Envision AESC, a world-leading Japanese EV battery technology company, along with Gov. McMaster, announced 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.
Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III stated, “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.”
Florence County Council Chair Willard Dorriety said, “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.”
NESA Executive Committee Chairman Yancey McGill stated, “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.”
About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.
About Envision AESC
Envision AESC is a global battery technology company headquartered in Zama, Japan, and committed to research, development, design, manufacturing and sales of power batteries for EVs and energy storage batteries. AESC has 5,600 employees and 12 manufacturing sites in Japan, U.S., U.K., France, Spain and China. In the past 12 years, AESC has produced power batteries for more than 800,000 electric vehicles in 59 countries, achieving a record of ‘zero critical battery malfunction.’
Its teams work to continuously improve the company’s global leadership in product development, quality and sustainable processes. In June 2021, AESC was again named ‘Global Tier 1 Battery Companies’ by Benchmark, a leading UK-based lithium-ion battery supply chain research organization. Visit https://www.envision-aesc.com/jp/.
Senior Director International Communications
+44 7379 340101