US agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere is building a production facility for Kreisel Electric batteries and fast chargers in Kernersville, North Carolina.

According to a US state announcement by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, John Deere Electric Powertrain will invest $69.6 million to build its North American headquarters and a new battery and charger plant in the town of Kernersville.

John Deere then plans to produce battery packs and Chimero charging technology from Kreisel Electric in a 115,000 square foot (10,684 square metre) space at the plant.

The factory construction will be supported by a $100,000 performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which “provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs.”

The criteria of the grant specify that no money will be transferred upfront and that the receiving company must “job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment”.

Chimero is the name of the fast-charging solution with integrated battery from Austrian company Kreisel Electric, in which John Deere had acquired a majority stake at the end of 2021.

In September 2022, Kreisel Electric had announced that it would expand its battery production capacities in two European locations by more than 2 GWh. At the time, another planned investment in the USA was mentioned, which has likely now been revealed.

“As the demand for electric solutions continues to increase, this strategic investment in growing our production capacity will help strengthen our position as an international battery technology leader. Within the evolving off-highway equipment market, we are prioritizing the development of a robust charging ecosystem and battery portfolio that can support and sustain the long-term adoption of electrification across a wide variety of applications,” said Pierre Guyot, Senior Vice President of John Deere Power Systems and Chairman of Kreisel Electric.

The US state of North Carolina has been picking up interest from the automotive world recently, as the Vietnamese startup VinFast announced that it had started construction of an EV factory in the state in July, while the Italian HPC company Alpitronic also decided to build its US headquarters in the state. Toyota is also planning to open a battery factory in 2025.

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