Senator Hickenlooper visits Loveland Electric Vehicle Facility and comments on Culture Change – Greeley Tribune

LOVELAND – Speaking from one of Colorado’s historic hotbeds of high-tech innovation, Senator John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, spoke about the impact of innovation on changing the nation’s culture .

Hickenlooper visited Loveland on Thursday and specifically Lightning eMotors Inc. (NYSE: ZEV), which is located on the Forge Campus, the former Hewlett-Packard facility in Loveland – HP’s first location outside of California.

“If you were to see who some of the big innovators are, [you see here] one of the greatest innovators of all time [Hewlett-Packard] and now one of the new big innovators [Lightning.] It makes you feel that karma is always at stake, ”he said.

Lightning CEO Tim Reeser gave Hickenlooper and a group of reporters, city, county and industry officials a tour of Lightning, an electric vehicle maker recently listed on the Stock Exchange. from New York.

Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser explains to Sen. John Hicklenlooper how this delivery truck was converted. Hickenlooper then tested the vehicle. (Ken Amundson / BizWest)

Hickenlooper, a trained geologist, appeared to be fully engaged in the details as Reeser explained how traditional gasoline-powered vehicles are converted into electric drains. No detail seemed too small, from Hickenlooper’s questions about the color coding used to define high-voltage wiring to how steel parts are made in-house instead of being outsourced to a third-party supplier. The senator even created a part in the welding and fabrication lab.

“It’s no surprise that the largest producer of electric vehicles is in Colorado. We were just talking about the 50% drop in battery prices in one year, ”he said. He seemed to be impressed – because he’s mentioned it many times – when Reeser told him that a traditional gasoline vehicle could go 13 miles per gallon, and when converted it gets the equivalent of 66 mpg, five times more efficient.

He drove one of Lightning’s converted delivery trucks and boarded an electric shuttle; he noticed on acceleration and performance.

“Lightning has very wisely created a niche. Ford is going to make the pickup trucks but not the big trucks, ”he said.

Reeser, noting that the company is located in Building A of the Forge complex and is also renovating Building B for its use, said the company will produce 500 vehicles this year and will have orders for 3,000 vehicles next year. It is the largest zero-emission commercial fleet manufacturing plant in the United States and plans to produce more than 20,000 vehicles by 2025, according to documentation distributed at the event.

“We in the Senate are agnostics. We do not favor one company over another. We don’t even promote our own state. [When] we allocate these expenses, it must be what is best for the greatest number; it must be of the highest quality at the lowest cost.

He appeared pleased with the role electric delivery vehicles will play in tackling climate change.

“We are not always dealing with a catastrophic climate situation. It’s good news. … Not only do we get something more efficient, but the prices go down; they fall like a stone. At the same time, we are fighting against climate change.

Fleets are a way “to accelerate the transition to a new world where everything is electric. We need to recognize that climate change is real. We need to get into the fleets immediately, ”he said, which helps to familiarize consumers with the technology when they see it all around them.

“To have a place like this that can deliver these electric vehicles competitively and cheaper to operate, we’re changing our culture right now. “

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