Honoree Headshot

Tim Reeser

CEO and co-founder
Lightning eMotors

Location: Loveland, Colorado
Founded: 2007
Industry: Manufacturing

Leaders need to think big, no matter the industry, advises Tim Reeser.

“Lead with a big vision — great people follow grand visions that are well articulated and consistently communicated by leaders who lead by example and hard work and demonstrate that they will execute the plan every day,” the CEO and co-founder of Lightning eMotors said.

Lightning’s goal is to be the leader in the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial truck and bus fleets. The company is accomplishing that goal, it said, by delivering reliable zero-emission commercial vehicles to the market and providing charging infrastructure and top-of-the-line customer support.

In 2008, during his time at Colorado State University, Reeser assembled a team to compete in a contest developing a passenger car that could travel 100 miles on a single gallon of gasoline using hydraulic hybrid technology. The vehicle was featured at the Colorado Automobile Show where a representative from the Colorado Department of Transportation saw it and wondered if the technology could be put in a work truck. This was the beginning of Lightning Hybrids, based in Loveland, Colorado. The Lightning team created a hydraulic hybrid Class 4 delivery truck and a number of them were deployed to CDOT.

In 2017 the company pivoted from gasoline hydraulic hybrid technology to focusing on battery, electric, zero-emission commercial vehicles. Cleaner, quieter, and easier to drive, battery electric commercial vehicles have become a primary weapon for the world in the battle against the effects of climate change, and the company, now rebranded as Lightning eMotors Inc., is leading the charge. Lightning has a variety of vehicle applications that it is electrifying, including passenger and delivery vans, delivery trucks, shuttle buses, ambulances, school buses, recreational vehicles, city transit buses, and motor coaches. “Our goal is to one day see a fully zero-emission commercial vehicle industry throughout the world,” the company said.

Reeser has reached and exceeded the status of thought leader in the industry and is a primary go to for many associations, trade events and think tank groups on the topic of clean transportation. He is part of the Colorado governor’s Clean Fleet Enterprise Commission on how to incentivize and support the use of electric motor vehicles. Reeser has authored four technical publications published by McGraw Hill, and he previously served as vice president at Colorado State University Ventures, where he founded and supported companies leveraging technology from CSU’s research portfolio of clean energy technologies.

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Honoree quote

"Lead with a big vision; great people follow grand visions that are well articulated and consistently communicated by leaders who lead by example and hard work and demonstrate that they will execute the plan every day."

Tim says: