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Lion Electric to bring zero-emission school buses to California’s largest district

Lion Electric announced an order to bring its all-electric school buses to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The Quebec-based electric urban vehicle manufacturer will initially provide 10 LionC buses. This helps establish Lion as a leader in electric school buses throughout North America.

Lion Electric has become a leader in electric buses

The company has been working for 10 years toward establishing itself as a leader in the all-electric school bus industry. Since 2016, it has delivered over 300 all-electric school buses in North America. That’s not all either. Last September, Lion received an order to deliver 10 all-electric vehicles to Amazon. The move was part of Amazon’s sustainable trucking logistics supporting its Climate Pledge.

Two months later, Lion Electric announced a merger with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. ($NGA). NGA is a publicly-traded SPAC focused on a commitment to sustainability. When the merger is complete, Lion is expected to list as “LEV” on the New York Stock Exchange.

Lion Electric school buses in California

According to the press release from Lion Electric, the LAUSD order follows a delivery of electric school buses to Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento. With two California districts in its Rolodex, Lion is making strides toward solidifying its electric bus presence in the state.

The order from Los Angeles, in particular, is a huge win that could lead to tremendous orders moving forward. The LAUSD is currently the second-largest school district in the United States. In fact, it covers 720 square miles and over 1,000 schools. Lion Electric Founder and CEO Marc Bedard, speaks to the opportunity to aid California schools in transitioning to zero-emissions:

LAUSD is possibly the most well-known school district in the United States, and we are pleased to have been chosen as a key partner in their journey toward zero-emission school bus operations. These all-electric buses signify the district’s commitment to improving the local environment and the health of its communities, and we are confident that they will meet and exceed the expectations of the operators and students.

The LionC bus has a range of 155 miles on a single charge and can haul up to 77 passengers. It can reach a top speed of 65 mph and offers 335 hp. The electric school bus can also produce 1,800 ft-lb of torque. This comes from a 210 kWh battery capacity. Furthermore, the battery has a level II charging time of 6.5 to 11 hours. However, it can charge in 2.5 to 4.25 hours with 50 kW, level II charging. Lion Electric has also incorporated an integrated wheelchair lift on each bus to transport all students safely throughout the city. The first deliveries of LionC buses should begin this spring.

Lion Electric school buses
Lion Electric’s LionC bus

Navigating a congested Los Angeles

Anyone that has ever sat gridlocked in Los Angeles, cursing the traffic gods, will understand. The city’s infrastructure is rather spread out and overpopulated with solo drivers. It often begs the question, “why are we at a dead stop at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday?!” This struggle is an everyday occurrence for Angelenos. Luckily, Lion Electric has taken these measures into consideration when approaching the LAUSD deal.

Los Angeles Schools

The press release states Lion collaborated closely with the LAUSD and the California Energy Commission (CEC). This was to ensure its buses met unique requirements posed by the City of Angel’s large and complex map. The requirements meant adding options to the base CEC specifications to accommodate the unique needs of its routes. Lion will also provide support and training to Los Angeles’ schools through its Experience Center recently opened nearby in Alhambra.

The custom LionC buses are partially funded by the CEC’s School Bus Replacement Program. After extensive evaluations, Lion was awarded five out of the six possible categories. The CEC ranked Lion the highest performing manufacturer in its technical evaluation and the manufacturer with the most cost-competitive bid.

By having the best evaluations by the state, as well as the most competitive bid for its electric buses, Lion Electric looks to continue to provide zero-emission urban vehicles throughout Los Angeles, California, and North America.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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