News | December 06 2022
Original Release by South Carolina Department of Commerce.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Envision AESC, a world-leading Japanese electric vehicle battery technology company, along with Governor Henry McMaster, announced today it will build a state-of-the-art battery cell gigafactory in Florence County. The $810 million investment will create 1,170 new jobs and will support the company’s multi-year partnership with the BMW Group.
“South Carolina has been an automotive manufacturing powerhouse for over 30 years, and Envision AESC’s decision to establish operations in Florence County and to create jobs for thousands of South Carolinians shows that we will continue to be one for years to come,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “We have the workforce, business friendly environment, and the willingness to adapt to industry’s innovation necessary to ensure that companies that choose to do business here will find the success they’re looking for.”
As part of the partnership announced in October, AESC will supply technology-leading battery cells to be used in the next generation electric vehicle models produced at the BMW Group’s Plant Spartanburg. The advanced battery format will result in 20% more energy density than the current generation, reduce charging time and increase range and efficiency for electric vehicles by 30%.
Aligning with the company’s global commitment to sustainability, the new, 30GWh manufacturing plant will be powered by 100% net zero carbon energy. AESC leverages leading net-zero system solutions from across the business, including renewable energy generation, carbon reduction through artificial intelligence of things energy management systems and battery recycling to accelerate carbon neutrality across the whole battery value chain. The company is also committed to pursuing responsible sources for its critical battery components – cobalt, lithium and nickel – providing full transparency of extraction methods and increasing reliance on recycled materials, which will contribute to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from cell production in the new plant.
AESC Group CEO Shoichi Matsumoto said, “Our partnership with Florence County, South Carolina is part of our next phase battery strategy to power next generation EVs in the U.S. This facility is another milestone on our journey to building an electrification network in the U.S and strengthens our commitment to grow the electrification supply chain while providing high value jobs for the community for years to come. We are making good progress on our ambition to create high-performance, longer-range batteries for a diverse range of automotive manufacturers worldwide to support the EV transition and we’re excited to bring Florence County on this journey with us.”
Located in an 870 acre Technology and Commerce Park in Florence, with convenient proximity to the interstate and Inland Port Dillon, the Florence plant will encompass approximately 1.5 million square feet. The new battery plant builds on AESC’s existing United States network that includes a battery manufacturing plant in Tennessee and a plant under construction in Kentucky. Collectively, when complete, these plants will provide up to 70GWh capacity nationally and power the United States’ shift to electric vehicles.
Individuals interested in joining the AESC team should visit readySC’s recruitment website to explore opportunities. Companies interested in becoming a supplier for the company should complete S.C. Commerce’s online interest form.
AESC U.S. Managing Director Jeff Deaton said, “The new plant will produce technology-leading battery cells for BMW Group’s Plant Spartanburg and create 1,170 new high-value jobs in the region when at full capacity. South Carolina already has an outstanding automotive footprint, and we are delighted to offer new jobs in the high growth electrification segment, to attract and retain the state's highly skilled workforce. The addition of this new facility will put Florence at the forefront of the United States’ EV transformation and will help attract future investment in the region.”
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development, after review and comment by the Joint Bond Review Committee, awarded a $135 million Closing Fund grant to Florence County to assist with costs related to the project, and the state authorized the issuance of up to $70 million in state general economic development bonds to offset the costs of off-site infrastructure and a training center to support the project.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development also awarded job development credits related to this project.
“Today’s announcement by Envision AESC in Florence County reinforces the state’s commitment to driving the future of the automotive industry. South Carolina is charged and ready to support Envision AESC’s accelerated growth within our borders.”
-Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III
“What a landmark moment for our community as we welcome Envision AESC to Florence County. This project represents one of the largest announcements in the history of Florence County. The creation of 1,170 new full-time jobs will provide transformational career opportunities for our citizens.”
-Florence County Council Chair Willard Dorriety
“We celebrate Envision AESC’s decision to locate their newest battery facility in Florence. The successful attraction of an automotive giant like Envision AESC is a testament to the pro-business environment found here in Florence. We know the company’s presence will improve the quality of life for our citizens and neighbors in the decades to come.”
-Florence Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin
“The North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) is excited to welcome Envision AESC to Florence County. This is a monumental announcement that will transform our region. We appreciate the efforts of the local development team in recruiting Envision AESC to the NESA region and the State of South Carolina.”
-NESA Executive Committee Chairman Yancey McGill
“This historic announcement is further proof that South Carolina continues to be a prime location for advanced manufacturing operations. The Envision AESC plant won’t just manufacture electric vehicle battery components, but will be transformational for the economy of this part of the state. Affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is a key component to recruiting and retaining operations like this to the Palmetto State, and Duke Energy looks forward to serving our new neighbors in Florence County for many years to come.”
–Duke Energy South Carolina President Mike Callahan
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