EV supplier CelLink secures $362M federal loan for factory in Georgetown

Written by


Published on

Apr 29th, 2024

Tesla is reportedly among the company’s customers

CelLink Corp., the reported Tesla Inc. supplier that opened its 295,000-square-foot factory in Georgetown last year, has completed the requirements for a $362 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, according to an April 24 announcment.

The Silicon Valley-based company, which makes light-weight flex harnesses essential to electric vehicle assembly, had been conditionally approved for the loan last May. Officials said the money will be used to reimburse construction of the facility at 110 Wittera Way that was initially billed as a $130 million project.

It also will be used for expansion as the company ramps up to 1,300 jobs — and potentially 2,000 in the future. The company said on April 24 that it currently has more than 200 employees.

“We are extremely appreciative of the federal government’s support as we ramp up this new flex harness technology,” CelLink CEO Kevin Coakley said in an April 24 statement. “We are not only excited about the ability of our products to make vehicles lighter and more efficient; we are also excited to re-shore over a thousand jobs in an industry that has largely been moved out of the United States.”

CelLink offered a glimpse into the plant last September. At the time, five production lines had been built and two were in use, with roughly 40 employees working with machines to assemble the wire harnesses — essentially circuits used in electric vehicles and other products. Officials said the factory has space for 25 lines and eventually could make products for 11 million cars per year.

Jigar Shah, director of the Loan Programs Office within the U.S. Department of Energy, was at the opening and called the company’s growth impressive. The agency has played a key role in CelLink’s development and provided a grant to help it get started.

“There’s no doubt in our mind that the product works,” he said. “So I think our loan was really around figuring out how to get them to full production scale, so they could get their costs down and become a profitable company.”

Once fully operational, the facility is expected to produce enough wiring harnesses to support the manufacturing of nearly 3 million electric vehicles per year, federal officials said. The company has already produced enough for more than 1 million vehicles on the road. CelLink’s technology is used in other industries as well, such as aviation, aerospace, consumer electronics and appliances.

“EV sales have quadrupled since President Biden took office, reaching historic levels just last year and projected to hit new records for 2024, underscoring why it’s essential for the United States to harness manufacturing of all the key EV components,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement.

The Austin Business Journal first reported in December 2021 that CelLink was considering Georgetown for a factory. CelLink confirmed those plans in February 2022 and secured roughly $8 million worth of local financial incentives, including infrastructure and job creation grants and property tax abatements. It is taking an entire building in Gateway35, one of two large industrial parks being developed in Georgetown by Titan Development Ltd.

CelLink could become Georgetown’s largest private-sector employer if it reaches its goal of hiring 2,000 people. The company is reportedly a supplier of Tesla, although CelLink executives have never confirmed that relationship and Tesla is notorious for nondisclosure agreements. But CelLink executives have previously said they chose Georgetown to be closer to customers, and Tesla operates its new gigafactory in eastern Travis County, about 30 miles away.

The company was founded in 2012 by Coakley and Malcolm Brown. It has raised $315 million in private funding to date, with investors including 3M Ventures, Atreides, BMW, BorgWarner, Bosch, D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity, Fontinalis Partners, Ford, Franklin Templeton, Lear, Park West, SK Telecom, Standard Investments, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Tinicum Venture Partners and Whale Rock Capital.

Click here for the article source.

Subscribe for Updates

Discover the latest in Williamson County. We’ll keep you updated with news, events and more.

Grow in Williamson County

Find out more by scheduling a call with us.