|Lightning Hybrids is an innovative automotive research and manufacturing company based in Loveland, Colorado. We focus on providing hydraulic solutions – including fuel efficient hydraulic hybrid systems for vehicles (especially fleet work trucks and shuttle buses) and lightweight composite high pressure accumulators.|
In October of 2008, founders Dan Johnson and Tim Reeser, motivated by a challenge from Dan’s father, Sam Johnson, assembled a team and started work on a 100 MPG hydraulic hybrid sports sedan. They entered the $10 million Automotive X PRIZE race for “super fuel-efficient vehicles that people will want to buy” slated for mid-2010. (Click the X PRIZE above to see the outcome of that competition.)
In April 2009 we introduced the LH4 car at the Denver Auto Show. At that show we were asked many times, “When are you going to make a hydraulic hybrid kit or retrofit for trucks?”
When we returned from the show we found ourselves at a crossroads. The X PRIZE was becoming prohibitively expensive. We knew that if we could get the car to market we could certainly sell a 100 MPG sports sedan, however the cost of getting to market would be well over $12 million because of all the regulations and testing that would have to occur.
As we explored ways to push forward in our work on hydraulic hybrids, we began developing the hybrid drivetrain as a kit or retrofit for trucks. In summer 2009 we dropped out of the X PRIZE race and to fully focus our team on the development of our patent-pending Hydraulic Hybrid retrofit system for light and medium-duty fleet vehicles.
In the process of developing the Hydraulic Hybrid technology and in an effort to make the system lighter and safer we designed a carbon fiber accumulator that is a fraction of the weight of its steel counterpart. The Carbon Weight accumulator is in use in our own system and can be used in a number of other applications.
Currently Lightning Hybrids is focused completely on the design and testing of our Hydraulic Hybrid system for fleet vehicles such as shuttle buses and work trucks. Road testing of the first hydraulic hybrid work truck model, a GMC 3500 cutaway, has been on-going since November of 2011. And the truck made its public debut at the Work Truck Show in March of 2012.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Background on one of our radio guest last week
Posted by The Business Side of Green at 6:32 AM