Quebec’s Lion Electric announces plans to build largest all-electric medium and heavy-duty vehicle plant in Illinois

Lion Electric has seen a large number of orders recently for its all-electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles. To keep up with that demand, the Quebec-based company announced plans this morning to build a new manufacturing facility in the US.

The new 900,000 square foot facility will be built in Joliet, just outside of Chicago. Lion Electric will invest $70 million into the project, which will create at least 745 jobs over the next two years.

The company said it expects construction to begin in the second half of 2021. When complete the facility will have an annual production rate of up to 20,000 electric buses and trucks.

“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.

Bedard added that even though Lion Electric is building a battery plant in Quebec, the company may add another at this new facility at a later date.

Lion Electric has already delivered nearly 400 all-electric heavy duty vehicles in North America. Those vehicles have accumulated more than 7 million miles (11 million km) since 2016.

The company will also start trading on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges after a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. in November. The deal valued Lion at $1.9B USD, of which the company will receive $500M USD in net cash proceeds.

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