State agencies, universities, municipalities, and counties in California can order Class 3 to 6...

State agencies, universities, municipalities, and counties in California can order Class 3 to 6 shuttle buses, cargo vans, box trucks, cab-over vehicles, and stripped chassis models, including Chevrolet's 6500XD Low Cab Forward Truck and various models from Ford, under a new State of California clean-fleet initiative.

Photo: Lightning Systems

Colorado-based Lightning Systems, a global developer of zero-emissions drivetrains, announced that its all-electric powertrains for Ford and Chevrolet medium-duty trucks and buses are now offered on a California state contract.

State agencies and city and county governments throughout California can order Class 3 to 6 shuttle buses, cargo vans, box trucks, cab-over vehicles, and stripped chassis models under the program. Vehicles eligible include the Ford Transit 350HD Passenger Van and Cargo Van, Ford E-450 Cutaway Chassis, Ford F-59 Stripped Chassis, and Chevrolet 6500XD Low Cab Forward Truck.

The contract term, which is estimated to be worth approximately $15 to $20 million in vehicle orders, is for two years with an option to extend the contract for two additional one-year periods. Lightning Systems estimates that 140 to 160 vehicles will be ordered under the contract.

“This contract gives state agencies, universities, municipalities, and counties in California the electric vehicle platforms they need to meet their sustainability goals, helping them to tackle climate change and improve air quality and reduce smog in their local communities,” said Terry Scholl, business development manager for Southern California, Lightning Systems. “We offer the broadest range of electric powertrain products in the industry, with high-quality, zero-emission powertrains on Class 3 through 6 Ford and Chevrolet platforms that are readily available and supported by a large number of service partners, upfitters, and accessory lines.”

Agencies, cities and counties interested in purchasing vehicles should consult contract number 1-19-23-22 (A-D) at

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). The voucher program can reduce the upfront cost of advanced zero-emissions fleet vehicles by 40% to 70%.

HVIP was formed by CARB to respond to a key market challenge by making clean trucks and buses more affordable for fleets. By offering point-of-sale incentives for clean trucks and buses, HVIP provides a streamlined approach for providing helpful incentives to fleets without waiting to submit proposals or complicated paperwork. Fleets receive the voucher discount at the point of sale while HVIP-approved vendors and dealers process the required documentation.

In the last 10 years, HVIP has committed to supporting the purchase of 2,500 zero-emission trucks and buses with vouchers requested by California fleets. According to a news release issued on June 21, CARB estimates that the total number of ultra-clean trucks and buses operating on California’s roadways will reach more than 7,000 over the next two years with more on the way, as demand for vouchers continues to grow. Since 2009, the program has helped more than 1,100 California fleets buy cleaner vehicles. HVIP is administered and implemented through a partnership between CARB and CALSTART (selected by CARB via a competitive grant solicitation).

According to California Senate Bill 1014, the transportation sector accounts for almost 50% of the emissions of greenhouse gases in California, with light-duty vehicles making up 70% of the sector’s emissions. Additionally, approximately 80% of the smog that plagues California comes from the tailpipes of vehicles, according to senate findings.

“California continues to have some of the most polluted air in the nation,” Terry Scholl added. “Seven of the 10 most polluted cities in the nation are in California, according to the American Lung Association’s Annual Air Quality Report. We’re hoping our zero-emissions vehicles contribute to solving these societal problems, while ensuring vehicles perform and get the job done.”

The American Lung Association estimates that California suffers $15 billion annually in health costs due to air pollution, including increases in respiratory illnesses and premature deaths.

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