The Lion Of Electric Trucks Is Born In Canada

MAR 15 2019 BY MARK KANE 34

Lion Electric seeks opportunities in the electric truck business

Lion Electric, a new company from Québec, Canada, expanded its offer from electric buses to Class 8 electric truck.

The new model – Lion8 – is custom-built and engineered in Quebec. It can go up to 250 miles (400 km) when equipped with the 480 kWh battery pack supplied from LG Chem. The electric motor is rated for 350 kW.

The first Lion8 was already pre-ordered and should be delivered in fall 2019 to Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ).

The company hopes to attract fleets by the lower total cost of ownership and of course zero-emission/low noise.


More about Lion8 here.

Categories: Trucks

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34 Comments on "The Lion Of Electric Trucks Is Born In Canada"

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Lion Electric is not a new company, they already produce electric school buses – but the stupid American design kind of school bus.

Okay, I’ll bite, what ‘other’ school bus are you speaking of?

I think he is referring to, but I could be wrong, the bonneted school buses that are so prevalent to the United States then any other country.

If so, then Lion does (or will) make school buses without a typical bonnet/hood.

It’s not only a matter of bonnet.

Modern buses such as Iveco Crossway, Mercedes-Benz Intouro and Volvo 8600.

Those buses don’t pass American safety standards for school buses. In the US, school bus standards are so high that the bus is required to protect students even if the kids forget to wear seat belts. The engine is outside the main cabin to increase the front crumple zones, etc. There is a reason for that design.

European standards of safety for buses are way higher then the United States, period. The bonnet design on American buses and trucks is there to protect the production American built trucks and buses and reduce competition from other countries.

Do you mean that safety standards are so high that it has been nearly prohibited to install seat belts for decades – and many states still don’t make it mandatory – , so that children can smash into windows, backseats and the roof in case of a crash? Sorry, I missed that “safety” part. Let the children be ejected into the bus, it is very life saving indeed. Do you also actually mention the fact many communities (cities, schools, states) are against seat belts because it’s “expensive”? Sure, let’s not pay for to save the life of our children.
By the way, I have ridden both kind of buses. In a European school bus, it’s like any other modern European bus. In an American school bus, you’ve got the impression you go back to the 1960s.

Ok this conversation departed facts and entered into personal biases/feelings very quickly. There are 3 globally common class 6/8 truck configurations. Those would be front engine(long bonnet), cab over sometimes call LCF, and rear engine. Each has its own pros/cons and therefore use case arguments. I work in this industry I am not a mechanic but my job exposes be to the decision making process of both municipalities and mid market commercial fleets.Anyone that believes one configuration is vastly superior is either ignorant or trolling. Front engine designs like are somewhat common in the US are more aerodynamic so for school districts with longer routes such as rural areas they offer better operating cost and easier maintenance. Cab over is never seen on school buses but its the typical configuration for urban service trucks where total vehicle length and weight distribution are important. Rear engine vehicles such as the Crossway and others are a bit more technically complicated in terms of line routing and service work but usually offer the better turning radius and trim some length off of the vehicles. It is worth noting that Bluebird and Thomas’ most popular models at this point in the US are of… Read more »

Thanks for that, always nice to have an adult point of view break in.

I don’t know how much truth there is to it: but I heard that the reason school buses tend to forego seat belts is that it was found having them tends to result in more injuries than not having them?… (You know, a piece of metal on a string in the hands of rowdy children…)

They don’t forego them, but they don’t rely on them because kids in an unsupervised metal box take them off.

You probably don’t have school age children, I’m guessing. It’s not that seat belts are banned – they are usually required. It is that you cannot just rely on them for safety because kids in a school bus setting don’t always wear them. So, the standards here require all kinds of additional measures to prevent injury to unrestrained passengers.

Founded in 2011, they are indeed a pretty new company on an automotive timescale, unlike the various established bus/truck makers entering the electric segment now, which generally have existed for a century or so.

This is pretty relevant, since actually there *was* a bus maker under this name in the first half of the last century — and initially I was wondering whether they are actually still around…

Autobus Lion has been founded in 2001 and produces mostly school buses. They have been producing Diesel buses since the beginning and electric school buses for a few years. That’s hardly a “new” company. At best a young company. The company changed its name to “la Compagnie Électrique Lion” recently, but it doesn’t make it new either.

Many Boston area school districts use their electric school buses. They are great.

Last I checked, Lion was right down the road from Prevost coach and Nova (transit bus) in the Montreal suburbs. I wonder how many employees move between Lion and those two Volvo brands? Long distance coaches like Prevost are quite different from Nova’s transit buses, and from Lion’s school buses, but the engineering skill sets are probably somewhat similar. Volvo Group has been working hard at electrification, I expect there is “cross-pollination” in the local labor market for engineers that rubs off on Lion.

Do you have a source for that? Wikipedia claims they were founded in 2008, and introduced their first product in 2011.

Either way, they *are* a pretty new company in the automotive space. Proterra was founded in 2004. Tesla was founded in 2003. Most bus makers on the market were founded in the late nineteenth or early 20th century.

(And yes, I know that they initially made combustion buses.)

Would be great for “ final mile” type delivery’s.

No this is a class 8 truck (which is same class as Tesla Semi).

Delivery trucks are usually in the class 3 through class 5 range, sometimes 6.
For very large items, such as furniture, sometimes a class 7 is used.

So this Lion class 8 truck is not meant to be a “final mile” type of truck.

I’m no expert of truck classes in the North American market, but I do know that the class relates to the maximum weight limit, not the route or length of delivery. A Class 8 truck is a heavy duty truck but it also can be a prime mover, or a tray truck that won’t pull a trailer. The Lion truck pictured here is what is says, a Class 8 Urban delivery truck. It won’t really be competing with the Tesla Semi that we have seen.

I know that is what classes refer to, I was referring to what is typical for “last mile” delivery trucks (as the poster referred to).

“The Lion truck pictured here is what is says, a Class 8 Urban delivery truck.”

Delivery yes, last mile, no.

“It won’t really be competing with the Tesla Semi that we have seen.”

They are both is the same class. Tesla is claiming 500 miles for their longer range one, but Tesla has another Semi (day cab) with a shorter range, and Lion will be competing with it.

Lion is designing and making class 5 thru class 8 trucks all called URBAN trucks including the class 8.

Seeing how in the US companies ranging from JB hunt to Rooms to Go still use class 8 tractors and pup trailers for final mile deliveries, this class 8 Lion truck could easily replace those.

We’ve had the class 8 home delivery discussions here on inside EVs before.

This site has a nice table about typical uses of different truck classes.

As for the claim that JB Hunt uses Class 8 for all final mile deliveries — that is wrong. (And Rooms to Go likely uses Class 7, which is typical for furniture delivery as I previously mentioned).

Here is their website referring to a 26′ box truck which is not a class 8, since the trailer alone is longer than that.

Nobody claimed class 8 trucks are used for *all* last mile deliveries.

Also, being longer does not imply higher class.

Home Depot for example

Lion class 8 truck with a flatbed would be perfect replacemt for Schneider 53’ flatbed with forklift on back back for delivery of things like pavers, bricks, drywall, etc all very heavy residential final mile delivery’s

I see the problem, you are clearly misidentifying the classes.
The one driving at the start (that said final mile on it) was definitely not a class 8 truck.

Stop the video (that you posted) at around the :09 or :10 second mark, and compare the box on the final mile truck to the large trailers that are parked along side (on at the shipping bays). See the difference?
Those trailers are definitely larger than the box on the final mile truck that was driving, which pulled up near the trailers.

Class 8 delivery truck, Rooms to Go
See these in Florida all the time.

Home Depot final mile delivery
Class 8 truck

Of all the “last mile” truck deliveries, the usage of class 8 for just the “last mile” is very uncommon. Sure, you can find an an example here and there.

The cab of the Lion class 8 truck is not US-style, and maybe that threw you off. It looks more like class 8 trucks used in Europe. The Lion class 8 typical use will not be “last mile” deliveries. The 250 miles of range is not needed for last mile deliveries. By comparison the Daimler FUSO eCanter all-electric light-duty delivery truck for “last mile” deliveries has a range of only 100km (62 miles).

A range of 250 miles in a typical last mile delivery EV truck would be a waste (extra weight and extra cost of truck for no reason).

And BTW, the rooms-to-go trucks docked at shipping bay in this link are definitely not class 8.

Happy to see that, not because I am from Quebec, but because the more diversity, the better. A lot of people who don’t no anything about BEV still think that they can’t go far, but they will start to question themself when they see those semi electric on the road

I read a lot of these EV articles and yet, i can’t place an order for where it matters most. Southern Africa.
Where i should be able to power my house when there is s grid outage. And charge my truck when grid power is there.
Should be the same for clinics.