Electric truck, bus, and school bus maker Lion Electric today announced that it’s produced its first lithium-ion battery pack at its factory in Mirabel, Quebec.
Lion Electric’s Li-ion batteries
That first battery pack’s final certification is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2023, and Lion says it will gradually ramp up production of its batteries next year.
The first batteries Lion produces in Mirabel will be used to power its Lion5 truck and the LionAmbulance. Both of those new models are expected to reach commercial production in the first half of 2023.
Once it’s fully up and running, Lion’s battery factory is expected to have an annual production capacity of 5 gigawatt-hours of battery capacity.
Lion has also recently celebrated the start of production at its US vehicle factory in Joliet, Illinois.
Yannick Poulin, Lion’s chief operating officer, said:
The production of our first battery pack out of our Mirabel battery facility is an important step for Lion and should, over time, bring with it a new level of optimization for product design and production efficiency.
A “new level of optimization,” indeed. Lion now making its own batteries in the same place it makes its EVs in Canada should result in a much smoother and cost-effective supply chain for the company.
It’s good to see Lion adopt the vertical integration model, much as Tesla has done with Panasonic in Nevada with its own batteries. Traditional EV makers have historically relied on outsourced suppliers, and bringing battery making in-house is a smart move.
Lion is certainly not going to have any shortage of customers, as electric school buses are now in high demand. And with the domestic manufacturing incentives that come with the US Inflation Reduction Act, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lion Electric launch this in-house battery-making model at its factory in Illinois as well.
Photo: Lion Electric
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