A new report suggests Michigan is among the nation’s key players in the production of electric vehicle batteries.
Last week, the US Department of Energy highlighted North America’s electric vehicle battery manufacturing capacity and listed Michigan among the top three states with the highest projected growth.
According to data from Argonne National Laboratory, Michigan will be able to produce between 97 and 136 gigawatt hours per year of EV batteries by 2030. Georgia and Kentucky are also included for the same capacity.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) highlighted the state’s attraction of over $14 billion in electric vehicle and battery investments for its potential to lead the charge.
“2022 was a year like no other, as Michigan welcomed transformational investments that further demonstrated our leadership in the mobility industry,” said Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of MEDC.. “It should come as no surprise that Michigan is recognized as a leader and a serious contender as we move toward an electrified future.”
In West Michigan, several planned manufacturing investments highlight the state’s recent recognition. Gotion’s plans to build a $2.4 billion battery plant near Big Rapids were announced in the fall of 2022, though questions have been raised about the project’s capacity and impact.
In addition, LG Energy Solution unveiled a $1.7 billion expansion project at its battery manufacturing plant in the Netherlands last year. The expansion is expected to create 1,200 new jobs by 2025 and serve as an incubation center to support the next generation of battery professionals.
“Michigan was a natural choice (for) our commitment to building an impactful global business because of its rich talent base, proximity to the geographic epicenter of the automotive industry and its strong support,” said Bonchul Koo, president of LGES Michigan. at the time of publication.
The US Department of Energy expects contributions from states like Michigan to increase total battery production capacity in North America from 55 gigawatt hours per year in 2021 to nearly 1,000 gigawatt hours by 2030.
With various projects making headlines, the push for EVs and EV battery production may seem sudden. But Amanda Murray, vice president of business solutions at Lakeshore Advantage, told the Business Journal in October that the transition will still take time.
“The transition will be gradual,” Murray said. “The switch won’t flip and everything will be EV. With the battery projects we’re hearing, they sound like they’ll be here soon, but they’ve been in the works for years.”
At the same time, some local leaders are eager for Michigan to keep up with this transformation.
“We have to recognize that we have 40,000 people working in the auto industry because it is going through perhaps the most dramatic transformation since it began,” said 2022 Randy Thelen, president and CEO of The Right Place. “It’s imperative that Michigan and the Midwest retain and take on much of that transformation.”