Lightning eMotors has expanded its partnership with Forest River to offer a factory-certified all-electric repower program for shuttle buses and passenger vans. Forest River is a Berkshire Hathaway Company that manufactures shuttle buses, recreational vehicles, cargo trailers, utility trailers and pontoon boats.
Repowering gas and diesel-powered commercial vehicles has been common practice for many years since the chassis and body often outlast the powertrains, while repowering vehicles with electric powertrains remains a largely untapped opportunity for many fleet operators.
There are currently more than 50,000 Forest River shuttle buses and passenger vans across the U.S. and Canada that are eligible for this program. Many of those buses have been highly customized with wheel-chair lifts, roof-top air conditioners and other equipment. Repowering these vehicles not only reduces emissions, it also preserves the prior investment and extends the life of the vehicle all while reducing costs for the customer, Lightning eMotors says.
The Forest River factory-certified powertrains and installation will be backed by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Additionally, Lightning Energy will provide Forest River dealers and customers with customized charging and microgrid energy solutions, including Lightning’s Mobile Battery Vehicle Charging solutions to ensure customers have the necessary infrastructure to support fast ramp-up of their zero-emission fleets.
This expanded agreement comes after Lightning and Forest River announced in 2021 an $850 million, multi-year strategic partnership to build up to 7,500 zero-emission Class 4 and Class 5 buses, the company says.