Beshear’s E-Battery Boom: Japanese Company Latest to Invest Billions in KY

Andy Beshear is continuing to make historic announcements showing he has done what countless politicians before him have tried to do, make the commonwealth a hub for advanced manufacturing bringing billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the process.

The first-term Democratic governor announced on Wednesday that Bowling Green, Kentucky, will be home to the latest electric-vehicle battery plant with plans to come to the state.

Envision AESC, a world-leading Japanese electric vehicle battery technology company, will invest $2 billion to build a new, state-of-the-art gigafactory in the Kentucky Transpark in Warren County. The 30GWh plant will create 2,000 skilled jobs in the region, producing battery cells and modules to power the next generation EVs produced for multiple global automotive manufacturers, according to Beshear.

In September of 2021, Beshear announced Ford would invest $5.8 billion to build two e-battery plants in Kentucky, and set up 5,000 new jobs in the state. The latest announcement shows that Kentucky is quickly becoming a hub for the high-tech automotive jobs of the future, and that could be a huge boon to Beshear next year when he runs for re-election.

The Envision-AESC plant in Bowling Green will be approximately 3 million square feet and marks one of the largest economic projects in the commonwealth’s history. Kentucky will provide up to $116.8 million from state incentive programs and up to $5 million for grants for skills training, according to a news release on the project.

All of Envision’s plants, including the one to be built in Kentucky, will be powered by low carbon energy and digitally-enabled with smart infrastructure software to optimize the energy footprint. Envision AESC has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions in all global operations by 2022 and carbon neutrality across the whole value supply chain by 2028.

As KFP wrote last year, the Ford deal could not be understated because it set the stage for high-tech, high-paying jobs in e-battery manufacturing in Kentucky as well as ancillary industries. Now, Beshear has another massive announcement and a bonafide emergence of a new industry in the state.

Beshear called it from the podium during his Sept. Ford announcement saying, “after today, everything is different.”