Mercedes-Benz AG opened its first battery factory in Bibb County, Alabama on Tuesday a few months ahead of the start of production of all-electric Mercedes-EQ vehicles in the United States.
The company said that Japanese battery maker Envision AESC would supply battery modules for U.S.-made Mercedes EVs from a new U.S. plant by the middle of the decade.
Alongside the launch of Alabama battery plant, Mercedes also previewed a large electric SUV to be built at the nearby Tuscaloosa, Alabama assembly facility this year.
The EQS SUV and a smaller EQE electric SUV, also to be made in Alabama, join a growing line-up of electric SUVs seeking to challenge Tesla (TSLA.O) in the United States, China and Europe.
The battery plant, which will employ 600 workers, and the assembly facility are part of a 40 billion euro ($44 billion) drive by Mercedes to go all-electric by 2030, where markets allow.
Mercedes, which plans to produce EV batteries in Europe, North America and Asia, aims to have eight-cell factories with partners around the world with capacity to produce 200 gigawatt-hours a year by the end of the decade.
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