A new electric vehicle charger manufacturing facility in Plano was announced Tuesday—and it could bring up to 183 highly skilled jobs to the Collin County city by 2026.
South Korea-based SK Signet said the facility will produce a range of fast-charging solutions, including providing the first U.S.-manufactured ultra-fast chargers and power cabinets that offer more than 350kW of power. The plant will cover 136,200 square feet and is expected to be operating at full capacity by July 2023, producing more than 10,000 fast chargers per year.
The company will be redeveloping an existing building in the suburb north of Dallas to create its new facility.
Plano Mayor John Muns said SK Signet’s “innovative technology is a perfect fit for our business community,” adding in a statement that “we’re proud to continue attracting world-class companies to our city that impact the marketplace.”
EV market keeps growing in Texas
The facility will tend to a growing market in the state of Texas. In 2020, there were more than 52,000 electric vehicles registered in the state. That number grew to nearly 81,000 in 2021, according to state figures.
SK Signet, which holds 19 patents globally in EV charging technology, is a maker of smart, convenient charging solutions for all types of electric vehicles. SK Signet is majority owned by SK Inc., the strategic investment arm of SK Group. Based in Seoul, SK Group is South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate with companies that are global leaders in semiconductors, energy, and life sciences.
Plant will help boost U.S. EV charger manufacturing
The Plano manufacturing facility is SK Signet’s first in the U.S. The company said it will align with the goals of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, boosting domestic manufacturing of secure, interoperable EV chargers and supporting the growth of a nationwide EV charging infrastructure.
“For the transition from traditional combustion engines to battery-powered vehicles to be successful, access to reliable and efficient EV charging is a necessity,” SK Signet CEO Jung Ho Shin said in a statement. “Our new Texas facility will provide top-tier fast charging solutions that are adaptable to a wide range of vehicle types, helping EVs become a reality for more Americans.”
Facility will pursue R&D as well as testing with automakers
SK Signet has already supplied over 2,500 fast chargers for the United States. In addition to manufacturing EV chargers, SK Signet said its Plano facility will be home to cutting-edge research & development, manufacture power modules, and conduct charger testing with automakers. The company plans to work closely with state and local officials to recruit and train workers.
“SK Signet is proud to be making this investment and preparing to open its first EV charger manufacturing facility in the U.S.,” SK Signet America President Seung-June Oh, said in a statement. “We’re grateful to the partnerships with federal, state and local officials, particularly those representing the city of Plano, Texas, who have supported and guided our expansion into the U.S. market.”
Company’s fast chargers were the first to be UL-certified
SK Signet said that its ultra-fast chargers are compatible with most of the EVs in the market today and were the first fast chargers (350kW) to be UL-certified.
SK Signet said it also will manufacture its own proprietary power module at the Plano facility, allowing its customers to easily customize the size and power of their chargers. That enables advanced charging technologies, such as Active Power Sharing, that can deliver more efficient charging across a broad range of EVs, which provides EV owners a faster, more flexible, and more reliable charging experience, the company said.
SK Group said that the Plano investment is a realization of its mission to invest in, and expand, U.S. businesses that have a positive environmental impact. SK Group said its companies have pledged to cut more than 200 million tons of carbon emissions by 2030 in an effort to lead greater corporate sustainability practices.
Sister company has invested $2.6 billion in two Georgia battery manufacturing facilities
SK Group said that its companies have made significant investments to support the growth of EVs in the U.S.
For example, SK On, a leading EV battery manufacturer, has made a $2.6 billion investment in Georgia for two battery manufacturing facilities. Earlier this year, SK E&S bought EverCharge, a California-based provider of EV charging solutions, and SK Inc. and SK Energy acquired the management rights of Atom Power, a North Carolina company that’s developed advanced energy delivery systems including EV charging.
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