Lightning eMotors and GigCapital3 Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination that will result in Lightning eMotors becoming publicly listed, the companies report. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined operating company will be named Lightning eMotors Inc. and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ZEV.
Lightning eMotors is a high-growth electric vehicle manufacturer focused on urban commercial zero-emission vehicles. Lightning eMotors bills itself as the only operator with a full range of Class 3-7 battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles in production today, addressing the large and growing fleet electrification market.
The company credits its unique modular architecture, software-enabled platform, and integration capabilities with providing a scalable, cost-effective solution to a highly segmented and customized market. Lightning eMotors’ complete electrification solutions cover medium- and heavy-duty vocational vehicles including ambulances, delivery trucks, bucket trucks, food trucks, school buses and coach buses, among others.
Lightning eMotors’ significant time-to-market advantages over competitors have enabled the company to capture a diverse base of blue-chip fleet customers, including Fluid Trucks, ABC Companies, ACE Parking and California State Hospitals, according to the company.
Currently, Lightning eMotors has a contracted order backlog of approximately 1,500 vehicles for delivery in 2021 and 2022, including the world’s first fuel cell electric Class 6 truck. Lightning eMotors has the country’s largest commercial zero-emission fleet vehicle manufacturing facility in the US with annual production capacity of 1,000 vehicles today and expanding to 3,000 in 2021 and over 20,000 by 2025, the company reports.
“Today marks an important step forward in Lightning eMotors’ mission to lead the commercial medium-duty zero-emission vehicle market,” Lightning eMotors’ co-founder and chief executive officer Tim Reeser said. “Over the last 12 years, Lightning eMotors has built its modular hardware and software platform, partnering with fleets all over the U.S. to develop best-in-class zero-emission battery-electric and fuel cell electric commercial solutions.”
Reeser estimates a worldwide annual market opportunity of $67 billion for Class 3-7 vehicles, and sees “tremendous demand” from fleets to transition their commercial vehicles from internal combustion engines to zero-emission solutions at an attractive total cost of ownership, even without state and federal grants.
“With municipal regulations creating zero-emission zones in 30-plus cities worldwide and corporate mandates for zero emissions at many of the largest fleet operators in the world, Lightning eMotors is poised to capitalize on the regulatory and social shift to environmentally friendly commercial vehicles,” Reeser said. “We are excited to partner with GigCapital3 and leverage their extensive entrepreneurial, operational, and capital markets expertise, as we scale the business as a public company. The capital raised in this transaction will enable Lightning eMotors to accelerate its growth plans and fulfill significant demand from our customers, including some of the most recognizable transportation, public safety, and e-commerce companies in the United States.”
As a public company, Lightning eMotors will have a stronger capital structure to invest in capacity expansion, develop additional technology—both organically and through acquisitions, added Dr. Raluca Dinu, founding managing partner of GigCapital Global and board member of GigCapital3.
“The combination of Lightning eMotors and GigCapital3 brings unique, attractive, and promising opportunities to all stockholders and stakeholders, while substantiating our commitment to support one of the highest impact mega-trends of our lifetime, electrification of mobility solutions,” Dinu said. “We look forward to working with the Lightning eMotors team to build the industry leading zero-emission commercial EV company.”
The combined company will be led by Reeser, who has founded and managed multiple technology and cleantech companies; Bill Kelley, Lightning eMotors’ chief technology officer and chief operating officer, an automotive industry veteran with more than 35 years of automotive engineering and manufacturing experience at Borg Warner; and Teresa Covington, who will be its chief financial officer and who has 25 years of public company finance experience at automotive, defense and aerospace companies.
Pursuant to the business combination, GigCapital3 will acquire Lightning eMotors through a reverse merger. The business combination values Lightning eMotors at approximately $823 million pro forma equity value, at $10.00 per share. The business combination is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.