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The chassis of the Lion8 is a 6x4 axle configuration with a pair of integrated Meritor 14Xe eAxles rated at 40,000 lb (18,143 kg). (Lion Electric) 

Lion Electric proclaims its Lion8 tractor the new king of the EV jungle

A claimed GCWR of up to 127,000 lb places the Lion8 at the top of the Class 8 EV food chain.

Lion Electric unveiled its Lion8 tractor, an all-electric Class 8 commercial truck, at the 2024 ACT Expo in Las Vegas. Expected to be available mid-2024, the Lion8 is the latest entrant into the rapidly growing ecosystem of Class 8 EV competitors. The Lion8 will go head to head with the Kenworth T680E, Volvo’s VNR Electric, Freightliner’s eCascadia and the much prognosticated Tesla Semi

“Today we’re not just unveiling a new commercial truck, we’re introducing a gamechanger in freight transportation,” said Mark Bedard, CEO of Lion Electric. “The Lion8 Electric sets a new standard in the EV truck market. This is the first of our vehicles that benefit from our heavy-duty battery packs that can be charged to 80% within 1.5 hours.” 

The Lion8’s 750V battery has a claimed max capacity of 630 kWh, providing a range of up to 275 miles (440 km) with a maximum power output of 500 kW (670 hp) and 400 kW (536 hp) continuous. Max motor torque is 1,622 lb-ft (2,200 Nm). The Lion8 has a claimed GCWR of up to 127,000 lb (57,606 kg), a figure that bests any currently available Class 8 EV. 

The chassis of the Lion8 is a 6x4 axle configuration with a pair of integrated Meritor 14Xe eAxles rated at 40,000 lb (18,143 kg). The rear brakes are Meritor’s EX-L air disc system, which is paired with Hendrickson’s comfort air rear suspension. The front axle is also sourced from Hendrickson and rated 18,000 lb (8,164 kg) with a mono leaf spring. 

Scott Offerman, director of marketing for Lion Electric, detailed some of the development goals for the Lion8 at the company’s press conference at ACT Expo. “When we started talking about what we can develop and design, we really wanted to create a truck that would have an impact on the industry,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that every component of the truck could match the capabilities of the axles.” 

Offerman also discussed the emphasis Lion’s engineers put on developing the Lion8’s battery packs. “The focus was not just the batteries themselves, it’s an entire system,” he explained. “When we started designing our HD batteries, we had to think about thermal management, battery management and how it’s all going to work together to keep the batteries at the optimum temperature.” 

Safety features of the Lion8 include backup collision mitigation, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control. Nicolas Brunet, president of Lion Electric, stated that driver feedback from testing of the Lion8 has been “overwhelmingly positive.” 

“Many drivers have commented on the cabin’s comfort, superior visibility from the cab-forward design and the sheer torque of the vehicle as well as the smoothness of its operation while hauling a full load,” Brunet said. 


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