Vicinity Motor Corp. (VMC), a North American supplier of commercial electric vehicles, hosted the grand opening ceremony of its 100,000-square-foot campus in Ferndale, Washington.
With an annual assembly capacity of up to 850 low- and zero-emission buses and 6,250 Class 3 all-electric trucks, the state-of-the-art facility will immediately start cutting into VMC’s order backlog of more than $150 million, which includes recent deals with Lafarge Canada, Transdev and Pioneer Auto Group.
“Strong demand for our newest EV, the VMC 1200 electric commercial truck, is being driven by municipal, landscaping, transportation, shipping and logistics leaders that are seeking to reduce costs and carbon emissions while running more efficient fleets,” said VMC Chief Executive Officer Will Trainer. “With light- and medium-duty EV inventories across North America projected to top one million by 2030 and six million by 2040, I’m excited to see our business firing on all cylinders, and am immensely proud of the work our team has put into designing and building a world-class manufacturing facility.”
In addition to assembly and upfitting, the Ferndale campus will be used to conduct pre-delivery inspections, research and development and general technical and servicing work. Current Vicinity vehicle models that can be assembled include:
- VMC 1200: Powered by cutting-edge Li-Ion battery technology that provides approximately 100 kWh of power, this ultra-quiet Class 3 electric truck can travel up to 150 miles/240 kilometres fully loaded on a single charge.
- Vicinity Classic and Lightning: Running on electric, compressed natural gas (CNG) or clean-diesel powertrains, these mid-size buses are proving popular among transit operators seeking reliability and durability.
While speaking at the grand opening, Washington Governor Jay Inslee applauded VMC for helping to diversify the state economy, supporting fleet operators’ decarbonization initiatives, and providing new employment opportunities for families in the region.
Less than 20 miles south of VMC’s headquarters in Aldergrove, B.C., the campus will also improve access to nearby port, rail and truck shipping and receiving infrastructure. After being awarded a $300,000 economic development strategic reserve fund (SRF) grant to support VMC, the Port of Bellingham’s Port Commission President Michael Shepard said, “Vicinity Motors is a terrific addition to Whatcom County’s growing clean-tech economy. There is tremendous demand for electric buses in the United States and the sky is the limit for Vicinity."
To support the immediate ramp up of operations at Ferndale, VMC recently supplemented a $30-million credit facility with the Royal Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada (EDC) with a further $9-million working capital credit facility with EDC.
“By completing key hires and fully funding our new operations with non-dilutive debt financing, we’re in a prime position to scale quickly and accelerate our sales push across North America,“ said John LaGourgue, VMC’s Vice President of Corporate Development.