by Jon Styf
Tennessee’s role as a center for creating electric vehicles continues to expand.
On Tuesday, NOVONIX announced a $160 million expansion that is expected to create 290 new jobs at its Chattanooga manufacturing facility.
Since March 2017, NOVONIX has made anodes through its PUREgraphite brand. Anodes are a negative electrode used in creating lithium-ion batteries, specifically those used in electric vehicles.
“When companies like NOVONIX choose to expand in Tennessee, it underscores our state’s business-friendly environment, highly skilled workforce, and reputation for automotive strength,” Gov. Bill Lee said in a press release announcing the move. “This project and the creation of nearly 300 new jobs will have a lasting impact on the Chattanooga community and Tennessee’s economy.”
NOVONIX will purchase the former Alstom building in Chattanooga, creating a more than 400,000 square foot plant and the company’s second Chattanooga facility.
“Chattanooga has been a great location for our operations over the past four years, and we look forward to growing the company in the expanding south-east hub of electric vehicle battery manufacturing,” NOVONIX CEO Chris Burns said.
In April, LG Energy Solutions and General Motors announced a $2.3 billion electric vehicle battery expansion under the Ultium Cells brand, creating a 2.8-million-square-foot plant in Spring Hill that is expected to employ 1,300 workers. Lee called that the “largest single investment of economic activity in the state’s history.”
“The automotive industry is shifting to an all-electric future, and we are focused on supporting companies that boost Tennessee’s presence in the EV space,” said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “NOVONIX’s decision to increase US-based lithium-ion battery production from Chattanooga is an enormous vote of confidence to the region and its business landscape.”
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Jon Styf contributes to The Center Square.