Lightning Systems unveils electric Class 6 truck with first order underway

Updated Aug 24, 2018

Lightning Systems revealed today a new all-electric Low Cab Forward model for commercial and government fleets in the Class 6 segment.

The Lightning Electric heavy-duty powertrain will be available in the 19,501-26,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) with an all-electric range of 110 miles. Orders are being accepted immediately, and delivery of the new product will begin in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The first order for 50 has been placed by Zeem Solutions and will be integrated onto the Chevrolet 6500XD Low Cab Forward model.

“The heavy-duty battery-electric model that we’re introducing follows our model of leveraging a high-quality, industry-leading platform that is already embedded in fleets, trusted by commercial customers, and is highly serviceable with nationwide spare parts,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems.

“Just like our Ford Transit and city bus powertrains, the vehicle is elegantly engineered, quick, powerful, and quiet,” Reeser continued. “We’re excited to work with Zeem Solutions as they provide unique finance options on the trucks to the commercial market. Our Class 6 powertrain, for both new and repowered vehicles, will eliminate diesel costs, dramatically reduce operating costs and help Zeem and their customers meet their sustainability goals and environmental standards.”

Zeem Solutions, based in New York, is a commercial electric vehicle (CEV) service provider for small, medium and large fleet operators across the U.S. The company assists fleet operators with the formulation and integration of a tailored, comprehensive EV strategy to optimize operating costs when buying or leasing a CEV. Zeem is product agnostic and focused on vehicle options that meet fleet transportation requirements. Through the utilization of charging solutions, grid monetization and their proprietary operating system, Zeem works to meet a total cost of operation at par or below the cost of a diesel.

“Zeem customers are forward thinking market movers,” said Bruce Shallet, chairman of Zeem Solutions. “In addition to wanting to implement an environmentally responsible fleet management strategy, they need an electric truck that delivers reliable performance at or near the operating cost of existing diesel options.

“We have developed technology in our vehicles that makes it easier for our customers to optimize the economics, performance, and life of battery and vehicle, whether on the road or parked,” Shallet continued.

The new Lightning Electric LEV100 model will offer peak motor power of 295 horsepower with a 2-speed Eaton automatic transmission, providing 1821 ft-lb in first gear and a 65-mph governed top speed.

Lightning provides an industry-leading five-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain, matching GM’s vehicle warranty. The powertrain is available on new Class 6 trucks as well as for repowers of vehicles currently in fleets. Service and maintenance will be performed by trained local service centers and nationwide service partners. Clean vehicle vouchers and incentives are available in many states through the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust and other state and federal funding programs.

The new model will have an electric range of 110 miles depending on route and driver. Regenerative braking adds range while reducing wear and tear on the standard friction brakes. Featuring a state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery system, the new Lightning Electric heavy-duty powertrain will accommodate a full charge in three hours using industry-standard CCS DC fast charging.

Zeem CEO Paul Gioupis remains impressed with the all-electric Class 6 truck.

“I have been deeply involved in the electric commercial truck vehicle space for over 10 years, and have driven all the current options available,” said Paul Gioupis, CEO of Zeem Solutions. “We chose the Lightning product because once we drove the electrified Ford Transit we were blown away with the acceleration and overall performance, and it became clear why Ford selected them as their preferred partner. We are excited to be working with the Lightning Systems team on the first Zeem vehicles and anticipate we will have strong demand from our customers on this Class 6 offering. The truck is an absolute beast, and there is no other product on the market like it.”

The Low Cab Forward model will serve as a delivery truck, cargo van and is delivered as a chassis cab, ready to be upfitted with cargo box, refrigeration units, and other configurations.

“This segment is perfect for expanding our lineup of Lightning Electric products into the heavy-duty market to meet growing demand for zero-emission vehicles,” Reeser said. “Together with the success of our Ford Transit product and the introduction of our all-electric repower product for city transit buses, this Class 6 product helps us in our goal to be a full-service provider of zero-emission solutions for fleets.”

Lightning Analytics, a cloud-based analytics system that provides predictive maintenance, route scoring, range analysis, driver behavior and geofencing for maximum range and efficiency, is available as an option on every Lightning Electric vehicle. The analytics system provides fleets with real-time information to operate their fleet at peak efficiency.