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Lightning Systems electric Chevrolet 6500XD Low-Cab Forward truck Photo: Lightning Systems
A Chevrolet Low-Cab Forward 6500XD with Lightning Systems' new all-electric powertrain.

Lightning Systems launches electric powertrain for Chevy 6500XD

New York-based Zeem Solutions orders 50 electric Chevrolet Low-Cab Forward 6500XDs.

Zero-emission commercial powertrains developer Lightning Systems announced a new electric powertrain for Chevrolet's Low-Cab Forward trucks with 19,501-26,000 pound gross vehicle weight rating that offers an all-electric range of 110 miles. Zeem Solutions has placed the first order of 50 of the powertrains, which will be integrated into Chevy 6500XD Low Cab Forward trucks.

Zeem Solutions is a commercial electric vehicle service provider for small to large fleets and helps fleet operators integrate an electric vehicle strategy to meet fleet transportation requirements. The company's CEO, Paul Gioupis, had strong testimony to the electric Class 6 Chevy 6500XD's performance: "The truck is an absolute beast, and there is no other product on the market like it."

"We chose the Lightning product because once we drove the electrified Ford Transit [with Lightning Systems' conversion], we were blown away with the acceleration and overall performance, and it became clear why Ford selected them as their preferred partner," Gioupis added.

The new Lightning Electric LEV100 model will offer peak motor power of 295 hp. with a 2-speed Eaton automatic transmission, providing 1821 lbs.-ft. of torque in first gear and a 65-mph governed top speed, according to the company. The electric 6500XD will have a range of 110 miles, depending on route and driver. Regenerative braking adds range while reducing wear and tear on the standard friction brakes.

The Lightning Electric powertrain will accommodate a full charge in three hours with DC fast-charging. Lightning Systems provides a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain, similar to General Motors' vehicle warranty.

The powertrain is available on new Class 6 Low-Cab Forward trucks as well to repower existing fleet vehicles. Service and maintenance will be performed by trained local service centers and nationwide service partners, Lightning Systems noted.

The electric Low-Cab Forward model will serve as a cargo van for delivery and comes as a chassis cab ready to be upfitted with cargo box, refrigeration units, and other configurations.

Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems, noted the electrified 6500XD follows the company's pattern of converting a truck "that is already embedded in fleets, trusted by commercial customers, and is highly serviceable with nationwide spare parts."

"Just like our Ford Transit and city bus powertrains, the vehicle is elegantly engineered, quick, powerful, and quiet," he added.

Orders are being accepted immediately, Lightning Systems said, and delivery of the new product is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company did not specify whether the conversion will also be available for Isuzu's Class 6 FTR truck, which is the cross-platform sibling to the Isuzu-built Chevy 6500XD, or for other Class 6 cabovers.


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