Lion Electric, a Canadian maker of battery powered vehicles is establishing a manufacturing plant in Joliet, Illinois, US. The plant will create more than 800 jobs when operational. The first set of hiring will begin soon.
Lion Electric is going to spend $70 million on the plant, over a span of 3 years. It will be the largest plant dedicated to making medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles in the country. The 900,000 sq-ft factory will have a production capacity of 20,000 buses and trucks. The first vehicles from the site are expected in 2022 second half.
The Joliet site was chosen by Lion Electric because of its closeness to highways and railways. The economic effect of the plant on the area will be substantial as Lion Electric plans to set up a supply chain for its manufacturing process locally.
“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. 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,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder 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.”
Since 2016, Lion Electric has delivered over 390 fully electric heavy-duty vehicles across North America, which have been driven over 7 million miles. It already has distribution and servicing centers in California, New York, Washington, Florida and Arizonia.
The governor of Illinois, Gov J B Pritzker said after touring the site with local officials and Lion Electric reps “This is a big deal. Let me start with the fact that these are, we talk about solid manufacturing jobs in an industry that is growing and in a company that is growing like Lion Electric at the rate that it’s growing, this present enormous opportunity.”