Expansion to Detroit region enables XL Fleet to attract top automotive and commercial vehicle engineering talent
BOSTON – XL Fleet Corp., a leader in fleet electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, today celebrated the grand opening of its Fleet Electrification Technology Center in Wixom, MI, with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other legislative leaders of the state in attendance. Governor Whitmer joined XL Fleet CEO Dimitri Kazarinoff, Founder & President Tod Hynes, CTO and VP of Engineering Mike Kenhard, Wixom Mayor Patrick Beagle, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive VP Josh Hundt in a press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility. In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Governor Whitmer and XL Fleet executives offered remarks highlighting the importance of expanding the electrification of the commercial fleet industry while XL Fleet showcased its latest hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric drive solutions for popular vehicles from General Motors, Ford and Isuzu.
The formal unveiling of the Fleet Electrification Technology Center, which the Company first announced in March 2021, highlighted it’s plans to bring new green transportation jobs to Michigan, contributing to the state’s commitment to sustainability under Governor Whitmer. It was noted during the ceremony that the new facility currently includes 26 full time Michigan employees, including more than one dozen who have been hired since the beginning of 2021. The Company plans to expand its engineering team by 50% in 2021, with more than 50 jobs expected to be added at the facility over the next three years by capitalizing on the location’s strategic access to a wealth of automotive and commercial vehicle engineering talent within the region.
As the Biden administration continues to prioritize and promote the advancement of electric transportation, XL Fleet is positioned to play a valuable role in accelerating the adoption of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, as well as charging infrastructure, energy management and electrification as a service solutions for commercial fleets across the state of Michigan and the United States in the coming years.
As XL Fleet’s fourth U.S. location, the Fleet Electrification Technology Center is a state-of-the-art, nearly 25,000 square foot facility designed to help the Company more rapidly expand its suite of commercial fleet electrification solutions while meeting the growing demand for vehicle electrification throughout North America.
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“The grand opening of our Fleet Electrification Technology Center in Michigan marks a milestone for XL Fleet as we expand our footprint into this highly strategic location, positioning us to add capacity to the exceptional talent we already have in-house,” said XL Fleet CEO Dimitri Kazarinoff. “It is an honor to be joined by Governor Whitmer and other officials to help celebrate and inaugurate our first facility located in the country’s top region for automotive engineering innovation.”
XL Fleet Founder & President Tod Hynes added, “XL Fleet continues to reach milestones with our proven and growing product suite, strong strategic partnerships and world-class talent that will be enhanced through our new Michigan Fleet Electrification Technology Center. These milestones put XL Fleet in a unique position to not only capitalize on the industry’s shift to electrification, but to continue to help drive it.”
“This investment by XL Fleet will create nearly 50 good-paying, high-skill jobs and help us continue our economic jumpstart and put Michigan back to work,” said Governor Whitmer. “The new facility reinforces our reputation as the place that put the world on wheels, and a leader in the future of mobility and electrification. We’re excited to welcome XL Fleet to Michigan and look forward to the pathbreaking innovations that will be created right here in our state.”
The company qualified for a Michigan state incentive of up to $400,000 from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for the leased facility, a grant designed to encourage expansion into the state among growing businesses. “XL Fleet’s new R&D facility will drive new advancements in future mobility and further demonstrate that Michigan is the place where manufacturing and technology converge,” said MEDC Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President Josh Hundt. “This project aligns with our strategic focus on growing the mobility and electrification ecosystem in Michigan and fostering high-wage job growth. We’re pleased to work with our local partners to support XL Fleet’s investment.”
In addition, XL Fleet worked with MICHauto, the state’s automotive and mobility cluster association, on expanding into the facility. “MICHauto is very pleased to welcome XL Fleet to the Michigan automotive and technology community,” said Glenn Stevens, Executive Director for MICHauto. “XL Fleet has strategically located in the densest cluster of next-generation electrification technology, engineering, and advanced manufacturing in the world. The opportunity to utilize the talent, infrastructure, and quality of life across our state is unique to Michigan, and MICHauto looks forward to working with them to support their company’s growth. “