The Lion Electric Co., a manufacturer of all-electric medium- and heavy-duty urban vehicles, has selected Joliet, Ill., for the construction of its U.S. manufacturing facility.
The new facility will represent 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 – while simultaneously bringing production closer to its customers. As part of its agreement with the government of Illinois, Lion has committed to an initial investment of at least $70 million over a 3-year period.
The 900,000 square foot facility, for which building ramp-up is anticipated in the second half of the year, is expected to add a minimum of 745 clean energy 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.
“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,” says Marc Bedard, founder and CEO of Lion. “I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to 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 Will County region has a rich history of manufacturing, and Lion says it plans to build a robust 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.