In an exciting development, the Lion Electric Company, a major player in electric vehicle manufacturing, has officially unveiled its groundbreaking Joliet, Illinois facility.
A Brand New All-Electric Plant
Spanning an impressive 900,000 square feet, this site stands as the largest all-electric plant in the United States, devoted exclusively to the production of medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Located within proximity of Chicago, this facility is poised to significantly impact the industry with its emphasis on sustainable practices and innovation.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this all-electric plant is its dedicated focus on medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, which includes the manufacturing of all-electric school buses. By the end of 2023, it is projected that the facility will be capable of producing up to 2,500 all-electric school buses.
However, this is only a glimpse of the plant’s full potential. When operating at its maximum capacity, the facility could churn out an impressive 20,000 vehicles annually, encompassing both buses and trucks. This ambitious goal is estimated to require a skilled workforce of around 1,400 individuals.
Making the Decision for an All-Electric Plant
The Lion Electric Company’s decision to establish its facility in Joliet, Illinois was guided by several key factors. The state’s rich resources, strategic proximity to customers and domestic supply base, as well as its shared vision for a more sustainable future, all played a significant role in this choice.
Marc Bédard, the CEO-Founder of Lion Electric, underscored the company’s pivotal role in driving a manufacturing renaissance in the United States. Collaborating with Governor J.B. Pritzker and a coalition of industry stakeholders and EV enthusiasts, Lion Electric is spearheading the next chapter of transportation in the Midwest, addressing critical imperatives such as reducing carbon emissions, bolstering economic vitality, and championing sustainability.
A Grand Unveiling of the All-Electric Plant
The unveiling event garnered an impressive guest list, including dignitaries, customers, media representatives, financial analysts, partners, and Lion Electric team members.
Festivities commenced with a press conference and a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony using a diesel fuel hose. Prominent figures in attendance included Terry D’Arcy, Mayor of Joliet, Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, U.S. Senator Richard (Dick) Durbin, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.
Inspiring a New Generation
The event also offered a unique educational opportunity for nearly 150 students from the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago and Com Ed’s Youth Ambassador Program. These aspiring individuals were granted a firsthand experience of the green economy, with an all-electric plant tour, insights from Lion’s technicians and assembly workers, and a ride in a zero-emission LionC school bus.
Governor JB Pritzker commended Lion Electric for being an unwavering partner in propelling Illinois to the forefront of the nation’s electric vehicle manufacturing industry.
He emphasized the company’s role in creating a sustainable network of well-paying jobs that foster community development while simultaneously advancing environmental preservation.
The Future of Electric Vehicle Manufacturing
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) lauded Lion Electric for spearheading the transformation of the transportation sector toward emission-free solutions. He extolled the facility not only for its job creation potential but also for its role in solidifying America’s global leadership in electric vehicle manufacturing.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth highlighted Lion Electric as a prime example of the future of manufacturing, underscoring its significance for Illinois as a burgeoning hub for innovative manufacturing practices.
The senator emphasized the broad-reaching benefits of supporting green manufacturing and renewable energy like the Lion Electric all-electric plant, including job creation, cost savings, and a more sustainable world for future generations.
The event also showcased Lion Electric’s innovative truck applications and offered a preview of the LionD, the company’s TypeD school bus prototype slated to make its official debut later in 2023. Collaborations with esteemed institutions like Argonne National Laboratory and Joliet Junior College, centered on research programs and workforce development, were highlighted as well.
Gil C. Quiniones, CEO of ComEd, expressed enthusiasm for powering Lion Electric’s groundbreaking U.S. manufacturing plant. The facility is poised to play a pivotal role in advancing locally built electric vehicles that contribute to reduced emissions and a cleaner future.
As a steadfast partner since the inception of Lion Electric’s Joliet plans, ComEd shares the company’s commitment to expanding access to electric transportation options that foster cleaner air, new job opportunities, and economic growth within Illinois.
About Lion Electric
Lion Electric is an innovative manufacturer of zero-emission vehicles. The company creates, designs, and manufactures all-electric class 5 to class 8 commercial urban trucks and all-electric buses and minibuses for the school, paratransit, and mass transit segments. Lion is a North American leader in electric transportation and designs, builds and assembles many of its vehicles’ components, including chassis, battery packs, truck cabins and bus bodies.
Always actively seeking new and reliable technologies, Lion vehicles have unique features that are specifically adapted to its users and their everyday needs. Lion believes that transitioning to all-electric
vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment, and overall quality of life.
We recently reported on the evolution of electric vehicles: check out that article here.