The rise of the electric vehicle (EV) market thus far has been exciting to watch, and its impact is not limited to cleaner transportation and reduced carbon emissions. The Southeastern region of the United States, particularly Georgia, is emerging as a pivotal player in the electric vehicle industry. Notably, what’s been coined the “Battery Belt” has been forming in this region, with significant impacts in both the industrial market and the industrial real estate market.
The Electric Vehicle Market in the Southeast
The Southeastern United States has been experiencing substantial growth in the electric vehicle market. Several factors contributed to this growth and adoption of EVs in the region:
1. Regulatory Support: State and local governments in the Southeast and State of Georgia are offering various incentives to consumers, commercial businesses, and manufacturers to promote EV adoption.
2. Infrastructure Investment: Public and private investments in EV infrastructure are rapidly expanding throughout the Southeast, including more EV charging stations. This development addresses consumer concerns and encourages more people to consider EVs.
The Battery Belt Formation
The term “Battery Belt” refers to the growing concentration of electric vehicle manufacturers, battery manufacturers, and recycling facilities in the Southeastern United States. Georgia is a key player in this trend, and several factors make it an attractive location for EV and battery production:
1. Access to Suppliers and Raw Materials: Georgia is strategically located with access to essential raw materials like lithium and cobalt, crucial components in battery manufacturing. One primary source being the Kings Mountain Lithium Mine in South Carolina. Another factor is the number of smaller suppliers who are locating around the major players in the industry, which increases lead times and lowers logistics concerns.
2. Existing Infrastructure: Georgia has a robust, existing transportation infrastructure, including ports, highways, and railways, facilitating the transportation of materials and finished products.
3. Skilled Workforce: The state boasts a skilled workforce and a strong history of manufacturing, making it an ideal location for battery production facilities.
Impact on the Industrial & IRE Market
The rise of the electric vehicle market and the Battery Belt formation in Georgia have substantial effects on both the industrial market and the industrial real estate (IRE) market in the region:
1. Increased Demand for Industrial Space: Battery manufacturing facilities, as well as EV production plants, require significant amounts of industrial space. This surge in demand for industrial real estate has led to increased construction and development in the region.
2. Development Opportunities: The need for specialized facilities and warehouses to support battery and EV production will continue to offer opportunities for developers and investors.
3. Infrastructure Upgrades: To accommodate the growing demand for industrial space, we can assume that infrastructure improvements, such as expanded transportation networks and utility services, will continue to increase over time, thus increasing the overall desirability of these areas.
4. Job Creation: The growth of the EV industry and associated supply chains is generating a substantial number of jobs in manufacturing, recycling, research and development, and logistics, further boosting the industrial sector.
5. Economic Growth: The influx of investment in battery and EV production is a major contribution to economic growth in Georgia and the surrounding states. This growth benefits the entire region, and not only the industrial sector, but everyone from consumers to suppliers to service providers to manufacturers.
As the EV market continues to surge, Georgia and its neighbors are set to reap the rewards of investments.