Lion Electric, a Canadian manufacturer of all-electric trucks and buses, announced that it will build a new U.S. manufacturing facility in Joliet, Illinois.
This new plant is expected to have production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks annually, which will make it the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the country.
The construction will start in the second half of 2021, while the production would be possible from the second half of 2022. The plan is to produce all kinds of Class 5 to Class 8 trucks and buses.
So far, the company has delivered over 390 battery-electric vehicles in North America with over 7 million miles driven since 2016.
"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 3-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.
This additional 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. Lion anticipates that the first vehicles will roll off the production line in the second half of 2022."
A piece of separate news is that Lion Electric and Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, recently completed their business combination so Lion's common shares will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the new symbol "LEV".
Proceeds from going public through SPAC are estimated at $490 million after payment of transaction expenses.
"The transaction, including the concurrent private placement (PIPE), resulted in proceeds of approximately U.S. $490 million to Lion, after payment of transaction expenses. Approximately U.S. $90 million of the net proceeds were used to repay outstanding credit facilities and debt instruments.
The remainder of the net proceeds of the transaction are expected to be used to finance Lion's growth strategy, including the planned expansion of the Company's U.S. manufacturing capacity, the continued development of advanced battery systems, the planned construction of a highly automated battery system assembly factory in Québec and other general corporate purposes."
That should be enough to support also the investment in a new battery pack manufacturing plant and innovation center in Quebec.