What happened

Shares of Northern Genesis Acquisition (NYSE:NGA) were trading higher on Wednesday, after its merger partner Lion Electric revealed in a regulatory filing that it struck a deal in June of last year to sell trucks to Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN).

As of 1:30 p.m. EST, Northern Genesis's stock was up 16.8% from Tuesday's closing price, and up about 34% since the end of last week.

So what

By way of background, Northern Genesis is a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It plans to merge with Lion Electric, a small Canada-based maker of electric trucks and buses, in a deal that will effectively take Lion Electric public. The companies revealed the merger plan in November, and it's expected to close by the end of the current quarter.

In an SEC filing related to the merger plans, Lion Electric revealed that it signed a deal with a unit of Amazon in June. Lion agreed to deliver up to 2,500 electric trucks to the online giant (the total will be determined by Amazon) over the next few years, in exchange for cash and warrants that can be redeemed for Lion stock when certain conditions are met. 

A Lion Electric midsize box truck with Amazon logos.

Amazon agreed to buy trucks from Lion Electric in June, investors learned this week. Image source: The Lion Electric Company.

Back in September, before it was on investors' radar, Lion announced that it had agreed to deliver 10 trucks to Amazon. But it didn't tell us that delivery might be just the beginning of a multiyear contract -- or that Amazon has an option to take a stake in Lion.

That revelation has suddenly put Lion and Northern Genesis on the radar of auto investors eager to profit as electric vehicles become mainstream, and that's probably why the stock is up this week.

Now what

Admittedly, 2,500 trucks isn't a whole lot of business -- though it's not nothing for Lion, which currently has a small factory that can make just a few thousand vehicles a year. But it's certainly encouraging news for the company and its soon-to-be shareholders, and it helps explain why Lion is planning to build a larger factory in the United States.

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