BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — Scout Motors Inc., the electric vehicle division of German automaker Volkswagen, has unveiled plans for an electric vehicle manufacturing plant on a 1,600-acre plot in Blythewood, South Carolina, a suburb of Columbia. The move represents a capital investment of approximately $2 billion and is expected to create about 4,000 jobs.
Scout Motors intends to primarily use the plant for the production of trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). At full capacity, the facility should be able to manufacture about 200,000 vehicles annually. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year, and Scout Motors expects the plant to be fully operational by the end of 2026.
Of the total acreage of the site, which is bounded by I-77 and Blythewood Road, about 70 percent (1,100 acres) will be dedicated to the manufacturing facilities themselves. The location puts the facility within 20 miles of the state capital’s downtown area. Greg Lubar and Matt Jackson of JLL represented Scout Motors in its site selection efforts.
The new trucks and SUVs will be built on a newly designed, all-electric platform. This approach will allow the company’s engineering teams to deliver vehicles with optimal ground clearance, approach angles and payload capacity, as well as new digital features.
South Carolina is home to several large-scale manufacturing operations, including BMW’s 8 million-square-foot campus in Spartanburg, which employs more than 10,000 people. Most recently, Turkish engineering and construction firm Kontrolmatik Technologies announced plans to build a $279 million lithium ion battery manufacturing facility in Colleton County.
Industry experts also say that in general, the electric vehicle business is spurring healthy industrial development along the I-85 corridor as companies that support these initiatives create more demand for warehouse and distribution space.
— Taylor Williams