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Lightning eMotors partners with Soderholm Bus & Mobility to sell electric commercial vehicles in Hawaii

Lightning eMotors signed a new exclusive partnership with Soderholm Bus & Mobility in Hawaii to provide Lightning eMotors’ zero-emission powertrains for their commercial van and bus customers.

Soderholm Bus & Mobility, headquartered on Oahu, is the Nº 1 bus distributor in the Pacific Islands and has sold more buses over the last 30 years than any other dealer. Soderholm will be installing Lightning eMotors’ fully electric powertrain systems in repowered applications in Hawaii, as well as buying new Lightning eMotors’ vans and shuttle buses. Lightning is shipping the first vehicle to Soderholm next month, and demonstration vehicles will be available in Hawaii this summer for fleets to test drive.


Lightning eMotors’ new and repowered products give us the flexibility we need to provide sustainable transportation systems to the Pacific Islands. Hawaii is making big investments in sustainable energy, and zero-emission transportation is the next step the islands have to take to meet their targets.

—Erik Soderholm, co-owner and vice president of Soderholm Bus & Mobility

Last year, Hawaii joined a group of 15 states and the District of Columbia to announce a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU), pledging to expand the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks (big-rigs). The goal is to ensure that 100 percent of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2050 with an interim target of 30 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.

States signing the MOU were California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Lightning eMotors offers a full range of purpose-built Class 3-7 battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, addressing the large and growing fleet electrification market. Lightning’s complete electrification solutions cover medium- and heavy-duty vocational vehicles including ambulances, delivery trucks, bucket trucks, food trucks, school buses and coach buses, among others. Its customers include ABC Companies, Amazon, DHL, California State Hospitals, Fluid Trucks, and various public transit agencies.

In addition to its commercial EV business, Lightning eMotors offers charging technologies and energy as a service (EaaS) to commercial and government fleets via its Lightning Energy division.

Hawaiian Electric and AMPLY. Separately, Hawaiian Electric is partnering with AMPLY Power on a pilot to manage charging infrastructure for four of its vehicles, which are part of the passenger fleet that is set to be fully electric by 2035.

The pilot program is unique for both AMPLY Power and Hawaiian Electric, as it utilizes the industry standard of OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response) to optimize vehicles charging on the system. Elemental Excelerator, a commercialization catalyst for growth-stage climate technology companies, facilitated and contributed funding to the venture.

The vehicles being used in the project are three Kia Niros, and one Nissan LEAF. Hawaiian Electric is expected to leverage data from the pilot to inform its electrification efforts for its five-island service territory.


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