EV Maker Goes Public, Gets Large Order, and Announces Expansion

By Margaret Jackson Thursday, February 4, 2021

The last few months have been a whirlwind for Loveland, Colorado-based company Lightning eMotors.

In December, the electric vehicle (EV) maker merged with GigCapital3 Inc. and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ZEV.

A month later, the EV maker received a $45 million order for 200 zero-emission electric vehicles from ABC Companies, which provides the transportation industry with highway coach equipment and specialty vehicles.

That prompted the company to expand its business production capacity with the addition of 107,000 square feet of manufacturing space for a total of 231,000 square feet. Lightning eMotors’ business also has the first right of acceptance of more than 500,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space if demand for its products warrants it.

Volkswagen e-Mobility charging station.

Room to Grow the Business

“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,” Keith Lehmeier, director of research and development for Lightning eMotors, said in a news release. “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.”

The company estimates production of medium-duty commercial electric vehicles will reach 20,000 by 2025.

Lightning eMotors offers a full range of medium-duty battery-electric and fuel cell commercial electric cars as well as electric motorcoaches for North American vehicle operators.

The ABC order includes a mix of new EV products made by Lightning eMotors as well as new zero-emission EV powertrain systems developed by Lightning eMotors that will be upfit into its existing electric cars. Lightning eMotors has trained ABC Companies employees to install and service the EV powertrain systems.

Part of Lightning eMotors’ expansion includes adding EV technology and automation, including CNC laser cutting and powder coating equipment. The additions enable the company to produce all of its own framework in house, giving it more control over quality, accelerating development and production costs, and reducing costs for the business.

Move to Electric

ABC Companies, which provides the transportation industry with highway coach equipment and specialty vehicles, selected Lightning eMotors after conducting a global search for a powertrain provider with the expertise to provide zero-emission electric cars that offer charging solutions for large corporate and municipal customers.

“Many of our large corporate and university campus customers are making plans to go all-electric as they ramp back up, so we are excited to be able to immediately offer both new electric buses and zero-emission repower solutions through our Diesel-to-Electric Repower Program,” said ABC President and Chief Commercial Officer Roman Cornell, referring to the company’s efforts to convert transportation companies’ fleets to electric cars.

About the Author


Headshot for author Margaret Jackson

Margaret is an award-winning journalist who spent nearly 25 years in the newspaper industry. She has covered a variety of business topics, including residential and commercial real estate, technology, telecommunications, and cannabis.

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