All-electric Ford Transit coming in 2018 through Lightning Systems, New Eagle partnership

Updated Sep 22, 2017
Lightning Systems and New Eagle paired up to build this zero emissions Ford Transit 350HD shuttle van. This and other all-electric Transit configurations are coming early next year.Lightning Systems and New Eagle paired up to build this zero emissions Ford Transit 350HD shuttle van. This and other all-electric Transit configurations are coming early next year.

Lightning Systems announced that it will be launching, in partnership with New Eagle, a zero-emissions all-electric system for Ford Transit passenger wagon, van, cutaway and chassis cab models.

The LightningElectric zero-emissions package is available for Ford Transit as part of Ford’s eQVM program. The option will be available first on heavy-duty Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and will go on sale in early 2018. Conversions and service are performed by Ford QVM-certified upfitters and dealers around the world.

“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,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems.

Reeser made the announcement at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo during National Drive Electric Week which ended Sunday in Novi, Mich.

Lightning Systems, based in Loveland, Colo., worked with New Eagle of Ann Arbor, Mich. on the design of the LightningElectric system for the Ford Transit. New Eagle specializes in mechatronic controls, which are the electronic brains that drive mechanical systems, and is a leader in the application of model-based design into 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,” said Rich Swortzel, president, New Eagle. “Lightning Systems has a terrific portfolio of products for fleets, and we know that we have a product here that is going to be a favorite of many fleets.”

Reeser is very optimistic about the partnership.

“We take great pride in our choice of partners and suppliers. New Eagle’s development work has significantly accelerated the LightningElectric product and their partnership is key to our long-term success,” Reeser said.

Depending on battery option and drive cycle, LightningElectric will have an electric range of up to 125 miles, and a payload capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. Ford’s vehicle warranty covers vehicles with the LightningElectric upfit, and Ford Motor Credit financing is available. Installation can be completed in just hours by certified installers. Featuring a volume-production ready high-voltage lithium battery pack, LightningElectric will accommodate full charging overnight with Level 1 and less than three hours for Level 2 charging.

Lightning Systems, formerly known as Lightning Hybrids, reports fast growth thanks to its various global fleet solutions. New Lightning Systems’ efficiency and emissions improvement innovations are being introduced over the next two years to support commercial and government fleets.

Earlier this year, Ford named Lightning Systems one of the first to achieve eQVM status (Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifiers) for its LightningHybrid system, a hydraulic hybrid energy recovery system that offers 50 percent NOx reductions and up to 25 percent fuel savings for urban drive cycles. Applications include delivery trucks, shuttle and paratransit buses, refuse trucks, and rear-engine transit buses. The system is available now, worldwide on more than 25 platforms.

Both the LightningElectric and LightningHybrid systems will be certified by Ford’s new eQVM program. The program helps fleet and commercial customers meet their unique and specific needs for durable, reliable advanced technology work trucks that retain the original powertrain warranty and utilize Ford’s vast dealer service network.

LightningAnalytics, a new cloud-based analytics system 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. LightningAnalytics also is available with the LightningHybrid system, and is available as a standalone product with a variety of modules to provide efficiency solutions to fleets.