Tritium opens first US EV fast-charger manufacturing facility in Tennessee

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By Louis Allen - 

Australia-founded electric vehicle (EV) fast charger manufacturer Tritium (NASDAQ: DCFC) has open the doors to its first US-based facility in Lebanon, Tennessee, as part of its expansion efforts across the US and other regions.

The Tennessee facility will host six production lines, with a production capacity of up to 30,000 DC fast-charger units per year at its peak, and more than 500 workers expected to be employed over the next five years.

Plans for the facility were announced in February this year, as the US Biden administration offered billions of dollars in incentives to help decarbonise the US economy and make its supply chains more self-reliant.

Tritium chief executive officer Jane Hunter said the new facility is a significant milestone for the company, as well as US EV drivers.

“As many as 35 million electric vehicles are expected to be in use by 2030 and those vehicles will require more powerful and convenient charging infrastructure,” she said.

“It’s crucial that America’s charging infrastructure is built right here in the US. Americans will rely on it to get to work, to school, to doctor’s appointments, and more.”

“It needs to be reliable, and it needs to be able to grow to meet their needs,” she added.

Through manufacturing the chargers in the US, Tritium aims to reduce supply chain and shipping delays, while also creating domestic employment.

Tritium’s Tennessee facility will produce six times the number of charger units than that of its biggest existing facility in Australia.

‘World-class’ Tennessee facility

Tritium chief operating officer Glen Casey said the newly opened facility is “world-class”.

“I’ve worked in manufacturing for more than 30 years and I can truly say that this new facility is world-class,” he said.

The facility will commence operations with the production of its RTM DC fast chargers, capable of charge speeds up to 75kW.

Tritium’s advanced DC fast charges work with all EVs, are compact, reliable and cost effective. The chargers also fulfil requirements for the newly enacted Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which offers US$370 billion for climate change initiatives to help reduce carbon emissions by around 40% by 2030.

Following initial charger production, the facility will manufacture the PKM150 models in 2023.

The PKM150 fast charge also meets Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Buy America Act standards, making it a candidate for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program funding.

The newer DC fast chargers provide more flexibility to owners as they can deliver charge rates of either 100kW or 150kW and up to four can be connected to one power cabinet.

Biden administration’s ‘Buy in America’ campaign

Through the opening of its first facility in the US, Tritium has joined US President Joe Biden’s green push.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Act secured US$7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, while through the IRA, the government will provide $7,500 in appropriations tax on cars assembled in North America.

Under the act, installation of 500,000 stations charging stations will take place across the country by 2030.

Consultancy firm McKinsey’s Philipp Kampshoff said 500,000 simply might not be enough.

“In a scenario in which half of all vehicles sold are zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030 — consistent with federal goals — we estimate America would need 1.2 million public EV chargers, and 28 million private EV chargers by that year,” he said.

“In total, the country would need nearly 20 times more chargers than it currently has.”

Today, there are now more than 2 million electric vehicles and 100,000 chargers on the road in the US.

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