Japanese battery player Envision AESC plans to invest some $810 million to build a battery gigafactory in Florence, South Carolina. The 1.5 million-square-foot plant will produce batteries to power the BMW Group’s next-generation EVs. By 2030, BMW plans to produce at least six fully electric models at its plant in Spartanburg.
The investment marks the next step in a multi-year partnership with BMW. Envision AESC says its next-gen battery cells will offer 20% more energy density than the current generation.
The Florence facility will be located in an 870-acre Technology and Commerce Park, close to I-95 and the Inland Port Dillon logistics facility. South Carolina is an auto industry hot spot these days—home to 500 automotive companies, according to Envision. State government support for the new plant included a $135-million grant, plus $70 million in economic development bonds to support off-site infrastructure and a training center.
Envision’s new gigafactory is expected to have an annual production capacity of 30 GWh. Together with an existing battery plant in Tennessee and a plant under construction in Kentucky, the new facility will bring AESC’s US production capacity to more than 70 GWh per year. AESC also has plans to build gigafactories in Douai, France; Sunderland, UK; Ibaraki, Japan and Extremadura, Spain. If and when all of these come online, AESC says it will have a global production capacity of 150 GWh per year. It hopes to reach a whopping 300 GWh by 2026.
AESC says its Florence facility will be powered by 100% net zero-carbon energy, and will use responsibly-sourced battery components such as cobalt, lithium and nickel. The company says it will provide full transparency of extraction methods, and will increase reliance on recycled materials. The company aims to achieve carbon neutrality across its supply chain by 2028.
“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,” said AESC US Managing Director Jeff Deaton. “South Carolina already has an outstanding automotive footprint, and…this new facility will put Florence at the forefront of the US’s EV transformation.”
Source: Envision AESC