Commercial electric vehicle company opens microfactory near Charlotte in Rock Hill, SC

Per WCNC, a television news station in Charlotte, a report called “Electric vehicle microfactory promises to bring 240 jobs to Rock Hill” was aired. Rock Hill is part of the Charlotte Metro area just across the border in South Carolina. Here are the salient points per a MSN write-up of the piece:

Arrival, a company that produces electric vehicles around the world, announced Tuesday its plans to build a ‘microfactory’ in York County. The factory is part of a $46 million investment in the region and is Arrival’s first American microfactory. The company expects to bring 240 new jobs to the Rock Hill area. 

Arrival, which was found in London in 2015, creates zero-emission vehicles for commercial transportation. The South Carolina facility will utilize a new cell-based assembly method to produce vehicles, rather than the traditional assembly line. This will give Arrival the flexibility to produce any vehicle in its portfolio at the factory, according to a press release from the company.”

This is just more evidence of where future growth will occur. It is good to see our area embracing new technologies to make zero emission vehicles. The train (or in this case, the bus) toward renewable energy has left the station. Communities that are embracing this will see more growth and better cost models going forward, as well as help the environment.

This is is not an outlier story. Solar energy jobs have averaged annual double digit growth and dwarf coal energy jobs. Wind energy is also growing in the US, especially in the plain states with Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma combined getting more than 1/3 of their electricity from wind energy. And, Tesla has branched into electric delivery trucks on top of their cars.

These news stories should be more widely communicated to show the path forward is being taken by states, cities and companies.

13 thoughts on “Commercial electric vehicle company opens microfactory near Charlotte in Rock Hill, SC

  1. The path forward is already all about renewable electricity. One of the big cases for Supreme Court coming up is the lawsuit against all the major oil companies who knew – and with internal documents proving remarkably accurate forecasting for today’s levels of CO2 and its catastrophic global effects – from their own scientists in 1981 what the use of their product would cause and the decision by a cabal of companies to fund doubt and deception and denialism using the same methods (and even people) the tobacco industry used in their losing cause. The investment firm Blackrock (7.4 trillion in funded assets) has already announced a new policy away from all fossil fuel companies and all their products towards carbon neutral/negative investment guidelines. Reinsurers already have advised insurance companies about significant policy changes in risk assessment and so it is clear that utility companies are not buying fossil fuel plants but redirecting their future into profiting from energy delivery, and so on. So we already are on this path… whether the average citizen knows it or not. The use of carbon based energy and all the companies that rely on it are just beginning to wake up to the fact that these energy companies are dead men walking.

    I mention this because Tesla is not a car company. It’s not even a transportation company. It is an energy technology company (including manufacturing cars and trucks and trains and buses and planes and rockets) and investors are just starting to wake up to its market positioning that is at least 8 years ahead of any competitor in the energy technology end of things in all areas that Tesla markets. Just this past week, for example, we found out that the autonomous driving software Tesla uses (especially addressing concerns about the full autonomy aspect) is going to have its own mapping capability in each vehicle. Not a top down delivery of information currently used by everyone for their own mapping technology but bottom up, in the sense each vehicle creates its own up-to-the-minute mapping. This shift alone is revolutionary and every other transportation company is left in the dust no matter what kind of battery or non-carbon fuel they might use. Just like air conditioning by Tesla, for example, that doesn’t use compressors or belts. Again, the market a multibillion dollar market untapped) has nothing comparable because this blending of renewable energy, information, and technology is the new reality.

    We as consumers and potential investors and people concerned about effectively addressing climate change need to realize that we need to think differently about the blending of energy, information, and technology. It’s not about the individual using different light bulbs or single use plastics or any other diverting concern about a few insignificant individual behaviours (guess who funded these ads to convince us we could ‘do our part’ and feel good rather than mandate a change to the energy system that has long known to be toxic to life on this planet, widespread misinformation like our individual ‘carbon footprint’…. yup… oil and gas companies) but understanding that we are living through the front end of a systemic change in energy production. That’s now business-as-usual.

    I could be wrong but I suspect Tesla is the new Google, the new Apple, the new Microsoft of energy companies that will fully replace internal combustion engines and all the products associated with this archaic form of energy. It’s already all about renewables and electricity is the natural fit. The sooner our local authorities grasp how to play their part in this new age, the sooner we can help build our legacy away from being the worst generation ever.

    • Tildeb, thanks for the detailed update. One of the least highlighted things that happened at the Paris Climate Change Conference, is a group of 180 companies signed an agreement called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. To your point, it is a multi-faceted way of thinking of better energy and technology solutions.

      What got little press here is Tesla built a battery storage facility in south Australia to store electricity produced by a French company’s solar panel design to power the entire territory. French, American and Australian groups came together to do this and power the whole territory.

      To a point you made, people should know about these things, but do not. Too many Americans, do not read or watch reputable news sources. Too many focus on sports news or entertainment news. So, their browser feeds look a lot different than yours or mine. Too many may rely on social media or worse yet, the president, who does not let facts interfere with what he wants to say.

      So, yes they should know, but many don’t. This is why I blog – to keep my sanity and to try to get the word out. I also send out select posts to various email groups including folks that may not agree with me. Many thanks for your thoughts. Keith

    • Thanks David. We need to get the word out and celebrate these changes. I just learned from the head of regional group called Clean Air Carolinas that another electric vehicle company has opened a plant in Greenville, SC, about 90 miles from Charlotte. These changes are happening because they are smart business decisions, as well as good for the environment. Keith

      • David, here is the paragraph from the Executive Director at Clean Air Carolinas.

        “Arrival joins electric bus manufacturer, Proterra, in Greenville, SC as part of a growing hub of clean transportation companies locating in South Carolina and increasing the number of green economy jobs.”


      • I bought a LEAF when first available in 2011. I really liked it… until someone t-boned me in an intersection and totaled it. I then bought a gas car, thinking that I might want more range (the LEAF got about 80/miles per charge) once I retired. HATED THE GAS CAR! Then, in 2019, I went electric again. I got a Hyundai Kona and love, love it. It has about a 270/mile per-charge range, which is plenty. And, yes, I have a charging station in our garage. I spend maybe $10/month to get a full charge. An electric car is perfect for my lifestyle and driving habits.

      • Janis, thanks for the information. My wife has Hyundai Sonata, so we like their cars. We will need to check it out. Keith

  2. Two thumbs up for Arrival! I agree that we need more media coverage of things like this, and renewable energy facilities that are creating thousands of jobs, but we never hear about them. Why? Do the fossil fuel lobbyists pay the major media outlets to suppress such news? Makes me wonder. Anyway, thanks for sharing the good news!

    • Jill, indeed. As I mentioned to Tildeb, your and my browser will look different from someone who looks to Fox news more than we do. So, stories like this will not be front or second page, unless a conservative outlet covers it. The algorithms show you what you like to click on, so if one is “climate change is a hoax,” then that stuff will show up. So, yes we should know, but many do not. The best hope is on the national news shows that draw a more diverse audience.


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