Joliet factory produces first Lion Electric school bus

An all-electric school bus sits on display during a March 2022 news conference and interactive tour of the Lion Electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Joliet.

The first zero-emission, all-electric bus from the Lion Electric Company has been produced at its factory in Joliet.

The Canadian-based company announced on Wednesday the production of the school bus, which is called LionC. Other buses produced by the company include the larger electric school bus called LionD and a mini school bus called LionA.

In a news release, Eric Pansegrau, general manager of Lion Electric’s Joliet manufacturing facility, said Wednesday marked a “significant milestone” for the company.

“On behalf of the entire management team, I want to extend my appreciation to all our employees for their passion and commitment over the past few months, as we went from an empty shell of a building here in Joliet, to manufacturing our first made in America zero-emission school bus in roughly 18 months,” Pansegrau said.

The roughly 40-foot-long LionC school bus has a range of 100 to 155 miles per charge, according to the company’s website. The vehicle can carry up to 72 passengers.

Lion Electric Company will initially focus on the manufacturing of all-electric school buses at its Joliet facility, with production gradually ramping up, starting in the final quarter of 2022, according to the company’s news release.

The Joliet facility is expected to have a production capacity of up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks.

Members of the media and government officials test drive the new all electric bus during a press conference and interactive tour the new manufacturing facility.. Monday, Mar. 21, 2022, in Joliet.