Lion Electric selects Illinois site to build electric vehicle plant


Canada-based Lion Electric Company has selected Joliet, a city in the US state of Illinois as potential site to build electric vehicle manufacturing facility.  

Capable of producing zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles, the new facility is expected to help Lion meet the increasing demand in the marketplace for "Made in America" zero-emission vehicles.

The Canadian electric utility vehicle manufacturer also agreed on an initial investment of $70m at the new facility, over a period of three years, as part of an agreement signed earlier with the state government.

The manufacturing plant, with annual production capacity of up to 20,000 zero-emission buses and trucks, is scheduled to commence operations in second half of 2022.

Lion CEO and founder Marc Bedard said: "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.”

Lion expects the new facility to contribute to the US’ efforts to shift its focus towards decarbonising its freight and transportation fleets.

As part of decarbonisation plan, the US plans to electrify majority of its school bus fleet as well as produce heavy-duty zero-emission trucks.

Illinois Governor J B Pritzker said: "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.”

The 900,000ft2 facility is expected to create 745 direct jobs over the next three years.

US plans to electrify majority of its school bus fleet. Credit: andreas160578 from Pixabay.

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