JOLIET, Ill. — A massive electric vehicle manufacturing plant is now open in Joliet.

At full capacity, leaders say that Lion Electric Plant, located at 3835 Youngs Road, will produce up to 20,000 electric buses and trucks a year — bringing 1,400 jobs to the city of Joliet.

This is the first new vehicle assembly plant opening in the Chicago area in more than 50 years.

Gov. JB Pritzker, Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth attended the ribbon cutting Friday morning.

The canadian company is celebrating 15 years in business. Leadership says they produce the most electric school buses in North America, and choosing this location in the heartland was no coincidence. 

“This is now home to the largest all-electric manufacturing plant of buses and commercial vehicles of this size in the entire United States. That really is something to celebrate,” Pritzer said at the ribbon cutting.

Lawmakers are calling this the culmination of coordinated local, state and federal efforts focused on the future of clean energy.