All-Electric Zero Emission Buses from Lightning Systems Now Offered on CALACT Purchasing Contract
LOVELAND, Colo: Communities throughout California can now purchase zero-emission, all-electric (ZEB) shuttle buses and ADA-equipped vans from Lightning Systems on a new California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CALACT) cooperative purchasing contract.
City and county governments, transportation agencies, as well as nonprofits, can order all-electric Class 3 to 5 passenger buses under the program. Vehicles eligible include the Ford Transit 350HD Passenger Van and Ford E-450 Shuttle Bus, both of which are offered by Lightning Systems, a Colorado-based developer and manufacturer of zero-emission, Buy America commercial electric vehicles.
“The contract provides CALACT member organizations in California the tools they need to confidently purchase competitively bid electric passenger buses to meet their sustainability goals and requirements under the state’s Innovative Clean Transportation (ICT) Regulation,” said Terry Scholl, Lightning Systems’ business development manager for Southern California. “Electric buses have zero tailpipe emissions, and combined with California’s clean electrical grid, they help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change, as well as air quality pollutants that contribute to smog and its associated impact on public health.”
CALACT is a purchasing co-op for nearly 200 transit agencies in California, with Morongo Basin Transit Authority as the lead agency. CALACT performs extensive research and subjects manufacturers to onsite production and drivability audits to ensure quality and high-performing solutions for their agencies. CALACT provides oversight for the purchase of more than 800 buses annually and is the largest co-op of its kind in the United States.
Nonprofits or government agencies can use the new agreement to purchase electric buses once they join CALACT. All sales are made through one of several dealers that offer vehicles equipped with Lightning Systems’ electric powertrains.
Lightning Electric vehicles are built around bodies offered by Lightning Systems-authorized dealers on the contract, including A-Z Bus Sales in Colton, California, Creative Bus Sales of Chino, California, and RO Bus Sales based in Las Vegas. Custom seating, ADA up-fitting and integration with the Lightning Vehicles on the contract are handled by Nor Cal Vans of Chico, California, MobilityWorks based in Richfield, Ohio, Fenton Mobility Products of Buffalo, New York, Sunset Vans based in Corona, California, and Diamond Coach of Oswego, Kansas.
Agencies, cities and counties interested in purchasing vehicles should consult RFP/Bid 19-01 at https://www.calact.org/purchasingco-op.
“The Lightning Systems Electric Passenger Van, one of our most popular models, is the only Class 3 bus available on the contract,” said Julie Johnson, Lightning Systems’ enterprise business development manager, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Under the contract, we also offer an all-electric E-450 shuttle bus that has the highest passenger seat rating of any electric Class 4 bus on the market. Both ZEB models offer ADA-compliant seating options.”
All vehicles under the contract are eligible for special funding via the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). Additional Lightning Systems portfolio vehicles also eligible for HVIP include the Ford F-550 passenger bus and a full suite of Class 3 to Class 7 cargo trucks. The voucher program can reduce the upfront cost of advanced zero emissions fleet vehicles by 40 to 70 percent.
HVIP was formed by CARB to respond to a key market challenge by making clean trucks and buses more affordable for fleets. Over more than 10 years, HVIP has committed to supporting the purchase of more than 4,000 zero emission trucks and buses with vouchers requested by California fleets.
The American Lung Association’s 2020 “State of the Air” report found California cities continue to dominate the rankings of the nation’s most widespread air pollutants—ozone and particle pollution—both of which can be deadly. In fact, the report found Los Angeles and other California cities among the 10 U.S. cities most impacted by ozone, while five California cities are on the Top 10 list for most impacted by unhealthy particle pollution days, including many that experienced their worst ever periods for particle pollution due to historic wildfires.
“With wildfires and a large number of vehicles on the roads, California has some of the most polluted air in the nation,” Johnson said. “Our zero-emission buses will contribute to solving these air-quality problems.”