The Lion Electric Company, a manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles including school buses, produced its first zero-emission LionC school bus in its U.S. factory located in Joliet, Ill.
"Today is a significant milestone for Lion," said Eric Pansegrau, general manager of the Joliet manufacturing facility. "On behalf of the entire management team, I want to extend my appreciation to all our employees for their passion and commitment over the past few months, as we went from an empty shell of a building here in Joliet, to manufacturing our first made in America zero-emission school bus in roughly 18 months. We are excited to now be entering the ramp-up phase of production, with an initial focus on the all-electric LionC school bus. We will spare no effort in the gradual scale-up of manufacturing, which we anticipate will be spread out over the next few quarters."
Lion leveraged the experience and knowledge gained from manufacturing the LionC at its Saint-Jérôme site over the past seven years to realize production of the first unit at the Joliet location. The production of the first LionC occurs at a time when the market demand for all-electric school buses is gaining momentum, accelerated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean School Bus Program, under which the EPA awarded funding for over 2,200 all-electric buses to school districts nationwide in October. This was the first round of funding in which $968 million was released out of the $5 billion to be awarded over the next five years. Lion is well positioned to support school districts with their transition, assisting with a complete ecosystem of electrification solutions and services, and backed by the experience of more than 700 all-electric school buses and trucks on the road, which have travelled over 10-million miles in real-world conditions.
Lion will initially focus on the manufacturing of all-electric school buses at its Joliet site, with production gradually ramping up, starting in the fourth quarter of 2022. The Joliet facility is expected to have a production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks, following the installation of the truck line and after completion of the production ramp-up and scale-up of manufacturing operations.