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Gotion Might Build EV Battery Plant In Michigan

A new battery gigafactory might be built in Michigan, according to an application submitted to the state by The Right Place – West Michigan’s economic development agency.

Automotive News reports that Gotion, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer, is planning a $2.36 billion investment, which would result in 2,350 new jobs.

The company seeks approval for a 30-year property tax-free Renaissance Zone (523 acres spanning Big Rapids Township, Green Township and Mecosta County). If approved, it would save Gotion an estimated $13 million in property taxes annually. That’s about $390 million over 30 years if we understand it correctly.

Gotion Inc. is headquartered in Fremont, California, but it’s a subsidiary of a Chinese company, of which 26.5% is owned by Volkswagen. Gotion High-Tech is also Volkswagen’s partner in the strategic Unified Cell project.

According to the article, the new plant is expected to produce batteries, but there are no details about the 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 should be completed by 2031 (four phases).

“For the development — dubbed “Project Elephant” in the application — Gotion would invest $2.36 billion in land improvements, buildings, machinery and equipment across four phases. The project aims to create 2,350 high-tech jobs at an average annual wage of $61,995 by the end of phase four, with hiring starting in June 2023 and wrapping at the end of 2031, according to the application.”

Besides tax incentives, The Right Place/Gotion estimates that $14 million in public infrastructure improvements would be needed to support the project.

An interesting input is that Gotion selected Michigan over Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Kentucky – most of those states also attracted significant battery gigafactory investments in recent years.

If Gotion receives approval and proceeds with the investment, it might be another strengthening of the battery market in North America and some additional competition.


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