Fully electric delivery trucks, cargo vans, shuttle vehicles, and transit and school buses are all due to become increasingly common as fleets go green and diesels are retired.
That’s where a recent surge of interest in mobile-charging solutions comes in. As a backup plan for the times when charge points and infrastructure won’t quite cut it and trucks need a little more charge to accommodate the unforeseen, mobile systems will be able to provide a fast charge on the go.
Tuesday, Colorado’s Lightning Systems revealed the Lightning Mobile, one such system that’s more than the small battery carts for charging cars and e-bikes—stepped up in size and geared specifically for the needs of big commercial vehicles.
Lightning Mobile comes with 192 kilowatt-hours of liquid-cooled battery storage and can deliver DC fast charging at up to 80 kilowatts or, optionally, AC Level 2 charging at up to 19.2 kw. The unit itself is charged at Level 2 at up to 18 kw.
Lightning Mobile charging system in trailer
Lightning Systems, which was known as Lightning Hybrids up until 2017, when it pivoted from hydraulic-hybrid conversions of various trucks to all-electric, works with commercial and government fleets in the U.S. and is offering Lightning Mobile for $259,000, or $5,000 per month as a rental.
It’s not just for roadside rescue, though. The company says that the unit could also help fleets negotiate around peak/off-peak power use, or help give a boost at locations where DC fast charging hasn’t yet been installed.
The system can be deployed in a trailer, the company says, although it’s no coincidence it also showed the system fitting into a Ford Transit 350HD cargo van—currently among the medium- and heavy-duty Ford models eligible for Lightning’s all-electric powertrain conversions.