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Bosch turns South Carolina diesel facility into $260 million EV motor plant

Bosch will create 350 new jobs at the site by 2025.

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/ A Bosch worker assembles an electric motor at the company’s factory in Charleston, South Carolina.Bosch

On Tuesday, Bosch formally announced the start of electric motor production at its factory in Charleston, South Carolina, taking over space that was previously used to make components for diesel engines. Bosch says it will invest $260 million to expand its electrified products at Charleston and will add a total of 350 new jobs by 2025.

“We have grown our electrification business globally and here in the North American region,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America. “We’ve invested more than $6 billion dollars in electromobility development, and in 2021, our global orders for electromobility surpassed $10 billion dollars for the first time. Local production helps to advance our customers’ regional electrification strategies and further supports the market demand for electrification.”

The factory in Charleston will build rotors and stators and perform final assembly, with power outputs ranging from 67 to 670 hp (50–500 kW) and 110–738 lb-ft (150–1,000 Nm), with an efficiency of 98 percent. The motors are suitable for light vehicles like passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs, and Bosch’s first customer will be Rivian, although the startup does plan to build its own motors eventually.

Currently, electric motor production occupies roughly 200,000 square feet (18,581 m2), or a little under a quarter of the Charleston plant’s 900,000 square feet (83,613 m2), but Bosch plans to add 75,000 square feet (6,968 m2) by the end of 2023.

“We are in the midst of major shifts in mobility, and the story of reinvention in Charleston is a model for how electrification production can evolve from within an existing facility. We are building on the long-standing expertise and commitment of the Charleston team with this new production,” Mansuetti said.

Electric motors aren’t the only advanced propulsion tech that Bosch will build in South Carolina. In August, Bosch also revealed that it would be adapting 147,000 square feet (13,657 m2) at a site in Anderson to build hydrogen fuel cell stacks.

These fuel cells will be destined for use in class 8 trucks—the largest allowed on US roads—but fuel cell production will only begin in 2026, Bosch says. That will cost Bosch another $200 million to get up and running and will add 350 jobs to the site.

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