Volcon preps for new dirt bike production space, HQ in Liberty Hill – Austin Business Journal – Austin Business Journal
Volcon Inc., the fast-growing all-electric power sports company that went public in October, is targeting an early 2023 opening for a 70-acre headquarters campus in Liberty Hill as it aims to meet market demand.
CEO Jordan Davis said Volcon (Nasdaq: VLCN), currently based in Round Rock, is looking to break ground on the site at 18587 State Highway 29 early next year. The site, which includes cedar and oak trees, a dry creek bed and running river and a vast trail network, will have a test track and multiple manufacturing and administrative buildings.
Davis said it will be built in phases, starting with a 40,000-square foot manufacturing facility and followed shortly by an administrative facility that potentially could be as big as two stories and 30,000 square feet. Davis said the company, which now has 50 employers, could reach a headcount of 200 by the end of 2022.
“There’s a lot of efficiency to be had to roll prototypes — roll finished vehicles — out the backcourt and go right out to our 70-plus acres,” he said. “We also have a plan on having a test track on that site, so it gives us plenty of room to do that while still having room to expand our manufacturing footprint in the future.”
Based on its Dec. 3 closing share price of $13.26, Volcon had a market capitalization of about $150 million, according to Google Finance.
The project would mark a large influx of employees for Liberty Hill, the small city northwest of Austin that many think is primed for rapid population growth. It had an estimated population of 3,646 in 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Davis said Volcon leaders were drawn to the city because of its location, growing workforce and a great working with relationship so far with city staffers.
“So far they’ve been really hospitable,” he said, adding that the Liberty Hill site is owned by the company’s founders and will be leased to the company.
In the meantime, Volcon announced Nov. 29 that it is expanding its footprint at its current leased site in Round Rock. The company has grown its footprint in the Round Rock business park from one building to three to accommodate an influx of demand.
The current campus includes one building for production, assembly and service; one for marketing, sales and engineering; and a third for warehousing and accounting. Davis added that they’ve had to seek out third-party logistics to source inventory.
Volcon is riding a wave of increased interest in electric vehicles, which coincides with a significant wave of EV investment in the Central Texas economy, from the $1.1 billion Tesla plant rising east of Austin to the growth of Ayro Inc., a Round Rock-based maker of light-duty work EVs.
Volcon delivered its first product, an electric dirt bike called the Grunt, to customers on Sept. 15, less than one year after the company was founded.
Davis said he didn’t think they would have this fast of growth, but said they had “high hopes.”
“It’s been a great ride. … I think we thought between our initial manufacturing facility and our initial administrative site, we would have enough room. We quickly found we needed to add a third building,” he said.
The company’s revenue for the three and nine months that ended Sept. 30 was $75,000, according to a Nov. 15 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company’s net loss for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30 was $5.9 million and $25.3 million, respectively, and loss per share was $2.55 and $11.95, according to the filings.
In its filing, Volcon said U.S. customers have made deposits for 277 of its two-wheel Grunts, which are primarily intended for off-road recreational rides and don’t require a motorcycle license. That totals about $1.8 million in down payments.
The company is also working on its Runts, which are slightly smaller and sized for kids ages 7 to 14. The Runt communicates with an app that parents can use to control acceleration and speed, along with geo-fencing that disengages the bike when it goes out of range. The company reported deposits for five of the Runts.
The company also has plans for four-wheeled vehicles. That includes the Stag, which will be launched later next year, as well as the Beast, which is its largest planned utility terrain vehicles that will have 3,000-pound towing capabilities. That’s planned for late 2023.
Davis said he thinks a lot of that early success has been based on the fact that “we are on the edge of the technology curve and the age of the trend curve.”
“We’re definitely seeing excitement in the marketplace beyond what we had expected,” Davis said, adding that they have already surpassed a goal of 20 dealers in the first year. “It’s an exciting time for us. We’re riding the coattails from the marketplace and EV in general.”
He called the company’s workforce “fantastic,” noting they took it from just an idea to shipping the company’s first product in 11 months: “That’s pretty amazing.”