No doubt about it—North Texas is electrifying. Just weeks after hearing that Fort Worth is the “front-runner” for a new $5 billion Rivian EV plant, more big news dropped today: Global EV charging company Wallbox has selected Arlington for its first U.S. manufacturing facility. The high-tech, 130,000-square-foot plant “will have enough capacity to fully support Wallbox’s expansion plans in North America for the next decade,” the company says.
Local hiring for the facility will begin immediately, Wallbox says, with on-site retooling set to begin in October. The new factory is anticipated to create around 250 direct jobs in the region by 2030.
Production of Wallbox’s Pulsar Plus AC chargers is expected to start at the plant as early as June 2022. Additional production lines for Quasar, its DC bidirectional charger, and Supernova, its DC fast charger for public use, are anticipated to follow in the first half of 2023.
Wallbox expects to manufacture 290,000 total units annually at the Arlington plant by 2027, and reach a full capacity of 500,000 annual units by 2030.
Barcelona-based Wallbox has a presence in 68 countries
The Arlington plant will be Wallbox’s fourth manufacturing site globally, adding to two facilities in Europe and one in China. Founded in 2015, Wallbox is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. It currently employs over 700 people in its offices in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
$1.5 billion merger with SPAC Kensington Capital, NYSE listing
In June, Wallbox announced its plan to go public through a merger with Westbury, N.Y.-based SPAC Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. The implied enterprise value of the combined company is estimated at $1.5 billion. It will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “WBX.” The merger and IPO are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.
Wallbox CEO: “Energy markets are at an inflection point”
“The U.S. automotive and energy markets are at an inflection point. Automotive electrification will accelerate significantly due to initiatives aimed at meeting aggressive greenhouse gas emission targets, which will significantly increase the demand for our EV charging and energy management solutions,” said Enric Asunción, co-founder and CEO of Wallbox, in a statement.
“This new factory will be an instrumental step in our expansion in the North American market, enabling us not only to meet the growing demand, but also to accelerate the launch of new products and enter the business and public EV charging segments as we bring our production stateside,” Asunción added.
Asunción and his fellow Wallbox co-founder, Eric Casteneda, are former employees of Tesla.
Why Arlington was chosen: Location, location
Wallbox says it selected Arlington as the site of its first North American manufacturing hub for several factors, including the city’s geographic position as a central transit hub between the east and west coasts; its access to cross-country highway corridors; and its central location to other major cities in the region, including Dallas and Fort Worth.
Wallbox says the Arlington plant will play a vital role in expanding its presence in North America—a market that’s making a big push into vehicle electrification after the Biden Administration targeted 50% of all new car sales to be electric by 2030.
Douglas Alfaro, GM of North America at Wallbox, says the plant’s announcement follows big recent product launches.
“Between the highly successful launch of our residential charger Pulsar Plus and our recently announced strategic alliance with SunPower to offer packaged EV charger and solar installations across the U.S. market, Wallbox has made great strides in establishing and growing its brand in the country this year,” Alfaro said in the statement.
“The U.S. factory is another important milestone to expand our local footprint. Wallbox will be able to better serve American customers, increase its solutions offerings and support the nation’s transition toward electric mobility,” he added.
According to Forbes, Wallbox’s largest institutional investor, global energy leader Iberdrola, recently announced it had acquired 1,000 Wallbox Supernova fast chargers (above). That acquisition is part of Iberdrola’s five-year sustainable mobility plan, in which it plans to deploy more than 150,000 chargers in homes, businesses, and public road networks.
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