After Ford Motor Company announced its new 3,600-acre Blue Oval Mega-campus in Tennessee, a one-stop facility that will include vehicle assembly, battery production, and a supplier park, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said, “West Tennessee is primed to deliver the workforce and quality of life needed to create the next great American success story with Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation.” He went on to say, “This is a watershed moment for Tennesseans as we lead the future of the automotive industry and advanced manufacturing.”
The Tennessee Governor wasn’t just blowing smoke. According to a story in the Oakridger, nearly 20,000 Tennesseans are employed by companies that are involved with EVs. Those numbers will increase as the state has actively embraced EV automakers and has sought to become a major player in EV supply chains in the US.
The Oakridger has summarized the EV investments in Tennessee and here are the highlights:
- As noted, Ford Motor Company has announced a $5.6 billion investment to create a “mega-campus” northeast of Memphis to develop and produce a new generation of electric trucks and electric vehicle batteries
- In Chattanooga, Volkswagen has built its first North American EV manufacturing facility. The project was announced in early 2019 with an $800 million investment. VW will create 1000 jobs in Hamilton County
- General Motors has invested more than $4.3 billion during the last 18 months in Spring Hill to manufacture electric cars and EV batteries
- GM announced the construction of a $2.3 million Ultium Cells electric battery facility in partnership with South Korea's LG Energy Solutions. The facility is expected to open in late 2023
- GM will invest $2 billion in the Cadillac Lyriq, it's new electric luxury SUV at the Spring Hill plant
- The Nissan factory in Smyrna builds the Maxima, LEAF, Pathfinder, Rogue, INFINITI QX60, and the Murano brands and Nissan plans to build a battery factory
- In East Tennessee, Japan-based industry supplier DENSO has invested $1 billion to create and expand more than 1,000 manufacturing jobs as it supplies EV makers
- US owned-and-operated Microvast Power Solutions has selected Clarksville as the place where it will manufacture electric vehicle batteries, primarily for use in commercial vehicles.
- An EV investment by metal stamping and welding specialist Gestamp of $94.7 million has been made in its Chattanooga plant
- Sese Industrial Services is building a 300,000 square-foot axle assembly plant in Chattanooga to build axles for Volkswagen EVs
Tennessee has positioned itself, through business and tax incentives and a pro-EV industry attitude as a leader in the manufacturing side of the electrification of transportation. As more companies locate their EV activities in the state, it entices other companies to join them—developing infrastructure and the workforce for the specific manufacturing needs of EVs is a lot easier if you aren’t continually redeveloping the wheel.
Kevin Clemens is a Senior Editor with Battery Technology.