Wolfspeed has announced a $1 billion expansion which will triple its staff and see a world-first plant open.
The company held an opening ceremony Monday, April 25 in Marcy, New York, for a new manufacturing site.
The company says it will be the world’s “first, largest, and only” 200mm silicon carbide fabrication plant.
Chips made at the new facility will be used in automotive batteries for General Motors and Lucid Motors, a new player in electric vehicle production.
Wolfspeed’s plant currently employs about 200 people and will grow to 600 in the coming years. Lucid announced its partnership with the company at the opening ceremony.
The company claims its 2022 Lucid Air sedan will have the longest battery-only range of any electric vehicle on the market, thanks in part to Wolfspeed’s technology.
The Marcy manufacturing facility is Wolfspeed’s first step in a $1 billion expansion that will include additions to its Durham operation.
Rex Felton, Wolfspeed’s head of global operations, said the company employs more than 1,800 people in the Triangle between its headquarters at 4600 Silicon Drive and a manufacturing site in RTP.
Felton said: “And we probably are looking at doubling our space.
“I’d say the headcount numbers are certainly going up by hundreds.”
“We’ve seen this huge steepening of our demand curve for a lot of reasons.”
“One of them is there’s just a lot of demand because of the pandemic and supply chain. The other is there’s a lot of push to go to not just hybrid cars, but full battery-electric cars.”
Wolfspeed announced a partnership with General Motors last year, coinciding with the company’s name change from Cree, as the Detroit automaker increased its focus on electric vehicle development.
Felton said: “That’s a massive company and they’ve stated very clearly their intention to move more and more of their product to electrification.”
“We’re looking forward to playing very heavily in that.”
He said he could not identify other automakers besides GM and Lucid that have expressed interest in Wolfspeed’s products, but “all the major players are on the table.”
As Wolfspeed achieves new growth, Felton anticipates the company featuring prominently in EVs’ future ubiquity.