Canadian electric vehicle maker, Lion Electric has announced its plan to establish a battery making factory and research center in Quebec. The factory is scheduled to begin operations in 2023 and make Lithium-ion modules for batteries.
Present for the announcement are the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Quebec, Francois Legault, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, and the Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, made the announcement today, accompanied by Mr. Marc Bédard, CEO and Founder of Lion Electric.
The location of the plant is yet to be determined but actual construction is expected to start in a matter of months. The electric vehicle maker will be the first Canadian maker of medium and heavy-duty vehicles to make its own batteries.
Lion Electric hopes to reduce cost of battery packs by bringing production in-house, leading to considerable reduction in the sticker prizes of its vehicles. Using highly automated processes based on cutting edge tech, production capacity is planned to be 5 gWh per year, which should be enough to power about 14,000 vehicles. At full capacity, the facility will produce a battery module every 11 seconds and a whole battery in 5 minutes.
Lion Electric is also banking on the proposed facility to have a steady supply of battery packs, and be better insulated against paucity in supply.
The facility will also be used for battery research and development, as Lion Electric wants to innovate and achieve better performance, energy density in the battery space. Other innovative products will also be explored.
Lion Electric expects to be responsible for new high quality jobs in Quebec, both direct and indirect. It will also strengthen the country’s fledgling electric vehicle industry, as commented by the CEO, “This factory will allow Lion to integrate a fundamental element to the supply chain of our electric vehicles. Thanks to the financing provided by the federal and provincial governments, we will now be able to manufacture in Canada what we previously imported. Lion, Quebec and Canada will gain from this, both on the economic and environmental fronts, to the great benefit of generations to come.”
The project is to be funded by Lion Electric in part, committing $184 million CAD. Additional $100 million CAD is expected to be provided by the federal and provincial governments.
The Prime Minister of Canada had this to say: “With today’s announcement, we are continuing to take steps to support our Canadian businesses, invest in innovation, and protect the environment. It is because of companies like Lion Electric that we are accelerating our transition to a resilient and competitive clean growth economy.”