First Student, the largest student transportation provider in North America, and the Lion Electric Company (NYSE: LEV) (TSX: LEV) (“Lion” or the “Company”), a leading manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, jointly announced that First Student is ordering 260 all-electric LionC school buses.
This is the largest order of school buses by a single customer in Lion’s history. The order will make First Student the largest operator of zero-emission school buses in North America. Deliveries will take place beginning in the second half of 2021 through the first half of 2023. The buses will be used by Transco, First Student’s subsidiary that operates in Quebec.
“Today marks a new step in the adoption of zero-emission school buses,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion. “First Student’s leadership demonstrates that zero-emission technology is here to meet the needs of the market at scale, as is our production capacity – we are not talking about pilot programs, but rather entire bus fleets going electric, with vehicles that meet the daily requirements of the industry’s largest operators.”
The company already operates a number of Lion all-electric school buses. As part of the purchase, the LionEnergy team will strategically work with First Student for the selection and installation of necessary infrastructure so that the operator can adequately scale its zero-emission operations.
“We are proud to take this significant step to improve the environmental health of our student passengers and the communities we serve,” said First Student President Paul Osland. “First Student embraces the importance that electrification and zero-emission technologies will play in the future of student transportation. The electrification of school buses has already started and is poised to accelerate rapidly. This work with Lion Electric is an important step to position First Student as North America’s leading owner and operator of electric school buses.”
“At First Student, we long have been at the forefront of developing and implementing innovations in transportation,” said First Student’s Senior Vice President of Strategy, Business Development, Marketing and Communications, Claire Miller. “Now, as the largest operator of zero-emission school buses in North America, we will play a critical role in helping communities improve air quality and environmental health for passengers and the community. With the purchase of 260 buses, everyone wins. We cannot wait to start bringing them online soon.”
“We are very excited to be putting the buses into operation in our own backyard here in Quebec, where soon an electric school bus will be a common sight,” said Benoit Morin, Vice President of Sales, Canada, at Lion. “Getting children excited about zero-emission technologies today sets them up for a lifetime of climate advocacy, to the benefit of their communities and the planet.”
Over the last decade, Lion has established itself as a leader in the zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle industry, having delivered over 390 all-electric heavy-duty vehicles in North America with over 7 million miles driven since 2016. All of Lion’s vehicles are purpose-built for electric propulsion from the ground up, and are manufactured at Lion’s North American facility, which has a current capacity to produce 2,500 electric trucks per year.