If confirmed, it could be the largest order of its kind (even bigger than the 260 LionC order from First Student), but the agreement depends on incentives:
"The purchase order is conditional upon the satisfactory grant of non-repayable contributions to STC under Infrastructure Canada's Zero-Emission Transit Fund ("ZETF"), for which STC has filed a formal application. Under the ZETF program, the Government of Canada aims to invest $2.75 billion over five years to support public transit and school bus operators in the transition to electrification."
STC would like to deploy the LionC buses between 2022 and the first half of 2026, replacing existing diesel vehicles.
The conditional purchase order indicates that EVs are not yet ready to compete without incentives. We guess that the upfront cost is still too high.
Meanwhile, Lion Electric has recently received a few smaller orders. Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) ordered 35 LionC, which will join the existing fleet of 12 for a total of 47. In this case, support was secured:
"The purchase was made in part using funds from the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island, who are contributing over $6.3 million to the clean school bus project through the Green Infrastructure stream (GIS) of the "Investing in Canada" infrastructure plan."
More recently, Lion Electric received an order for 35 LionC and 4 LionM from Groupe Autocar Jeannois in Canada but deliveries are spread over several years.
Lion Electric is in the process of expansion from Canada to the U.S. with a plan to build a new manufacturing facility in Joliet, Illinois.
Only time will tell how well it will pay off. In Q2 2021, the company noted revenues of $16.7 million, but net losses increased to $178.5 million. As of August 12, 2021, the company had orders for 965 vehicles, worth $280 million.