The Canadian electric truck and bus manufacturer The Lion Electric Company announced plans to become a publicly-traded company via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. This will help them ramp up EV production.
The Quebec-based Lion Electric, which was inititally known for its electric yellow school buses, expects to receive about $500 million from the merger and resulting investment. Funding will not only be used to boost manufacturing capacities but also to develop advanced battery systems and construct a battery-system assembly factory.
Completion of the merger is expected in the first quarter of 2021, and will most likely produce a total market value of about $1.9 billion for the company in the end. Lion Electric will then also most likely be listed as ‘LEV’.
Where this new factory will be built is still open. Lion is evaluating more than 10 potential brownfield plant sites in nine US American states, including California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. Currently, it plans to pick a site and complete its industrialisation plan by the end of the year. Production at the planned factory is then expected to start at the beginning of 2023.
Lion has a lot to do in the upcoming period of expansion. Just last month Lion Electric ordered $234 million worth of batteries from Romeo Power Lion Electric’s electric trucks and electric buses. Well prepared, just a month before that, Lion Electric entered a service partnership with charging solution giant ABB.
While Canadian electric vehicle manufacturer Lion Electric was originally known for their electric school buses, their journey towards diversifying began with a Class 8 electric truck last year. Not that the company lost touch with their roots, however, as Lion Electric received a contract for electric school buses from Transdev Canada shortly afterwards. Their expansion into electric trucks was also quickly rewarded, as their largest contract yet came from the Canadian National Railway for a total of 50 battery-electric trucks. Now they also count international commercial giants such as Amazon to their customer base.
As governments increasingly tighten emissions on commercial vehicles, commercial vehicle companies are raising capital for expansion through mergers with already public corporations. Just days ago, innovative British commercial vehicle manufacturer Arrival announced its plans to go public, as have, for example, Nikola Motor and commercial vehicle battery specialist Romeo Power.
Marc Bedard, Lion founder and chief executive said of the move onto the stockmarket: “This transaction marks an important milestone in Lion’s continued emergence as a market leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles,” he said.
Including reporting from Carrie Hampel
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