VW-backed Scout Motors to build $2B factory in South Carolina

Scout Motors, the VW Group spinoff taking intention on the U.S. market with rugged all-electric autos, is deepening its funding with plans to build a $2 billion factory able to producing 200,000 EVs a 12 months in South Carolina.

There are a rising variety of causes for Scout Motors to maintain the model as pink, white and blue as potential. And it’s not simply to market itself to U.S. customers. There are precise incentives on the road thanks to the Inflation Discount Act and sure some form of incentives bundle from South Carolina’s state authorities. The state authorities has not disclosed particulars on what incentives could also be offered to Scout. Nonetheless, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has made it a precedence to make the state an EV epicenter via an executive order signed in October 2022 that prioritizes constructing EV infrastructure, making ready the state workforce for superior manufacturing jobs and organizing EV planning beneath a centralized state working group.

Scout Motors will build its factory in Blythewood about 20 miles north of Columbia, which can finally make use of 4,000 folks, on 1,600 acres proper in the center of the creating “battery belt.” The plant itself will occupy 1,100 acres of that property.

Groundbreaking is anticipated to happen in mid-2023, in accordance to the corporate.

A teaser picture of two Scout Motors autos, an all-electric truck and an SUV. Picture Credit: Scout Motors

Scout revives a traditional nameplate with funding and know-how from VW Group. This factory, nonetheless, represents its independence from its guardian firm. From right here, the EV model could have to stand by itself 4 tires up towards the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco and Rivian R1S.

Scout Motors isn’t going the contract manufacturing route regardless of rumors that the model was going to companion with an organization like Magna Steyr or Foxconn. Scout CEO Scott Keogh informed ClassyBuzz that after due diligence the corporate determined to convey manufacturing in-house.

“Look, being a startup, we did our jobs,” Keogh informed ClassyBuzz in a current interview, including that the corporate evaluated each choice, from taking a green-field method and constructing a brand new factory to partnering with others and even taking up an present factory.

“On the finish of the day, the place we landed is ‘manufacturing is a core experience’,” he stated. “We all know how to do it fairly nicely.”

Manufacturing in the US was all the time a precedence, Keogh stated, however the 2022 Inflation Discount Act offered that additional incentive (actually) to commit to the concept of constructing a factory.

“We expect it’s necessary to manufacture in America, definitely for sure, the Inflation Discount Act, mixed with what the states are doing, make it a sensible time to purchase versus hire,” Keogh stated.

Scout will obtain assist from the South Carolina authorities. The incentives bundle was not disclosed Friday. Keogh stated the choice to find in the state got here down to many elements, together with an present infrastructure for the automotive business and what Keogh known as an “extraordinarily robust port.”

The port of Charleston, which is about two hours from Columbia, is the eighth-largest in the US and quickest rising, a powerful incentive for an American model with international roots and aspirations.

Keogh additionally praised the “lovely bandwidth” of native expertise in any respect ranges thanks to native universities. “That’s going to permit us to build a future oriented firm that’s loaded with engineering expertise,” he stated.

Notably, Scout could have a priceless neighbor and promising participant in the EV house: Redwood Supplies. The Nevada-based battery supplies and recycling startup lately introduced its personal $3.5 billion plan to create a battery recycling facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina.

“I believe what they’re doing is sensible and precisely proper,” Keogh stated when requested about this blissful coincidence.

Although he declined to verify any potential partnership between the 2 manufacturers, battery recycling could be very a lot on his thoughts, saying that in time he hopes for upwards of fifty% of Scout’s battery provide to come from recycled supplies. “Sure, we might be doing that. Do we have now a deal structured proper now? Completely not. However totally that’s the plan,” he stated.

For now, Scout Motors is concentrated on constructing its American-made, American-focused merchandise by the top of 2026. An all-electric SUV will come first and a truck will observe just a few months later. These autos will share VW elements like motors and inverters however not complete platforms, which means they’ll have to blaze their very own path to market.

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