ever Order for Lightning Hybrids

March 5, 2015 in Fleet Order, Hybrids, Hydraulic Hybrid by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

35 Hydraulic Hybrid Van for Kiessling Transit in Massachusetts

Loveland, Colo.-based Lightning Hybrids reported an agreement with Massachusetts’ Kiessling Transit to supply 35 hydraulic hybrid systems – its largest order to date. The deal, following a year-long pilot program, was disclosed at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. updated March 6

Norfolk, Mass.-based Kiessling Transit is to field 35 hydraulic hybrid shuttle vans, representing the largest-ever order for Lightning Hybrids.

Norfolk, Mass.-based Kiessling Transit is to field 35 hydraulic hybrid shuttle vans, representing the largest-ever order for Lightning Hybrids.


Deliveries are to start in July, says Glen Perlman, president of Lightning dealer National Fleet Hybrids in Attleboro, Mass.

National Fleet Hybrids is a unit of National Van Builders, a Ford QVM/qualified vehicle modifier. The firm will install the Lightning systems on new 2015 and 2016 model year Ford E450-chassis vehicles with Elkhart Coach bodies. The vans have 6.8-liter V-10 engines, Perlman told F&F.

A No-Battery Hybrid

The Lightning parallel hybrid drive has no electric batteries. Instead, a hydraulic system in installed on a vehicle driveline a to regenerate braking energy. “Hydraulic pumps and a lightweight accumulator store braking energy and use the stored energy to power the wheels,” Lightning explains.

Lightning Hybrids president and co-founder Tim Reeser at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis yesterday.

Lightning Hybrids president and co-founder Tim Reeser at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis yesterday.

“Application of this technology will result in improved emissions, less fuel use, longer brake life, better low-end torque, and lower maintenance and operational costs.

According to Perlman, Kiessling got “30% fuel savings as well as significant brake savings” during the one-year trial.

‘Efficient, Reliable, Environmentally Friendly’

The tests commenced in 2013 with results logged through Lightning Hybrids’ telematics systems and confirmed through Kiessling’s fuel logs.

“We’ve looked at some others, but this is the only none we’ve signed up for,” Kiessling CEO Lars Kiessling told F&F on Friday. The hydraulic hybrid’s no-battery simplicity was the key attraction: “It’s just pressure going from a high-pressure tank to a low-pressure tank.”

‘It Can Be Retrofitted’

His brother, COO Roger Kiessling notes that the Lightning hardware can be installed in existing vehicles as well as new ones: “It can be retrofitted,” he says. And, if there’s a problem, the vehicle reverts to normal, no-hybrid operation: “If it breaks we simply turn the unit off.”

Both brothers are effusive in their praise of Lightning and the support received during the hydraulic hybrid trials. Minor problems with such parts as bearings and hoses were quickly dealt with, they say.

KiesslingTransit-logoA Woman-Owned Business

Kiessling Transit will use the hybrid vehicles to transport primarily urban-area Massachusetts residents with disabilities. The brothers note that theirs is a family-, and woman-owned business, majority-owned by the president, Paula Kiessling, their mother.

“Our company is focused on providing the most efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly transportation to the areas we serve, and the Lightning Hybrids system supports this goal,” Roger Kiessling says in the Lightning announcement.


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Source: Lightning Hybrids with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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