SK Signet confirms Texas site for US charger factory
SK Signet, the EV charging equipment maker within South Korea’s SK Group, has added details to its US expansion plans. The company has confirmed Texas as the location for its first factory in North America and released further targets.
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The SK subsidiary has selected the city of Plano, near Dallas, to host the facility covering 136,200 square feet (about 12,653 sqm) once completed in mid-2023. This confirmation follows earlier announcements of SK planning to produce fast-charging equipment in North America in line with federal funding policies.
Alongside the Texas announcement, the company also released details such as creating 183 jobs. According to SK Signet, the workers will produce ultra-fast chargers and power cabinets that offer more than 350kW of power. Starting with 10,000 chargers, as reported, SK now added that it expects the site to be at total capacity of 20,000 units by 2026.
In addition to manufacturing EV chargers, SK Signet’s Texas facility will house research & development, conduct charger testing with automakers, and manufacture said power modules. The latter will help customers customise the size and power of their chargers, so SK. The company mentions ‘Active Power Sharing’ to deliver more efficient charging across multiple EVs.
SK Signet also plans to work closely with state and local officials to recruit and train workers.
Seung-June (SJ) Oh, President SK Signet America, said they were “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 US market.”
The Mayor of Plano, John Muns, added SK’s technology was “a perfect fit for our business community”.
SK Signet is another SK Group business increasing activities in the USA. SK On has reportedly made a $2.6 billion investment in Georgia for two battery manufacturing facilities. A lithium supply contract with Chile followed in autumn, as reported and under the stated goal that this would “further strengthen the company’s supply chain for critical battery materials in addressing the US Inflation Reduction Act” since Chile has a free trade agreement with the United States.
The Inflation Reduction Act and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program introduced by the Biden-Harris administration subsidise locally-made EV charging infrastructure. Under NEVI, the US government is offering $5 bn worth of incentives to install a network of 500,000 charging stations across the country by 2030, including rapid charging stations at intervals of 50 miles (80km) on highways. However, the funding promise includes the demand to have the majority of components sourced or assembled in North America.
Update 6 June 2023:
SK Signet has now opened its production facility in Plano, Texas. The plant should now be able to produce more than 10,000 HPC chargers per year, including those with 350 kW capacity.
The plant also incorporates research and development teams, produces power modules for chargers, and conducts tests with automotive manufacturers. SK Signet will also develop software there.