Building electric car part of Volvo’s multi-million SC plans

Volvo is making a multi-million dollar investment to expand its plant in South Carolina, where it will build electric cars.

On Wednesday, the car manufacturer announced plans for $118 million expansion at its facility in Ridgeville. That will be used to build the Polestar 3 battery electric vehicle, Volvo officials said in a news release.

There was no word if the investment will create any new jobs at Volvo’s South Carolina facility.

The “the fully-electric” Polestar 3, to be built on Volvo’s “next generation electric architecture,” will become the third vehicle built at the South Carolina plant, according to the release.

The Ridgeville plant currently produces the Volvo S60 luxury sedan for U.S. and export markets, officials said. Volvo officials previously said the XC90 luxury SUV was expected to begin production at the facility this year.

Before the Polestar 3 expansion happens, the plant is expected to produce up to 150,000 cars annually, officials said.

“Our South Carolina team has done a remarkable job producing the award-winning S60 and readying the plant for the next generation of electrified Volvo cars,” Volvo Senior Vice President of Industrial Operations & Quality Javier Varela said in the release. “Now, with the contract to produce the fully electric Polestar 3, we continue to expand our manufacturing operations for electrified vehicles.”

The $118 million expansion brings Volvo’s total investment in South Carolina to more than $1.2 billion, according to the release. The operation in Ridgeville was Volvo’s first American manufacturing site.

It encompasses 2.3 million square feet on 1,600 acres and includes a body shop, paint shop, final assembly facility, vehicle processing center, office building, officials said. Construction on the site started in 2015.

“We are proud to bring these new growth opportunities to Ridgeville and continue to grow our presence in the United States,” Volvo Senior Vice President, as well as Volvo Car Americas and President and CEO Anders Gustafsson said in the release.

Polestar is the Swedish electric performance brand launched by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding in 2017. It’s part of a wide-ranging collaboration between the Swedish and Chinese automotive groups that focuses on powertrains, electric vehicle architecture, joint procurement, autonomous drive technologies and sales, officials said.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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