Proterra, Lightning eMotors Partner On Electric Commercial Van Batteries

Lightning eMotors, based in Loveland, Colorado, produces commercial electric vehicles, including … [+] cargo vans, passenger ...


Proterra, a Silicon Valley-based developer of battery technology for mass transit and commercial vehicles, is working with Lightning eMotors on a battery system for Lightning’s commercial vans, the two companies announced Thursday.

Lightning eMotors produces commercial electric vehicles, including cargo vans, passenger vans, shuttle buses, ambulances, school buses and recreational vehicles. It expects to make up to 3,000 vehicles by 2023, and deliver its first electric transit vans by the end of 2021. The Loveland, Colorado-based company has been deploying zero-emission vehicles for commercial fleets since 2017.

Lightning buys chassis for its vehicles from other automakers then retrofits them with battery packs and other technology needed to convert them to electrified powertrains. “Proterra’s batteries are premium technology for premium vehicles,” Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser, said in a statement. “We are very pleased to be able to offer their batteries on our vehicles.”

The companies did not disclose terms of their collaboration. Both are in the process of going public through the backing of special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs. Also know as “blank check companies,” SPACs provide substantial investments in startups and promise to take them public within two years.

Lightning is merging with Gigacapital 3 Inc. through a deal that values Lightning eMotors at $823 million

In January Proterra merged with ArcLight Clean Transition Corp., through a SPAC transaction valued at $1.6 billion.

Based in Burlingame, California, Proterra has about 500 transit buses deployed with 120 customers in the U.S. and Canada who collectively logged more than 17 million miles of service.

Proterra and Lightning eMotors are among a wave of companies in the electric vehicle space that are hoping to benefit from regulatory pressures in Europe and North America that incentivize the manufacture and sales of electric vehicles.

While early signs suggest that boosting sales of electric vehicles to consumers remains a challenge, commercial vehicles and transit buses may be faster to adapt. Commercial vehicles travel more miles per day. They carry more passengers than passenger cars, SUVs and pickup trucks.

They likely will recover the higher upfront cost — compared with gas-fueled vans – through reduced fuel expenses sooner than a personal use vehicle will.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Proterra, Lightning eMotors Partner On Electric Commercial Van Batteries
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