Japanese battery technology company AESC has started construction on a new 30-GWh electric vehicle battery plant in Florence County, South Carolina.
The 1.5 million-square-foot plant is expected to start operations in 2026, creating 1,170 new jobs for the local community, the company says. The facility will be powered entirely by clean energy.
The new facility complements AESC’s existing manufacturing network in the U.S., which includes a plant in Tennessee and another under construction in Kentucky. Together, these plants are expected to provide up to 70 GWh capacity annually, supporting the shift to electric vehicles with domestically produced batteries and components.
"AESC’s significant investment in our community will offer unique career opportunities for our citizens and economic growth to our local community," Florence Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin said. "We are honored to participate in today’s groundbreaking and look forward to working with our community members and stakeholders to ensure AESC’s success here in Florence.”
The Florence site supports AESC’s partnership with BMW Group, which was announced in October 2022. Under the agreement, the company will supply advanced battery cells for BMW’s next-generation electric vehicle models manufactured at the automaker’s facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
These advanced battery cells will offer 20 percent higher energy density than the current generation, resulting in reduced charging time and increased range and efficiency by 30 percent, AESC says.
The company plans to implement renewable energy generation, carbon management and reduction software, and a battery recycling system to achieve carbon neutrality across the entire battery value chain.
AESC notes it is also dedicated to sourcing responsible materials for its batteries and providing transparency regarding extraction methods. By increasingly relying on recycled materials, it aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cell production at the new plant.
“This groundbreaking marks another major milestone in AESC’s commitment to investing in South Carolina and manufacturing electric vehicle batteries,” said AESC U.S. Managing Director Jeff Deaton. “AESC continues to be a global leader in developing next-generation EV battery technology, and we’re proud to be further growing our capacity to build those products in U.S. facilities, accelerating the transition to clean energy transportation.”
AESC is one of numerous companies announcing location of battery or components manufacturing plants in the U.S. in the wake of the tax credits offered through the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law last year. Some of those companies include LG Energy Solution, Panasonic Energy, Freyr Battery and others.