Canada-based Lion Electric Company, a manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, plans to build the company’s first-ever 900,000 S.F. U.S. manufacturing facility in Joliet, Illinois. The project is expected to create at least 745 jobs.
According to state officials, a minimum of $70 million will be invested to build a new facility dedicated to producing medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. The facility is expected to come online in the second half of 2022, setting into motion annual production capacity of 20,000 zero-emission vehicles a year.
The new 900,000 SF facility represents Lion Electric’s largest dedicated production site in the U.S. The company’s expansion helps respond to increasing demand in the marketplace for “Made in America” zero-emission vehicles, while simultaneously bringing production closer to its customers, state officials said. Lion’s investments also help bring Illinois closer to its own clean energy goals, with plans to increase adoption of EV’s in the state to one million by 2030.
“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,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion. “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. 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.”
The company has qualified for the State’s EDGE incentive program, a tool to support companies making large-scale capital investments that lead to significant job creation. As part of its agreement with the government of Illinois, Lion has committed to initial investment of at least $70 million over a 3-year period. The company is working with local officials to apply for additional local incentives.
“Lion’s historic investment to bring its largest production facility to Illinois represents not only a win for our communities, but a strong step forward in our work to expand clean energy alternatives and the jobs they bring to our communities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030. In Illinois, we know that a clean energy economy is about more than just vehicles, it’s about healthier communities and jobs for those who live there. We are excited to welcome Lion to the Land of Lincoln and look forward to their future success here.”