Wolfspeed CEO: Breaking ground on Monday to do things that are unprecedented

Minutes after announcing that Wolfspeed would be investing in a massive new plant in Chatham County, WRAL CEO Gregg Lowe spoke to WRAL’s Debra Morgan about why the company chose to locate this new plant in North Carolina and what the technology there will be. should be built distinct from other .

North Carolina Pays $1 Billion to Land Wolfspeed Plant Over New York Bid

Lowe called the transformation from chips made of silicon to chips made of silicon carbide a once-in-a-generation innovation, and said Wolfspeed is poised to lead that revolution.

“It’s definitely not for the faint of heart because we’re trying to do things that are unprecedented,” he said.

The new chips will increase efficiency specifically for electric vehicles, allowing them to go faster, charge faster and travel further on a single charge.

“I can add 300 miles of extra range in 20 minutes of charging at one of these fast-charging locations,” said Lowe.

The new factory will benefit from a well-trained workforce. Lowe cited the local universities as a draw.

Where will Wolfspeed find, train new employees? NC A&T to help

“We need engineers and technicians and people with that technical background. It just gives us a really good idea of ​​how we’re going to develop the workforce over the next decade,” he said.

The company is committed to creating more than 1,800 jobs and pays an average of $77,000 a year, a number Lowe expects to easily achieve.

“The demand for EVs and the adoption of EVs is moving faster than people expected. The adoption of silicon carbide in EVs is happening faster than anyone expected, and customers choosing to go with us versus others is happening more than we anticipated. So you have those three trends. That gives us a huge tailwind,” he said.

The demand is so great that Wolfspeed wastes no time.

“We announced it today,” Lowe said Friday. “We will be on that site on Monday. We’re taking the weekend to take a little break here, but on Monday we’re going to be hitting the ground running and we expect to actually have the structure built and begin first production there in January 2024.”

Lowe says electric vehicles are just the beginning for the silicon carbide chips.

“We are very, very optimistic about the future,” he said, pointing to applications for personal watercraft, drones and other aircraft and inventions that have yet to be discovered.

“I think that tidal wave is coming, and it’s unstoppable,” he said.

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