Governor Cooper Highlights Transition to Clean Transportation Future | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper spoke at the North Carolina Medium- and Heavy-Duty (MHD) Electric Vehicle State Policy Bootcamp and Showcase hosted by the Electrification Coalition to highlight the importance of electrifying MHD vehicles in North Carolina.

    "North Carolina has already made great progress in electric vehicle manufacturing, and we're well-positioned to be at the head of the global market transition to zero-emission vans, buses and trucks," Governor Cooper said. "We'll continue working with businesses and manufacturers across the state to strengthen our economy, create jobs and confront the climate crisis."

    North Carolina has seen great progress in the clean energy sector this year. As the state continues to lead the way in the transition to a clean energy economy, here are some of the ways Governor Cooper is creating good paying jobs, strengthening the state and helping protect the planet for generations to come:

    Executive Order 271 highlights North Carolina's transition to clean transportation

    On October 25, 2022, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 271 directing swift action to accelerate the state's transition to a clean energy economy that creates good jobs and opportunities for all North Carolinians while protecting public health and the environment.

    N&O: With executive order, Cooper seeks to up zero-emission trucks and buses on NC roads

    Brian Gordon - October 25, 2022

    Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order [...] that could pave the way for more electric trucks, buses and vans to roll across the state.

    Executive Order 271 establishes the North Carolina Advanced Clean Trucks program, which will require manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty (MHD) vehicles to make an increasing percentage of their North Carolina fleets zero-emission starting by 2025.


    "North Carolina is already a national hub for truck and bus manufacturing and supply chain development, and we should not miss the opportunity to lead the market-driven transition already underway to cleaner and increasingly cheaper zero-emission technologies that benefit our economy and our communities," Cooper said.

    [The] executive order builds on previous actions put forward by Cooper, including Executive Order 246, which was signed early this year. That order called for DOT to develop a plan to help the state invest in electric vehicle infrastructure like charging stations and increase adaptation.


    Wolfspeed announces $5 billion in investments in Chatham County

    In September 2022, Governor Cooper announced that Wolfspeed, Inc., a leading manufacturer of Silicon Carbide semiconductors, will create more than 1,800 new jobs in Chatham County by 2030. The company will invest approximately $5 billion over the next eight years, another milestone in the drive toward a clean energy economy that will boost electric vehicle manufacturing and offshore wind while fighting climate change and putting money in the pockets of every day North Carolinians. This is the largest economic development investment in North Carolina's history.

    WRAL TechWire: Wolfspeed announces $5 billion investment in Chatham County, largest in NC history

    September 9, 2022

    Wolfspeed will build a new semiconductor plant at a 400-acre site in Chatham County with an estimated investment of $5 billion and a commitment to create more than 1,800 jobs paying $77,000 a year on average. [...]

    Semiconductor chips are a key part of most electrotonic devices used today.

    The investment over time stands to be the largest in North Carolina history, exceeding the $4.5 billion commitment by automaker VinFast to build a plant. That investment is also going to Chatham County.

    There was palpable excitement among state and local leaders during a formal announcement outside the Governor's mansion in downtown Raleigh.


    Leaders called this deal game changing and were especially excited about Wolfspeed's ability to produce electronic parts used in electric cars.

    "Of all the places that Wolfspeed could go, it has picked North Carolina," said Gov. Roy Cooper during a press conference announcing the news. "When you think about having a talented, educated, diverse workforce, that is what these companies of the future want. And North Carolina can provide it."


    The EIC agreement also requires Wolfspeed to retain all its employees already located in North Carolina.

    Wolfspeed is also committed to hiring Black engineers through a partnership with North Carolina A&T.


    NC TOWERS continues efforts to bring offshore wind to North Carolina

    The potential for reliable, affordable offshore wind energy in North Carolina that grows the economy and benefits North Carolina's environment has never been stronger. In June 2021, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 218, establishing North Carolina's offshore wind development goals and establishing the NC TOWERS taskforce. N.C. Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS) held meetings throughout 2022 for community members and stakeholders to advise on programs and policies for developing offshore wind energy projects, foster industry relationships throughout the offshore wind supply chain and advance opportunities for equitable access to the economic benefits created by the offshore wind industry.

    Salisbury Post: Cooper takes look at wind turbines off the coast of Virginia

    August 4, 2022

    Gov. Roy Cooper joined Dominion Energy CEO Robert M. Blue to observe Dominion Energy wind turbines off the coast of Virginia [...] and he addressed the third North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS) meeting in Elizabeth City.

    "The potential for reliable, affordable offshore wind energy in North Carolina that grows our economy and benefits our environment has never been stronger," Cooper said. "The economy is rapidly embracing clean energy and seeing the wind turbines up close underscores how investing in this exciting industry will bring tremendous opportunities to combat climate change, power homes and businesses, and put money in the pockets of North Carolina families.


    The third NC TOWERS meeting was held for community members and stakeholders to advise on programs and policies for developing offshore wind energy projects, foster industry relationships throughout the offshore wind supply chain and advance opportunities for equitable access to the economic benefits created by the offshore wind industry.


    VinFast creates 7,500 jobs in Chatham County

    North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of the country's emerging, clean energy economy. In March 2022, Governor Cooper announced that VinFast, a Vietnamese auto manufacturer building a new line of electric vehicles, has selected North Carolina for its first North American automotive assembly and battery manufacturing plant, creating 7,500 jobs and investing up to $2 billion in Chatham County. This transformative project will bring many good jobs to North Carolina, along with a healthier environment as more electric vehicles take to the road to help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    WRAL TechWire: Automaker VinFast to invest $4B in Chatham County assembly plant, lands $1.25B incentive package

    Jason Parker - March 29, 2022

    North Carolina has landed its first major automotive plant, as automaker VinFast will invest at least $4 billion in Chatham County to build the company's first North American assembly plant.

    An electric battery assembly operation will follow the initial phase, which the company said would enable it to produce as many as 200,000 electric SUVs each year, once operational, thanks to the work of some 7,500 workers expected to be hired at the facility.

    North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the project as a "historic and groundbreaking" one that will "strengthen our economy by bringing even more good-paying jobs to our state" at a press conference earlier [...].

    VinFast will invest at least $4 billion and employ at least 7,500 workers, said Governor Cooper.

    "VinFast will bring North Carolina's first automotive plant, second electric battery plant," said Cooper, adding that thousands of direct and indirect jobs would also come to the state's economy. "They chose to build their first North American factory right here in North Carolina."


    The project is expected to add more than $500 million in net state revenue, according to an analysis conducted by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

    President Joe Biden issued a statement about the investment, as well, noting that the company's $4 billion "electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina" will "create more than 7,000 jobs and hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles and batteries."


    The VinFast deal comes a little more than three months after Toyota announced it would invest $1.29 billion in Randolph County to build the company's first North American electric battery plant.


    Executive Order 246 affirms North Carolina's commitment to a clean energy economy

    In January 2022, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 246 affirming North Carolina's commitment to a clean energy economy, directing the Department of Transportation to convene public and private stakeholders to develop a clean transportation plan and directing next steps in the state's plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in a way that will provide good jobs and a healthy environment for families across the state. This order is helping assess North Carolina's progress in reducing climate pollution, directing ways to curb environmental injustices, increasing clean transportation options and building more resilient communities.

    WFAE: Gov. Roy Cooper order boosts NC's climate goals and targets environmental injustice

    David Boraks - January 7, 2022

    A [...] executive order from Governor Roy Cooper sets more ambitious goals for fighting climate change across the state and calls for new efforts to limit environmental injustice.

    In a ceremony at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, Cooper signed Executive Order 246. It's the latest in a series of orders since 2018 that aim at various aspects of climate change, from climate planning to electric vehicles to offshore wind energy.

    Cooper called it "another important step to increase the goals of greenhouse gas reductions, move more quickly to clean transportation, and to curb environmental injustices that affect our most vulnerable communities."


    "We know that a lot of people in marginalized communities, communities of color, live in places that are most impacted by climate change," Cooper said. He said the state first wants to recognize that, and then figure out how to fund projects that will help make these communities more resilient.

    He suggested resilience may not be enough in some cases. "There may need to be retreat and rebuilding of these communities," he said.

    "This executive order does not have all of the answers," Cooper said. "But what we found out in this process before (is) massive stakeholder engagement, can get us to a better place."

    Environmental and social justice groups applauded the order, saying it will speed up the state's fight against climate change while also ensuring it doesn't affect some groups unfairly.


    Read the full text here.

    Contact: Mary Scott Winstead

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email:
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