The Lion Electric Company has selected Joliet, Ill., for the construction of its U.S. manufacturing facility. The new facility will represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. and Lion’s biggest footprint in the market, giving the company the ability to meet the increasing demand in the marketplace for “Made in America” zero-emission vehicles, while simultaneously bringing production closer to its customers.
As part of its agreement with the government of Illinois, Lion has committed to an initial investment of at least U.S. $70 million over a 3-year period.
The 900,000 sq-ft facility, for which building ramp up is anticipated in the second half of 2021, is expected to add a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs to the region over the next three years, with an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks. This additional production capacity will aid Lion in scaling electric bus production as the U.S. market moves to electrify a large portion of its school bus fleet, as well as to produce a larger number of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks as governments and operators throughout the U.S. look to decarbonize freight and transportation fleets. Lion anticipates that the first vehicles will roll off the production line in the second half of 2022.
The Will County region has a rich history of manufacturing, and Lion plans to build a robust local supply chain within the area. In addition, the Joliet location offers Lion a geographically centralized base of manufacturing and operations, with access to key infrastructure and distribution channels.
In a related news, Lion Electric announced today the completion of their previously announced business combination (the “Business Combination”). The Business Combination was approved by NGA stockholders at a special meeting held on April 23, 2021.
Beginning on May 7, 2021, Lion’s common shares are scheduled to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) under the new symbol “LEV”, and its warrants are scheduled to begin trading on the NYSE under the new symbol “LEV WS” and on the TSX under the new symbol “LEV.WT.”
The transaction, including the concurrent private placement (PIPE), resulted in proceeds of approximately U.S. $490 million to Lion, after payment of transaction expenses. Approximately U.S. $90 million of the net proceeds were used to repay outstanding credit facilities and debt instruments. The remainder of the net proceeds of the transaction are expected to be used to finance Lion’s growth strategy, including the planned expansion of the Company’s U.S. manufacturing capacity, the continued development of advanced battery systems, the planned construction of a highly automated battery system assembly factory in Québec and other general corporate purposes.
As previously disclosed, following the closing of the Business Combination, Lion expects to file with the Autorité des marchés financiers a final non-offering prospectus to become a reporting issuer under the Securities Act (Québec).
Over the last decade, Lion has established itself as a leader in the zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle industry, having delivered over 390 all-electric heavy-duty vehicles in North America with over 7 million miles driven since 2016. All of Lion’s vehicles are purpose-built for electric propulsion from the ground up, assembled in North America and are distributed and serviced through the Company’s network of Experience Centers, including locations in California, New York, Washington, Florida and Arizona.