LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — An Australian company has set up shop in Wilson County, charged with the idea of Tennessee becoming an established hub for EV.
Tritium, a global leader in the electric vehicle charging industry will soon fuel Metro Nashville’s growth — not with gas, but with opportunity.
News 2 got the chance to go one-on-one with Tritium’s CEO to see why, out of all the places in the world, she and her team chose Lebanon, Tennessee.
“We’re really happy we landed on Middle Tennessee. We’re very proud to call it our new home. It’s our biggest factory globally which is very exciting for us,” Jane Hunter said, CEO of Tritium.
For Hunter, the Volunteer State checks all of the boxes.
“There were the business-friendly laws and had a large amount of time overlapping with Australian business hours which was important to us. Accessibility by road and air which was super important because we have these big heavy products we have to ship in and out,” Hunter said.
Those products, electric vehicle chargers, will be produced at the former Toshiba TVfactory on Toshiba Drive.
Upon completion, the 500,000 square foot space, with six production lines, is said to produce between 10,000 to 30,000 charging units per year and will then be installed on every major interstate in the United States.
“I think Tennessee is quickly becoming the state for the building electric cars, EV batteries, electric car chargers, in the U.S. If this becomes the state, we’re really proud to be a part of that story,” Hunter said.
That story continues with the new Ultium Cells Battery Plant in Spring Hill used for General Motors’ Cadillac Lyriq. In Smyrna, Nissan is making their zero-emission EV, dubbed the Nissan LEAF.
Lastly, The Blue Oval City, near Memphis, is where Ford will soon build their electric F-Series pickups and advanced batteries.
Hunter says fully electric vehicles make up less than 5% of passenger cars on American roads right now and that will soon change.
“Even if you haven’t made the decision to buy an EV yet, unfortunately, the big car manufacturers have made it for you,” Hunter said, adding that not only are they bringing the future to Music City, but more than 500 skilled and unskilled jobs.
“We also tend to source like 35% to 40% of our parts locally, so when you open the Tennessee factory that’s going to drive business locally where it makes up our supply chain because we’re big purchasers of hundreds of different parts,” Hunter said.
It’s a big move for an even bigger company, encompassing a trend that’s gaining steam nationwide.
Tritium hopes to open in the third quarter of this year.