Wolfspeed CEO: Groundbreaking to do unprecedented things on Monday

Wolfspeed CEO: Groundbreaking to do unprecedented things on Monday
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A few minutes after this announcement Wolfspeed will invest in a massive new manufacturing plant in Chatham CountyCEO Gregg Lowe spoke with WRAL’s Debra Morgan about why the company chose to locate this new plant in North Carolina and what differentiates the technology that will be built there.

North Carolina is paying $1 billion to land the Wolfspeed plant, according to a bid from New York

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

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

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

“I can add an extra 300 miles of range with a 20-minute charge at one of these fast-charging locations,” Lowe said.

The new plant will benefit from an educated workforce. Lowe cited local universities as a draw.

Where will Wolfspeed find and train new employees? NC A&T assists

“We’re going to need engineers and technicians and people with that technical knowledge. It gives us a really good feel for how we’re going to develop the workforce over the next decade.”

The company has committed to creating more than 1,800 jobs at an average annual salary of $77,000, which Lowe expects to hit easily.

“The demand for electric cars and the adoption of EVs is happening faster than people expect. The adoption of silicon carbide in electric vehicles is faster than anyone expected, and customers are choosing to go with us more often than we expected. So there you have these three trends. It gives us a big tailwind,” he said.

The demand is so great that Wolfspeed will never waste time.

“We made the announcement today,” Lowe said Friday. “We will be at that site on Monday. We’re going into the weekend to take a little break here, but on Monday we’ll start breaking ground and actually we expect to have the structure built and start pre-production there in January 2024.”

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

“We’re very, very optimistic about the future,” he said, pointing to applications for personal watercraft, drones and other aerial vehicles and inventions yet to be discovered.

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

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