Porsche eyes potential $3.3B EV plant in US

Dive Brief:

  • Porsche, the Stuttgart, Germany-based automobile manufacturer, is in discussions with potential investors to build an EV battery factory that could cost up to $3.3 billion, said Lutz Meschke, its CFO, during a press and analyst call for the second quarter
  • The luxury carmaker is weighing options in the U.S., Canada and Germany for the planned factory, and will ultimately base its decision on which market offers the most favorable energy costs, said Meschke.
  • The $3.3 billion EV battery plant project follows Porsche’s move to take full control of high-performance battery maker Cellforce Group in May, in its push to strengthen its battery development and production capabilities.

Dive Insight:

EV battery plant projects, along with other manufacturing projects, have exponentially surged in the United States since the $52 billion CHIPS Act passed in August 2022. 

That push is sparking even more of a rush to build these multi-billion facilities, said Brian Turmail, vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives at Associated General Contractors of America.

“On the automotive side, there’s enormous pressure to get these plants built quickly because automakers have this impression that the conversion to EV is almost like a game of musical chairs — that the last one standing when the music stops is going to go out of existence if they don’t have a fleet,” said Turmail. “Whether or not that’s right or wrong, that’s the thinking among the automotive manufacturers.”

For example, Ford has already begun construction on its $5.6 billion EV plant in Stanton, Tennessee, known as BlueOval City, while Hyundai and LG Energy Solution struck a joint venture deal in May to build a $4.3 billion battery cell plant.

Meanwhile, BMW recently broke ground in June on a $700 million battery assembly plant in Woodruff, South Carolina, and Toyota allocated another $2.1 billion investment in its Liberty, North Carolina, EV battery factory.

Porsche has joined that rush to manufacturing as well, and is already building a 1 gigawatt-hour plant in Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany, a city near Stuttgart. 

For that project, Porsche plans to install the first machines at the beginning of 2024, finish the main building in mid-2024 and start the production of sample cells later that year, according to the company.

Still, the company is looking for another location for a more modern and larger facility, said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume. Meschke said the company “will have a beauty contest between European countries, the U.S. and maybe also Canada.”

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