ZETA: The First Step Toward the Electric Standard
The (ZETA) is a first-of-its-kind coalition committed to 100% electric vehicle (EV) sales in the US by 2030. ZETA comprises 28 businesses, such as and to name a few, and the non-partisan group is focused on public education efforts and federal policy development, to promote EV adoption on a global scale, as well as the US.
The unique industry coalition calls for an accelerated transition to EVs in the US, in the hopes of not only reducing carbon pollution but creating thousands of new jobs in the process, putting the US at the forefront of EV manufacturing.
Joe Britton, Executive Director of ZETA, noted the crucial importance behind ZETA’s existence: "The next decade will be critical in implementing federal policies that accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles and help address these problems head-on. The clean vehicle sector already boasts hundreds of thousands of jobs but, if we encourage its growth, the United States can decisively win the global race to develop a new clean transportation economy and employ hundreds of thousands of Americans right here at home."
A New Age of EVs
ZETA notes five key policy pillars that can help the US become an electrical powerhouse:
1. Outcome-driven consumer EV incentives. Point-of-sale consumer incentives drive adoption, provide cost reductions and achieve real results in pushing transportation electrification. In addition, incentivizing early retirements while encouraging EV adoption will speed the transition and meet the urgency of the moment.
2. Emissions/performance standards enabling full electrification by 2030. Emission targets are a key piece of protecting public health and sending the correct market signals to support and accelerate the transition to zero-emission transportation.
3. Infrastructure investments. Strong federal charging infrastructure investments will drive the electric transportation transition and ensure that the United States is leading the way in a clean recovery where everyone is better off.
4. Domestic manufacturing. We should not only accelerate US transportation electrification but also work to ensure that we secure domestic economic growth and leadership in EV manufacturing. Federal policies must encourage job creation and economic activity across the entire EV supply chain and lifecycle, from critical materials to vehicles.
5. Federal leadership and cooperation with sub-national entities. Federal support should invest in research and development, provide an aligned vision for electrification, and ensure local leaders are empowered with the expertise and resources to support full vehicle electrification.
"For the first time in a generation, transportation is the leading emitter of US carbon emissions. By embracing EVs, federal policymakers can help drive innovation, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and improve air quality and public health. ZETA's formation recognizes a pivotal moment for national leadership and reflects the will of the growing clean transportation sector."
Lion Electric to Construct US EV Manufacturing Facility
Who is Lion Electric?
Founded in 2008, is an innovative manufacturer of all-electric, zero-emissions, medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles. Lion Electric designs, manufactures, and assembles all components for its vehicles that have unique features specifically adapted to the users and their needs. “We believe that transitioning to all-electric vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment and overall quality of life,” believes Lion Electric.
Lion Electric’s new Illinois Manufacturing Facility
Just two months after announcing plans to construct a battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec, Lion Electric is expanding its locations further, selecting Joliet, Illinois for its new manufacturing facility in the US.
The new facility is said to “represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the US,” as well as being the company’s biggest footprint in the market. The new facility will give Lion Electric the capacity to meet increasing demand for ‘Made in America’ zero-emission vehicles and bring production closer to customers.
It is expected that the first vehicles off the production line will be in the second half of 2022.
“Lion’s historic investment to bring its largest production facility to Illinois represents not only a win for our communities, but a strong step forward in our work to expand clean energy alternatives and the jobs they bring to our communities,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030. In Illinois, we know that a clean energy economy is about more than just vehicles – it’s about healthier communities and jobs for those who live there. We are excited to welcome Lion to the Land of Lincoln and look forward to their future success here.”
Lion Electric’s Agreement with the Government of Illinois
Over the next three years, Lion Electric will invest a minimum of US$70mn into Illinois. The new facility - totalling 900,000 square feet - is expected to create a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs in the next three years, and have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all electric buses and trucks.
Scaling electric bus production and decarbonising freight and transportation
As the US moves to electrifying its school buses, the additional production capacity at the facility will help Lion Electric to scale its electric bus production, as well as produce an increased volume of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks to help governments and operators in the US further the decarbonisation of freight and transportation fleets.
“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion.
“I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to developing developing a long-term roadmap for the local tech industry, played in connecting Lion with the Chicago area’s business and civic community to help further commercial traction, as well as engagement with key workforce and supplier partners.”