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North Carolina’s Electric Vehicle Economy Deepens, From Manufacturing to Mining

It has been a year since Wake Technical Community College dedicated the $42 million Hendrick Center for Automotive Excellence in north Wake County. Since then, Wake Tech has tripled the number of students in its automotive systems technology program and added a new degree program in collision repair. In March, the college received a $939,041 federal grant to help jump start the Hendrick Center’s electric vehicle training program.

The grant comes amid an obvious transformation of the economy from gas-powered cars and trucks to electric vehicles. The electric economy is evolving in places like the northern Wake County campus and throughout North Carolina.

In fact, North Carolina is emerging as a center of electric-vehicle technology. Toyota is building a $3.8 billion battery plant near Greensboro in a partnership with Panasonic. Siemens is creating charging stations for electric buses and other large vehicles in Wendell, in Eastern Wake County. Kempower, a Finland-based company, plans a fast-charger manufacturing facility in Durham.

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