Commercial electric trucks, vans undercutting conventional vehicle costs

Updated Sep 15, 2020

Economies of scale have led to a drop in prices for alt fuel commercial vehicle manufacturer Lightning Systems.

Lightning announced that growing production has fueled a 10 to 50% drop for its 2021 Class 3 – 8 battery and fuel cell electric vehicles.

“As we are witnessing in the passenger EV market, higher sales volumes are translating into lower prices,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems. “With fewer than 1,000 commercial electric vehicles expected to be built overall during 2020, every commercial vehicle OEM has struggled with high prices due to the low production volumes, but that is now changing for Lightning.

“With our influx of large orders, we are realizing economies of scale, moving from producing tens of vehicles per month to hundreds of vehicles per month,” Reeser continued. “Our component costs are falling fast, and we are constantly introducing new automation and efficiencies in our manufacturing processes, and we are passing these savings on to our customers.”

Nick Bettis, director of business development at Colorado-based Lightning, said that the company’s  price reductions provide a compelling case of ROI that undercuts conventional vehicle costs.

“When you combine these lower prices with new financing options that we are offering, and subtract the monthly operating savings derived from the electric vehicles, the per month cost of each vehicle will be lower than vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, so customers will be putting money in their pocket every month,” Bettis said.

Lightning Systems’ electric commercial vehicles are built on familiar chassis such as the Ford Transit 350HD, Ford E-450, Ford F-550 and Chevrolet 6500XD. New features include high-speed Level 2 charging; faster DC fast charging systems; enhanced telematics and new remote software management features for fleet managers and drivers; in-cab display enhancements in all vehicles; and improved range and payload capacity from higher energy density battery solutions.

Lightning currently has production capacity available this calendar year for some models and is already partially booked for 2021 production. The lower prices take effect immediately and apply to 2021 and 2022 deliveries

Lighting can also provide commercial and government fleet charging options through its new subsidiary, Lighting Energy. A full range of purchased or leased charging stations are available including full charging as a service (CaaS). CaaS includes infrastructure installation, permitting, utilities liaison, maintenance, ongoing management software, and regulatory credit monetization, to operate small, medium or large fleets of electric vehicles.

Lightning Class 6 Electric Chevy Cabover