AESC breaks ground South Carolina plant to supply BMW

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

AESC will build a battery plant in South Carolina, the US, to support BMW. Credit: AESC

Japan-headquartered battery maker AESC broke ground on its plant in South Carolina, USA, on June 7. The facility, expected to become fully operational in 2026, will support BMW EVs made in the same state.

According to AESC, the battery plant in Florence County has a production capacity of 30GWh. With a multi-year partnership with BMW announced in October 2022, batteries made at the facility will power the carmaker's models produced at its Spartanburg plant.

AESC said the advanced battery format will bring 20% more energy density than the current one. The technology can also reduce charging time and increase the range and efficiency of EVs by 30%.

Electrek reported that the battery plant will become fully operational in 2026. The US$800 million project is expected to create more than 1,100 jobs. According to local news outlet WPDE, South Carolina offers AESC water, sewer and a new road connecting to the highway as incentives.

Jeff Deaton, managing director of AESC US, said there is a lot of interest in the company's products in the US. He added that AESC has already made plans to expand at the South Carolina site.

According to South Korea-based SNE Research, AESC was ranked 7th in global EV battery usage with 1.4GWh in the first fourth months of 2023. Owned by China's Envision Group, AESC accounted for 1.6% of the market share worldwide.

The battery maker operates a factory in Tennessee and is constructing another one in Kentucky. According to Electrek, the two plants plus the new facility in South Carolina will offer 70GWh of production capacity in the US for AESC.

On the other hand, China-based Svolt Energy is reportedly to expand in Thailand. STAR Market Daily reported that the company plans to invest US$30 million in building a new energy battery pack facility in the Southeast Asian country. Svolt has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Svolt Energy Technology (Thailand), for expansion.

Svolt was a spin-off from China-based Great Wall Motor. Data from the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance (CABIA) showed the company installed 0.42GWh of EV batteries in China in April. Svolt holds 1.66% of the market share in the country.