ST-JEROME and MONTREAL, Quebec  – Lion Bus, a Quebec-based manufacturer of traditional and electric school buses, has announced a strategic investment from XPND Capital, a private equity firm focused on growth investments.

Proceeds from the investment will help Lion Bus finalize commercialization of its fully electric eLion school bus, invest in its manufacturing activities and will be used for working capital purposes, company officials said.

The investment follows the recent announcement by the Quebec government of a $2 million subsidy to Lion Bus for the commissioning of six eLion buses. This phase, intended to demonstrate and validate the bus’ functional parameters, represents the final step before the deployment of the company’s commercial production strategy.

Lion Bus is the first manufacturer in North America to build and commercialize a 100% electric Type C school bus, according to the manufacturer.

“The electrification of transports has become essential to our cities’ sustainable development and will spearhead economic growth in the province,” said Alexandre Taillefer, managing partner at Quebec-based XPND Capital. “Lion Bus has developed an innovative product that builds on Quebec’s expertise and that has the potential to revolutionize the public and private transportation industry worldwide. Furthermore, school bus routes are ideal for electric vehicles because they’re predictable, short in distance and the wait time between runs facilitates battery charging.”

“We’re excited about this strategic investment by Alexandre Taillefer and XPND Capital,” said Marc Bédard, Lion Bus president and CEO. “Not only do we get the benefit of their financial expertise, but we can also immediately tap into their understanding of the challenges and potential of electrified transportation. We now have a financial and strategic partner that will enable us to accelerate our commercialization plan and further develop our technology.”

Powered with a fully electric TM4 engine developed by a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, the eLion bus is manufactured in St-Jerome, and nearly all of its 150 suppliers are from Quebec. The bus is as powerful as a traditional diesel model and has a range of 70 miles (112 km), Lion Bus officials said.

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