By Paul Lienert
– The center of gravity for U.S. auto manufacturing is moving south, with electric vehicle and battery makers planning to spend nearly $24 billion in new factories from Arizona to Georgia.
Already announced are the following plants and investments:
Startup Lucid Motors has just opened a $300 million assembly plant for electric vehicles in Casa Grande, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. The company says future expansion plans could take total investment up to $1 billion.
Nikola Corp said it is planning a $600 million facility in Coolidge, not far from Casa Grande, to build fuel-cell electric trucks.
Tesla Inc is nearing completion of its $1.1 billion assembly and battery plant outside Austin, and has said it will move its corporate headquarters from California to Texas.
German automaker Volkswagen AG invested another $800 million in its Chattanooga plant to build electric vehicles, starting earlier this year with the ID.4.
Ford Motor Co is building a massive vehicle and battery assembly complex in Stanton, outside Memphis, with partner SK Innovation Co. The $5.6 billion Blue Oval City is expected to open in 2025, building the next-generation F-150 Lightning pickup.
General Motors Co is investing $4.3 billion with partner LG Energy Solution, a unit of LG Chem, to build an electric vehicle assembly plant and battery plant in Spring Hill. The assembly plant will turn out the Cadillac Lyriq in 2022 and a pair of vehicles for Honda Motor Co and its Acura brand in 2024.
Ford and SKI are spending $5.8 billion to construct two battery plants in Glendale, near Louisville, to open in 2025-2026.
Toyota Motor Corp and partner Mazda Motor Corp have opened their $2.3 billion plant near Huntsville, and expect to add production of electric vehicles in the near future.
SKI is investing $2.6 billion in two battery plants in Commerce, outside Atlanta, with the first slated to open in 2022.
Startup Canoo Inc has agreed to build a $500 million plant in Pryor, outside Tulsa, to assemble a range of electric vehicles, starting in 2023.