Who Else Besides Tesla Is Making Electric Semi Trucks?

a white truck parked inside a building
It’s Not Just Tesla That’s Making Electric SemisLion Electric
  • Lion Electric has revealed a 6x4 semi truck at the ACT Expo, slated to enter production this summer, as interest in day cab electric trucks for regional deliveries slowly rises.

  • The Lion8, featuring a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of up to 127,000 pounds, is powered by a 630-kWh battery pack, giving it a range of up to 275 miles.

  • The Quebec-based manufacturer, founded in 2011, produces electric truck and school bus models.

We're now in a time when trucking fleets actually have a choice of electric models, now that several truck makers have launched semis with batteries. Later this summer Lion Electric will add its own model to the mix, having developed a Class 8 truck.


Revealed last month at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (ACT), the Lion8 is a 6x4 tractor with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of up to 127,000 pounds.

Featuring two integrated two-speed eAxles and powered by 630-kWh worth of battery packs, the truck will offer a range of up to 275 miles, in addition to DC fast-charging capability that will allow it to juice up to 80% state of charge in 1.5 hours. The truck features Lion's own 750-volt architecture, allowing for faster charging.

"The Lion8 Tractor embodies our commitment to pushing the boundaries of possibility in modern freight transportation," said Marc Bedard, CEO and founder of Lion.

The Lion Electric Company is not a new player in the EV truck world. The Saint-Jérôme, Quebec-based truck maker was founded in 2011, and besides trucks, it also manufactures electric school buses.

In that time span, Lion has produced some 2,000 vehicles sold in Canada and the US.

Sales of the Lion8 are slated to begin this summer, with the truck joining Lion's Class 5 and Class 6 models.

a yellow truck next to a white truck
The Lion8 will be the companyLion Electric

The smaller of the two, powered by a 210-kWh battery and offering a range of up to 190 miles, is aimed at last-mile delivery and municipal work, while the Class 6 model is powered by a 252-kWh battery and has a range of up to 218 miles.

The company offers its own Level 2 and Level 3 charging infrastructure and service.

The Lion8 6x4 electric tractor is still aimed at daily deliveries that typically include runs between warehouses and stores, so this isn't quite a long-haul model despite what its size and layout may suggest (though it could be used as such).

The reason for this is largely due to the lack of charging infrastructure for battery-electric trucks along major routes in North America. Models like the Lion5 through 8, as well as the school buses, will rely on chargers at their home bases, usually charging overnight at slower speeds.

It remains to be seen just how quick of a transition the regional trucking industry—especially produce and beverage distributors—will see in the coming years, but we're now at a point where fleets actually have some choices when it comes to day cab trucks and semis.

Will we see municipal trucks go electric in this decade in significant numbers, or will this transition process take longer? Let us know in the comments below.