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Rendering of Vicinity Lightning Electric Vehicle (Source: Vicinity Motor Corp.)

Electric bus manufacturer to build assembly facility in Ferndale

FERNDALE, Wash. — Vicinity Motor Corp (VMC), formerly known as Grande West Transportation Group, is set to move forward with a project to build an electric bus assembly facility in Ferndale after the project was recently granted a conditional use permit by the City of Ferndale.

In addition, the Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded the Regional Economic Partnership at the Port of Bellingham a $300,000 economic development strategic reserve fund grant to assist VMC in building its new bus assembly facility, according to a company press release.

According to a Port of Bellingham June 7th press release, “The economic development grant for VMC contributes to over $22 million dollars in investments in land acquisition, capital construction, and the creation of 20 living wage clean technology jobs at the Ferndale location, with plans for expansion.”

Based out of Aldergrove, British Columbia, VMC reported they are receiving orders for Vicinity Lightning electric buses from buyers in the United States. The company reported “a large demand from public and private operators across Canada and the US” in a December 7th press release.

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VMC announced in April that the State of Washington had placed their electric buses on a statewide purchasing contract that enables state transit agencies the ability to purchase VMC’s products. Purchased vehicles would then be produced from the planned “Buy American Act” compliant assembly facility in Ferndale that will be capable of producing 1,000 electric, CNG, gas and clean-diesel units annually.

The conditional use permit was granted earlier this month to Faber Construction for the construction of a 58,000-square-foot commercial building and adjacent 5,800-square-foot accessory building on a currently vacant site located on LaBounty Drive in Ferndale.

VMC President and CEO William Trainer is quoted in the company’s December press release saying, “We are extremely excited about our new Vicinity Lightning EV and LT 28-foot shuttle bus models. Management sees the runway for new sales of this line of medium-duty Vicinity product to be over 1000 units per year. We have locked in production levels to produce up to 200 Vicinity Lightning during 2021.”

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