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Lightning Hybrids sells accumulator business

Lightning Hybrids sells accumulator business

Lightning Hybrids LLC, Loveland, Colo., today announced that it sold its composite hydraulic accumulator assets and intellectual property to Steelhead Composites LLC for an undisclosed amount on October 2. Lightning Hybrids shareholder, Aravaipa Ventures was instrumental in negotiating the sale and has subsequently invested in Steelhead.

Steelhead Composites is majority-owned by 9th Street Investments LLC, the venture firm affiliated with CoorsTek Inc. in Golden, Colo.

Lightning Hybrids’ developed the Smart Composites Accumulator technology to provide the lightweight energy storage system required to store braking energy for its hydraulic hybrid fleet vehicle system. As part of the agreement, Steelhead will provide Lightning on-going access to the accumulators it needs to ramp up production, and Lightning will provide Steelhead with engineering, sales, and marketing support.

“We are very excited to find a strategic new home for our accumulator assets that will be able to provide Lightning’s accumulator requirements and allow us to focus on our core business, hydraulic hybrid systems for work trucks and shuttle buses. With Steelhead’s current accumulator customer base and their track record of successfully moving advanced technologies into worldwide markets, combined with our cutting edge accumulator technology, we believe this business will quickly expand,” said Tim Reeser, President and Co-Founder of Lightning Hybrids.

Lightning Hybrids’ 10- to 30-gal accumulators consist of an aluminum tank wrapped with spun carbon fiber, a rubber compression bladder and ports for fluid flow. Lightning’s carbon fiber shell is considerably lighter than a steel-only shell, currently the industry standard. A 15-gal carbon fiber accumulator weighs 115 lb compared to 465 lb for a steel accumulator.

“We believe that composite technology is a critical platform technology for Steelhead moving forward, and since we already have a customer base in the accumulator space, we felt this was a perfect way for us to move forward,” said Mark Petty, Director at 9th Street and CEO of Steelhead Composites. “Lightning’s technology, supply chain, and tooling provide us a great jump on the market, and with their hydraulic hybrid system for work trucks and shuttle buses taking off, they will generate positive exposure for the composite accumulator technology.”

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