A Japanese manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles has plans to build a $2 billion “gigafactory” in Bowling Green that would employ 2,000 people in the south-central Kentucky city.
Gov. Andy Beshear and representatives from Envision AESC made the announcement Wednesday morning at the State Capitol in Frankfort. The company plans to build battery cells at a 3 million square foot facility in Bowling Green’s Kentucky Transpark.
“The scale of this project is like nothing our community has ever seen before,” Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said in a statement. “This announcement boasts the largest investment amount, job creation and facility size in our history. It’s phenomenal for the future of our region.”
As part of the announcement, the state will provide up to $116.8 million in incentives to Envision AESC. In addition, the company will qualify for up to $5 million in grant-in-aid funds for skills training. The incentives for the project were included in the budget lawmakers passed last month.
Beshear noted the $2 billion investment is the second-largest economic development project in the state’s history. It trails only Ford Motor Co.’s $5.8 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery plant announced last year. That facility will be built in Glendale, roughly an hour north of Bowling Green on Interstate 65.
State leaders see EV battery production as a critical part of Kentucky’s future in the automotive manufacturing industry, which already employs more than 100,000 residents at more than 500 facilities.
In “Auto Alley,” Kentucky ranks as the leading per capita manufacturer of cars, light trucks and sports utility vehicles. That’s thanks to two Ford plants in Louisville, a Toyota plant in Georgetown and a General Motors production facility in Bowling Green that makes the Chevrolet Corvette.
Landing Envision AESC will help make Kentucky more competitive for additional EV batteries production facilities. Including the “gigafactory,” which will generate 30 gigawatts per hour, the state’s production capacity will increase to a national-best 116 gigawatts per hour, Beshear said.
“This project shows the company’s bold vision for our collective future,” the governor said at Wednesday’s announcement. “And with this new EV battery factory, company leaders are betting their future on Kentucky and our very capable workforce. This is a story we’re getting used to hearing.”
Company officials said the plant would produce batteries for several electric vehicle manufacturers. It would be powered by 100% renewable energy provided by the TVA.
The 15-year-old company employs 4,000 workers in 10 factories in Japan, Great Britain, France and the United States. It expects the Bowling Green factory to supply 300,000 vehicles annually by 2027.
“This major investment builds on our commitment to the U.S. market, supports growth of the electrification supply chain and secures high-value jobs for future generations in the region,” Envision AESC CEO Shoichi Matsumoto said. “This commitment takes us one step further toward our ambition to make high-performance, longer-range batteries for a diverse range of automotive manufacturers worldwide to support the EV transition.”
This article was originally posted on Japanese company to build $2B EV battery plant in Bowling Green, create 2,000 jobs
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