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How Lion Electric scrapped plans for a solo IPO, jumped on the SPAC bandwagon and ended up with a US$1.9B valuation

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Nikola shares plunged another 27 per cent by close on Tuesday,  to US$20.41 on the NASDAQ after General Motors Co. scrapped a tentative plan to take a stake in Nikola, and opted instead for a much narrower relationship between the two companies.

Bédard said that stumbles by competitors and spending plans from governments to encourage lower emissions vehicles make it important that Lion Electric deploy the capital it is raising quickly and grow its manufacturing base.

“The big difference between us and some other (original equipment manufacturer) or OEMs-to-be, is that we’re already selling trucks and buses,” Bédard said. “It’s not like buying a truck that’ll be delivered in four to five years. Absolutely not. It could be delivered in a few months.”

Incoming U.S. President Joe Biden has announced plans to replace 500,000 diesel-burning school buses with electric replacements and Lion Electric, which earlier this year announced contracts with Inc. and The Canadian National Railway, believes it can help fulfill those orders.

“The Biden administration, what they are saying is like a breath of fresh air for everybody in the EV space,” Bédard said.

Founded in 2008, Lion Electric has built its reputation by putting a total of 300 electric medium-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses on the road.

In September, Lion said it would deliver 10 electric trucks to Inc. in a move that will help the e-commerce giant to reduce its carbon emissions. Power Sustainable Capital, a subsidiary of Power Corp. of Canada, is Lion’s largest shareholder.

Bédard also tried to soothe Canadian fears that the company’s deal with a U.S. SPAC would result in a relocation for the Montreal-area electric vehicle manufacturer. “Lion is still a Canadian company doing very well in the United States,” he said, rejecting concerns the company would relocate.

Financial Post

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