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North Carolina’s Governor Highlights Cleantech Progress In The State

Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper spoke at the North Carolina Medium- and Heavy-Duty (MHD) Electric Vehicle State Policy Bootcamp to highlight how crucial electrifying MHD vehicles is for North Carolina. He showcased the policies the state has put in place to make this happen. In a subsequent press release, they provided some links to the success stories he mentioned, so we’ll share a synopsis here.

“North Carolina has already made great progress in electric vehicle manufacturing, and we’re well-positioned to be at the head of the global market transition to zero-emission vans, buses and trucks,” Governor Cooper said at the event. “We’ll continue working with businesses and manufacturers across the state to strengthen our economy, create jobs and confront the climate crisis.”

According to the press release, North Carolina has made commendable advances in the clean energy domain this year. And, as the state continues to be a pacesetter in transitioning to a economy that relies on clean energy, they provided receipts for some of the ways Governor Cooper is creating high-paying jobs, making North Carolina stronger and helping protect our planet for future generations.

Executive Order 271

The first thing they did was point us to an article at News & Observer, a Raleigh paper, that details Executive Order 271. On October 25, 2022, Governor Cooper issued an order to transition the state to a clean energy economy as quickly as possible. This will create good jobs and opportunities while protecting public health and the environment.

Executive Order 271 creates the North Carolina Advanced Clean Trucks program. This obliges companies that make medium and heavy-duty vehicles to have an increasing number of zero-emission trucks in their North Carolina fleets starting in 2025.

“North Carolina is already a national hub for truck and bus manufacturing and supply chain development, and we should not miss the opportunity to lead the market-driven transition already underway to cleaner and increasingly cheaper zero-emission technologies that benefit our economy and our communities,” Cooper said at the time of the signing.

This executive order is an extension of previous executive actions that Cooper has taken, which includes Executive Order 246. This previous order required DOT to create a plan that would aid the state in investing electric vehicle infrastructure and adaptation.

VinFast Creates Jobs in Chatham County

The governor’s office referred to an exciting press release highlighting a huge investment in Chatham County, North Carolina. Automaker VinFast has announced that it will invest at least $4 billion in Chatham County, North Carolina, to build its first North American assembly plant. This news marks the arrival of the state’s first major automotive plant.

Following the initial phase, an electric battery assembly operation will be put into place. The company said this would enable it to produce 200,000 electric SUVs each year, thanks to the work of 7,500 workers who are expected to be hired at the facility once it is operational. At a press conference, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced a project that will bring more jobs to the state and improve its economy.

VinFast will invest at least $4 billion and employ at least 7,500 workers, said Governor Cooper.

“VinFast will bring North Carolina’s first automotive plant, second electric battery plant,” said Cooper, adding that thousands of direct and indirect jobs would also come to the state’s economy. “They chose to build their first North American factory right here in North Carolina.”

Huge Investment in Semiconductors in Chatham County; Chips Will Go In VinFast Cars

With an estimated investment of $5 billion, Wolfspeed plans to construct a new semiconductor plant on 400 acres of land in Chatham County. The average salary for the 1,800 jobs this will create is estimated to be $77,000 a year. However, North Carolina taxpayers may have to shell out around $1 billion due to the various tax incentives being offered.

North Carolina is expected to invest more money than ever before, exceeding the $4.5 billion commitment made by automaker VinFast. This large sum of money will be going to Chatham County specifically.

“Of all the places that Wolfspeed could go, it has picked North Carolina,” said Gov. Roy Cooper during a press conference announcing the news. “When you think about having a talented, educated, diverse workforce, that is what these companies of the future want. And North Carolina can provide it.”

NC TOWERS Continues Efforts To Bring More Wind Power To The State

In the Salisbury Post, there’s an article detailing continued plans to construct more offshore wind power in and near the state.

North Carolina’s never had a more promising future for offshore wind energy that’s also economically beneficial and gentle on the environment. In June 2021, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 218 to establish North Carolina’s goals for offshore wind development as well as the NC TOWERS taskforce.

In order to develop programs and policies for offshore wind energy projects, advance opportunities for equitable access to the economic benefits created by the industry, and foster relationships throughout the offshore wind supply chain, NC TOWERS held meetings with community members and stakeholders in 2022.

Gov. Roy Cooper observed Dominion Energy wind turbines off the coast of Virginia with CEO Robert M. Blue and addressed the third North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS) meeting in Elizabeth City.

“The potential for reliable, affordable offshore wind energy in North Carolina that grows our economy and benefits our environment has never been stronger,” Cooper said. “The economy is rapidly embracing clean energy and seeing the wind turbines up close underscores how investing in this exciting industry will bring tremendous opportunities to combat climate change, power homes and businesses, and put money in the pockets of North Carolina families.”

At the third NC TOWERS meeting, attendees had the opportunity to advise on programs and policies related to developing offshore wind energy projects. This foster industry relationships throughout the offshore wind supply chain and help advance opportunities for equitable access to economic benefits created by the offshore wind industry.

With all of this going on, it’s pretty clear that North Carolina is making some real progress on clean technologies in 2022. Hopefully the progress continues in 2023!

Featured image provided by Vinfast.

 
 
 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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