By BF Editors
From the September / October 2023 Issue
Today, regardless of your feelings about electric vehicles (EV), these represent a booming high-tech industry with billions of dollars of new investment and jobs on the line each month in both Red and Blue states alike.
The electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) market is a $7 billion industry today and is projected to grow to $100 billion by 2040. Fueling most of this growth is the charge point sector—called (CPOs). CPOs manufacture, operate, and service EV charging stations. As EV market share increases—due to changing consumer preferences, state and federal policies and improvements by the auto industry—it’s estimated that charging stations will increase from four million today to 35 million in 2030.
Editor’s note: The National Electronics Manufacturers Association (NEMA) defines EVSEs as “[devices that] provide electric power to the vehicle and use that to recharge the vehicle’s batteries. EVSE systems include the electrical conductors, related equipment, software, and communications protocols that deliver energy efficiently and safely to the vehicle.”
Federal Government Driving EVSE Growth
The Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has earmarked $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure nationwide. The administration also established the NEVI program which provides $5 billion in funding directly to states to help facilitate the build out of charging infrastructure.
A recent example here is The Boyd Co.’s client Tritium—which was awarded a NEVI grant in July 2023 to provide fast chargers in Hawaii. Currently, many critical electric vehicle components are sourced in Asia, and U.S. manufacturers have to import them via a costly and geopolitically risky 50,000+ mile global supply chain.
As a result of these “Made in the USA” mandates, the EVSE industry is dominating America’s corporate site selection landscape today.
U.S. battery manufacturers alone are estimated to spend more than $150 billion overseas on key inputs by 2030.
NEVI funding is designed to mitigate these EV supply chain risks and cost penalties and be in sync with the Federal Highway Administration’s Build America, Buy America Act, which is encouraging the reshoring of manufacturing investment from China and elsewhere.
NEVI funding requirements call for EVSE manufacturers to conduct final assembly and all manufacturing processes for any iron or steel charger enclosures or housing in the U.S. and to domestically source at least 55% of the cost of components used in charging equipment. As a result of these “Made in the USA” mandates, the EVSE industry is dominating America’s corporate site selection landscape today.
A new 2023 Boyd Co. report on EVSE trends, names top U.S. locations for new production facilities. Three top cities regionally are highlighted below.
Tops In The East
North Charleston in Berkeley County, South Carolina, is situated in a new and growing U.S. manufacturing corridor stretching from Michigan to Georgia and taking on the name of “America’s Battery Belt”. It is a region housing many EVSE parts and battery manufacturers and several EV assembly plants.
Berkeley County is also home to the newly announced plant of Carson City, NV-based Redwood Materials which will recycle, refine, and manufacture anode and cathode components creating more than 1,500 jobs and investing $3.5 billion in the greater North Charleston area.
Redwood takes in end-of-life batteries, breaks them down to their basic metals (nickel, copper, cobalt, and lithium) and then rebuilds those metals into cathode and anode products, the most expensive components of an electric vehicle.
Also in Berkeley County, Volvo is hiring 1,300 additional workers at its assembly plant 30 minutes northwest of North Charleston to produce its new and fully electric SUV model, the EX90.
Tops In Central U.S. Region
Chattanooga, Tennessee will soon be home to the nation’s largest electric vehicle “Living Testbed,” thanks to $9.2 million in federal funding for a project that local officials and scientists at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) proposed.
The idea behind the Chattanooga testbed is a networked system that enables electric vehicle drivers to find better charging stations based on the charge level of their vehicle, volume and pace of traffic, and the electric grid power demand.
Also in Chattanooga, Volkswagen is launching the assembly of its new all-electric ID.4 SUV. The plant employs about 4,700 employees, including 1,000 new hires brought on specifically for its new EV line.
Tops In The West
Minden is growing submarket of the Reno, Nevada metropolitan area where Tesla recently was awarded more than $330 million in tax incentives for the company’s expansion of its sprawling EV Gigafactory northeast of Minden, including the construction of a massive, new semi-electric truck factory.
As electric vehicles gain sales momentum, here’s a look at some of the regions that are attracting manufacturers in the EV industry. Read more…
The greater Minden-Reno area has been a popular landing spot for many companies and people relocating out of the costly Bay Area of California—a three-hour drive away via Interstate 80.
Minden is also just 30 minutes away from Lake Tahoe attractions and is proximate to northern Nevada’s Thacker Pass Lithium Mine which is one the largest known lithium deposit in the world and represents a key raw material for the EV battery industry.
John Boyd, Jr. is Principal of The Boyd Company, Inc. one of the nation’s most trusted and well-known corporate site selection firms.