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Gov. Pritzker Celebrates Opening of New Lion Electric Factory in Joliet

Press Release - Friday, July 21, 2023

Largest all-electric U.S. plant for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle production opens in Illinois
Chicago—Today Governor JB Pritzker joined Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, local officials, and business leaders to celebrate the official opening of Lion Electric's newest electric vehicle manufacturing facility. The 900,000 square foot facility is the largest all-electric U.S. plant dedicated to medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle production and builds on Governor Pritzker's years of investment in EV manufacturing and production across the state.

"My administration has made investing in the EV sector a priority, because we know that the future of Illinois relies on dependable clean energy jobs as we transition to a carbon-free future," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Companies like Lion have recognized the many resources Illinois provides, including our uniquely talented workforce, and together we have set the state on a path to thousands more jobs and increased EV capacity."

Governor Pritzker, Lion Electric CEO Marc Bédard, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth attended the event alongside Lion executives and other area representatives. The event was also attended by nearly 150 students from the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago and Com Ed's Youth Ambassador Program, to tour the facility, ride a zero-emission school bus, and learn about future career opportunities in green engineering and manufacturing.

This event followed a successful week of meetings regarding EV's and manufacturing during the Governor's delegation trip to the United Kingdom. The Governor attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed and met with executives and government leaders from around the UK to promote Illinois' many opportunities for business development and trade. Illinois' burgeoning EV industry and the many incentives Illinois provides to EV manufacturers were crucial aspects of these conversations.

Governor Pritzker's administration has heavily prioritized investing in clean energy for the future of Illinois. The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) committed Illinois to 100% reliance on clean energy by 2050 and took the steps to make that possible, while simultaneously prioritizing good-paying jobs and ensuring those disproportionately affected by climate inequities have opportunities to repair their communities. In 2022, companies' capital investments through EV manufacturing incentives like EDGE in Illinois nearly tripled from 2019 pre-pandemic levels, from $348 million in 2019 to $1 billion in 2022.

"Lion Electric is an extraordinary partner and represents more than the new jobs and investment they are bringing to Will County and to Illinois," said Doug Pryor, President and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development. "As a leading OEM manufacturer of all-electric buses and trucks, Lion represents an important step forward, continuing Joliet and Chicagoland's proud manufacturing tradition by supporting a growing EV and clean energy cluster."

"Lion Electric has been a proactive partner in building new programs and pipelines from the college to the Lion facility to support their workforce needs," said Joliet Junior College President Dr. Clyne Namuo. "Through a new model, our students have the flexibility take classes in the JJC automotive program and then go to work at this facility as entry level assemblers and end of the line technicians. Of course, this is just the beginning of what we can do together. As the nation's first community college, we will join Lion, Governor Pritzker, and the State of Illinois to drive innovation and growth in the state's green economy."

"Thank you to Lion Electric for your strong investment in Will County and Joliet," said Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. "This facility brings hundreds of high-quality jobs to our community and helps solidify Will County's role as a national clean energy leader."

Mayor D'Arcy thanked the leadership of Lion Electric for choosing Joliet to build their new facility. "As someone who understands transportation and automotive needs, I truly appreciate the technology Lion is instituting to improve the environment and the future for all of us," said Joliet Mayor Terry D'Arcy. "This Joliet facility will bring roughly 1400 jobs in the future to Joliet and Will County."

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