"Georgia is gaining thousands of jobs from electric vehicle manufacturing. But lawmakers are hesitant to fully embrace EVs — or the fight against climate change."
"COMMERCE, Ga. — The battery plant just north of Commerce is hard to miss. It looms over Interstate 85 like a monolith: sheer gray walls many stories high, a vast parking lot that extends almost half a mile. Online, some employees complain about having to trek long distances to reach their posts.
On a Friday afternoon in late March, dozens of workers were lining up at the guardhouse to start their shifts building batteries for vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Volkswagen ID.4. The factory, which opened in early 2022, employs over 2,600 people — about a third of the town’s population.
The battery plant, operated and owned by the U.S. wing of the South Korean company SK Group, is one of a bonanza of electric vehicle investments that are transforming rural Georgia from sleepy, quiet towns to a bustling “battery belt.” But even as Gov. Brian Kemp (R) aims to make Georgia the “electric mobility capital of America,” he and other Republicans are doing little to put more EVs on state roads — or to acknowledge the climate reasons behind the switch."