Lion Electric announces production plans, business 'combination'

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Updated May 13, 2021
Lion Electric Box Truck

Lion Electric announced Friday it has completed its previously announced business combination with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp., as well as its initial plans for a new manufacturing facility in Illinois. 

Lion Electric says 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 and the Toronto Stock Exchange 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, resulted in proceeds of approximately $490 million to Lion, after payment of transaction expenses, the company says. Approximately $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.

"Today marks a big step forward in the evolution of Lion, as we accelerate our growth strategy to continue selling all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles on the cutting edge of technology, while developing new ones," says Marc Bédard, CEO and founder, Lion Electric. "We thank NGA, our investors and our Board of Directors for sharing and supporting our mission of being the leader in our industry as well as our vision which aims at improving our society, our environment and, above all, the quality of life of all around us."

Illinois city chosen as manufacturing location

Lion Electric also announced Friday that has selected Joliet, Ill., for the construction of its U.S. manufacturing facility.

[RELATED: Lion Electric building battery manufacturing plant for its all-electric trucks]

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, the company says, giving it 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 three-year period.

"Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company," says Bedard. "This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy."

The company says 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 says it anticipates that the first vehicles will roll off the production line in the second half of 2022.

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