Berkshire Hathaway’s Forest River is experiencing strong demand in Canada for its new ZEV shuttle buses thanks to its recent strategic partnership with Lightning eMotors.
The company is projecting that it will triple its sales in the Canadian market.
Forest River is already selling 10,000 units per year in the Class 4 to 6 shuttle-bus space under its Starcraft, Glaval, and Champion brands. The co-produced Forest River/Lightning eMotors ZEV bus partnership aims to build up to 7,500 zero-emission shuttle buses over the next 4.5 years.
Lightning eMotors is manufacturing the zero-emission-vehicle (“ZEV”) powertrain systems at their 231,000 square foot facility in Loveland, Colorado and shipping the powertrains to Forest River’s factory in Goshen, Indiana, for final assembly of the Class 4 and 5 all-electric passenger buses. Forest River is dedicating 100,000 square feet to install Lightning eMotors’ powertrains.
The vehicles that Forest River and Lightning eMotors will co-produce are Class 4 and 5 shuttle buses with gross vehicle weight ratings ranging from 14,500 to 19,500 pounds. The buses will feature battery configurations from 80kWh to more than 160kWh using industry-leading battery thermal management systems. These vehicles support ranges on a single charge between 80 and 160 miles and can recharge over a lunch break using Lightning eMotors’ DC fast charge infrastructure with integrated vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities.
Available configurations will have between 12 and 33 passenger seats with ADA options available, and bus lengths of 20 to 34 feet. Other features include a modern digital-dash display, hill-hold functionality for safety, advanced telematics, analytics, and a mobile app for drivers and fleet managers.
Forest River’s 100-plus bus dealership locations throughout the U.S. and Canada will have the opportunity to sell and service these vehicles.
All vehicles will be compliant with the Federal Transit Administration’s “Buy America” and the Federal Aviation Administration’s “Buy American” guidelines. Under the guidelines, the federal share of eligible capital costs is 80 percent of the net capital project cost.
© 2021 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.