Lead and lithium choose South Carolina

Lead and lithium choose South Carolina

Lead and lithium choose South Carolina 1024 537 Batteries International

May 31, 2024: Clarios, the international battery giant, announced on May 23 that it plans to invest approximately $16 million into expanding its operations in Oconee County in the US state of South Carolina.

The facility is one of Clarios’ 16 US operations and produces component parts for AGM batteries, which are widely regarded as the best type of lead battery for new automotive technologies such as start-stop vehicles.

The expansion will add 9,000 square feet to the facility and include infrastructure improvements along with high-tech molding and assembly equipment. Operations should be online by January next year.

“As Clarios continues to grow our AGM battery business, we are excited to expand our footprint in Oconee County, and to welcome new employees to this site,” said Clarios president of US and Canada, Gerardo Gonzelez-Aleu.

“The components we make at this facility are critical to supporting the future of transportation, and our decision to expand production here speaks to the high quality of this workforce.”

State governor, Henry McMaster said: “We are pleased to see Clarios thriving and expanding in our state. The company’s investment and new jobs represent why South Carolina is a place where businesses can prosper.”

According to the US Department of Commerce, the South Carolina automotive industry employs 74,000 people and has a $27 billion economic impact. Both lead and lithium manufacturing firms have chosen the state because of tax and location initiatives, proximity to the international port at Charleston and a flexible labor force.

EnerSys said on February 14 it had chosen South Carolina as the site to build its planned $500 million lithium ion battery cell gigafactory.

The lead and lithium battery major said it is seeking an incentives package worth around $200 million to support the project — plus potential federal funding including tax benefits under the Inflation Reduction Act.

EnerSys said construction is to start early in 2025 and operations to be online in late 2027.

The 500,000ft2 facility, with a production capacity of 4GWh annually, will be built on a business park in Greenville. It will produce various form factors of lithium ion cells for commercial, industrial and defence applications

Electric vehicle battery cell maker AESC announced at the end of March it planned to spend $1.5 billion to expand its lithium-ion battery manufacturing site in Florence County. “South Carolina is a crucial part of our strategy to power next generation electric vehicles for customers across the US by manufacturing high-performance, longer-range EV batteries locally,” Shoichi Matsumoto, chief executive at AESC said at the time of the announcement.

The BMW supplier will build a second EV battery production facility and create an additional 1,080 jobs.

Battery recycler Redwood Materials announced a $3.5 billion facility in Charleston in December 2022.

In March 2023, Volkswagen-backed Scout Motors announced a $2 billion EV manufacturing plant outside Columbia, and Vietnam-based tyre manufacturer Tin Thanh Group Americas announced a $68 million facility in Fairfax.

John Lummus, CEO of Upstate SC Alliance, which offers site selection services in the state said: “South Carolina has grown a robust mobility ecosystem, with more than 500 automotive-related companies within the state.”