Lightning Systems releases MPGe numbers on all-electric Ford Transit 350HD & embarks on test drive tour

Updated Apr 5, 2018
LightningElectric Ford Transit Cargo Van

Lightning Systems announced today fuel efficiency ratings for its all-electric Ford Transit that are roughly 130 percent greater than its gasoline counterpart.

The news comes as Lightning Systems kicks off a multi-city tour this week to offer fleets a closer look and a chance to test drive the LightningElectric Ford Transit 350HD.

Lightning’s Ford Transit 350HD equipped with its zero-emission LightningElectric drivetrain achieved 61 MPGe on EPA City routes and 66 MPGe on EPA Highway routes, compared to 13 and 15 MPG respectively for the identically configured gasoline Ford Transit 350HD.

Those results were made available through the newly released 2018 California Air Resources Board efficiency and range validation test procedures for medium-duty vehicles.

“The LightningElectric is the full package,” said Lighting Systems CEO Tim Reeser. “Engineering excellence combined with high-quality components validated by years of use in the industry, merged into a first-class, proven platform and supported by the Ford eQVM program and Ford dealer network for service and base-vehicle warranty. Add to this our industry-leading efficiency numbers, with the current government incentives landscape, and it is easy to see why we are already having to add to our production capacity.”

The all-electric Lightning Transit features a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be fast-charged in 30 minutes on DC fast charging and in six hours with Level 2 charging. Depending on battery option and drive cycle, LightningElectric has a payload capacity of up to 4,000 pounds.

LightningElectric is available for the Ford Transit as part of Ford’s eQVM program. The product, which went on sale earlier this year, is available for heavy-duty Ford Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Ford’s vehicle warranty covers the base chassis for vehicles with the Lightning drivetrain. Ford QVM dealers and upfitters perform installations and service.

Last month, Lightning Systems announced a hydrogen fuel cell version of the LightningElectric developed in partnership with several industry partners that will extend the range of the vehicle to over 200 miles. The fuel cell uses hydrogen to charge the electric batteries for a longer-range zero-emissions fleet solution. This product will be available in summer 2018 with a focus on the California market where significant vouchers for fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure are available.

LightningAnalytics, a new cloud-based analytics system that provides drive, route and predictive vehicle health scoring for maximum range and efficiency, is available as an option with every Lightning Systems vehicle. The analytics system provides fleets with real-time information to operate their fleet at peak efficiency.

Test drives of the LightningElectric Transit 350HD started Tuesday at Lightning Systems’ headquarters in Loveland, Colorado. One demonstration van will make several stops in California, while another will travel eastbound through Detroit to New York (schedule posted below). The westbound tour will end at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, Calif., while the eastbound tour will culminate at the 30th Annual Equipment & Vehicle Show in Queens, New York.

At the end of the eastbound and westbound tours, Lightning Systems will make deliveries of the LightningElectric to Halo Event Group, a FedEx Ground contractor in New York City, and to XPO Bus Sales in Los Angeles.

“The upcoming road show is a great chance for fleets to experience firsthand how quiet, smooth, and powerful the new LightningElectric is,” said Reeser. “It comes with all the benefits fleets expect from a Ford vehicle – interior comfort, warranty and top-class fit and finish – with the added benefits of a zero-emissions electric vehicle like instant acceleration and lower maintenance costs.”

Test drives will be offered at the following tour stops:

Eastbound Tour

  • Loveland, Colorado – April 3
  • Kansas City – April 11-13
  • Detroit – April 16-20
  • New York City – April 24-27
  • Queens, New York, Equipment & Vehicle Show – May 17

Westbound Tour

  • Sacramento – April 10-11
  • San Francisco – April 12-13
  • Fresno – April 16-17
  • Bakersfield – April 18
  • San Diego – April 23-25
  • Los Angeles – April 26-30
  • Long Beach, ACT Expo – May 1-3