Picture: Lighnting eMotors

The leading provider of zero emission commercial vehicles and EV technology for fleets and Perrone Robotics have partnered to offer Class 3-7 commercial fleet customers self-driving, electric fleet vehicles that can be deployed for a wide variety of uses.

The partnership incorporates Lightnings zero emission EV platform and Perrone’s AV-powered technology, TONY, a vehicle-independent retrofit kit designed to enable vehicles to transport goods and people within a geo-fenced and dedicated driving route.

These vehicles, equipped with self-driving technology, can be ordered immediately for both passenger and cargo use. TONY is versatile as it can be implemented into new vehicles as well as repurposed ones and the company have said, that going forward, Lightning eMotors will now include Perrone’s TONY autonomous vehicle technology, in all its EV platforms.

CEO of Lightning eMotors, Tim Reeser, said “We were looking for partners who could deliver autonomous capabilities to our customers today, and in the future — and that’s what Perrone offers. We offer perhaps the widest range of electric commercial vehicles in North America, and now we have an autonomous vehicle solution for our products, ranging from ambulances to campus shuttles and other commercial applications.”

Lightning eMotors is based in Loveland Colorado and has been providing sustainable fleet solutions since 2009. It has been deploying zero-emission-vehicle solutions since 2018 and the company’s current line- up includes electric conversions of everything, ranging from Class 4 Type A school buses to Class 3 cargo and passenger vans.

Perrone is a leading provider of AV technology, and the company holds a Pioneer Patent for its ‘’MAX’’ general purpose robotics operating system which is at the forefront of its TONY solution. Perone’s retrofit kit can be integrated into new vehicles and existing repowered ones.

The companies admit that Level 4 companies can only operate within geofenced areas and therefore this could be seen as a limitation, however, the demand for organisations to seek autonomous transformation is high.

Lightning eMotors and Perrone have stated that this is not the end of discussions with several other customers interested in autonomous commercial vehicles and therefore, we hope to see rise in such vehicles on the road.