Lightning eMotors and Ricardo team up to bring electric vans to UK fleets
Lightning eMotors, a leading US provider of medium duty commercial electric vehicles for fleets, is partnering with Ricardo to deploy electric vans in the UK from 2022.
The deal will see Lightning build fully electric powertrains at its facility in Loveland, Colorado, which will then be shipped to the UK.
Ricardo will then assemble and integrate them into medium duty commercial fleet vehicles at one of its UK facilities.
Ricardo will also source key components for the EV assembly from UK manufacturers, and will provide supply chain and certification of roadworthiness support.
The partnership is being supported by BP Ventures, Lightning’s largest investor; its BP Pulse division will offer charging and microgrid solutions for fleet customers while also providing access to on-the-road fast charging through its network of 7,000 chargers.
“The UK market is especially well-suited for commercial vehicle electrification because the return on investment for fleets is so fast,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “With fuel prices that are more than double that of the US, and zero emission zones in London and other cities that charge a daily fee to non-zero-emission vehicles, this market will be one of the fastest growing commercial ZEV markets in the world.”
The plan is for Lightning to have electric commercial vehicles assembled and running in UK fleets in 2022. Its powertrains support commercial vehicles ranging from class 3 vans to class 6 trucks to class 8 motor coaches.
Battery configurations range from 80kWh to more than 600kWh using lithium-ion battery technology with liquid thermal management systems – and can support ranges from 60 miles to more than 200 miles.
The batteries can recharge over a lunch break using Lightning eMotors’ DC fast charge infrastructure with integrated vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities.
The vehicles will also include telematics functionality and a mobile app for drivers and fleet managers.
“Ricardo is the trusted engineering services provider for the world’s leading automotive OEMs,” said Marques McCammon, global managing director Ricardo Automotive & Industrial. “We are pleased to be applying our expertise in systems integration, providing supply chain and certification of roadworthiness support, as well as powertrain installation and integration services in the UK. This will help fleet electrification become more affordable, encouraging wider adoption.”