Lightning eMotors
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Lightning eMotors deploys electric school buses on GM-based platform

May 11, 2023
Since their collaboration with GM last year to electrify GM-based Classes 3-6 vehicles for commercial applications, Lightning eMotors has worked to ramp up production on electric vehicles across the U.S.

Lightning eMotors, a provider of zero-emission, medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle (EV) technology for fleets, has begun production of a next generation Type A electric school bus built on the GM platform.

Initial orders for nearly 70 next generation Type A school buses have begun moving across the production floor in Lightning eMotors’ 130,000 sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Loveland, Colorado. Purchased by over 20 school districts across the U.S., many of these zero-emission, all-electric buses are leveraging state funding and/or the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, which is providing school districts with $5 billion between 2022 and 2026 to incentivize the electrification of school buses. These funds can be stacked with the IRA commercial vehicle incentive, which gives schools $40,000 per electric vehicle without the need for special budget referendums or increasing taxes.

“Thanks to federal EPA and IRA funding, as well as an increasing number of state-level initiatives, clean school transportation is now truly a nationwide phenomenon,” said Kash Sethi, chief revenue officer for Lightning eMotors. “We’re actively supporting school districts nationally to leverage this opportunity and, as a result, we’re ramping up production and rolling out school buses in communities across the country and are expecting an active sales pipeline.”

Lightning is producing these electric school buses on its next generation Lightning ZEV4, built on the GM 4500 platform. All Lightning ZEV4 models come equipped with 120 kWh batteries packaged between the frame rails. Each powertrain delivers 241 horsepower, 790 lb.-ft. of torque, and a range of up to 130 miles. The ZEV4 is also capable of both Level 2 AC and 80 kW DC fast charging and is V2G compatible.

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