Trudeau visits Lion Electric, calls electric vehicles ‘economy of the future’

Trudeau Lion Electric

Lion Electric president Marc Bedard (left) discusses electric vehicles with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and MP Stépahne Lauzon.

SAINT-JEROME, Que. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a point of demonstrating his interest in electric vehicles yesterday, in a visit to Lion Electric’s assembly plant in Saint-Jerome, Que., north of Montreal.

The visit is being described as a “courtesy call” by the company, which manufacturers battery-electric school buses and Class 8 trucks.

Trudeau met employees and senior management including Lion Electric president Marc Bedard.

In 2018, the federal government invested $50,000 in Lion Electric research and development activities. Trudeau said this kind of collaboration is part of a series of measures aimed at “achieving ambitious goals that will reduce our emissions, create good jobs and move faster towards a cleaner future.”

In a brief speech, Trudeau highlighted the contributions of Canada and Quebec into electric vehicles, which he called “the economy of the future”.

Two days earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that certain off-road electric trucks – particularly those used in the mining sector – would benefit from a zero-emission business tax write-off.

Businesses will be able to write off 100% of the related purchase prices on vehicles used before 2024. The support will drop to 75% in 2024, and 55% in 2025. Vehicles that won’t be available until 2028 will not be eligible.

The Mining Association of Canada reacted the same day, saying it was delighted with the announcement it described as “electrifying” for its members.