Japanese Battery Maker Breaks Ground on $810M Gigafactory

Operations at the plant are expected to start in 2026.

EV charging stations

Image by PhonlamaiPhoto/iStockphoto.com

AESC, a major Japanese manufacturer of batteries, including those for electric vehicles, has broken ground on a 1.5 million-square-foot, 30 GWh battery cell gigafactory in Florence County, S.C.

The manufacturer’s total investment will be $810 million, a spokesperson for Florence County Economic Development told Commercial Property Executive.

The construction address for the greenfield site is 1300 Estate Road. The spokesperson said a new boulevard road will be constructed off Highway 327, roughly 2 miles to the east of the site, to provide access to the property.

Of potential relevance is that the location is only about a mile from both Florence Regional Airport and the CSX Florence Division rail yard.

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Operations at the plant are expected to start in 2026 and to create 1,170 new jobs for the community.

The new 30 GWh battery plant extends AESC’s battery manufacturing network, which includes a plant in operation in Tennessee and another plant under construction in Kentucky. All together and on completion, AESC’s U.S. plants will provide up to 70 GWh capacity annually.

The Florence facility will also support AESC’s multi-year partnership with BMW Group. Under the October 2022 agreement, AESC will supply battery cells for next-generation EV models produced at BMW’s Spartanburg plant.

AESC (formerly Envision AESC) is a Japan-headquartered global battery technology company engaged in the research, development, design, manufacturing and sale of power batteries for EVs and energy storage systems. In 2022, AESC was again named among the “Global Tier 1 Battery Companies” by Benchmark, a leading U.K.-based lithium-ion battery supply chain research organization.

Battery boom

The EV battery sector has been growing like crazy across the U.S. in recent months—and especially in the Sun Belt. Just since May 1:

  • Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solutions announced plans to build a $4.3 billion EV plant near Savannah, Ga., starting later this year;
  • Form Energy broke ground on a $760 million, 750,000-square-foot battery plant in Weirton, W.Va.;
  • Anovion announced that it will build an $800 million plant in Decatur County, Ga., to produce synthetic graphite anode material for EV batteries.

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