The Lion Electric Company, a leading manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs), has announced that the company joined US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Michael S. Regan in Alma, Kansas, to celebrate a vehicle delivery under the EPA’s highly successful Clean School Bus Program.
Lion is the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the school bus industry to have delivered vehicles for the program in 2022. Nate Baguio, senior vice president of commercial development at Lion participated in a roundtable conversation with Administrator Regan, industry, utility and school district leaders.
The clean energy vehicles were delivered to Wabaunsee Senior High School and this event served as an opportunity to address the program’s successes and discuss the future of electrification.
Nate A. Baguio, Lion senior vice president of commercial development, said: “Since last year, we have worked alongside the EPA on the Clean School Bus Program to bring reimagined school buses to communities across the country – zero-emission vehicles that provide cleaner air, improve the health of students and teachers, and reduce the maintenance and operational costs for school districts.
“The electrification transition is happening now and these buses that you see at Wabaunsee Senior High School are proof of this program’s impact.
“We’re proud to be the first school bus manufacturer to deliver all-electric EPA school buses and acknowledge how federal investments have made a significant difference for many communities.”
According to the EPA, the effect of diesel emissions on children can be extremely harmful and lead to respiratory diseases such as asthma, which affects nearly 6.3 million US children, making it the most common long-term childhood disease in America.
Furthermore, as noted by a recent report from World Resources Institute, disadvantaged students are more susceptible to negative impacts from diesel pollution with 70 per cent of all children taking a bus to school, compared to 50 per cent of children from higher-income families.
As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the EPA is investing $5 billion in clean school transportation. Last year, the Clean School Bus Program saw nearly 2,000 applications amounting to nearly $4 billion, for a total of over 12,000 buses. The EPA has announced that an additional $1 billion in funding will be available for fiscal year 2023, and more details on this year’s funding will be released soon.
At the start of the year, Lion Electric announced it had completed production of its first lithium-ion battery pack. This electric vehicle battery was built at the company’s battery manufacturing facility located in Mirabel, Quebec.
Final certification of the first battery pack is expected in the first quarter of 2023, followed by a gradual ramp-up of production in 2023. The first batteries produced in Mirabel will power the Lion5 Truck and the Lion Ambulance, expected to reach commercial production in the first half of 2023.