As the automotive industry's electric vehicle (EV) revolution surges, the debates surrounding it continue to rage. And for good reason; there's a lot on the line here. As internal combustion engine (ICE) production becomes a thing of the past, many jobs will be lost due to EVs requiring fewer parts to be assembled.
Additionally, with the billions of dollars being poured into building EV battery plant factories in North America, there's a lot on the line if EVs don't eventually prove profitable through economies of scale.
Now, assuming that EV and battery production cross the profitability threshold, how many jobs will that create?
Expect Around 70,000 New EV Battery Plant Jobs
According to figures from Autoweek, there will be around 70,765 EV battery plant jobs in North America combined from factories from Ford, GM, Volkswagen, Honda, Stellantis, Hyundai, Toyota, Rivian, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
Noticeably absent from those numbers is Tesla. Since they don't have a public relations department, it's not possible to get exact figures of how many people are employed at their battery plants. However, it's safe to surmise, based on Tesla's production numbers, that they have thousands of workers building batteries for them, a number likely to increase in the future. (As a side note, given Elon Musk's comments on X, the social media platform formally known as Twitter, the idea of “public relations” at any company he's involved with is a loaded statement.)
So, 70,765 is a tentative number.
Of those 70,765 jobs, roughly less than half will be UAW positions, at around 32,915. In their tentative contracts with the UAW, the Detroit Three promised “billion-dollar commitments” to build EVs in the United States. It was a major sticking point for the UAW in their negotiations because so many union workers were afraid of being laid off due to the EV production process being so stripped down from how ICEs are assembled.
Breaking It Down by Automaker
Leading the pack is General Motors. With production plants in or planned for Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee, GM plants will offer around 13,420 EV battery production jobs. In second is the Ford Motor Company, with plants in or planned for Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee. The Blue Oval will create around 13,195 EV battery production jobs.
With plants in or planned for Ontario, Canada, Georgia, and Tennessee, Volkswagen will have around 10,500 EV battery production jobs available. Next is Honda, which will provide about 10,000 jobs with their EV production facilities in Ohio alone. Stellantis, according to a spokesperson, will employ several thousand workers at their EV plants in Indiana.
Korean automaker Hyundai will look to employ around 5,500 workers between their multiple EV production facilities in Georgia. Japanese automaker Toyota will look to create over 5,000 EV production jobs between its facilities in Kentucky and North Carolina; both are currently under construction.
Lauded electric truck maker Rivian is looking to employ as many as 2,600 workers at its EV battery plant in Illinois. Mercedes-Benz has not revealed how many workers will be employed at the EV battery facility in Alabama, but Autoweek estimates it to be around 2,000 jobs.
Last is BMW, which promises just under 1,500 EV battery production jobs to start at their South Carolina plants. However, BMW has also stated that there is potential for those jobs to “grow” in the future.