Mercedes-Benz to create 600 jobs at new Bibb County battery plant

Mercedes-Benz US International on Tuesday opened its new electric vehicle battery plant, which is expected to create nearly 600 new jobs at its Bibb County campus.

The company held a grand opening ceremony at the new battery plant in the town of Woodstock, attended by city leaders from Bibb County and neighboring Tuscaloosa County, as well as senior Mercedes officials.

Guests were treated to a factory tour and a preview of the company’s new electric vehicles, which carry the EQ brand.

The new 700,000 square foot plant will produce batteries for the EQS and EQE SUVs, which are expected to begin production later this year at MBUSI’s Vance plant in Tuscaloosa County. Mercedes has announced plans to go all-electric by 2030, market conditions permitting.

Mercedes-Benz US International hosted the opening of the company's new batter plant in Woodstock, Alabama, located between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. The new EQS electric SUV is on display during the ceremony.

Governor Kay Ivey, who attended Tuesday’s ceremony, said Mercedes-Benz has served as a growth catalyst for Alabama’s auto industry.

“This partnership we have with Mercedes-Benz and Germany has helped pave the way for Alabama to be one of the top five auto-producing states,” Ivey said.

MBUSI began building vehicles at the Tuscaloosa County plant in 1997, becoming the first automaker to build a production facility in Alabama. Since then, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and countless suppliers have followed in Mercedes’ footsteps by choosing Alabama for their operations.

The German automaker has invested more than $6 billion in its Tuscaloosa County plant.

Mercedes-Benz US International hosted the opening of the company's new batter plant in Woodstock, Alabama, located between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Part of the battery assembly is seen during a tour of the new production plant.

Mercedes currently employs around 4,500 people at its Vance plant. The factory houses the production of the GLS, GLS-MaybachGLE and GLE-coupé and will soon produce the EQS and EQE SUVs.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, who also attended Tuesday’s ceremony, said the city plans to add more electric vehicle charging stations in Tuscaloosa to support Mercedes’ vision of going all-electric. here 2030.

Maddox said he believes the recent increase in gasoline prices could also increase demand for electric vehicle technology.

“We want Mercedes to be a partner. It’s one of the best companies in the world,” Maddox said. “We want to be Mercedes’ flagship station (ship) in North America. So putting more EV stations and charging stations is just one small step we can take to secure our economic future here in Tuscaloosa and in Tuscaloosa County.”

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According to the Associated Press, Mercedes said it has spent about $1 billion on the battery plant and upgrading the Tuscaloosa assembly line to make electric vehicles.

The Bibb County Battery Plant will manufacture lithium-ion batteries with advanced chemistry containing nickel, cobalt and manganese, Mercedes said.

It is one of six battery factories the company plans, including two in Germany, one in China, one in Thailand and one in Poland. Mercedes plans to build electric vehicles at seven factories on three continents.

Contact Jasmine Hollie at [email protected]

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