Canada’s electric vehicle capability got a major boost today with the establishment by Lion Electric of an automated battery-pack assembly plant in Saint‑Jérôme, in the Laurentians. This project, valued at nearly $185 million, will 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. The federal and Quebec governments each contributed $50 Million towards the project.
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.
Major increase in production capability
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 result in a a reduction in its battery system production cost. 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 the latest technology.
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.
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. Lion recently signed agreements to provide electric school buses in California and Missouri.
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation explained why Canada and Quebec are well positioned to take a leadership role in vehicle battery production.