Lordstown pickups and Lightning Systems vans gaining ground

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Despite the economic slowdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lordstown Motors and Lightning Systems had some good news to report this week.

Lordstown Motors, which plans on rolling out its all-electric Endurance pickup this year (see test mule video below), has received a Letter of Intent from Innervations, a Florida-based company specializing in fast DC and Level II EV chargers, to broker 1,000 Lordstown Endurances to clients to convert company fleets to electric vehicles.

“With their innovative EVEN Recharge branded Level 2 / DC fast charging stations, and cloud-based management system, Innervations has created an EV Fleet Program to assist corporations in converting their existing gas or diesel fleets to all-electric vehicles,” Lordstown states in its press release.

Lordstown, which will be building Endurance in GM’s old auto plant in Lordstown, Ohio, says it’s received letters of intent from customers across the country, including government entities, fleet management organizations, construction companies, security companies, landscapers and grounds crews, and those working in the fields of steel, natural gas, oil and petroleum.

Lightning Systems, a global developer of zero-emission electric and hydrogen fuel cell drivetrains, announced an order from the California Department of State Hospitals for 12 all-electric Ford Transit 350HD models.

The Lightning Electric models are being provided to the hospital system by Wondries Fleet Group, a leading fleet dealer in California. All of the Class 3 delivery vans were purchased though a California state contract.

“We are very pleased that the California Department of State Hospitals selected our zero-emission, all-electric vehicles to move medical materials and transport cargo,” said Tim Reeser, CEO, Lightning Systems. “This is a very challenging time for all hospitals, and we send a heartfelt thank you to all of the first responders and doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers who are working tirelessly during this time of crisis.”

Lightning Systems all-electric Ford Transit 350HDLightning Systems all-electric Ford Transit 350HD

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) manages the California state hospital system, which provides mental health services to patients admitted into DSH facilities.

Lightning Electric is a battery-electric drivetrain package for the Ford Transit 350HD. The vans ordered by California Department of State Hospitals achieve 61 MPGe on EPA city and highway routes, compared to roughly 13 MPG for a gasoline version of the same vehicle. Lightning reports that vehicles equipped with the package are being deployed across the U.S.

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 California state contract. Vehicles eligible 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 gives state and local governments the EV platforms they need to meet their sustainability goals, helping them to tackle climate change, improve air quality and reduce smog,” said Terry Scholl, business development manager for Southern California, Lightning Systems. “We offer the broadest range of zero-emission products, with high-quality powertrains on Class 3 through 6 Ford and Chevrolet platforms, Class 7 city buses and Class 8 motor coaches. These vehicles are readily available and supported by a large number of service partners, upfitters and accessory lines.”

Wondries Fleet Group, based in Alhambra, California, under a statewide dealer contract with the California Department of General Services is supplying the all-electric van chassis in conjunction with additional upfit equipment installed by Phenix Enterprises of Pomona, California.

Agencies, cities, schools and counties in California interested in purchasing vehicles should consult contract number 1-19-23-22 (A-D) at www.caleprocure.ca.gov. Outside of California, the National Auto Fleet Group under the Sourcewell cooperative purchasing agreements offers public agencies streamlined Lightning electric vehicle procurement using competitively bid pricing.

Lightning’s powertrain in the Ford Transit offers peak power of 160 kW (equivalent 215 horsepower), a torque rating of 994 Nm, (733 lb-ft), and a top speed of 65 MPH. The Lightning Electric Ford Transit’s batteries are housed under the floor of the vehicle, with no impact on ground clearance, creating a more elegant and seamless integration. The full-electric system is available for the Ford Transit passenger van, cargo van, cutaway and chassis cab models.

“Our Lightning powertrains offer a superior driver and passenger experience over the stock gasoline vehicle in nearly every category – with dramatically less noise, smoother acceleration and regenerative braking,” Scholl said.