#182 – Inside Our Industry – Battery Belt: Powering Southeast Real Estate with EV Demand

Posted on | Inside Our Industry

Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global commercial real estate services firm, recently released a report from the Southeast US team that examines the impact of battery plants, EV manufacturing, and gigafactories on the Southeast’s commercial real estate market. We are sharing the Overview from the report below; click here for the full report that includes an interactive map.

Battery Belt:  Powering Southeast Real Estate with EV Demand
Christa DoLalo and Alexis Forrest, Cushman & Wakefield

The Southeast has been a major automotive manufacturing hub for decades, emerging as a key location for auto assembly plants and production facilities in the 1980s and growing substantially through the 2000s. Since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed in August 2022, 77 electric vehicle (EV) projects were announced in the U.S., totaling more than $80 billion in investments and nearly 49,000 in projected new jobs.

Nearly half (49.4%) of these projects are concentrated in the Southeast, earning the region a new moniker: The Battery Belt.

Gigafactories and electric battery production facilities are becoming a major driver of domestic and foreign direct investment amidst global efforts to transition the energy sector away from reliance on fossil fuels. This investment is critical to locales with existing automotive industries and is vital for the vehicle manufacturers.

Consequently, the Southeast’s well-established automotive manufacturing industry and the business-friendly state governments help position the region as a crucial player in shaping the industry’s future, providing an environment for technological advancements, production efficiencies, and sustainability initiatives. As corporations explore onshoring opportunities and look to expand battery production and manufacturing capacity, the landscape of industrial users in the Southeast has shifted.

Suppliers and secondary vendors, recognizing the strategic advantage of proximity, are purposefully situating themselves in the same geographic area as plants and auto makers. This spatial proximity not only reduces shipping costs but also increases overall production efficiency in the electric vehicle ecosystem.

Full report