As demand for electric vehicles continues to ramp up, many auto manufacturers are looking to the United States for new production facilities. Along with them are companies that produce special components for EVs. One such company is SK Siltron CSS, announced new plans this week to make a major investment to support EV growth here in the country.
On Wednesday, the South Korea-based company announced they would be investing $300 million in Michigan in order to expand their silicon carbide wafer manufacturing facility. These wafers are used in semiconductor power components. When used in EVs, the wafers lead to more efficient energy transfers from the battery to the motor, improving driving range by 5% to 10%. They also help reduce the size, weight, charging times, and cooling requirements of the battery.
The new investment would be made over the course of the next three years. During which, SK Siltron CSS plans to add a new 140,000 square foot site in Bay City, Michigan to pair with their current facility in Auburn, Michigan. The new facility would also add 150 new jobs, more than doubling the number of employees.
According to Jianwei Dong, the Chief Executive of SK Siltron CSS, the new investment will help “develop a domestic EV supply chain based in Michigan because we have our end customers in nearby communities.” This new expansion will also help them meet rising demand from their customers, as the wafers can also be used in 5G communications equipment.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo praised the company’s new investment, saying “as we build toward a more sustainable future, it is important that we create new, robust supply chains in the U.S. to support our corporations and the end consumer.” Over the past two years, Michigan has already seen over 10,000 new jobs and nearly $9 billion in planned investments because of the switch to EVs.