Forest River and Lightning eMotors to offer factory-certified all-electric repower program for shuttle buses and passenger vans
Lightning eMotors, a provider of medium-duty and specialty commercial electric vehicles for fleets, has expanded its partnership with Forest River (earlier post) to offer a factory-certified all-electric repower program for shuttle buses and passenger vans. Forest River is a Berkshire Hathaway Company that manufactures shuttle buses, recreational vehicles, cargo trailers, utility trailers and pontoon boats, and is the dominant manufacturer of shuttle buses across US and Canada.
Repowering gas and diesel-powered commercial vehicles has been common practice for many years since the chassis and body often outlast the powertrains, while repowering vehicles with electric powertrains remains a largely untapped opportunity for many fleet operators.
There are currently more than 50,000 Forest River shuttle buses and passenger vans across the US and Canada that are eligible for this program. Many of those buses have been highly customized with wheel-chair lifts, roof-top air conditioners and other equipment. Repowering these vehicles not only reduces emissions, it also preserves the prior investment and extends the life of the vehicle all while reducing costs for the customer.
The Forest River factory-certified powertrains and installation will be backed by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Additionally, Lightning Energy will provide Forest River dealers and customers with customized charging and microgrid energy solutions, including Lightning’s Mobile Battery Vehicle Charging solutions to ensure customers have the necessary infrastructure to support fast ramp-up of their zero-emission fleets.
This expanded agreement comes after Lightning and Forest River announced in 2021 an $850-million, multi-year strategic partnership to build up to 7,500 zero-emission Class 4 and Class 5 buses.
We expect that our new repower program with Lightning will be welcomed by our dealers because it is being introduced as the commercial bus industry continues to grapple with a production shortage caused by supply chain issues in the broader automotive market.
Lightning’s zero-emission powertrain provides our customers with an updated powertrain that is not only more sustainable and more efficient than the gasoline engine that is being replaced, but also provides the latest safety and driver technology on a platform that is serviceable and highly customized for their needs.—Forest River Bus president David Wright
Lightning eMotors has been repowering gasoline and diesel vehicles since 2009, and its vehicles have exceeded more than 1,250,000 all-electric miles as customer and market demand continues to increase.