Quebec-based Lion Electric Company has selected Joliet, Illinois, for the construction of its U.S. manufacturing facility.
The new facility will be the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. and Lion’s biggest footprint in the market. 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 will have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks. This production capacity will aid Lion in scaling electric bus production as the U.S. market moves to electrify a large portion of its school bus fleet, as well as to produce a larger number of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks as governments and operators throughout the U.S. look to decarbonize freight and transportation fleets.
Production by 2022
Lion anticipates that the first vehicles will roll off the production line in the second half of 2022.
“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.”
“The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030,” said Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker.
The Will County region has a history of manufacturing, and Lion plans to build a local supply chain within the area. In addition, the Joliet location offers Lion 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 over seven million miles driven since 2016. All of Lion’s vehicles are purpose-built for electric propulsion from the ground up, assembled in North America.