China's Gotion will make EV-bound LFP batteries in Illinois

Chinese battery maker Gotion will build a $2 billion EV battery factory in Manteno, Illinois, with plans to begin production in 2024.

The battery plant was announced September 8 by Gotion and the State of Illinois, which provided a $536 million incentive package to land the project. Under the terms of the deal, Gotion is also eligible to receive tax benefits totaling $213 million over 30 years, according to a state press release. Illinois expects the factory to create 2,600 new jobs.

The plant, which will be situated on a 150-acre site, will focus on EV battery cells and packs. Production capacity is estimated at 10 gigawatt-hours of packs and 40 gigawatt-hours of cells annually.

Rivian plant in Normal, Illinois, manufacturing its Enduro drive unit

Rivian plant in Normal, Illinois, manufacturing its Enduro drive unit

It’s unclear what EVs these batteries might go into, as Gotion hasn’t announced any supply deals with automakers. Rivian builds its electric trucks in Normal, Illinois, just under 100 miles southwest of Manteno, although it will add a second plant in Georgia within the next few years. Any batteries produced in Manteno will likely satisfy sourcing requirements for the federal EV tax credit, though, which could make Gotion an attractive supplier for automakers.

Added under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the new requirements, specify North American assembly of EV batteries, among other things. This has triggered a number of new battery-manufacturing projects. Ford is teaming up with CATL for tech, but it will own the plant and oversee production, in Michigan.

Gotion battery energy storage

Gotion battery energy storage

Gotion is a leading producer of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, and it boasted earlier this summer that it had already shipped 1 gigawatt-hour of energy storage products to the U.S. market. At the time, the company also expressed confidence in the U.S. energy-storage market, noting that Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects that market to grow 15-fold by 2030. But Illinois officials refer to the new factory as an “EV battery plant,” with no mention of energy storage.

Outside the U.S., Volkswagen and Gotion deepened their partnership in 2021, making the Chinese company an official partner in its Salzgitter plant, and the unified cell concept¬†it plans to make its mass-market EV cells around mid-decade. It also has a role in VW’s PowerCo, which officials called one of the most important startups in the history of Germany.

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