Quebec-based electric bus and truck manufacturer Lion Electric is receiving about $100 million to build a highly automated battery-pack assembly plant in Saint–Jérôme, in the Laurentians.
The cash came from both the federal and Quebec provincial governments.
“With today’s announcement, we are continuing to take steps to support our Canadian businesses, invest in innovation, and protect the environment. It is because of companies like Lion Electric that we are accelerating our transition to a resilient and competitive clean growth economy,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.
The federal investment comes from the Strategic Innovation Fund, while the provincial contribution, granted through Investissement Québec, comes from the Economic Development Fund.
The project is valued at nearly $185 million and is expected to create 135 jobs when construction of the plant is completed in 2023. It is also expected that 150 additional jobs will be created over the longer term. Once complete, the company will have the capacity to produce 2,500 vehicles per year.
The battery packs assembled at the new plant will be used in Lion Electric vehicles. This strategic investment will allow the company to improve its cost structure, and better control the design and shape of its batteries, making it more competitive in the heavy-duty electric vehicle market. Ultimately, the company will be able to increase the volume of its vehicle production.
Lion Electric will be the first Canadian manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty vehicles to have state-of-the-art, automated battery-pack manufacturing facilities.
“Lion is an important player in the Quebec and Canadian transportation electrification ecosystem. This plant will allow Lion to consolidate a key element of our electric vehicles supply chain. Thanks to loans from the federal and provincial governments, we will now be able to manufacture in Canada what we previously imported. Lion, Quebec, and Canada will benefit, both economically and environmentally, and so will our future generations,” says Marc Bédard, president and founder of Lion Electric.
The company will also establish a research and development centre within its manufacturing plant to test and refine products for future use, including batteries for emergency vehicles such as ambulances. The company will test innovations from research and development, including energy storage capacity and battery performance.
Lion Electric is a Quebec-based company that designs and manufactures fully electric school buses and trucks. It currently employs 465 people at its plant in Saint-Jérôme, in the Laurentians, Quebec.