Lion Electric, an innovative manufacturer of all-electric trucks and buses, plans to construct a battery manufacturing plant and innovation center in Quebec, Canada. The project is expected to create 135 direct jobs, as well as hundreds more indirect regional jobs.
The project and its development represent an investment of approximately $185 million CAD by Lion, who will benefit from important support by the federal and provincial governments of approximately $100 million CAD (amounting to $50 million CAD each).
According to company officials, utilizing cutting-edge technology the factory is planned to begin operations in early 2023 and will produce battery packs and modules made from Lithium-ion cells. Construction is projected to break ground over the next few months at a location to be confirmed in the near future.
"Lion is an important player in Quebec and Canada's ecosystem of electrification of transportation. 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,” said Marc Bédard, CEO and Founder of Lion Electric.
The company noted its innovation center will focus on research and development, with the goal of exploring and achieving new advancements in performance, range, energy capacity and the development of innovative products, and will allow the company the flexibility needed to rapidly adapt to emerging technologies. The new facility will become an essential link in a chain of specialized suppliers essential to the electrification of transportation, officials said.
"Lion is synonymous with innovation and bold entrepreneurship, and a key player in Canada's journey toward a sustainable, green growth future. Investments like the one announced today support job creation and our long-term prosperity, and position Canada as a leader in electric transportation. The electrification of transportation is a major driver for achieving our economic and climate objectives. That is why we are proud to support and assist Lion in this major milestone,” The Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry noted.
With a planned yearly production capacity of 5 gigawatt-hours in battery storage, Lion will be able to electrify approximately 14,000 medium and heavy-duty vehicles annually. The manufacturing plant and innovation center will offer Lion many strategic advantages, including a reduction in its battery system production cost as well as a stable line of procurement of battery packs. Highly automated, Lion's factory is projected to produce one battery module every 11 seconds and a full battery pack every 5 minutes. Lion Electric will be the first Canadian manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty vehicles to equip itself with its own automated battery pack manufacturing capability, utilizing cutting-edge technology.
"This new factory will contribute to the development of the battery sector, a priority for our government, and to the blossoming of Lion Electric. The company is gaining an increasing recognition in North America for its electric school buses and trucks while experiencing healthy growth, as demonstrated by notable contracts recently obtained from Amazon and CN, for example,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation.