EV battery company coming to Clarksville, TN
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EV battery company coming to Clarksville, TN

Jun 28, 2023

by: Nikki McGee

Posted: Jun 6, 2023 / 06:59 PM CDT

Updated: Jun 6, 2023 / 06:59 PM CDT

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Dongwha Electrolyte is the latest electric vehicle parts company to break ground in Tennessee after announcing a $70 million dollar investment in Clarksville on Tuesday.

County leaders teased about initially thinking the company produced sports drinks, but later learned electrolytes are one of the key components found in electric vehicle batteries.

"Once established, our state-of-the-art plant will produce 90,000 tons of high performing electrolytes, which is capable of supporting 1.5 million electric vehicles, which is approximately 10% of the annual car sales in the Untied States," Dongwha Group Vice Chairman Jisoo Seung said.

Dongwha is just the latest EV announcement in our state and comes from South Korea, where a representative from Tennessee works and lives to attract businesses to our state.

"As they’ve thought about their growth strategy and they think about getting into electric vehicle battery business, this was a natural fit for them and because we were already in a relationship, they thought, ‘Wow, we need to be looking at Tennessee,’ and that's how it all came together," said Stuart McWhorter, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Back in November, LG Chem announced a $3.2 billion plant. just down the road.

That adds to Ford's $11.4 billion electric truck facility coming to West Tennessee, GMs Cadillac Lyriq production in Tennessee and Nissan's EV production in Smyrna.

"We have become really one of the electric vehicle manufacturing capitals of the world, and because of that, companies like this are making a decision to move into our state," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said. "We’re very fortunate to have the automotive industry in our state and the thousands of jobs that come with it. At the end of the day, it's life changing for Tennesseans."

Although Clarksville's plant isn't next to an electric dealership, plenty attracted Dongwha to the area. By offering above-average paying jobs, McWhorter said companies can become eligible for certain incentives.

In addition, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board added the plant will help local residents find good-paying jobs in their own backyard, hopefully saving some of them a daily commute to Nashville.

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"We are extremely competitive for EV projects for a couple of reasons. Number one, we have the land availability; we still have about 1,800 acres of publicly owned land. We have the utility infrastructure that we’ve invested in over time, and we have the workforce," said Josh Ward with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board. "We can give people about two hours of their life back just because by keeping them here in our community, and that's what we hope to do with these jobs."

Salaries will range from $55,000-$150,000 and Dongwha plans to add a total of 68 jobs. The company broke ground on their facility Tuesday and hopes to have the plant complete within 14 months.

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