Is This EV Stock Worth a Closer Look?

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Written By Joel Gbolade

Introduction to Lion Electric

Lion Electric, recognized by its NYSE ticker LEV, specializes in the manufacturing of purpose-built, all-electric heavy-duty trucks and school buses. 

Credit: DepositPhotos

The company operates two assembly facilities in St-Jerome, Quebec, and Joliet, Illinois, with an additional battery manufacturing plant located in Mirabel, Quebec.

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Strategic Entry into the Public Market

In a strategic move to accelerate growth, Lion Electric went public in May 2021 through a merger with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). 

This venture generated $490 million, with a significant portion allocated towards the company’s expansion and operational strategies.

Ownership and Financial Strategy Post-IPO

Post-IPO, Lion Electric’s equity was majorly retained by its original shareholders at 68.1%, with the rest divided among Northern Genesis’s shareholders and PIPE participants. 

This financial strategy aimed to secure ample funding for the company’s ambitious growth plans in the electric vehicle sector.

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Dominance in the Electric School Bus Market

Lion Electric has established itself as a dominant player in the electric school bus market, achieving over 1,400 deliveries and securing orders for more than 2,000 units as of late 2023. 

Since its inception in 2008 and the launch of its first electric bus in 2016, Lion has shown remarkable growth and commitment to sustainable transportation.

Financial Performance and Capital Needs

Despite rapid revenue growth, Lion Electric faces challenges with financial losses and negative cash flow. These issues underscore the need for additional capital, through either debt or equity, to maintain the company’s trajectory towards profitability.

Expanding Product Offerings

Lion Electric has diversified its product line to include two all-electric school bus models, the LionC and LionD, with the latter commencing deliveries in California early in 2023. 

The LionD bus is particularly noted for its environmental benefits, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Advancements in Heavy-Duty Electric Trucks

The company has also made significant strides in the heavy-duty electric truck market with the introduction of the Lion5, a Class 5 truck, in March 2023. This move represents Lion Electric’s continued innovation and expansion within the electric vehicle industry.

Growth Strategy and Market Positioning

Lion Electric’s growth strategy encompasses developing a comprehensive range of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles for North America. 

This approach includes not only vehicle manufacturing but also building a supportive ecosystem for electric vehicle fleet operators.

Financial Outlook and Operational Adjustments

As of early 2024, Lion Electric reported a robust order book, signaling strong market demand. However, the company’s financial sustainability is under scrutiny due to significant debt levels and the necessity for ongoing financial management and operational efficiency improvements.

Investment Considerations for Aggressive Investors

For investors willing to embrace the risks associated with high-growth but financially challenged companies, Lion Electric presents a compelling case. 

Its pioneering role in electric transportation and potential for market leadership in both school buses and heavy-duty trucks highlight its long-term investment appeal.

Credit: DepositPhotos

In summary, Lion Electric stands at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, with a clear focus on sustainable transportation solutions. 

Despite financial hurdles, the company’s strategic initiatives and market positioning bode well for its future, attracting interest from aggressive investors drawn to its growth potential and environmental impact.

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