Forest River to Add - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  August 11, 2021

Forest River to Add 7,500 EV Shuttles to Portfolio

Forest River, a Berkshire Hathaway company, and Lightning eMotors are partnering on the production of zero-emissions Class 4 and Class 5 shuttle buses.

The two entered into a strategic partnership agreement, which stipulated that Lightning will provide electric powertrains and charging products to Forest River over the next four and a half years. Forest River will then use these products in the final production of a portfolio of all-electric passenger buses that will then be purchased by airports, hotels and corporate and university campuses.

“This has the potential to be the largest contract ever in the electric shuttle bus market, and we believe it will be the catalyst for other large commercial vehicle OEMs and fleets to accelerate their adoption of commercial electric vehicles,” Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors, said in a statement. “Forest River’s family of shuttle bus companies, including top name brands like Starcraft, Glaval, and Champion, maintain a dominant market position selling over 10,000 units per year in the Class 4 to 6 shuttle-bus space. Forest River’s sales volumes allow us to provide a price point to their dealers and customers that results in a very compelling ROI.”

The deal is estimated at a value of up to $850 million and should result in the deployment of up to 7,500 electric shuttle buses in the U.S. and Canada between 2021 and 2025. The buses will feature battery technology ranging from 80 kWh to more than 160 kWh and support between 80 and 160 miles of range on a single charge.

The all-electric buses will be available to be sold across Forest River’s network of over 100 bus dealership locations in North America. The EV shuttles are in production now and the first several dozen should be sent to dealerships by the end of the year.

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