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Lion Electric promotes Brunet to president

Li-Cycle and Glencore update project; Alectra to test all-electric bucket truck

Lion Electric president Nicolas Brunet. (Courtesy Lion Electric)
Lion Electric president Nicolas Brunet. (Courtesy Lion Electric)

Nicolas Brunet has been promoted to president of Saint-Jérôme, Que.-based medium and heavy-duty electric commercial vehicle manufacturer Lion Electric Company.

Prior to the new role, Brunet had served as executive vice-president and chief financial officer since December 2019.

Richard Coulombe, who had been serving as Lion's (LEV-T) senior vice-president of strategic initiatives since November 2021, has taken over as chief financial officer. Prior to joining Lion, Coulombe had been the vice-president of finance at Bombardier Transportation.

"I am thrilled with the management changes announced today, which are very well aligned with our business's requirements. After four years with Lion during which he got intimately acquainted with Lion's products, customers and operations, Nicolas is ideally positioned to take on greater responsibilities and assume an expanded leadership role,” Marc Bedard, Lion’s CEO and founder, said in a statement.

“Additionally, Richard's expertise and experience will be instrumental to pursue our critical profitability goals.”

Li-Cycle and Glencore update Portovesme Hub project

Toronto-based Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. and Glencore plc have announced a two-phase approach to the Portovesme Hub project in Sardinia, Italy to expedite the production of battery-grade lithium carbonate.

Phase 1 is designed to process up to 11,000 tonnes of black mass annually and is expected to start operations in the first half of 2024. Phase 1 is expected to facilitate production of up to 1,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate, up to 3,000 tonnes of contained nickel and up to 500 tonnes of contained cobalt per year.

Black mass is produced by the battery recycling process, and contains metals essential to battery production including lithium carbonate, nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate.

“We are excited to accelerate our plans with Glencore to establish clean, post-processing refining capacity for recycled lithium-ion batteries in Europe. Phase 1 of the Portovesme Hub is expected to come online at unprecedented speed and to expedite the pathway to create the largest source of sustainable recycled battery-grade products on the continent to support a circular lithium-ion battery supply chain,” Tim Johnston, Li-Cycle’s (LICY-N) executive chair and co-founder, said in a statement.

Phase 2 is the previously announced plan for the Hub. Li-Cycle expects the facility to have 50,000 to 70,000 tonnes of black mass processing capacity, and to produce up to 16,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate, up to 18,000 tonnes of contained nickel and 2,250 tonnes of contained cobalt per year.

Both phases will use existing infrastructure at Glencore’s (GLNCY) existing Portovesme metallurgical complex. The companies anticipate forming a 50/50 joint venture for the Hub.

A feasibility study for Phase 2 is expected mid-2024, and the Hub is expected to begin commissioning in late 2026 to early 2027.

The Portovesme Hub will support the European Union’s target of recycling at least 15 per cent of critical raw materials consumption by 2030.

Alectra to test all-electric bucket truck

IMAGE: Alectra's electric bucket truck
Alectra's International eMV electric bucket truck. (Courtesy Alectra Utilities)

Alectra Utilities has added an International eMV all-electric double bucket truck to its fleet, which it states is one of the first such vehicles to be deployed in Ontario.

Alectra's operations team will integrate the vehicle into its fleet over the next nine months. The truck will rotate between three of Alectra’s service centres in Markham, Hamilton and Brampton.

The team will evaluate the practicality and potential of the vehicle for future deployment.

“The addition of our first fully electric bucket truck marks a significant step towards electrification,” Chris Hudson, Alectra’s senior vice-president of network operations, said in a statement.

It also added three Ford E-Transits and four Plug-In Hybrid Ford Escapes to its fleet.

Serving over one million homes and businesses in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe area, Mississauga, Ont.-based Alectra is the largest municipally-owned electric utility in Canada.

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