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Lightning eMotors Announces Altoona Testing Certification for Lightning ZEV3TM Passenger Van

  • Altoona testing certification provides third-party vehicle safety, durability, performance and reliability verification
  • Certification ensures Lightning ZEV3 is eligible for Federal Transit Administration Low and No Emission grants

Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV), a leading provider of zero-emission, medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle technology for fleets, announced today its Class 3 Lightning ZEV3 all-electric passenger van received Altoona testing certification. Altoona testing is the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) longstanding testing procedure for buses. Lightning’s ZEV3 is the first, and currently only battery-electric class 3 passenger van that has passed Altoona testing.

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The City of Porterville, CA, operates a fleet of Lightning ZEV3™ electric passenger vans on a micro-transit model which has improved passenger experience while reducing costs (photo: Lightning eMotors)

The City of Porterville, CA, operates a fleet of Lightning ZEV3™ electric passenger vans on a micro-transit model which has improved passenger experience while reducing costs (photo: Lightning eMotors)

In addition to verifying the safety and durability of the vehicle, 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. The availability of these funds will allow fleets to transition to electric vehicles more quickly, helping organizations and companies lower their carbon footprint.

“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, vice president of marketing and sales operations at Lightning eMotors. “This certification confirms our ZEV3 passenger van can withstand the harshest of punishment and will keep occupants safe.”

Transit vehicles experience rigorous daily usage, and Altoona testing verifies vehicles are up to the task. 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 micro-transit 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.”

“Our fleet of Lightning ZEV3 passenger vans have performed great within our micro transit service model,” said Richard Tree, executive director of the Tulare County Regional Transit Agency. “Now with Altoona certification, we are excited to be able to leverage FTA funds to potentially expand our fleet.”

In use with fleets across North America for micro-transit and shuttle services, the two-battery Lightning ZEV3 passenger van is equipped with a state-of-the-art electric drivetrain that delivers the best efficiency of any vehicle in its weight class, in addition to providing a quiet, smooth and familiar driving experience. The van is powered by thermally managed batteries, offering the best range, efficiency and lifetime of any batteries in the market. Lightning’s ZEV3 boasts up to 200 miles of range (depending on configuration) and comes standard with both Level 2 AC charging and DC Fast Charge capabilities. Lightning has fielded over 300 Lightning ZEV3 vans to date and those vehicles have accumulated over 3.3 million real world miles.

About Lightning eMotors

Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV) has been providing specialized and sustainable fleet solutions since 2009, deploying complete zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) solutions for commercial fleets since 2018 – including Class 3 cargo and passenger vans, ambulances, Class 4 and 5 cargo vans and shuttle buses, Class 4 Type A school buses, Class 6 work trucks, Class 7 city buses, and motor coaches. The Lightning eMotors team designs, engineers, customizes, and manufactures zero-emission vehicles to support the wide array of fleet customer needs with a full suite of control software, telematics, analytics, and charging solutions to simplify the buying and ownership experience and maximize uptime and energy efficiency. To learn more, visit our website at

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information herein, matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements about the commercial and technology progress and future financial performance of Lightning eMotors, Inc. These forward-looking statements are identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “expand,” “enable,” “might,” “potential,” “should,” “would” among others. Forward-looking statements in this press release are subject to certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the company’s business that could cause actual results or outcomes to vary, including, but not limited to, risks related to Lightning eMotors’ operations and business and financial performance; the ability of Lightning eMotors to execute on its business strategy and grow demand for its products and revenue; potential increases in costs or shortage of raw materials; market acceptance of new product offerings; and other risks more fully described in Lightning eMotors’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved, if at all. Lightning eMotors undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.


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