A new production facility in Joliet, Illinois, has been taken over by The Lion Electric Company, a leading maker of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles. The site will be the company’s first manufacturing plant in the United States. Building renovations are now underway, and the firm plans to begin installing crucial equipment in the near future. The first vehicles are expected to roll off the manufacturing line in the second half of 2022, according to the company.
Upon its completion, the manufacturing facility, which was revealed last year, will be the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the United States, with a projected annual production capacity of up to 20,000 vehicles per year. Within four years, it is anticipated that the plant will result in the creation of up to 1,400 new sustainable energy jobs in the region.
In addition, Lion announced the hiring of two new positions that would be critical to the company’s future growth and development.
In his new role as Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Richard Coulombe will report to the CEO. Mr. Coulombe will be responsible for leading Lion’s growth and strategic initiatives, with a primary focus on major upcoming projects such as the manufacturing facility in Joliet, Illinois, and the Lion Campus (which includes the battery manufacturing plant and innovation center) in Mirabel, Quebec. Mr. Coulombe has been with the company for more than 30 years. To guarantee that Lion’s strategic governance plan is aligned with the company’s expansion, he will work with all departments to coordinate efforts. With over 25 years of experience in multinational public organizations in the transportation technology industry, Mr. Coulombe has held executive roles at Alstom, Bombardier Transportation, Pratt & Whitney, among other companies.
Also joining the company is Eric Pansegrau, who will serve as General Manager – Joliet Plant, where he will be responsible for establishing operational structures, putting in place manufacturing and distribution standards and processes, maintaining quality control and inventory records, and overseeing the company’s day-to-day activities. Pansegrau has over 25 years of operational experience in the automotive industry, including medium and heavy-duty vehicle component manufacturing. He most recently served as Vice President of Operations for the Wheel End Division at Accuride, where he gained extensive knowledge of the wheel end assembly process.
“With key initiatives already underway, 2022 is shaping up to be the most significant year in Lion’s history. In addition, the company is on track to commence manufacturing in the United States in 2022. Using our Joliet plant, we will be able to meet the growing national demand for zero-emission electric school buses, paratransit buses, and trucks in a variety of sizes ranging from Class 5 to Class 8 “Lion Electric’s CEO and founder, Marc Bedard, shared his thoughts. “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Richard and Eric to the organization, and we look forward to continuing the build out and equipment installation in Joliet throughout the year as we prepare for production to begin in the coming months.”