1000 Lion Electric school buses look likely for Canada
Lion Electric has received a conditional purchase order for 1,000 all-electric LionC school buses from Student Transportation of Canada (STC). If grant conditions are fulfilled, this purchase order would allow STC to become the largest operator of zero-emission school buses in North America.
The purchase order is conditional upon the satisfactory grant of non-repayable contributions to STC under Infrastructure Canada’s Zero-Emission Transit Fund (ZETF), for which STC has filed a formal application.
Deliveries of the Lion Electric buses would begin in 2022 and continue through to the first half of 2026. These electric buses would replace existing diesel vehicles within STC’s Canadian fleet. The operator, STC, says that it plans to work with its customers and partners to establish exactly which school boards would adopt the electric buses if the grant conditions are fulfilled.
Lion Electric has been very well positioned to embrace the current wave of electrification in North America, most particularly in school buses and trucks, the two areas the Canadian company specialises in. In summer this year, the company secured a $100 million (US) credit facility in order to keep up with the massive demand for electric vehicles.
Also this year, Lion selected the city of Joliet in the state of Illinois as the location for its production facility in the USA and announced its IPO. 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 terms of this current order in Canada, the STC is a subsidiary of the STA, Student Transport of America, that together operate more than 16,000 vehicles across North America. On the STC website, the company says that it is North America’s third largest school transportation provider. In Canada, the company not only operates under the Student Transportation of Canada brand name, but also Elgie Bus Lines, Elliott Coach Lines, Leuschen Transportation, Parkview Transit, and Hertz Northern Bus.
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When is the decision going to be made to fund the order for the thousand electric school buses… Please reply