Lion Electric, manufacturer of all-electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, hosted a tour of its new manufacturing facility in Joliet, Ill., where it welcomed several dignitaries, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Guests at the event heard remarks about clean manufacturing investments being made by the federal government, and toured the facility before getting rides on Lion's commercial trucks and school buses. Others in attendance included:
- Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association.
- Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComED.
- Douglas Aburano, manager of the air programs branch for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Bob O'Dekirk, mayor of Joliet.
- Haj Young, CEO of Econergy.
"We are very pleased to be hosting Sen. Durbin, Congressman Foster, Gov. Pritzker, Mr. Denzler, Mr. Quiniones, Mr. Aburano, Mayor O'Dekirk, and Mr. Young in Joliet today to preview the progress being made at our facility, where we expect to start manufacturing 'Made-in-America' all-electric school buses by the end of the year," said Brian Piern, Lion Electric's chief commercial officer. "This gave them the opportunity to experience our zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles firsthand. The amount of support and excitement we have been receiving from organizations and stakeholders throughout Illinois has been remarkable, and we look forward to continuing to grow our ties in the state as we help to lead this new revival of clean manufacturing in the U.S."
Said Sen. Durbin: "In recent days Congress has worked to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing Americans today – from energy bills and climate change to supply chain constraints and polluted air – and we have made historic progress. The Inflation Reduction Act makes key investments in American energy to both address climate change and bring down energy bills and would create new good-paying clean energy jobs in Illinois."
Foster praised Lion Electric for investing in Illinois and "helping pave the way for our area to become a leader in the electric-vehicle industry."
"Here in Illinois, we are making our mark in the clean energy revolution," said Governor J.B. Pritzker. "Lion Electric, with its largest national footprint in Will County, is one of the companies at the forefront. Together, we are creating new jobs—and building a cleaner, more sustainable state, nation, and world."
"ComEd is proud to partner with Lion Electric to power their new facility in Joliet, which will play a critical role in helping meet increased demand for EVs here in Illinois and around the country," said Gil C. Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. "Working with partners from state and federal government and the business community, ComEd is committed to making the investments needed today to support our customers in making a transition to EVs and other clean technologies that will improve air quality and enhance the health of our communities most impacted by pollution. This collaboration is essential as we work to combat climate change and create a clean energy future for all in Illinois."
"Amazing and innovative manufacturers like Lion Electric are leading the way forward to a cleaner and more sustainable future," Denzler said. "Manufacturers have reduced emissions more than any other sector since 1990 while increasing economic output. Zero-emission buses that will be built in Illinois and funded under the Clean School Bus Program will help school districts across the entire state update their fleets used to transport children, while Lion's heavy-duty all-electric trucks will aid in efforts to decarbonize commercial fleets."