Loveland-based producer of electric fleet vehicles to go into receivership

Lightning eMotors, which designs and manufactures electric vehicles for commercial and government fleets, agreed Thursday to have the Loveland-based company placed into receivership, signaling its default on its loans and financing.

The company filed its agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company’s assets will be sold to pay its debts.

The action follows a lawsuit by Cupola Infrastructure Income Fund, which sought to have a receiver appointed. The Greenwood Village company said it loaned Lightning eMotors $3 million and the manufacturer had acknowledged that it is unable to pay its debts and hasn’t been able to line up financing that would allow it to continue operating.

The Denver Business Journal first reported the SEC filing by Lightning eMotors.

“We expect the receiver to be installed shortly and will have more details about the company’s path forward before the end of the year,” the company said in a statement.

The company went public in May 2021, at which point it was growing and quickly filling space in a Loveland industrial park formerly owned by Agilent Technologies. Tim Reeser, the co-founder and CEO, said then that going public meant the company would have the capital “to really accelerate the Business.”

Lightning eMotors, originally named Lightning Systems, saw its expansion rev up as more companies began electrifying their fleets and the state and federal governments passed laws encouraging the switch to low- and zero-emissions vehicles and provided incentives.

In February, the company said it had been certified under the “buy America” program, making its products eligible for federal grants designed to help electrify the nation’s transportation.

Lightning eMotors had an agreement with a Berkshire company to provide electric powertrains for shuttle buses and reported deals with Fluid Truck, Ikea and plans to electrify medium-duty General Motors truck platforms.

However, problems with battery suppliers, including the bankruptcy of battery company Proterra, and supply issues proved to be obstacles for Lightning eMotors. FreightWaves, a publication about the global freight market, reported that the company cut its workforce from about 330 to 250 earlier this year to free up money.

The lawsuit by Cupola said while Lighting eMotors has reported rising revenue, its gross losses and operating expenses have risen more quickly. The manufacturer said it expected the New York Stock Exchange to delist it, which would hinder its ability to raise money.

According to records, the company’s gross revenues were $21.5 million as of Sept. 30 and its operating expenses were $46 million.

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