Southern Automotive Corridor takes down Detroit

It is a beachhead! Electric vehicle projects announced in the South are everywhere!

By Michael Randle

President Joe Biden’s chief economic advisor met with Nashville community leaders last quarter to tout federal investments in electric-vehicle and battery manufacturing and technology.

Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, said the combined impact of Biden economic initiatives since 2021 spurred $15 billion in private investment across Tennessee. “Tennessee’s a great example of the president’s economic plan in action – attract private investment and create regional industrial hubs, including in Tennessee, for high-wage, high growth industries of the future,” Rouse said. “In 2021, Tennessee’s overall economy grew 9% in real terms − the fastest rate in four decades. In the first three quarters of 2022, Tennessee’s GDP grew more than 2 percentage points faster than that of the US economy as a whole.” – The Tennessean

But it is not just Tennessee that has seen monumental gains from the next generation electric vehicle industry. Almost every state in the South – specifically its rural regions — has seen the same gains – some more than others — since the end of 2020. In fact, our tally of electric vehicle and EV-related projects total more than $286 billion (that’s with a “B”) since January 1, 2021.

Let’s take a broad look at what this new industry has created in jobs and where in the South to date they have been announced. Of course, these are announcements and about 38 percent of the projects have actually begun hiring as of the spring quarter of 2023. Yet several, including both Ford EV projects in Kentucky and Tennessee, are well under construction, including some suppliers to those two massive facilities.

Spring 2023

Ascend Elements100 jobsCovington, Ga.Lithium-ion recycling
Microvast562 jobsHopkinsville, Ky.EV parts
6K Energy230 jobsJackson, Tenn.EV battery materials
Rivian218 jobsBullitt County, Ky.EV parts

Winter 2023

Toyota Boshoku157 jobsHopkinsville, Ky.EV parts
Albemarle300 jobsChester County, S.C.EV parts
Cirba Solutions300 jobsRichland County, S.C.EV parts
Microvast290 jobsClarksville, Tenn.EV batteries
PHA400 jobsChatham County, Ga.EV parts
Seoyon E-HWA740 jobsChatham County, Ga.EV parts
Samkee170 jobsTuskegee, Ala.EV parts

Fall 2022

Hyundai Mobis400 jobsMontgomery, Ala.EV battery parts
Hyundai and SK3,500 jobsBartow County, Ga.EV batteries
Hyundai Mobis1,500 jobsBryan County, Ga.EV parts
FREYR Battery723 jobsCoweta County, Ga.EV batteries
Joon Georgia630 jobsBulloch County, Ga.EV parts
Canoo500 jobsOklahoma City, Okla.Electric vehicles

Summer 2022

Toyota1,500 jobsRandolph County, N.C.EV batteries
Mercedes- Benz1,000 jobsTuscaloosa County, Ala.Electric vehicles
Ascend Elements400 jobsHopkinsville, Ky.EV parts
Bosch350 jobsAnderson, S.C.EV fuel cells
Nippon Denkai100 jobsAugusta, Ga.EV parts

Spring 2022

Hyundai8,100 jobsBryan County, Ga.Electric vehicles
Envision AESC2,000 jobsBowling Green, Ky.EV batteries
Hyundai300 jobsMontgomery, Ala.Electric vehicles

Winter 2022

Vinfast7,500 jobsChatham County, N.C.Electric vehicles
GreenPower Motor900 jobsCharleston, W.Va.Electric buses
Envirotech800 jobsOsceola, Ark.Electric trucks
Aspen Aerogels250 jobsBulloch County, Ga.EV parts
Alkegen250 jobsIrving, TexasEV parts
Proterra200 jobsSpartanburg, S.C.Electric buses
Arrival150 jobsCharlotte, N.C.EV parts

Fall 2021

Ford and SK6,000 jobsStanton, Tenn.Electric vehicles and batteries
Ford and SK5,000 jobsGlendale, Ky.EV batteries
Mercedes-Benz600 jobsTuscaloosa County, Ala.Electric vehicles
Rivian7,500 jobsMorgan, Walton Counties, Ga.Electric vehicles and batteries
GM and Ultium Cells1,300 jobsSpring Hill, Tenn.Electric vehicles and batteries
NOVONIX300 jobsChattanooga, Tenn.EV batteries
Canoo1,000 jobsPryor, Okla.EV battery parts
Oshkosh Defense1,000 jobsSpartanburg, S.C.Electric vehicles
VolvoN/ABerkeley County, S.C.Electric vehicles

Spring 2021

Duckyang285 jobsBraselton, Ga.EV parts
Mullen Technologies400 jobsMemphis, Tenn.EV parts

Winter 2021

Tesla5,000 jobsAustin, TexasElectric vehicles
Hitachi Automotive200 jobsBerea, Ky.EV parts
Microvast287 jobsClarksville, Tenn.EV batteries

Author: Michael Randle