The Canadian electric utility vehicle manufacturer Lion Electric has selected the city of Joliet in the state of Illinois as the location for its production facility in the USA. At the same time, Lion Electric announced its IPO.
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The plant is planned to offer an annual production capacity for up to 20,000 battery-electric buses and trucks and create 745 jobs. Lion Electric expects the first vehicles to roll off the production line at the new plant in the second half of 2022.
In this way, Lion Electric wants to meet the growing demand for zero-emission vehicles “Made in America”. The US market wants to increase the number of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks, as well as electrifying a large part of the school bus fleet. According to Lion, this will also bring production closer to customers at the same time. Amazon, for example, plans to buy up to 2,500 fully electric Lion 6 and Lion 8 trucks from the Canadian manufacturer by 2025.
Construction of the new production facility is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year. The first vehicles should then roll off the production line in the second half of 2022. Under an agreement with the Illinois government, Lion Electric has committed to an initial investment of at least $70 million over a three-year period.
In parallel, Lion Electric announced its initial public offering via a merger with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. Lion shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
Update 07 November 2022
Lion Electric has produced its first electric LionC school bus in its U.S. factory located in Joliet in the state of Illinois. Lion will initially focus on the manufacturing of all-electric school buses at its Joliet site, with production gradually ramping up, starting in the fourth quarter of 2022. The Joliet facility is expected to have a production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks, following the installation of the truck line and after completion of the production ramp-up and scale-up of manufacturing operations. The production of the first LionC occurs at a time when the market demand for all-electric school buses is gaining momentum, accelerated by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program.
“Today is a significant milestone for Lion. On behalf of the entire management team, I want to extend my appreciation to all our employees for their passion and commitment over the past few months, as we went from an empty shell of a building here in Joliet, to manufacturing our first made in America zero-emission school bus in roughly 18 months,” said Eric Pansegrau, General Manager of Lion’s Joliet manufacturing facility. “We are excited to now be entering the ramp-up phase of production, with an initial focus on the all-electric LionC school bus. We will spare no effort in the gradual scale-up of manufacturing, which we anticipate will be spread out over the next few quarters.”
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