BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear, along with state and local officials, joined executives from Envision AESC to break ground on a $2 billion state-of-the-art electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Bowling Green’s Kentucky Transpark.
Envision AESC’s investment will create 2,000 full-time jobs in the region to operate its 30 gigawatt-hour plant, which has the potential to expand to 40 gigawatt-hours. At the plant, the world-leading Japanese EV battery technology company will produce battery cells and modules that will power next-generation EVs by multiple global automotive manufacturers.
“In April, when Envision AESC announced plans to locate in the commonwealth, it solidified Kentucky’s place as the leader in the emerging electric vehicle sector. Today’s groundbreaking signifies another major step forward for Envision and our state,” Gov. Beshear said. “I want to once again welcome this incredible company to Kentucky. The 2,000 jobs associated with this project will greatly benefit families throughout the region and set the foundation for even more growth as we continue to build out a supplier network to serve Envision’s needs.”
Today’s groundbreaking of the approximately 3 million-square-foot Kentucky operation marks the next step for one of the largest economic development projects in the state’s history. Envision AESC’s facility further establishes Kentucky as a leader in the automotive industry of the future. The company will produce next-generation battery cells that provide 30% more energy density than the current generation, leading to reduced charging times and increased range and efficiency for EVs. The Bowling Green operation is expected to power up to 300,000 vehicles annually by 2027.
The operation also will make EVs more accessible and affordable by implementing high-tech capabilities to increase cost-competitiveness and technological expertise of EV battery production in Kentucky and in the United States. The gigafactory will be powered by 100% renewable energy, supplied by onsite generation and purchased locally from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
“Envision is delighted to join with Kentucky and Bowling Green today to break ground at the site of our new state-of-the-art gigafactory,” Envision AESC U.S. Managing Director Jeff Deaton said. “We are extremely grateful for the level of support they have shown to get us to this important point, which highlights the strength of our enduring partnership and shared ambition to be national leaders in the e-mobility transformation in the United States.”
“Our new gigafactory and supporting ecosystem will provide a catalyst for further investment in the local supply chain and whole lifecycle opportunities of batteries, creating thousands of new jobs in the heart of Warren County and securing Kentucky’s leading role in the automotive industry of the future,” Deaton added. “We look forward to developing the next stages of this important project together.”
Japan-based Envision AESC is a world-leading battery technology company committed to research, development, design, manufacture and sales of high-power batteries for EVs and energy storage batteries. The company has 4,000 employees across 10 production plants in Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and France. Over the past 12 years, Envision AESC has produced high-performance, extended range batteries for more than 650,000 EVs in 44 countries, achieving a record of “zero critical battery malfunction.” In June 2021, Envision AESC was named to the “Global Tier 1 Battery Companies” list by Benchmark, a leading U.K.-based lithium-ion battery supply chain research organization.
Envision AESC invests heavily in next-generation technology to drive innovation and works with its strategic partners to continually push the boundaries of performance, safety and efficiency. Its teams work with strategic partners to continuously improve the company’s global leadership in product development, quality and sustainable processes.
As an integral part of its global strategy, Envision AESC works collaboratively with businesses, supply chains, academic institutions and governments to accelerate the transition to zero emissions mobility in the coming decades. Envision AESC has committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions in all global operations in 2022 and carbon neutrality across the whole value supply chain by 2028.
Envision AESC leadership noted Kentucky’s strong automotive manufacturing base, skilled workforce and excellent infrastructure as deciding factors in the site selection process. The commonwealth has a longstanding history of automotive production as the nation’s No. 1 per-capita producer of cars, light trucks and SUVs and currently houses more than 525 auto-related facilities employing 100,000 residents across the state. Since the start of the Beshear administration, Kentucky has announced more than 100 auto-related projects totaling $9.5 billion in new investment and 11,500 full-time jobs. EV-related growth has been a significant part of that continued growth, with the burgeoning sector generating over $8.5 billion in new investment and well over 8,000 full-time jobs announced.
Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon noted the significant scale of the project.
“This groundbreaking is a monumental event for our region and is the largest investment announcement our community has ever seen,” Judge Buchanon said. “The economic impact of this project will generate $20 billion over the next decade, and at full employment, will generate over $233 million in new spending in the community annually.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott highlighted the strengths that attracted Envision AESC to the area.
“We are thrilled that Envision AESC picked Bowling Green as their next home,” Mayor Alcott said. “Their decision to choose us is a testament to our community, our schools and our business community, which we know Envision will be a vital and active member of for years to come.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the company to the region.
“We are ecstatic about Envision AESC’s decision to locate in South Central Kentucky and are honored to be celebrating this groundbreaking today alongside the community leaders whose collaboration made this possible,” Bunch said.
Envision AESC’s investment and planned job creation builds on recent economic momentum in the commonwealth as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth surpassed numerous economic development records. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.
And Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for four consecutive months, falling from 3.9% in April to 3.8% in May and 3.7% in both June and July.
In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s rainy day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, and based on projections of $2 billion in investment and 2,000 new, full-time jobs, Envision AESC is eligible for a performance-based, forgivable loan from the state up to $116.8 million, which equates to the net present value of the traditional incentive programs of the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) program, Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), and the Economic Development Fund (EDF) program. The company also is eligible for training funds up to $5 million across the KCTCS TRAINS program and BSSC Grant-in-Aid program.
For more information on Envision AESC, visit Envision-AESC.com/en.
A detailed community profile for Warren County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.