Clayco breaks ground on $4B North Carolina EV plant

North Carolina’s first electric vehicle plant broke ground amid the push to onshore manufacturing facilities in the United States.

Clayco, a Chicago-based construction firm, kicked off phase one of a $4 billion EV manufacturing campus last week near Raleigh, North Carolina, according to a company press release.

“Clayco is breaking ground on the nation’s first VinFast electric vehicle manufacturing campus,” said Anthony Johnson, president of Clayco’s industrial business unit. “This is a transformative project for the Raleigh-Durham economy and a major win for American manufacturing.”

Last summer the state awarded a $1.2 billion incentive package to VinFast, a Vietnamese automotive company, to build its first facility on American soil. The project also received critical financial support from the City of Sanford, Chatham County and the Golden Leaf Foundation, a North Carolina grant-making organization, according to the EV company.

The 3-million-square-foot plant, which has a phase one total investment of up to $2 billion, spans an area of about 1,800 acres. The project consists of five main production areas, including a body shop, general assembly, press shop, paint shop and an energy center, according to VinFast.

Phase one will focus on the construction of the manufacturing facilities for VinFast’s VF 7, VF 8 and VF 9 electric cars, as well as additional support buildings, such as an office, training facility, a central energy plant, fire prevention, pump house facilities and a finished vehicle area. The supplier base for components and materials will be primarily concentrated in the U.S., Vietnam and a few other countries, according to VinFast.

While the fast-growing Vietnamese auto company’s imports don’t currently qualify for a $7,500 federal EV rebate, those produced in its North Carolina factory might, according to CNBC. That would help the upstart take on U.S.-based EV stalwart Tesla.

Future expansion and updates for the factory will be identified in the next phase, according to the electric carmaker. Clayco expects the factory to start production in 2025, with a production capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year.

The Vietnamese auto company has additional facilities in Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The company announced last year a total investment of $4 billion to build out its EV battery plant in North Carolina, according to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

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