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Carolina Core Revs Up as Electrification Takes Center Stage In The “Epicenter Of Clean Energy”

Source: The Business Journals

The Carolina Core, the heartland of North Carolina, is emerging as a major player in the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. Major manufacturers are flocking to the region, lured by a skilled workforce, strategic location, and a commitment to clean energy.

Toyota is leading the charge with a massive $13.9 billion investment in a battery plant, creating over 5,000 jobs. “The talent pool here is incredible,” says Sean Suggs, North Carolina president of Toyota Battery Manufacturing, highlighting the region’s strong educational system.

Vietnamese automaker VinFast is also joining the party, constructing the first EV manufacturing facility in North Carolina, backed by a record-breaking state economic development incentive. Governor Roy Cooper, embracing the state’s clean energy focus, calls North Carolina “the epicenter of clean energy.”

The trend extends beyond cars.  John Deere plans a new headquarters and electric battery plant, while Thomas Built Buses recently delivered its 1,000th electric school bus. Startups like Soelect are also getting in on the action, developing a battery institute in partnership with local colleges. Even Volvo Trucks, headquartered in Greensboro, projects that more than 50% of all new Volvo trucks sold will be electric by 2030.

This transformation reflects a broader shift for the region. Once dominated by textiles and furniture, the Carolina Core has morphed into a transportation and logistics powerhouse. Today, it boasts a rich infrastructure network, including five interstate highways and a strong pipeline of skilled workers. Universities, colleges, and community colleges are actively partnering with companies to ensure a future-ready workforce.

“We’re going to grow at about twice the rate as the nation and population over the next several decades,” predicts Michael Walden, a professor emeritus at NC State University. Companies like Volvo Trucks exemplify this collaborative spirit, partnering with universities and community colleges to develop talent.

The Carolina Core’s central location is another advantage. It offers easy access to major metros like Charlotte and Raleigh, while boasting its own attractions like the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

With its skilled workforce, strategic location, and commitment to clean energy, the Carolina Core is poised to become a leader in the electric transportation revolution.


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