The two-battery Lightning ZEV3 passenger van is equipped with an electric drivetrain.

The two-battery Lightning ZEV3 passenger van is equipped with an electric drivetrain.

Photo: Lightning eMotors

Lightning eMotors announced its Class 3 Lightning ZEV3 all-electric passenger van received Altoona testing certification, according to the company’s news release.

Altoona testing is the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) testing procedure for buses. 

Lightning said its ZEV3 is the first battery-electric Class 3 passenger van that has passed Altoona testing.

Altoona certification ensures that, along with the Lightning ZEV4 shuttle bus, which passed Altoona previously, Lightning's Class 3 ZEV3 passenger van qualifies for purchase or lease with grants from federal and state governments taking part in the FTA's Low and No Emissions Grant program. 

Transit vehicles must pass Altoona testing to be eligible for purchase using the over $4 billion in grant funding available over the next four years for the purchase or lease of zero- or low-emission transit buses. 

"Fleet managers look to Altoona testing to ensure the vehicles they purchase are tested to meet the demands of transit usage for many years and thousands of miles," said Nick Bettis, VP of marketing and sales operations at Lightning Motors. "This certification confirms our ZEV3 passenger van can withstand the harshest of punishment and will keep occupants safe."

Altoona certification involves a standardized set of procedures, designed to measure the vehicle's maintainability, reliability, safety, performance, structural integrity, and noise. For battery-electric vehicles such as Lightning's ZEV3, testing also involves range and efficiency assessments.

"Transit agencies are becoming more interested in microtransit and battery-electric vehicle solutions to supplement traditional buses. This shift has created the need for smaller vehicles to complete Altoona testing and become available," said Bettis. "Our ZEV3 platform has long been one of our most popular with commercial fleet operators. Now, with Altoona testing certification, transit fleet managers can be confident the Lightning ZEV3 provides the durability needed for transit use and is eligible for FTA grants."

The two-battery Lightning ZEV3 passenger van is equipped with an electric drivetrain. The van is powered by thermally managed batteries. Lightning's ZEV3 also has up to 200 miles of range and comes standard with both Level 2 AC charging and DC Fast Charge capabilities. 

Lightning has fielded over 300 Lightning ZEV3 vans to date.

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