Lightning eMotors develops largest battery double-decker

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Colorado-based electric drivetrain and speciality electric vehicle manufacturer Lightning eMotors, along with partner ABC Companies, a provider of coach, transit and specialty passenger transport equipment, has revealed the sale of the largest battery-electric double decker coach to All Aboard America! Holdings, the fourth largest coach operator in the United States.

The first delivery to Lux Bus America in Anaheim, California will be a Van Hool TD925 double-decker electrified by Lightning eMotors from diesel to an all-electric driveline. It boats a 640kWh battery capacity, which Lightning believes is the largest known to exist for a vehicle of its type, giving it an estimated range of over 200 miles, and a charge time of under six hours with a 150kW DC fast charger. The repowered coach has a seating capacity of 70 people.

“There are nearly 35,000 diesel motor coaches on the road in the US today, and the vast majority of them are ideal candidates for electrification,” said Kash Sethi, Chief Revenue Officer of Lightning eMotors. “Electrifying these existing diesel vehicles has a strong financial and environmental business case. It keeps the chassis and premium bus body out of the scrapyard and enables the move to zero-emissions with a dramatically lower cost than buying a new motor coach, diesel or electric.”

Lightning worked with coach dealer-partner ABC Companies to deliver a single deck motor coach to All Aboard America! in Mesa, Arizona, in January and to develop the double decker. “We are thrilled to have had the chance to partner with Lightning eMotors on this important project,” said Roman Cornell, President and Chief Commercial Officer of ABC Companies. “The first repowered motor coach that Lightning delivered has performed superbly while meeting range, noise and performance targets to seamlessly integrate within transitioning fleets of new electric and existing combustion-powered coaches.”

The companies believe that with the elimination of emissions and the quiet ride, both single-deck and double- decker motor coaches are an ideal solution for transporting employees to and from large corporate campuses. ”From global corporations to local universities, eliminating many privately operated vehicles on the road with a zero-emissions motor coach has a significant impact on the quality of life for those institutions and the communities on the commuter routes.As large corporate campuses begin to open up after Covid-19, we are seeing an increased interest in zero-emission employee transportation,” said Bill Trimarco, CEO of All Aboard America! Holdings. “Not only do electric buses provide an attractive total cost of ownership, but the clean, quiet ride makes them perfect for employees or students that want to collaborate or do other work while commuting to or across corporate campuses.”

“We are honoured to partner with Bill and All Aboard America. I am excited to see the expressions on riders’ faces when they first experience this coach — the ride is simply amazing, and not having to idle while waiting is game-changing,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “In addition, as we work more with corporate and college campuses, we see an opportunity to take our drive-by-wire technology to the next level and fully autonomise it for campus operation.”

The double-decker coach is scheduled to be delivered and deployed later this month. Lightning eMotors has been providing specialist and sustainable fleet solutions since 2009, and deploying complete zero-emission-vehicle solutions for commercial fleets since 2018 including vans, ambulances, shuttle buses, school and city buses, and trucks.

The first repowered electric Van Hool TD925 motor coach is being made ready for the road at Lightning eMotors’ Colorado manufacturing plant. LIGHTNING eMOTORS