Lightning eMotors is expanding to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles from commercial and government fleets.
Three and a half years ago, Lightning eMotors moved its headquarters, manufacturing, and research and development into the nearly one-million-square-foot campus that was formerly used by Hewlett-Packard/Agilent in southwest Loveland, Colorado. Early last year, the company took over the entire building on the campus located at Southwest 14th Street and Taft Avenue, expanding its square footage from 45,000 to 124,000. Now it is adding another 107,000 square feet in an adjacent building, for a total of 231,000 square feet of space for its operations. Lightning has first right of acceptance on more than 500,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space if it determines customer demand requires the additional space.
“The new space will initially be used for our development efforts around advanced motorcoach electrification and fuel cell electric vehicles of all classes,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “The second phase will support additional production capacity, important for ensuring we can support our 3,000 vehicle production plans for 2022.”
“The additional space helps us to accommodate the increased number of electric van and truck projects that are contracted for 2021, as well as our work on charging infrastructure for fleets and electric motorcoach repowers,” said Keith Lehmeier, director of research and development for Lightning eMotors. “Importantly, the expansion will enable our team to work both faster and smarter, with more testing equipment and automation. As we hire engineers, it gives us room to have top-notch facilities for them to work.”
During the summer and fall of 2020, the company ramped up production by more than 600 percent and continues to increase production as its orders increase. In addition, the company recently doubled its workforce and expects to double it again this year.
“Lightning eMotors is a strong example of the economic impact of sustainable, environmentally friendly businesses,” said Betsy Markey, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “Renewable energy is a pillar of the Polis administration because caring for the environment today creates enduring business models and high-quality jobs. It’s good for business and good for Colorado. We congratulate Lightning eMotors for this important milestone in their growth.”
As a part of the expansion, Lightning eMotors has added technology and automation, including CNC laser cutting and powder-coating equipment. “These additions to our in-house production capabilities allow us to produce all of our own framework in-house, better enabling us to control quality, accelerate development and production, and reduce costs,” Lehmeier said. “Combined, the expansion and new equipment ensures that we’re ready for continually increasing demand and the growth of the business.”
Lightning eMotors offers a full range of medium-duty battery-electric and fuel cell commercial electric vehicles, as well as electric motorcoaches for North American vehicle operators. In addition to its commercial EV business, the company offers charging technologies and energy as a service (EaaS) to commercial and government fleets via its Lightning Energy division.