SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. (WHTM)– The electric vehicle revolution has become a big economic deal for some regions throughout the eastern united states, and now you can add the Midstate to that list.
In this case, we’re talking about construction vehicles, although they have some important things in common with electric cars and SUVs.
One of the things you can find is a big new Volvo production plant and training center in Shippensburg.
“Our customers depend on us,” Vice President of Marketing for Volvo North America Dave Foster said.
And why did Volvo decide to depend on Shippensburg?
“It’s with Shippensburg University and with Shippensburg High School that that’s the future talent that we aim to hopefully bring into our industry and provide them with that future,” Scott Young of Volvo’ construction equipment said.
In other words, both benefit from and create a skilled workforce.
There was also a ribbon cutting, but if you listen to the numbers its not just any ordinary ribbon cutting.
“This is now a 40,000 square foot facility and it’s a little over a $7 million investment that we’ve just completed here in south central Pa., and at our North American headquarters here in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania,” Foster said.
They’re making this electric asphalt compactor the first Volvo electric machine to be built anywhere in America. Not something most of us will ever buy personally although it has some basic things in common with consumer electric vehicles.
“One of the interesting things about this is we’re using the exact same ccs one plug that you would have on your automobile or truck here in North America,” Vice President of Sustainability Ray Gallant said.
Gallant is in charge of sustainability for Volvo.
“Battery type battery, that’s the fastest way of charging a battery pack,” Gallant said. “The machine and the plug have a handshake that says, this is the right voltage. This is my state of charge.”
“And with that we do need to bring in skilled talent,” Young said.
And that’s why production is only half the point of the new facility. It’s also a giant training center for people from all over. They’re going to come here and learn about the equipment.
There’s some federal money backing all this – Volvo expecting to get about a $1,000,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.