VinFast, the Vietnamese EV maker, announced on Friday that it has received one of the required environmental permits from North Carolina regulators to construct a $4 billion EV assembly plant in the state. The subsidiary of Vingroup has been striving to expand its operations in the United States and challenge existing automakers. VinFast received an "Air Permit," according to the automaker, and is still awaiting other permits for the Chatham Country factory, but it will initiate a construction tender. "The Air Permit allows us to start construction on phase 1 of the factory. We will start construction soon," said VinFast in a statement, although no timeframe was specified. VinFast plans to start operations at the North Carolina facility, which is expected to create over 7,000 jobs, by 2024.