Lightning launches new electric F-550 and new energy division to support it


Lightning Systems has an all-electric powertrain for the popular Ford F-550 chassis cab and a new energy division to charge it up.

The Colorado-based designer and manufacturer of zero-emission powertrains announced that the new Lightning Electric Ford F-550 will be available in gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) of 17,500 to 19,500 pounds. Orders from fleets are being accepted immediately.

“Adding the Ford F-550 to our product lineup is one more arrow in our quiver when helping customers pursue their fleet electrification goals,” said Tim Reeser, CEO, Lightning Systems. “As a result of our modular and flexible battery and powertrain design, the Lightning F-550, like all of our platforms, supports a wide array of aftermarket solutions from leading Ford upfitters, including rear air conditioning for buses, rear heating, wheelchair lifts, cargo lifts, boxes, tow truck accessories, and refrigeration units.”

To keep the electric F-550 charged up fleets can turn to Lightning Energy, a new division of Lightning Systems that offers charging technologies and services to commercial and government fleets.

Lightning Energy designs, installs, services, and manages charging solutions, providing fleets with turnkey options to support fleet electrification and help stakeholders achieve their sustainability goals.

As with other EVs, the new Lightning Electric Ford F-550 offers plenty of power at a maximum 180 kW, which is the equivalent of 241 horsepower. Torque is rated at 1,100 Nm, equal to 881 pound-feet. The top speed is 65 miles per hour. There is a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain with maintenance performed by certified local service providers.

The new model has an electric range of more than 100 miles depending on equipment configuration, payload, route, weather and driver. Full regenerative braking adds range while reducing wear and tear on the brakes. A liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery system allows for a full charge in as little as two-and-a-half hours with DC fast charging.

In addition to powering new F-550 models, existing trucks and shuttle buses can be repowered as zero-emission vehicles by conversion to the Lightning all-electric powertrain.

The new Lightning Electric F-550 includes Lightning’s in-vehicle dash screen display, providing drivers real-time range, diagnostics, and efficiency data. Lightning Analytics, a cloud-based analytics system that provides predictive maintenance, route scoring, range analysis, driver behavior and geofencing for maximum range and efficiency, also is available. The analytics system provides fleets with real-time information to operate their fleet at peak efficiency.

The F-550, like all Lightning Systems vehicles, is eligible for special funding via the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). The voucher program can reduce the upfront cost of advanced zero emissions fleet vehicles by 40 to 70%. Additional incentive programs are available in other states as well.

“One of the advantages to working with Lightning Systems is our willingness and ability to structure solutions specific to a fleet’s needs,” said Nick Bettis, director of business development, Lightning Systems. “The F-550 is an important addition to our product mix that enables us to offer electric trucks and buses from Class 3 to Class 8. Couple that with our complete suite of charging solutions, and we can address a fleet’s electrification needs from cradle to grave.”

“This year we’ve delivered more medium-duty electric vehicles than any OEM,” Bettis added. “The F-550 is another option that we provide for fleets looking at their sustainability options, either as a new vehicle or a repower, with no compromises.”