QUEBEC CITY: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, announced on Monday an equal investment totaling nearly $100 million to Lion Electric, for the establishment of a highly automated battery-pack assembly plant in Saint‑Jérôme, in the Laurentians.
This project, valued at nearly $185 million, will create 135 jobs when the construction of the plant is completed in 2023. It is also expected that 150 additional jobs will be created over the longer term.
For the announcement, Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Legault were accompanied by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, by Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and by Marc Bédard, President and Founder of Lion Electric.
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-theart, automated battery-pack manufacturing facilities.
The company will also establish a research and development innovation centre within its manufacturing plant, which will allow it 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. The results will make these products more competitive in the North American market.
Trudeau said: “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.”
• Lion Electric is a Quebec-based company that designs and manufactures 100 per cent electric school buses and trucks. It currently employs over 465 people at its plant in Saint-Jérôme, in the Laurentians, Quebec.
• When the project announced today is completed, the company will have the capacity to produce 2,500 vehicles per year.
• The Government of Canada’s nearly $50 million investment comes from the Strategic Innovation Fund, while the Government of Quebec’s $50 million contribution, granted through Investissement Québec, comes from the Economic Development Fund.
• The company’s project is in line with two objectives of the Quebec government’s strategy for developing the battery industry, namely, to manufacture battery components and to produce commercial electric vehicles in Quebec.
• The project will promote the use of commercial electric vehicles in Canada and Quebec, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Legault later tweeted: “@LionElectricCo is a key player in Canada’s journey toward a sustainable, green growth future. Today, we announced the establishment of a highly automated battery-pack assembly plant in QC, a major driver for achieving our economic & climate objectives.”
With the construction of the plant, Lion predicts to see a considerable reduction in the cost of its vehicle manufacturing while ensuring control and optimization of a key component of its vehicle supply chain. 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.