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Lightning eMotors receives Altoona testing certification

Jan. 30, 2023
The zero-emissions vehicle producer's latest passenger van has been certified in a variety of categories, allowing buyers potential access to federal funding to expand their electric offerings.

Lightning eMotors, a zero-emission, medium-duty commercial vehicle producer and electric vehicle technology developer, received Altoona testing certification for its Class 3 Lightning ZEV3 all-electric passenger van. The certification process is conducted by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and means that the Class 3 ZEV3 can be leased or purchased with federal and state grants.

“Fleet managers look to Altoona testing to ensure the vehicles they purchase are tested to meet the demands of transit usage for many years and thousands of miles,” said Nick Bettis, vice president of marketing and sales operations at Lightning eMotors. “This certification confirms our ZEV3 passenger van can withstand the harshest of punishment and will keep occupants safe.”

Altoona’s certification process involves testing each vehicle on a variety of procedures, including maintainability, accessibility, reliability, safety, performance, structural integrity and durability, noise, and range and efficiency for battery-electric vehicles.

Specifically, each category tested for the following:

  • Maintainability – Three procedures evaluated the vehicle’s accessibility of components and subsystems for servicing, preventative maintenance, repairs, and the replacement of certain subsystems
  • Reliability – This section examined how prone the vehicle was to unscheduled breakdowns during the testing period and associated down time and repair time
  • Safety – The safety standards included two tests that examined the asset’s handling and stability through a double-lane change while maneuvering around obstacles and verified the vehicle’s parking brake and stopping distance
  • Performance – The performance section evaluated the vehicle’s acceleration, gradeability, and top speed
  • Integrity and Durability – Six tests comprised the structural testing sequence, including procedures meant to examine the vehicles performance through rain and road damage, the asset’s towing fixtures, the feasibility of tire replacement at roadside and any damage the replacement might cause, and an accelerated durability test
  • Noise – The noise evaluations examined both interior and exterior noise
  • Range and efficiency – The range and efficiency examination measured the asset’s energy consumption in specific conditions

“Our fleet of Lightning ZEV3 passenger vans have performed great within our micro transit service model,” said Richard Tree, executive director of the Tulare County Regional Transit Agency. “Now with Altoona certification, we are excited to be able to leverage FTA funds to potentially expand our fleet.”

As a result of the passenger van’s certification, grants from the FTA’s Low and No Emissions Grant Program an provide $4 billion over the next four years for companies to expand their electric options.

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Fleet Maintenance staff

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