Six new all-electric, Type-C school buses built by Lion Bus of Quebec will be the result of a cash infusion from XPND Capital and a local government grant to invest in increasing manufacturing and officially launch the product commercially, the companies announced.
Last year, Lion Bus unveiled its eLion, the first OEM electric school bus with TM4 on the motor. The eLion has been tested at school districts for the past several months, said Marc-Andre page, the company's marketing manager. The eLion was displayed recently at the California Green Summit in Sacramento and is being exhibited at the 2015 Governor's Summit on Zero Emission Vehicles, also in Sacramento.
The Quebec government provided $2 million for eLion development in March to "demonstrate and validate" how the electric buses function. Terms of the XNPD Capital investment were not disclosed, but Page added that the company is now a minor shareholder in Lion Bus. The companies said in a joint statement that investment is the "final step" in fully deploying the full eLion commercial production strategy.
Alexander Taillefer, manager partner at XPND, said the deal will also drive economic growth throughout Quebec and beyond.
"The electrification of transports has become essential to our cities' sustainable development and will spearhead economic growth in the province. Lion Bus has developed an innovative product that builds on Quebec's expertise and that has the potential to revolutionize the public and private transportation industry worldwide," he added. "Furthermore, school bus routes are ideal for electric vehicles because they're predictable, short in distance, and the wait time between runs facilitates battery charging."
Marc Bedard, co-founder, president and CEO of Lion Bus, said XPND offers financial expertise and knowledge of the electrified vehicle market.
"We now have a financial and strategic partner that will enable us to accelerate our commercialization plan and further develop our technology," he said.
Lion Bus said the eLion has an operational range of 70 miles on one charge and offers power comparable to the company's diesel model.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article misrepresented XPND Capital's investment in the eLion and the Quebec government's role with its grant. STN regrets the errors and confusion they caused.