Lightning eMotors is supplying Vanderbilt University with six Lightning ZEV4 electric shuttle buses. The shuttles are expected to be delivered and deployed in Q2 2023 for the intercampus transportation service, VandyRide.
The zero-emission shuttle buses are built on the GM-based Lightning ZEV4 platform and feature 120 kWh of thermally-managed Proterra battery packs that deliver up to 130 miles of range and support both Level 2 AC and DC fast-charge capability. Vanderbilt’s vehicles ride on a 159-inch wheelbase and have been upfitted with shuttle bus bodies from Forest River to carry 14 passengers each.
Vanderbilt is leasing the initial pilot run of six vehicles from Forest River dealer Carpenter Bus Sales, with charging infrastructure supported by Vanderbilt partner Electrada. The vehicles will also be equipped with Lightning eMotors’s EV fleet telematics software, Lightning Insights.
The university says it recently “flipped the switch” on its 35-megawatt Vanderbilt I Solar Farm in Bedford County, Tennessee, which was first announced in 2020. The location will reduce the majority of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions produced indirectly from electricity purchased from Nashville Electric Service and TVA, the university says. A planned second solar farm in Moore County, Tennessee, will supply enough renewable energy to mitigate the remaining emissions, the university says.