Michigan startup investing $1.6B in EV battery gigafactory, creating 2,112 jobs
Posted By: mlive on October 5, 2022. For more information, please click here to read the source article.
A Michigan startup is getting a $200 million state grant for a new $1.6 billion electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Wayne County.
The Michigan Strategic Fund awarded funding to Our Next Energy during a special Wednesday, Oct. 5 board meeting. Founded in 2020, the battery technology company headquartered in Novi intends to double the distance electric vehicles can travel.
“The Michigan-based battery technology company aims to pioneer sustainable battery manufacturing practices to position the U.S. and Michigan, in particular, as a leader in the disruptive energy storage technology sector,” said Michigan Economic Development CEO Quentin Messer during a media briefing.
Our Next Energy plans to develop a “state-of-the-art” factory creating 2,112 jobs at the Crossroads Distribution Center in the Charter Township of Van Buren.
The 659,589-square-foot facility will be the company’s first EV battery pack gigafactory—a term coined by Tesla that refers to production capacity in gigawatt hours for factories producing batteries on a massive scale.
The factory, called ONE Circle, will include raw material refinement, cathode materials production and cell and battery manufacturing, according to a project briefing memo. Battery materials will be processed on site, meaning the factory will control each aspect of the supply chain.
“With this new gigafactory, we will continue bringing the supply chain of electric vehicles, chips, and batteries home to Michigan and the USA while creating a sustainable, clean energy economy,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.
Global investors like BMW and Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures have already backed the startup.
Our Next Energy has developed a battery that powered a Tesla Model S 752 miles without recharging. Electric vehicles can currently drive an average of 250 miles on one charge.
The company expects to start production of its first battery in late 2022.
“What we have done is we have made it unnecessary to source cobalt, nickel and a lot of other materials that are hard to get. Taking iron as our material, we see North American supply chain development as very practical,” said Our Next Energy CEO Mujeeb Ijaz during Wednesday’s board meeting.
The state board awarded the grant through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund, commonly called the SOAR Fund.
The $1 billion economic development fund was first created by state leaders late last year after Michigan lost out on an $11.4 billion investment from Ford.
On Monday, Oct. 4, Whitmer signed off on depositing another $846.1 million to attract additional projects from major corporations. This was met by pushback from some lawmakers including State Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, who resigned from his post as the chair of the House Appropriations Committee in protest.
“We remain as team Michigan laser focused on outhustling, outcompeting and outperforming our competitors around the globe to make Michigan continue to be a global home for opportunity across multiple different industries,” Messer said.
Our Next Energy also received a $21.6 million tax exemption and a $15 million loan from the state.
Michigan has made significant investments in electric vehicle battery facilities this year including support for a $7 billion General Motors investment and a $1.7 billion expansion of LG Energy Solutions in Holland. The state economic development board Wednesday also approved $175 million in grants for a $2.3 billion battery cell facility in Big Rapids.
“We are providing opportunities for the next generation of Michiganders,” Messer said. “Michigan has always shown that it can adapt and adjust to changing market conditions because of our rich engineering, ingenuity, we know how to make things.”
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