BROOMFIELD and SAN FRANCISCO – Recreational-vehicle builder Lightship on Wednesday said that it has leased a 32,000-square-foot facility in Broomfield to house the San Francisco-based company’s pilot manufacturing operations for the Lightship L1, an aerodynamic, solar- and battery-powered travel trailer, to meet high demand following the vehicle’s launch in March.
The newly constructed building, developed by Loveland-based McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc., is located within the Baseline Innovation District, and Lightship is expected to move in and begin operations in 2024. The company projects it will add dozens of jobs in high-tech manufacturing and clean technology as it ramps up production.
“This is a big milestone for Lightship and a stepping stone to ultimately producing thousands of vehicles in the future and helping to introduce electrification to a pastime enjoyed by millions of American families,” said Toby Kraus, Lightship co-founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “I grew up in Colorado and am thrilled for Lightship to set up its first production facility and contribute to the growing ecosystem of climate tech and hardware manufacturing in my home state.”
Added Clyde Wood, vice president for commercial and mixed-use development at McWhinney, “We are thrilled to welcome Lightship to Baseline Industrial. Lightship’s lease reflects the growing interest from sophisticated users in our mixed-use community that include a diverse range of companies and industries that value innovation and sustainability as much as we do. Together, we are building a unique campus-like environment with an ecosystem of amenities that, along with the greater Baseline community, offers an elevated working experience with a true sense of place.”
The new site will expand three-year-old Lightship’s Colorado and California operations and represents a key indicator of the company’s projected growth as it ramps up large-scale production.
“We’re excited to open this new facility and grow the team that will build our first product, an RV that is safe, reliable and built to last,” said Hayley Cashdollar, head of manufacturing at Lightship. “Lightship will be recruiting for a production team of associates, technicians, engineers and more to deliver our all-electric, aerodynamic travel trailer to enhance the outdoor travel experience.”
Lightship plans to showcase its L1 all-electric RV at events in Colorado throughout the year, including Aug. 25-27 at the Overland Expo Mountain West in Loveland.
Lightship took a clean-sheet approach to building an all-electric RV the same way Tesla disrupted the established automakers. According to a media release, the Lightship team, which includes alumni from Rivian, Proterra, Lucid and Zoox in addition to Tesla, is leveraging its expertise in automotive EV development and design to deliver the following:
● A hyper-efficient design that is three times more aerodynamic than a traditional travel trailer for longer range and greater efficiency, which means a 300-mile range electric vehicle used to tow it remains a 300-mile range EV, and a 25-miles-per-gallon gas truck remains a 25-mpg gas truck.
● An electric powertrain with up to 80 kilowatts per hour of onboard battery capacity, allowing the trailer to propel itself and achieve near-zero range or efficiency loss for the tow vehicle.
● A no-compromise battery system that can provide a week of off-grid power without charging. Coupled with up to 3 kW of solar power, the RV can power the living needs of its occupants and eliminates the reliance on propane and other fossil fuels.
● An ecosystem of all-electric appliances, connected features and modern amenities for a seamless camping experience.
● The Lightship L1 has a starting price of $125,000, or $118,400 after an available tax credit and is available now for a $500 reservation at lightshiprv.com. Production is expected to begin late next year.
The vehicle is 27 feet long, 8 feet 6 inches wide, 6 feet 9 inches high in road mode and 10 feet high in camp mode, weighs 7,500 pounds fully loaded, and can sleep four or six persons depending on its configuration.
Baseline in Broomfield is a new 1,100-acre master-planned community. Designed to be a new economic center that completes the Denver/Boulder triangle, Baseline is anticipated to include residential, dining, retail, office, industrial and medical services, alongside miles of trails and biking paths. At full build out, Baseline is anticipated to include 9,205 homes including single-family detached, townhomes, paired homes, condos, apartment homes and build-for-rent homes.