A new giga-battery factory could be built in Michigan, according to an application submitted to the state by economic development agency The Right Place – West Michigan.
Automotive News reports that Gotion, a maker of lithium-ion batteries, plans an investment of $2.36 billion, which would result in the creation of 2,350 new jobs.
The company is seeking approval for a 30-year Property Tax-Free Renaissance Zone (523 acres covering Big Rapids Township, Green Township and Mecosta County). If approved, it would save Gotion about $13 million in property taxes annually. That’s about $390 million over 30 years if we understand correctly.
Gotion Inc. is headquartered in Fremont, California, but it’s a subsidiary of a Chinese company, whose 26.5% is owned by Volkswagen. Gotion High-Tech is also a partner of Volkswagen in the strategic project Unified Cell.
According to the article, the new plant is expected to produce batteries, but there are no details on scale (GWh), customers, battery chemistry or cell form factor.
The plant is expected to start operations in 2024 with 586 jobs in the first year, while the entire project is expected to be completed by 2031 (four phases).
“For the development – dubbed ‘Project Elephant’ in the app – Gotion would invest $2.36 billion in improving land, buildings, machinery and equipment in four phases. The project aims to create 2,350 high-tech jobs at an average annual salary of $61,995 by the end of phase four, with hires beginning in June 2023 and ending in late 2031, according to the application.”
In addition to tax incentives, The Right Place/Gotion estimates that $14 million in public infrastructure improvements would be needed to support the project.
An interesting contribution is that Gotion chose Michigan over Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Kentucky – most of these states have also attracted large investments in giga- battery factories in recent years.
If Gotion receives approval and proceeds with the investment, it could be another strengthening of the North American battery market and additional competition.