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Autobus Lion is a new school bus manufacturer started to challenge the traditional standards of building school buses in North America. Company COO Camile Chartrand worked at Les Enterprises Michel Corbeil, a Quebec-based school bus manufacturer that closed in 2007.
Lion Bus currently produces a single bus model: The Lion Bus 360°, a Type C (conventional-style) school bus. The bus is available in two seating capacities: a 65/66 passenger variant or a 71/72 passenger variant; a wheelchair lift is also an option to accommodate handicapped riders. An MFSAB (activity bus) model is also produced.
As is commonplace in the bus industry, the bus chassis is outsourced from a second-party manufacturer. In this case, the company joined Spartan Chassis, Inc. to use an all-new chassis design. Although not a manufacturer of conventional-style trucks used for bus chassis, Spartan was a previous industry supplier and previously the parent company of another body manufacturer (Carpenter Industries). Unlike most school buses constructed with steel body panels, the body of the Lion 360 introduces composite body panels. The body itself is 102 inches (2,591 mm) wide, as opposed to the 96 in (2,438 mm) wide body traditionally seen on school buses. The wider body allows for either a wider center aisle or wider seats; the latter allows for seat belts to be fitted without diminishing student seating capacity.
In 2015, Lion Bus introduced two variants of the 360°. The eLion is a battery-powered fully electric school bus and in May 2015, the company introduced a CNG-fueled variant powered by an NGV Motori version of the International DT466 engine.