BMW electric vehicle battery supplier breaks ground on 30 GWh factory


AESC, a Japanese battery technology company, announced it has broken ground on a Florence, South Carolina manufacturing facility. The site will support the company’s multi-year supply agreement with BMW Group, one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers.

The 1.5 million square foot facility will host annual production of 30 GWh of EV batteries. Slated for commercial operations in 2026, the facility is expected to provide over 1,170 jobs.

Batteries produced at the plant will supply BMW’s Spartanburg, S.C. electric vehicle manufacturing site. The next-generation EV batteries produced at the AESC’s facility offer a 20% boost to energy density, while reducing charging time and increasing range and efficiency by 30% compared to current-generation batteries, said the company.

AESC said the new factory will be 100% powered by clean energy, leveraging net-zero technologies from its partners. The company said it will implement renewable energy generation, carbon management and reduction software, and a battery recycling system to accelerate carbon neutrality throughout the entire battery value chain. Furthermore, AESC committed to pursuing responsible sources for its critical battery materials, providing full transparency into extraction methods.

The 30 GWh factory builds on the company’s already large footprint on the U.S., bringing AESC’s total manufacturing capacity to 70 GWh for the U.S. market. Over the past 13 years, AESC has produced power batteries for more than 800,000 electric vehicles across 59 countries.

“Today, South Carolina is proud to celebrate AESC as the company embarks on a historic chapter in our state,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “Florence County has been ripe for an investment of this magnitude — one that will transform local communities and create generational wealth for South Carolinians. The groundbreaking for AESC’s battery cell gigafactory is a landmark moment in the evolution of South Carolina’s rapidly expanding electric vehicle industry.”

Individuals interested in joining the AESC team in Florence can visit a recruitment website to explore opportunities.

Manufacturers of clean energy components from across the world are increasingly targeting the U.S. market for production following the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which packs in considerable tax credits and other incentives to support a domestic supply chain. In addition to tax credits for producers, purchasers of electric vehicles are offered a tax credit of up to $7,500 for a new vehicle, and up to $4,000 for a used one.

The American Clean Power Association said in the first eight months following the passage of IRA, 46 clean energy manufacturing facilities were announced, bringing an expected 18,000 or more U.S. jobs. Across the 46 announced facilities, 26 are solar manufacturing sites, 10 are utility-scale battery storage factories, 10 are wind power fabrications, two of which are for offshore wind technology development.

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