Lightning eMotors announces EV battery partnership with CSI

By Chad Elmore14 December 2021

OEM signs two-year agreement to purchase CATL battery products, vehicle production expected to begin in March 2022.

Lightning eMotors, a provider of medium- and heavy-duty specialty commercial electric vehicles for fleets, has reached an agreement to supply battery products produced by Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), one of China’s largest providers of new energy technologies.

CATL battery pack The CATL H01 batteries use LFP chemistry for commercial vehicle applications.

The two-year agreement with California-based CATL distributor Coulomb Solutions, Inc. (CSI) provides Lightning eMotors with additional optionality around form factor. Having several battery size and shape options enables Lightning to address a variety of use cases and better meet customer requirements, which is critical to their goal of providing highly customized zero-emission commercial vehicles.

“CATL has a proven lineup of battery pack configurations that will provide us with additional flexibility for our wide range of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission commercial electric vehicles,” said Chelsea Ramm, Lightning eMotors’ vice president of global supply chain, Loveland, Colo. “CATL’s mature product portfolio, combined with our existing and ongoing partnerships, provides us with several efficient battery pack options as we work with customers to configure the right vehicles to fit their needs.”

CATL battery products will be available to Lightning in two pack options – a 30 kWh battery and 35 kWh battery – for a total of more than 175 megawatt-hours of battery capacity.

Additionally, Lightning eMotors is working with CATL and CSI to design and install contactor safety switch systems on CATL C- and G-battery packs that will be exclusive to Lightning-eMotors. These switch systems will allow first responders to easily disable the vehicle’s entire EV powertrain in the event of an accident.

Production of vehicles using CATL battery packs is expected to begin in March and will help Lightning eMotors fulfill a wide range of customer orders in 2022.

“This new partnership with CSI providing CATL’s advanced battery systems represents a significant step forward with our battery sourcing plan and provides us with an even greater ability to quickly provide our customers with zero-emission vehicles that meet their expectations,” said Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser. “CATL has established itself as a respected industry leader, and our exclusive safety feature innovations mean Lightning eMotors customers are getting unique and best-in-class vehicles.”

CSI provides proven components to the North American commercial electric vehicle market at wholesale prices. The company has said its goal is to enable rapid adoption of electric drive systems in commercial trucks, buses, vans, locomotives and marine applications. 

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