Lightning eMotors unveils chassis for electric commercial vehicles
By Chad Elmore04 January 2022
The Lightning eChassis is an all-new chassis purpose-built for commercial EV applications.
Lightning eMotors, a Colorado-based provider of medium-duty and specialty commercial electric vehicles for fleets, has introduced the Lightning eChassis, an all-new chassis purpose-built for commercial EV applications.
The Lightning eChassis, developed with Metalsa, will be available for Class 4 and 5 commercial electric chassis cab, stripped chassis, and cutaway chassis configurations. With the addition of the eChassis, Lightning eMotors said it will become the first commercial EV manufacturer that can offer the electrification of existing OEM chassis and purpose-built commercial electric vehicles.
The design accommodates different battery sizes and configurations, different powertrain integrations and different wheelbases – allowing Lightning eMotors to support a wide variety of vocational applications and upfitter partners. Lightning said its new chassis will support an increased Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of approximately 1500 lb. more, on average, than platforms on the market today, thereby providing customers the potential to increase passenger and payload capacity for electrified ambulances, shuttle buses, delivery and refrigerated trucks and work trucks.
Lightning eMotors expects pre-production units to be available starting in the second quarter of 2022 with production units expected before the end of the year.
“This collaboration with Metalsa will allow us to serve areas of the commercial vehicle market that are currently underserved with electrification options,” said Tim Reeser, CEO and co-founder of Lightning eMotors. “Bringing this solution to the commercial EV space represents another milestone in our strategy to offer our customers purpose-built, highly-customized zero-emission vehicles that deliver superior performance at a low price.”
Based in Mexico, Metalsa is a provider of structural components and chassis for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries. The company’s products are built to meet and exceed the industry’s highest strength, weight, safety and quality standards. Additionally, their proven background in high-volume manufacturing means they have experience to scale up in support of growing market demand.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Lightning eMotors to design, develop, integrate and assemble this first-of-its-kind flexible chassis, purpose-built to support the growing demand in the industry,” commented Joe El-Behairy, president, e-Mobility Growth Business Unit at Metalsa. “Lightning’s commitment to innovation and putting high quality vehicles on the road quickly makes them the perfect customer to introduce this product. The platform is designed to accommodate the evolving technology and ever-changing product requirements in the market. We are confident that this new rolling chassis, combined with our integration capabilities and ability to scale manufacturing rapidly, will support Lightning’s growth plans.”
The Lightning eChassis is expected to contribute to Lightning eMotors’ planned increase in production in 2022.
“One of the most exciting aspects of our partnership with Metalsa is the control it gives us over our chassis supply chain,” said Chelsea Ramm, vice president, Global Supply Chain for Lightning eMotors. “Constraints on the automotive supply chain have impacted the entire EV market. The Lightning eChassis provides our customers with additional options and the flexible architecture to accommodate a variety of different powertrain needs and wheelbases.”