Mercedes EV production launches in Alabama

The newly electrified Alabama plant is part of an “EV Belt” emerging across the Southeast.

Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Volkswagen have announced battery-vehicle assembly plants in neighboring Tennessee. Volvo will begin building electric crossovers at its Ridgeville, S.C., factory early next year.

Meanwhile, Georgia has landed multibillion-dollar EV factories from Hyundai Motor Co. and Rivian Automotive.

Mercedes has invested in battery production and an ecosystem of suppliers to prepare for EV production in Alabama.

In March, the automaker opened a 177,000-square-foot battery assembly venture located on 270 acres near the main vehicle factory.

And in April, supplier Envision AESC said it will build a $2 billion factory 300 miles away in Bowling Green, Ky., to supply a new generation of battery components for Mercedes.

Envision AESC’s battery cell and module plant will open in 2025 and employ 2,000 workers. It will be able to supply 300,000 vehicles a year by 2027.

Envision AESC Group CEO Shoichi Matsumoto said the Kentucky factory will also supply other U.S. automakers as the industry amps up its electrification plans.

“We will produce batteries for numerous electric vehicle manufacturers,” Matsumoto told Automotive News. “We have growth plans for both the U.S. and other regions around the world.”

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