Lightning eMotors reported that its ZEV3 electric passenger van exceeds the Federal Transit Administration’s requirements for certification as U.S.-built. (Photo courtesy Lightning eMotors)

Lightning eMotors’ certification confirms that 70 percent or more of the vehicle’s production costs come from components and subcomponents produced in the U.S.

February 1, 2023

LOVELAND, Colo.—Lightning eMotors, a provider of zero-emission, medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle technology for fleets, reported that its Class 3 Lightning ZEV3™ all-electric passenger van has achieved Buy America Certification.

The certification, along with Lightning’s recently announced Altoona Testing certification, makes the Lightning ZEV3 fully eligible for funding through the $4 billion Federal Transit Administration Low- and No-Emissions grant program. It also positions Lightning’s products for other incentives, such as the Federal Aviation Administration’s zero emission airport shuttle program, the company said in a release.

The availability of these funds will allow fleets to transition to electric vehicles more quickly, helping organizations and companies to lower their carbon footprint. To access this funding, which includes $1 billion in 2023, zero- or low-emission transit vehicles must be both Buy America certified and pass Altoona Testing to be eligible for purchase or lease using these FTA funds.

“We believe it is important that our high-quality electric vehicles support American jobs,” said Lightning eMotors Vice President of Procurement Chelsea Ramm, in the release. “We purposely look for U.S.-based component and subcomponent manufacturers and suppliers and are thrilled to be Buy American Act certified in formal recognition of our largely American supply chain.

“Additionally, our larger, Class 4 Lightning ZEV4™ passenger models have also passed our internal Buy America audit and we look forward to earning certification through independent verification on this model as well,” added Ramm.

Both the Lightning ZEV3 two- and three-battery passenger vans achieved Buy America Certification. The certification requires the cost of the components and subcomponents produced in the U.S. to be more than 70 percent of the total cost to manufacture the vehicle. Internal and independent verification showed that over 80 percent of the manufacturing cost of ZEV3 models in both battery configurations came from American materials, according to the release.

“Achieving Buy America and Altoona testing certification makes the ZEV3 fully eligible for currently available FTA grants and many state-level EV fleet grants, helping existing customers further expand their EV operations and new customers begin their EV transition,” said Lightning eMotors Vice President of Marketing Nick Bettis, in the release. “Lightning stands out as a commercial EV manufacturer having earned both these certifications, and is now uniquely positioned to help transit fleet operators take advantage of FTA funding now and over the next four years.”

The Lightning ZEV3 passenger van is currently in use within fleets across North America for micro-transit and shuttle services. It is equipped with a state-of-the-art, all-electric drivetrain that is said to deliver “leading efficiency for its weight class, while providing a quiet, smooth, and familiar driving experience.” The van is powered by thermally managed batteries that are said to offer excellent range, efficiency, and lifetime.

“Buy America certification is yet another tool Lightning offers its customers to make the transition to electric vehicles both seamless and beneficial to their business,” said Bettis. “Lightning offers a complete package, from purchasing to fleet management, and we are proud to support our customers throughout the entire EV ecosystem.”

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