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Lion Electric to build $185M battery plant in Mirabel, Que.


Photo: Lion Electric Co.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Lion Electric Company says it will build its battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Mirabel, Que.

Originally announced in March 2021, Lion’s battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre represents an investment of approximately $185 million CAD.

A groundbreaking ceremony was hosted this week near the site of the future facility at the YMX International Aerocity, adjacent to Montreal-Mirabel International Airport on a 1.6-million-square-foot property, with development planned to begin in June 2021.

In a statement, Lion says it selected the Mirabel location as it offers the company several strategic advantages, including proximity to its current Saint-Jérôme, Que. manufacturing plant and access to transportation infrastructure, such as highways and airport, to facilitate access to suppliers and customers.

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The company also plans to repurpose current airport facilities for use as a test track to aid in its vehicle development.

The facility is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022, with a planned annual battery production capacity of five gigawatt hours, enough to electrify approximately 14,000 of Lion’s medium and heavy-duty zero-emission trucks and buses.

Maintaining ownership of its battery production allows for increased control of Lion’s product supply chain while simultaneously lowering costs, the company says. The factory will be highly automated and is expected to be able to produce one battery module every 11 seconds and a full battery pack every five minutes.

The company says it hopes that electrification manufacturers will continue to locate themselves in the area to grow the local supply chain with the added benefit of decreasing both vehicle costs and emissions associated with shipping.

With the completion of the plant, Lion expects to add 135 direct jobs in Mirabel in the next two years, and up to a total of 250 direct jobs in the longer term as the company continues to expand its operations at the site.