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Electric-vehicle plant invests $75M, brings Joliet 745 jobs

May 7, 2021 GMT

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A Canadian electric-vehicle maker will build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Joliet to produce small trucks and heavier electric machinery, officials said Friday .

Lion Electric Co. will invest at least $75 million in a plant that ultimately will produce 20,000 zero-emission vehicles a year and create 745 or more jobs.

The state will provide tax credits and the company is working with local officials on additional incentives, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. Production will help the state reach its goal of having 1 million electric vehicles in circulation by 2030, he said.

Lion founder and CEO Marc Bedard said the 900,000 square-foot (83,600 square meters) facility will be the company’s largest U.S. dedicated production site. He said it responds to greater demand for American-made electric vehicles and will bring production closer to customers.

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Officials say Lion has in the past decade has become a leader in zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. It’s delivered more than 390 such autos in North America since 2016.

The facility will help the company increase production to meet demand for great numbers of electric school buses and the effort by the public and private sectors to work to de-carbonize heavy-duty trucks and transportation fleets.