On the Road with Electric Commercial Vehicles


The transportation sector contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector in the world, and a Colorado company, Lightning eMotors, wants to help reduce those emissions by manufacturing electric commercial vehicles like delivery vans and passenger shuttles. Local fleet managers recently had an opportunity to learn more about them. Sponsored by Happy Pappy's and San Juan Basin Public Health

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The city of Durango has adopted a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2050 and a Colorado based manufacturer of electric commercial vehicles may be able to help. You're watching the local news network brought to you by Happy Pappy's Pizza-N-Wings and San Juan Basin public health. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. The transportation sector contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector in the world. It's one of the reasons the City of Durango has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its gas powered fleet of vehicles by 75% by the year 2050. But where does a municipality find an all electric trolley or maintenance truck? Lightning eMotors, an electrical commercial vehicle manufacturer in Loveland, Colorado may be the answer. Company representatives brought several of it's all electric passenger vans for a recent show and tell and test driving event. Sponsored by the four cores office for resource efficiency Fleet managers for local nonprofits, government agencies and businesses had an opportunity to look under the hoods and under the vehicles to see how they operate and to experience the ease of driving an electric powered vehicle. The traveling test drive event is part of the Colorado energy offices recharge Colorado program. To encourage individuals, businesses and public agencies to switch to clean electric power transportation. Cleaner transportation of course means cleaner air. Placing one electric bus on the road is the equivalent of removing the emissions of 170 gas powered passenger vehicles.

There's things like cleaner air because there's no tailpipe emissions and the cleaner our grid gets, in other words, our energy production and where we're getting our electricity from, the cleaner that gets with renewables supplying our energy, the cleaner our our air gets. So that's a huge health issue and actually an underlying health issue that, that had some influence in the recent pandemic, because if people are experiencing lung and asthma issues they're exposing themselves to you know, to a greater risk for something like COVID

Lightning eMotors was founded in 2008 to build hybrid commercial vehicles. It switched to all electric vehicles in 2017. This year, the company is on track to sell about a hundred all electric commercial vehicles but it's expecting exponential growth as more government agencies and businesses switched to carbon-free fleets. Lightening eMotor spokesperson, Marcy Willard, said the company is on track to sell nearly 4,000 commercial vehicles during the next two years. Initial purchase price for an all electric vehicle is more expensive than traditional gas or diesel powered vehicles but the savings in fuel and maintenance make up for the cost.

When we talk electric vehicles, we talk in the sense of total cost of ownership, which compares your gas and diesel and maintenance to an electric vehicle. And what we find in year seven is that we find parody between the price of a diesel and electric vehicle. And so they come closer and closer together. The more savings that you have, our maintenance is very low in these, their breaks because they have regenerative breaking, you don't change the brakes as much. Obviously you don't have all the transmission things to concern yourself with. So we find that total cost of ownership lines up at about year seven.

To learn more about the recharge event and program visit four cores website at fourcore.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the local news network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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