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South Carolina’s I-77 Corridor: A Hotspot for EV-Related Businesses and More

Our diverse economic landscape offers a great home for multiple sectors

In the heart of South Carolina, the five counties comprising the S.C. I-77 Alliance are emerging as a focal point for a new era of industry. This vibrant economic hub is attracting a wealth of electric vehicle (EV)-related industries, underlining its importance as a strategic location for innovative businesses. Yet, the strength of the I-77 corridor extends beyond its thriving EV sector, with a diverse range of industries contributing to its robust growth and resilience.

Three major recent announcements underscore the I-77 corridor’s growing stature in the EV realm. Scout Motors has chosen the region for its first manufacturing plant, with the Volkswagen spinoff investing $2 billion to build next-generation trucks and rugged SUVs, with the potential for creating 4,000 or more permanent jobs​ at the site just north of Columbia​ in Richland County.

Meanwhile, Cirba Solutions, a battery management and materials company, is establishing its flagship operations in Columbia, with an initial investment of over $300 million that’s expected to create more than 300 new jobs​​. Plus, Albemarle Corporation, a global leader in specialty chemicals, has selected Chester County for a $1.3 billion state-of-the-art “Mega-Flex” lithium hydroxide processing facility, creating more than 300 jobs​.

These major players, among others, are staking their future in the I-77 corridor, highlighting the region’s growing appeal to EV-related businesses.

Yet, the corridor’s industrial landscape is marked by much more than its burgeoning EV sector. Other industries, including tire manufacturing, wine production, and pharmaceuticals, contribute to the area’s economic dynamism. For example, Giti Tire has invested $560 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and distribution center in Chester County, generating nearly 600 jobs​​. E.&J. Gallo Winery has committed $423 million to establish its first production and distribution facility outside California in Chester County​​, while The Ritedose Corporation, a pharmaceutical products manufacturer, is expanding its Richland County operations​.

Overall, the I-77 corridor hosts a diverse array of thriving industries, including precision manufacturing, advanced materials, life sciences, and corporate, finance, and professional services, to name a few​​. This diversity fosters a resilient economic ecosystem that buffers against sector-specific downturns and cultivates a broad talent pool, making the corridor a compelling location for businesses seeking to invest, expand, or relocate.

For executives making location decisions, the I-77 corridor’s blend of a booming EV sector and a diverse industrial base offers a unique value proposition. It’s not just about joining a fast-growing, forward-looking EV hub, but also becoming part of a larger, vibrant economic community that promises stability, versatility, and growth. The corridor’s future is electric, and it’s more diverse than ever. Whether you’re in the EV sector or beyond, there’s a place for your business here. The South Carolina I-77 corridor is ready to power your next chapter of growth.

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