Liz McLaughlin , WRAL climate change reporter

Clean energy investment in North Carolina has skyrocketed in recent years, positioning the state to be a hub for battery and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.

A new report from Climate Power ranks North Carolina in the top six states benefitting from new clean energy projects since the passage of national incentives in 2022. It is due to bring nearly $19 billion and 10,000 new jobs to the state.

Albemarle has invested more than $370 million to mine lithium in Kings Mountain.

Wolfspeed’s $5 billion factory in Chatham County is set to open this summer with 1,800 employees to process raw materials for chips used in electric vehicles.

Toyota is expanding its plans for an EV battery manufacturing facility in Liberty with an additional investment of more than$ 8 billion. The company says it plans to hire more than 5,000 employees by the time the plant is online in 2025.

Toyota, Wolfspeed and Vinfast are making billion-dollar investments and creating jobs in Chatham and Randolph counties.

Kempower has credited the clean energy plan for the company’s decision to build its $41 million EV charger manufacturing facility in Durham, where it has already hired more than 100 employees.

“On the ground, the market is evolving and the policies are supporting the market,” said Kempower sales manager Imani McCreary. “That’s really when growth happens.”

More than half of the new clean energy jobs are in rural communities, and 69% of the investments highlighted in the report are located in low-income communities.

Most of the new clean energy investments and jobs are in districts represented by Republicans despite pushback from GOP lawmakers.



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