Vicinity Motor opens e-truck assembly in Washington State
Vicinity Motor has opened its new campus in Ferndale, Washington, with an annual assembly capacity of over 7,000 low- and zero-emission vehicles. The commercial electric vehicle maker says the new plant “will immediately start cutting” into its order backlog.
Vicinity Motor claims orders worth more than $150 million, which includes recent deals with Lafarge Canada, Transdev and Pioneer Auto Group.
The new plant can assemble 850 low and zero-emission buses and 6,250 Class 3 all-electric trucks annually. The latter is the VMC1200, which provides approximately 100 kWh of power and can travel up to 150 miles/240 kilometres on a single charge. The medium-duty EV truck has a 6,000-pound load capacity, a top speed of 65 mph and an 8 kW onboard charger. An earlier announcement revealed Electrovaya as Vicinity’s battery supplier, making NMC chemistry the most likely. The German SME Lion Smart reportedly supplies the drive system.
Vicinity started building the Class 3 truck in 2022 in its Aldergrove facility in British Columbia, Canada, before shifting to the new factory in Washington State.
“With light- and medium-duty EV inventories across North America projected to top one million by 2030 and six million by 2040, I’m excited to see our business firing on all cylinders, and am immensely proud of the work our team has put into designing and building a world-class manufacturing facility,” said VMC Chief Executive Officer Will Trainer.
In addition to assembly and fitting, Vicinity will use the Ferndale campus to conduct pre-delivery inspections, research and development, and general technical and servicing work.
The Canadian company also has its headquarters in Aldergrove, BC. Still, the new campus in Washington is less than 20 miles south of the HQ in Canada and will also improve access to nearby port, rail and truck shipping and receiving infrastructure.
The Port of Bellingham’s Commission President Michael Shepard said: “The Port is proud to be able to help another Canadian company expand into the US market while creating family-wage jobs for Whatcom County residents and accelerating the transition to a sustainable public transit system.”
Vicinity Motor was awarded a $300,000 economic development strategic reserve fund (SRF) grant and recently supplemented a $30-million credit facility with the Royal Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada (EDC) with a further $9-million working capital credit facility with EDC.
“By completing key hires and fully funding our new operations with non-dilutive debt financing, we’re in a prime position to scale quickly and accelerate our sales push across North America,” said John LaGourgue, VMC’s Vice President of Corporate Development.
His CEO Trainer added, “Strong demand for our newest EV, the VMC 1200 electric commercial truck, is being driven by municipal, landscaping, transportation, shipping and logistics leaders that are seeking to reduce costs and carbon emissions while running more efficient fleets.”
Vicinity Motor is working with Pioneer Auton Group as a distributor, among others.