Lion Electric Selects Metro Chicago for Manufacturing Site

Lion Electric’s facility will be the largest in the U.S. to produce zero-emission medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles.

Lion Electric facility at 3835 Youngs Road, Joliet, Ill.
3835 Youngs Road. Image courtesy of Lion Electric

For its new plant that reportedly will be the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S., Lion Electric Co., of Montreal, has leased a 906,500-square-foot building in Joliet, Ill., in Chicago’s southwestern suburbs.

The building, at 3835 Youngs Road in Clarius Park Joliet, was already slated for completion this coming August as a speculative distribution/warehouse facility and is institutionally owned, according to a Clarius brochure. The general contractor is Meridian Design Build.

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Located on a 45.4-acre site, the building features 40-foot clear height, a typical bay size of 50 by 54 feet, 107 exterior docks, ESFR sprinklers and LED lighting.

In addition to easy access to I-55 and I-80, the location is in close proximity to the BNSF and Union Pacific intermodal terminals.

Lion specializes in all-electric buses, primarily yellow school buses, in addition to paratransit and mass transit buses, but in recent years has added all-electric urban Class 6 and Class 8 trucks to its product line.

The Joliet facility is expected to have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks and reportedly will add at least 745 clean energy direct jobs to the region over the next three years. As part of its agreement with the State of Illinois, Lion has committed to an initial investment of at least $70 million over that three-year period.

Lion anticipates that the first vehicles will roll off the Joliet production line in the second half of 2022.

Welcome to the NYSE

This has been a busy month for Lion. It very recently went public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company and now trades on the NYSE under the symbol LEV.

In another deal involving a good-sized industrial property in early March, Clarius and partner Wanxiang America Real Estate Group sold a 587,720-square-foot building in Summerville, S.C., near Charleston, for $49.2 million. The buyer of the fully leased property was Evergreen Medical Properties.

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