Lightning Hybrids lands a big deal

The Loveland company leads the way on hydraulic hybrid vehicles

Loveland-based Lightning Hybrids, developer and manufacturer of the Energy Recovery System (ERS) for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, has announced an agreement with Kiessling Transit, a leading Massachusetts-based transportation company, which will nearly double the number of hydraulic hybrid buses in its fleet.

This order for 32 units follows an order last year from the Boston-area transit company for 35 units that were commissioned in September 2015. Those vehicles have recorded close to a total of one million miles. The ERS has demonstrated improvements of 25 percent in fuel efficiency, and significantly reduced tailpipe emissions. In addition, Lightning Hybrids has identified ways to reduce vehicle idle time by up to 30 percent.

Kiessling Transit has received a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that pays for 80 percent of the cost of the Lightning Hybrids’ systems to be installed on Kiessling Transit’s Ford E-450 passenger buses, making them cleaner, more fuel efficient and improving braking efficiency. The ERS is a patented, parallel hydraulic hybrid system that has no electric batteries. Instead, it applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy. Hydraulic pumps and a lightweight accumulator brake the vehicle, store the energy, and then use that stored energy to provide power to the wheels.

“Our partnership with Kiessling Transit proves the benefits of our ERS both to fleets and to the communities they serve in terms of cleaner air and in reduced costs,” said Tim Reeser, president and co-founder, Lightning Hybrids. “Kiessling Transit is an innovative early adopter and was one of the first customers to trial our technology for over a year, in 2013, which they followed last year with our largest order at that time for 35 units. This new order demonstrates that companies like Kiessling are willing to make their existing fleet vehicles significantly cleaner and more efficient with a high-tech hybrid system built on proven and sustainable hydraulic technology.”

When put in service, the buses will provide an immediate positive impact on the environment due to the reduced emissions of the system. For example, vehicles with Lightning Hybrids’ technology produce half of the NOx emissions and 25 percent fewer CO2 emissions, compared to vehicles without the company’s system. In addition to these emissions reductions, the Kiessling fleet will see decreased fuel use, longer brake life, better low-end torque, and lower maintenance and operational costs.

“We are the only private transit fleet in Massachusetts running hybrid buses that do not pollute the air the way diesel and gasoline buses do,” said Roger Kiessling, chief operations officer, Kiessling Transit. “We are pleased with the reliability of the ERS and the customer service provided by Lightning Hybrids. We are focused on providing the most efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly transportation to the areas we serve, and this technology supports our goals.”

The hydraulic hybrid product was installed and is being maintained by Lightning Hybrids’ East Coast distributor, National Fleet Hybrids, located in Attleboro, Mass.

“The ERS technology is a much-needed addition to the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle market,” said Glen Perlman, president, National Fleet Hybrids. “It addresses the main concerns of our customers, which are managing fuel costs and addressing clean air standards.”

Lightning Hybrids’ proprietary fleet data analytics software, which tracks and evaluates vehicle and system performance was tested and proven on the Kiessling fleet. The results, logged through Lightning Hybrids’ telematics systems and confirmed through Kiessling’s fuel logs, revealed the improvements in fuel economy and reductions in emissions. Driver feedback also confirmed vehicle performance benefits.

About Lightning Hybrids

Lightning Hybrids designs and manufactures the hydraulic hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS) for medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles which provides fuel efficiency by regenerating braking energy, provides safer braking and more power for acceleration, and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. The ERS does not have any batteries, instead safely and efficiently storing energy mechanically in composite hydraulic accumulators, which are a fraction of the cost and weight of batteries. It can be installed on new vehicles as well as retrofitted on vehicles already in service. It is sold through a network of dealers and upfitters. For more information, go to

About Kiessling Transit

Kiessling Transit Inc. is a family owned and operated transportation company located in Norfolk, Mass. The company has been providing special needs transportation to the Massachusetts community since 1971. The company currently contracts with regional transit authorities, state agencies, and local municipalities to transport passengers throughout

Massachusetts. Daily trips to and from residences, work sites, schools, medical appointments, and social events are provided for ambulatory and non-ambulatory customers with a wide range of disabilities. To learn more, visit

About National Fleet Hybrids

National Fleet Hybrids is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Van Builders, Inc., a premium manufacturer of commercial accessible vans, executive transporters, and specialty vehicles National Van is a manufacturer’s representative for Elkhart Coach and Glaval Bus and is a Ford

Authorized Pool Account with QVM certification. Recognizing their customers’ need for greater fuel economy and lower maintenance costs, National Van formed an alliance with Lightning Hybrids, and National Fleet Hybrids was born and is solely dedicated to providing cutting-edge hybrid technology that offers significant savings in fuel economy and brake wear. To find out more, go to

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