Lightning unveils faster, longer range electric Ford Transit 350HD

Updated May 22, 2019

Lightning Systems, a global developer of zero emission drivetrains for commercial fleets, today announced the introduction of a longer-range, higher-speed, Generation 2 model of its Lightning Electric system for the Ford Transit.

The Lightning Electric Ford Transit is a battery-electric drivetrain package for the Ford Transit 350HD. Thanks to new thermally-managed lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery chemistry, the new Generation 2 all-electric powertrain has 20 percent longer range than Gen 1, with battery configuration options for 60 or 120-mile ranges based on certified dynamometer testing. In addition, these new batteries are all housed under the floor of the vehicle, with no impact on ground clearance, creating a more seamless integration.

The latest powertrain 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 (software limited). The full-electric system is available for the Ford Transit Passenger van, Cargo van, Cutaway and Chassis Cab models. The Gen 2 product achieves 61 MPGe on certified dyno testing, compared to 13 MPG for the gasoline version of the same vehicle.

Featuring a state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery system the Lightning Electric accommodates a full charge in 1 hour (60-mile range) or 1.5 hours (120-mile range) with Lightning’s DC fast charging option (using standard CCS-Combo charging). Depending on battery option and drive cycle, Lightning Electric Ford Transit has a payload capacity of up to 4,200 pounds.

“Our Generation 1 customers loved the smooth and quiet ride, excellent power, and fit and finish of our Gen 1 Ford Transit all-electric platform,” said Tim Reeser, CEO, Lightning Systems. “We now have built on that foundation and added more range, moved all the batteries under the vehicle, and given it a higher top speed. With the latest certified dynamometer testing, we remain the leaders in tested and certified commercial EV efficiency—no other Class 3 vehicle has certified to 61 MPGe (1.8 Miles/kWh).”

Originally introduced in 2018, the Lightning Electric Ford Transit Powertrain is available as part of Ford Motor Company’s eQVM (Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifiers) program. The product is available on heavy-duty Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Installation and service are performed by Ford QVM-certified upfitters and dealers around the world.

QVM is Ford’s quality recognition given to aftermarket adaptive equipment installers that meet manufacturing guidelines and best practices. Ford’s thorough QVM qualification process includes on-site assessments at each location to verify the operation meets manufacturing, assembly, workmanship, customer service, quality requirements, and that it has processes in place to produce vehicles that meet federal regulations.

“We are proud to partner with Ford on a platform that is proven and ubiquitous with commercial vehicle customers,” Reeser said. “The Lightning Electric Ford Transit allows us to work with hundreds of Ford upfit, accessory, and service partners—so customers can easily access the accessories and service they need for their fleet. This is another high-quality, elegantly engineered, zero emission solution on a proven platform for our customers.”

The powertrain includes a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty with maintenance performed by trained local dealers. Ford’s vehicle warranty covers the base chassis for vehicles with the Lightning Electric upfit and installation can be completed in just hours by certified installers. Ford Motor Credit financing is available along with electric vehicle vouchers and incentives, which also are accessible in many states.