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Lion Electric unveils zero-emission trucks for commercial sector

In an unveiling at Work Truck Week 2022, one of North America’s largest commercial vehicle events...

Lion Electric unveiled a fleet of electric commercial vehicle trucks at Work Truck Week 2022. (Courtesy Lion Electric/Instagram)

In an unveiling at Work Truck Week 2022, one of North America’s largest commercial vehicle events, Lion Electric recently displayed three of several Lion6 vehicles in the works as the company looks to scale-up production on its fleet of electric commercial vehicle trucks.

The event, which debuted the results of Lion Electric’s partnerships with equipment upfitters Morgan Truck Body, Thermo King, Knapheide and CM Truck Beds, saw attendees get the opportunity to test drive three all-electric lightweight and aerodynamic Lion6 trucks for which the companies have been collaborating.

Held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indiana, the event features new equipment from 500 exhibitors who display truck OEM plans and upfitter solutions and network with other commercial vehicle operators.

The zero-emission trucks have new fully electrified refrigerated, dry freight and aluminum stake body options, which impressed audiences and bred optimism about future partnerships that help operators maximize distance travelled in their fleet operations while transporting goods.

“The wide variety of upfit components we are debuting at this year’s Work Truck Week is proof that electrification has arrived for a broad range of truck fleet customers, from dry cargo fleets to those with temperature-sensitive requirements,” said Brian Piern, Chief commercial officer at Lion Electric, in a statement.

Lion Electric debuted three of its truck modifications at Work Truck Week 2022, including:

— Lion6 Electrified Refrigerated Concept in partnership with Morgan Truck Body and Thermo King

— Lion6 Aluminum Platform Body 18-foot with Storage Pack in partnership with Knapheide

— Lion6 Aluminum Platform Body (26-foot) in partnership with CM Truck Beds

With fewer moving parts and preventative maintenance items such as lubricants, filters, belts and more, Lion trucks offer maintenance savings of up to 60 per cent and energy savings of up to 80 per cent.

“Knapheide’s Aluminum Platform is a perfect upfit on the Lion6 zero-emission truck for a variety of last-mile delivery uses,” said Mandar D. Dighe, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, of Knapheide, in a statement. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Lion and their customers to meet their vocation needs and objectives in the future.”

Capitalizing on the opportunity for growth

When developing the trucks, Lion Electric used data from putting over 550 heavy-duty all-electric vehicles on the road — covering nine million miles — and as a result, has developed three truck models that offer 200 miles (321 kilometres) of range on a single charge.

The battery uses Lion’s proprietary battery thermal management system (BTMS). It works optimally in extremely hot and cold environments, making it a viable option for commercial companies looking to optimize their fleets.

What’s more, its battery technology can power a vehicle refrigeration unit, as seen with its Morgan Truck Body and Thermo King models, eliminating emissions and noise pollution that diesel refrigeration units can cause.

Lion’s new partnership with Knapheide will also allow for the option of an electrified lightweight aluminum 18-foot platform stake body, which features an enclosed storage pack behind the truck cab to secure work equipment.

Mounted on a Lion6 chassis and utilizing a Thermo King all-electric refrigerated unit, the concept features a 24-foot truck body option integrated with Lion Electric’s vehicle system. Another bonus — it’s powered with the vehicle’s onboard batteries.

Lastly, in its partnership with CM Truck Beds, Lion Electric introduced a larger stake upfit option for the Lion6, including a 26-foot aluminum platform body option.

All three trucks are expected to provide reliable zero-emission truck transport for commercial companies in North America. The new applications pile on Lion Electric’s desire to be a leader in innovative zero-emission technologies and equipment.

“We are pleased to be working in close collaboration with four industry leaders as we continue to move toward a zero-emission future in trucking and look forward to continuing to introduce new applications to our highly flexible class-5 to class-8 chassis vehicles,” said Piern.

Scaling operations in the U.S.

Last September, Lion Electric announced plans to venture down south after building a $185-million battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre.

The Montreal-based EV manufacturer has recently expanded to the U.S., buying industrial facilities that can serve as battery materials and production plants for Lion Electric.

Recently, the U.S. facility that Lion Electric leases was acquired by Avison Young Investment Management for the Nova Scotia Pension Services Corporation. The 906,517-square-foot facility is due to open in late 2022 — representing the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S.

The facility, based in Chicago and owned by Nova Scotia Pension, has an expected production capacity of up to 20,000 vehicles per year.

It also signed a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Automotive Mobility to give Lion customers access to Cox’s 25 maintenance service centres for on-demand support.

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