Meeting Zero-emission Transportation Demand with Clean Energy Jobs in the U.S.

Joe Biden has made it clear that he and the U.S. administration intend to tackle climate change head-on with what has been called a “modern and sustainable infrastructure” – a key part of which will mean replacing millions of diesel and gasoline vehicles on the road with zero-emission alternatives. The President has even suggested replacing the fleet of over 600,000 vehicles owned by the federal government, “With clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers.” 

It’s obvious he is very serious about the commitment to clean transportation.

The administration plans to achieve this while simultaneously stimulating the economy, adding up to 10 million new – and well paying – clean economy jobs in the U.S.

Lion Electric is right there with him. We need more zero-emission vehicles on the road, produced in the United States.

Our intent is to do so.

In late 2020, Lion Electric announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility, located in the U.S., in order to help meet the demand we are currently seeing in the market for heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles. As more fleets begin to realize the advantages of zero-emission buses and trucks – lower total cost of ownership, silent operation and a better driving experience, not to mention clean air and a clear conscience – Lion Electric plans to accelerate vehicle production drastically.

We expect to start production at our US facility as early as 2022 and to ramp up gradually towards a capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year by 2023. Most importantly, our objective is to be closer to our many customers and to expand our network of Lion Experience Centers in the U.S. We are in the final stages of selecting one of three final brownfield sites for the manufacturing facility, and are excited to share more news on the location by the end of 2021 first quarter! 

What we are even more excited about however, is that a dedicated U.S. facility means we would soon be welcoming U.S.-based employees to the rapidly growing Lion Electric family. Producing up to 20,000 vehicles per year is no small feat, even with modern automation – which means that Lion Electric could be adding up to 1,500 clean economy jobs as part of our expansion. These manufacturing jobs would be a cornerstone of the future clean economy envisioned by the Biden administration, bringing valuable skills that would pay dividends into the future. But it would not stop there.

Lion Electric All-Electric Urban Commercial Trucks

Part of Lion’s supply chain philosophy is a strong desire to keep things local – as such, we strive to use local and domestic suppliers wherever possible to further spur the positive impact of our operations and production. This can be seen today in our current manufacturing facility in Saint-Jérôme, Canada, where 85% of Lion’s supply chain comes from our home, the Québec automotive and technology market. We aim to replicate this domestic approach in the U.S. and anticipate a secondary impact of up to 9,500 secondary American clean transportation jobs to come as a result.

However, Lion’s U.S. footprint does not stop with new manufacturing. Our Experience Centers are the backbone of Lion’s operations throughout North America and are critical to the success of our customers.

All of our Experience Centers are fully dedicated to support our customers, share Lion’s expertise with local stakeholders and pursue zero-emission vehicle education within local communities. As Lion Electric expands and further deploys zero-emission vehicles, we plan to have over 25 Experience Centers across the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2022. These centers have the added benefit of extending advanced electric vehicle maintenance and operation training to Lion Electric customers.

Most important of all, Lion’s expansion in manufacturing is moving toward a common goal for all of society – the elimination of harmful greenhouse gas emissions produced by heavy-duty transportation.

Today, the transportation landscape is changing before our eyes. Just a decade ago, electric vehicles were nearly unheard of – and yet today, major automotive manufacturers are committing to a 100% zero-emission future. Countries and municipalities across the globe are pursuing ambitious decarbonization goals as well. It’s clear that the clean economy, and clean jobs, are the future.

Contact us.