Stakeholder Spotlight – Lion Electric

October 8, 2020

We are thrilled to have Lion Electric on as one of our partners at Denver Metro Clean Cities! Brian Alexander, the Communications Director at Lion Electric spoke with us about his background and the work that Lion Electric has been doing. Keep reading to hear about Lion’s innovation with truck building, their recent partnership with Amazon and their new infrastructure division project



Company: Lion Electric

Location: Sacramento, California

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*Note:The following answers are summarized from an interview with Brian Alexander from Lion Electric

Hi Brian, thank you for talking with us today. Could you give us a little introduction about yourself? 

Hello, my name is Brian Alexander and I am the Communications Director at Lion Electric. I have worked in clean transportation, electrification and smart charging for the past five years and I also have previous experience working with automotive OEM’s. My work with Lion electric is a great balance of my past experiences as it blends the best parts of automotive infrastructure and product marketing. 

What sparked your interest in getting involved with Clean Cities? 

Lion Electric has gotten involved with Clean Cities because we are a dedicated EV manufacturer, and because we share the same goal of getting more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. Not only have we been all electric since 2011, Lion Electric also builds EVs from the ground up, rather than retrofitting old diesel and gasoline vehicles. This gives us the freedom to customize our vehicles for our customers for a truly unique automotive buying experience. Lion Electric started their electric vehicle journey with school buses, making the first electric school bus in 2015. Now we have over 300 electric school buses on the road and are moving on to more heavy-duty vehicles: class 5-8 trucks.  

I saw on your website that Lion has plans to deliver electric trucks to Amazon. Can you tell me a little bit about that project and collaboration? 

Amazon has ordered 10 class 6 trucks, the first few of which are set to be delivered by the end of October in California. However, these trucks are not the traditional delivery trucks that you see come to your neighbor’s house every couple of days. Instead, they are “middle mile hauling” trucks that transport merchandise from the warehouse to the distribution center. This is a great step in fleet electrification, especially for large delivery companies, and I hope that the electrification of these middle mile hauling trucks will catch on to other fleets. 

What is important to Lion electric this week? How does your work with Amazon tie into that? 

The most important thing to us this week is building trucks. Since we are preparing to deliver the first few trucks to Amazon by the end of October, it is really the focus of our efforts. In addition to our work with Amazon, we also have a couple other important projects. The first is the creation of a Class A school bus, something that was announced at the Bus Tech Summit in September. Also known as a “short bus” or “mini bus”, the Class A school bus has an interior that is completely customizable, and like the other vehicles at Lion Electric, it is built from the ground up. As a result, the Class A bus has more visibility and is more efficient because all of the parts are specifically designed to work together, whereas traditional mini buses are actually made with the front of a regular school bus and the engine takes up a large amount of space on the inside. The second big project we have is the implementation of Lion Energy, an infrastructure division designed specifically to work with clients in order to assess charging needs and upgrades. This division will be extremely important for guiding clients through the process of going electric and will be devoted to answering questions and handling the overall project management that goes along with client interfacing.  

How does your work with Lion Electric inspire what you do with Clean Cities and vice versa? 

At Lion Electric, we do our best to educate fleets and the public to help them learn more about EVs and the products we have to offer. The most important things for us to help people understand is that electrification is not the future; electrification is here right now. I think that getting people in this mindset that electric vehicles are something that they can go out and purchase today is going to really change how EVs are viewed and increase the number on the road. This is very similar to what Clean Cities is doing to promote EVs and I think that we can pull inspiration from one another to reach an even larger audience and get more EVs on the road.  

What do you hope to collaborate on with DMCC in the future? 

Lion Electric and Clean Cities have the same goal when it comes to promoting EVs, so there are many things that we could potentially collaborate on. The things we are most looking forward to working with DMCC on are grants and funding, maximizing public education about EVs, pushing for and promoting legislation related to electric vehicles, and events like Ride & Drives or webinars. We really want people to experience EVs and what it is like to drive them, so any projects that focus on getting people in an electric vehicle we would be excited to collaborate on

Lion Electric also recently did a Tech Talk where they talked about their vehicle lineup, showed a vehicle demo and gave a live tour of their factory! Click on the video below to see highlights of their great presentation. 

https://vimeo.com/465946372/e38f278c2f

 

See more DMCC Member Spotlights or learn more about joining DMCC today!

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