LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)– A Colorado company is working to revolutionize how vehicle fleets operate by taking out engines and gas tanks and replacing them with motors and batteries. When that’s complete, those vehicles will be gentler on the environment.
“Today we offer a powertrain on six different kinds of vehicles,” said Tim Reeser the CEO and Co-Founder of Lightning Systems. “They drive much quieter, they drive nicer, they’ve got a lot of torque, they’re fast.”
At the company’s Loveland shop, trucks, vans and busses are ripped apart and rebuilt to have zero emissions.
“We can design to a very specific use case and put the right amount of batteries in it and make it work specifically for a customer in the way they need it,” Reeser said. “The dash has to now have a battery in it instead of a fuel nozzle and it now has to have a kilowatt meter instead of a tachometer.”
The batteries allow trucks to travel over 100 miles on a single charge. The uses for the trucks and vans can be vast. Many of the vans are being put into use to complete deliveries.
“They often have the same delivery route every day and that delivery route on average in the United States is 43 miles. So we actually don’t need a 200-mile vehicle,” said Reeser.
About two years ago, Reeser says batteries started to drop in price making a transition from gasoline to electric more affordable. Companies started looking at a more sustainable way to operate. Lightning Systems stepped in to fill the void for companies looking to improve their fleets.
As more orders come in, the company is continuing to hire and grow.
“We need hands on engineers who think and are willing to be hands on and get a little greasy. But also know how to do very complex software jobs,” Rosser said.
The company continues to make a variety of vehicles electric. A bus in Boulder was converted from diesel to electric and several food trucks have started coming in to be changed over.
“You get out of the vehicle and you say, ‘I’d much rather be in this vehicle than a diesel or a gasoline vehicle from a driver standpoint.’ We hear that a lot,” Reeser said.