An announcement published on the official website of the state of Michigan on October 5 showed that Gotion, the US subsidiary of Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech, will build a battery material factory in Big Rapids, Michigan, with an investment of about $2.364 billion, creating about 2,350 jobs.
Once completed, the facility in Big Rapids is expected to produce 150,000 tons of cathode material per year, covering an area estimated to span 260 acres with plans to build two 550,000 square foot production plants along with other supporting facilities. Additionally, the project will involve the construction of two production plants specifically dedicated to producing anodes, ultimately resulting in 50,000 tons of anode material produced per year.
The plant is expected to begin operations in 2024, while the entire project should be completed by 2031 in four phases, according to insideevs, citing a Gotion application for government subsidies. On October 8, a spokesperson of Gotion High-Tech told Chinese media outlet The Paper that the company has taken note of the news from the US government, but that all progress is subject to the company’s announcement.
As part of a series of electric vehicle battery investments, Michigan joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in announcing the Michigan Strategic Fund’s (MSF) support for the transformational investment by Gotion.
Michigan has long been considered the center of the U.S. auto industry, but lacks homegrown EV battery plants. In January 2022, Ultium Cells, a battery joint venture between US automaker General Motors and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution, announced it would build its third battery plant in Lansing, Michigan. The joint venture’s first two plants are in Ohio and Tennessee. Other battery makers have previously preferred southern states in the U.S. or Canada.
Big Rapids, where Gotion plans to build its plant, is Michigan’s second-largest city, after Detroit. By the end of the 19th century, Big Rapids had become one of the largest furniture manufacturing centers in the U.S. because of its abundant wood resources. In addition, the city was also known for its automobile industry and aircraft manufacturing.
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Hefei, Anhui Province, Gotion High-Tech produces lithium iron phosphate batteries, ternary lithium batteries, battery packs, battery management systems and energy storage battery packs. Gotion was incorporated in California in 2014 and has focused on research and development activities in Fremont, California as well as Cleveland, Ohio.
The latest statistics from the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance show that from January to August 2022, Gotion High-Tech installed 7.98GWh of power batteries, ranking fourth in China. According to SNE research, from January to August 2022, the company installed about 8.4 GWh of power batteries worldwide, ranking eighth globally.