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May 29, 2024

Mississippi Secures $2 Billion Electric Vehicle Battery Plant, Bringing 2,000 Jobs

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Jan 21, 2024

Mississippi legislators approved one of the largest incentive packages in state history this week to secure a $2 billion electric vehicle battery plant that promises to bring 2,000 jobs to the northern part of the state.

Battery Makers Choose Marshall County For New Production Facility

Accelera, a new joint venture between diesel engine manufacturer Cummins and commercial truck makers Daimler Truck and PACCAR, announced Tuesday they have chosen a 1,000 acre site in Marshall County, Mississippi to build their new battery manufacturing facility. The incentive package passed by state lawmakers includes $365 million in cash incentives, tax exemptions, and infrastructure improvements offered by the state to attract the plant.

The new facility, slated to open in late 2025, will produce lithium ion batteries for heavy and medium duty electric trucks and buses. Governor Tate Reeves called a special session this week so legislators could quickly approve the incentive package and seal the deal to beat out competing sites in other states. Reeves said the plant will bring 2,000 jobs that pay an average of $93,000 per year, mostly in manufacturing roles.

“This will go down as one of Mississippi’s largest economic development projects in our state’s history,” Reeves told lawmakers. “What we are doing is making an investment in mississippi families looking for good paying jobs.”

State Incentives Attract EV Industry Heavyweights

Accelera said the new facility will supply batteries for heavy duty electric trucks built by their parent companies, allowing Cummins, Daimler and PACCAR to transition more of their commercial vehicle offerings to zero emission models.

“Mississippi’s strong manufacturing base with its skilled workforce, established transportation and logistics infrastructure, combined with the state’s pro-business environment makes it an ideal location,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins CEO.

Incentive Amount
Income tax credit $258 million
Property tax exemption $105 million
Infrastructure investment $2.5 million

The passage of the incentive package was not without some controversy, as some Republican legislators questioned investing so much taxpayer money into a project partially owned by a Chinese company. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), the world’s largest EV battery maker, owns a minority stake in Accelera.

“This governor has spent the last two years talking about how China is going to attack us, how it’s a huge threat and we can’t trust them,” said Republican Rep. Becky Currie. “Now he wants us to put $365 million into a 40% Chinese-owned company.”

Plant Seen As Key Step For EV Adoption In Mississippi

Supporters of the incentives argued securing the plant will help position Mississippi’s economy for growth as electric vehicles continue to gain market share over internal combustion engine trucks. They also say the Chinese stake in the joint venture is small enough to prevent security risks or technology theft.

The battery plant is expected to spark additional private investment in the state’s emerging EV ecosystem. Commercial real estate firm Colliers predicts the new facility could attract up to $8 billion in additional investments for EV charging stations, renewable energy projects, battery recycling plants and other related industries. Local economic leaders believe Marshall County is just the first of more clean energy manufacturers on the way.

“Twenty years from now we’ll look back at electrification as something that helped us diversify our economy,” said Joe Sanderson, CEO of Mississippi-based food supplier Sanderson Farms.

The special session this week also revived discussions around further tax reform in Mississippi, including lowering or eliminating the state income tax. Reeves said new revenue from the battery plant demonstrates the state can afford to reduce taxes while still investing in education and infrastructure. The next regular legislative session begins in January 2025, where tax changes are expected to be seriously debated.

What Comes Next For Marshall County Battery Facility

Now that financing and incentives are in place, Accelera will begin site preparation and construction on the Marshall County mega-site later this year, with plans to start up production in late 2025. The company estimates it will take about two years to fully equip and staff the facility before it reaches peak output.

Once operational, the plant will be capable of producing enough batteries for up to 150,000 electric trucks per year. That would go a long way in helping Cummins, Daimler and PACCAR transition significant portions of their heavy duty vehicle sales to electric over the next decade.

Environmental advocates have largely praised the factory as a step in the right direction, but say more policy support is still needed for the complete electrification of commercial transport. Specifically, they argue investments in EV charging infrastructure and government procurement of electric trucks also play a key role in fleet turnover.

“Building this battery factory is great, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle,” said Katherine Garcia, Sierra Club National Transportation Policy Manager. “We really need strong standards on truck emissions and incentives for fleets to help these vehicles reach scale.”

So while the final outcome is still years down the road, the groundbreaking incentives and new battery plant have set Mississippi on a path to growing the next generation of electric transportation technology, and the high paying clean energy jobs that come with it. Whether the state can leverage this into a long term competitive advantage remains to be seen, but they have certainly sent a strong signal this week to the emerging EV industry.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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