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The EV Plug-in: Lion Electric delivers record number of EVs in Q1

Lion Electric Company delivered a record 84 electric vehicles (EVs) in the first quarter of 2022,...

IMAGE: A Lion Electric bus

A Lion Electric school bus. (Courtesy Avison Young)

Lion Electric Company delivered a record 84 electric vehicles (EVs) in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 24 the same time last year. The company’s production, however, is about to take a major step forward.

The current record can be broken down into 72 buses and 12 trucks, with 80 of the sales from Canadian clients.

Revenue increased to just over $29 million this quarter, compared to $7.9 million in Q1 2021.

Vehicle production at its 900,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Joliet, Ill., however, is set to begin in the second half of 2022. At scale, the facility will have a per-annum capacity of 20,000 vehicles.

Being constructed at a total cost of $150 million, a company webcast states it will be the largest all-electric medium and heavy-duty manufacturing facility in the U.S.

Production at a “highly-automated” 5 GWh battery factory in Mirabel, Que. is also set to begin later this year.

The webcast states Lion (LEV-T) has over 600 vehicles on the road, with seven electric bus and truck models available now, and five more coming later this year.

Lion’s vehicle order book comprises 286 trucks and 2,136 buses, for a total order value of about $600 million. The company also has orders for 281 charging stations and related services, which totals $3 million.

According to the company, there is a $110 billion annual total addressable market in the U.S. and Canada for medium and heavy-duty EVs.

Next Generation provides $76M for ZEV projects

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), an industry-led organization based in Hamilton, has provided $76 million in funding to support the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) ecosystem in Canada.

It has invested in 15 projects in sectors including critical minerals and metals; traction, battery and efficiency gains; power electronics; as well as fuel cell and lightweight materials.

NGen counts over 4,500 manufacturers, technology companies, innovation centres and researchers among its members. Since its 2017 founding, it has approved 166 projects with 374 industry partners, investing $236 million of its supercluster funds.

Some of the projects include a manufacturing process for compact ZEV inverters from Linamar Corp. and Westhill Innovation Inc.; a scalable manufacturing process for solar film-integrated body panels from Raleigh Solar Tech Inc. and Magna International Inc.; and the recycling of solid-state lithium ion battery materials for EVs from Li-Metal Corp. and Blue Solutions Canada Inc.

The full list of projects can be found here.

Exro signs Coil Driver deal with Vicinity Motor Corp.

Exro Technologies Inc. has signed a deal with Aldergrove, B.C. electric bus manufacturer Vicinity Motor Corp. for up to 2,500 Coil Driver units.

That order, beginning with an initial delivery of 100 units, will also include an electric motor along with the Coil Driver. The technologies will be integrated into Vicinity’s Lightning bus.

Coil Driver technology from Calgary-based Exro (EXRO-T) acts as a replacement for the traditional inverter.

An October 2021 report from independent third-party tester AVL states the Coil Driver, in development since 2016, has a “motor (that) generates significantly more torque . . . It is also observed that the switching between different modes is seamless.”

Vicinity (VMC-X) will be able to produce 1,000 EVs from its facilities in Ferndale, Wash. and Aldergrove.

A release states the Lightning is expected to be on the road in the near-term for both private and public use in “several cities” across North America.

New EV chargers for multiresidential buildings

The federal government has announced an $899,000 investment in Broadstreet Properties Ltd. to install 188 Level 2 EV chargers at properties across Canada.

Broadstreet also invested over $993,000 into the project. The chargers will be available to residents by November 30.

There are federal rebates of up to $5,000 to convince Canadians to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles. The latest federal budget contains $1.7 billion to extend the government’s purchase incentive program until March 2025.

The government has goals to add 50,000 ZEV chargers in Canada, and ensure all passenger vehicles sold in the country are zero-emission by 2035.

GreenPower attending 2022 expo to showcase EVs

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. will participate in the ACT Expo in Long Beach, Calif. to display several of its EVs. From May 9 to 12, GreenPower (GPV-X) will display its battery electric automotive school transportation (BEAST) bus and its EV Star line.

The EV Star (Side ADA) has a 150-mile range and is used for para-transit, employee shuttles, micro-transit and van-pool service. The other vehicle on display will be the EV Star Cargo, a Class Four vehicle for last-mile delivery solutions with a capacity of up to 5,000 pounds and 150-mile range.

“We believe our space will be the largest EV OEM in the Class Four and possibly in the school bus space entirely. That’s our goal,” GreenPower CEO Brendan Riley told SustainableBiz in March.

GreenPower was founded in Vancouver, although its primary operational facilities are in Southern California.

Taiga named Fast Company’s Best World Changing Idea

Taiga Motors Corp. has been named the North American winner in Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards for an off-road powertrain used in its electric snowmobiles.

As reported by SustainableBiz in March, Taiga (TAIG-T) has delivered the Nomad snowmobile — the first of four planned models — to market. If its plans remain on target, production capacity would be 80,000 vehicles by 2025.

Taiga also offers an Orca watercraft using the same technology.

Now in its sixth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 39 winners, 350 finalists and over 600 honourable mentions — with climate, social justice, as well as AI and data among the most popular categories. The ideas were chosen from over 2,997 global entries based on feasibility and potential impact.

Report stresses need to modernize Canada’s electricity systems

A report from the independent Canadian Climate Institute urges coordinated action from provincial and federal governments to build bigger, cleaner and smarter electricity systems.

Demand for electricity will increase significantly, in part due to the EV adoption, as well as Canada’s goal to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

“Utilities and other market actors need clear climate policies, and the role of regulators and system operators in the transition needs to be clearly laid out. Governments have a driving role in addressing these challenges and accelerating the big switch,” said Francis Bradley, president & CEO at Electricity Canada in a statement.

Bradley had previously spoken to SustainableBiz in April, lamenting Canada’s lack of progress on a net-zero grid.

The report, The Big Switch: Powering Canada’s net-zero future, states Canadian electricity demand will grow by a factor of 1.6 to 2.1 times by 2050. To meet that demand, generation capacity will need to be 2.2 to 3.4 times higher than today.

To reach that 2050 figure, the report suggests generation capacity will have to grow three to six times faster than during the past decade.

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