Lion Electric to build U.S. manufacturing facility in Illinois

By Chad Elmore07 May 2021

Facility expected to begin production in second half of 2022 with capacity of up to 20,000 vehicles.

The Lion Electric Co. a Quebec, Canada-based manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, has selected Joliet, Ill., for the construction of its U.S. manufacturing facility. The company said the new facility will represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. and its biggest footprint in the market while simultaneously bringing production closer to its customers. As part of its agreement with the government of Illinois, Lion has committed to an initial investment of at least U.S. $70 million over a three-year period.

The 900,000 sq-ft facility, for which building ramp up is anticipated in the second half of 2021, is expected to add a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs to the region over the next three years, with an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks. Lion anticipates that the first vehicles will roll off the production line in the second half of 2022.

Line of Lion buses

“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and founder of Lion. “I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to developing developing a long-term roadmap for the local tech industry, played in connecting Lion with the Chicago area’s business and civic community to help further commercial traction, as well as engagement with key workforce and supplier partners.”

Joliet and the Will County region of the state have a rich history of manufacturing, and Lion plans to build a local supply chain within the area. In addition, the Joliet location offers the company a geographically centralized base of manufacturing and operations, with access to key infrastructure and distribution channels.

Over the last decade, Lion has delivered over 390 all-electric heavy-duty vehicles in North America with more than 7 million miles driven since 2016. Lion’s vehicles are purpose-built for electric propulsion from the ground up, assembled in North America and are distributed and serviced through the company’s network of Experience Centers, including locations in California, New York, Washington, Florida and Arizona.

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