North Carolina had many big announcements this year surrounding electric vehicles (EV), including a groundbreaking on a $4 billion dollar electric vehicles plant in Chatham County, and Epsilon Advanced Materials announcing a $650 million facility in Brunswick County.
Despite these announcements, the overall trajectory of the EV sector appears uncertain, as industry giants such as Ford, General Motors, and Tesla have collectively opted to delay their expansion plans in the year 2024. Ford’s EV business lost around $1.3 billion in Q3 of 2023, and the company is postponing a $12 billion EV battery factory in Kentucky.
General Motors has opted to postpone the production of the Silverado EV and Sierra EV. This decision is part of a strategic effort to effectively manage its capital investment in EVs and ensure alignment with the evolving demand.
Vietnamese automaker, VinFast held a groundbreaking on a $4 billion EV manufacturing plant in July of last year. However, the company has faced significant challenges, reporting losses exceeding $5 billion since 2021. VinFast could get up to $316.1 million in reimbursement from the state if the company meets its hiring goals. Additionally, the state is investing $450 million in infrastructure development around the plant to further bolster the company’s operations.
According to an October report from CarGurus an automotive research and shopping website, EVs sit on the market an average of 82 days versus 64 days for gas-powered vehicles. Slowing demand has caused EV inventories to increase by 506% from last year.
In Brunswick County, Indian company Epsilon Advanced Materials is building a 1.5 million square foot facility that will produce graphite anode which is used in the production of EV batteries. A portion of funding for the facility will come from a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. EAM could be eligible for up to $3.4 million in tax revenue reimbursements over the next 12 years.
Governor Roy Cooper is actively promoting North Carolina’s leadership in clean energy. During the announcement in Brunswick County he said, “North Carolina continues to lead the way in the transition to a clean energy economy by attracting good-paying jobs from great companies like Epsilon that make our state stronger and healthier”.