Manufacturers Lightning eMotors and REV Group Inc. have announced they are teaming up to develop fully-electric ambulances along with Leader Emergency Vehicles, a subsidiary of REV. When complete later this year, the electric ambulances will be available to government agencies, municipalities, commercial operators, hospitals, and non-profit organizations.
Lightning eMotors is a Colorado-based manufacturer that specializes in zero-emissions solutions for commercial fleets. Its team designs, engineers, customizes, and manufactures ZEVs to support a wide array of fleet customer needs. This includes electric versions of everything from Class 3 cargo vans to Class A motor coaches. Last month, DHL announced it would be deploying 89 Lightning Electric Transit Vans provided by Lightning eMotors.
REV Group Inc. is a designer and manufacturer of specialty vehicles, particularly those in the fire, emergency, and commercial spaces. This includes ambulances, school buses, and industrial sweepers.
The Leader electric ambulance
According to the press release, the new Leader brand electric ambulance will be based on the fourth-generation Lightning Electric Transit Van from Lightning eMotors. The chassis themselves will be electrified at Lightning eMotors’ facility in Loveland, Colorado, then assembled at Leader’s facility in South El Monte, California. Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors elaborates:
Electrification is reaching all different types of fleet vehicles, and ambulances are a logical next step. These zero-emission vehicles are powerful, smooth, and quiet, and drivers will love them. As a fully electric model, they have no tailpipe emissions, so it’s a healthier choice for the air you breathe as well.
The completed Leader High Roof Transit van can offer up to 105 kWh of battery capacity capable of charging via Level 2 AC or DCFC. Dual rear wheels on this particular model will provide a 10,360 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
No other specs have been shared at this time. We do know that Lightning eMotors and REV plan to deliver these Leader electric ambulances to customers by the end of 2021.
This news is an appropriate representation of the EV commercial market in general. First, many companies like Lightning eMotors continue to expand their electrification of commercial fleets, especially those used as utility vehicles for various workforces.
Secondly, the commercial vehicle space itself is becoming more and more electrified. With expansions of charging infrastructure and fleet monitoring software, a larger group of heavy-duty vehicles are able to switch to zero emissions without sacrificing any performance.
Emergency vehicles naturally feel like the next step in electrification. They may take longer to catch on as the ambulance, for example, must be depended on to be ready to go anywhere quickly and immediately. The instant torque of an electric motor should help it speed through traffic when lives are on the line. Luckily, the new electric ambulances will still have sirens; otherwise, you might not even hear them coming anymore.
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