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'Field of dreams': Ground broken on mega electric vehicle battery plant in Warren County

Lisa Autry

Ground was broken on Tuesday on the second-largest economic development project in Kentucky history.

Envision AESC is building a mega factory to produce electric vehicle batteries in Warren County.

Led by Gov. Andy Beshear, state and local leaders turned the first dirt on a $2 billion, 3,000,000 square-foot factory in the Kentucky Transpark.

“This is a historic day that we are going to remember for generations to come, that’s going to reverberate in so many communities across this state," Beshear said.

Japanese-owned Envision AESC announced plans in April to build an electric vehicle battery gigafactory that will create a projected 2,000 jobs. The company will produce next-generation battery cells that provide reduced charging times and increased range for EVs. The plant is expected to power up to 300,000 vehicles annually by 2027.

Mayor Todd Alcott called it an “epic day” for Bowling Green.

“Three million square feet is kind of hard to envision, but I think it’s 18 super Wal-Marts that we’re imagining in that field behind you, so it is a field of dreams," Alcott said at Tuesday's event.

Gov. Beshear also presented the city of Bowling Green with a $1 million grant to help fund construction of a new fire station to support growth around the Transpark.

The Warren County site will be one of the largest lithium-ion battery plants in North America. Beshear said the project solidifies Kentucky as the nation’s capitol for EV battery production.

The Warren County project is the second-largest in state history behind planned construction of two vehicle battery manufacturing plants in Hardin County. That project by Ford’s and SK Innovation is expected to create 5,000 jobs.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.