Indiana News

New Carlisle chosen for $3B EV battery plant

(Supplied/General Motors)

NEW CARLISLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – After nearly a year of waiting, it’s official: A more than $3 billion electric vehicle battery cell plant is coming to St. Joseph County. General Motors and South Korea-based Samsung SDI announced Tuesday that they have selected a 656-acre site in New Carlisle to build the 2.5 million-square-foot plant and will create 1,700 manufacturing jobs.

The origins of the project date back to last August, when Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution in South Korea, filed a tax abatement application for what was then planned to be a $2 billion facility.

The St. Joseph County Council approved an economic development agreement and tax incentive package the following month, though Ultium had not yet made a decision on a site for the project, and the waiting game began.

But plans were paused in January after GM and LG Energy Solution failed to come to an agreement on building what would’ve been their fourth plant.

In April, GM announced it had formed a new joint venture with Samsung SDI, and one month later, the St. Joseph County Council amended the original EDA and incentives to bring it up to date with the new partners.

The facility will be built in the Indiana Enterprise Center, a development area just east of New Carlisle.

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office said Tuesday the plant will house production lines to build nickel-rich prismatic and cylindrical cells that are expected to help increase the accessibility and affordability of EVs.

Construction on the plant is expected to begin within the next year, and production could get underway in 2026. When complete, the facility will have more than 30 gigawatt-hours of capacity annually.

“For decades, Hoosier communities like Marion, Bedford and Fort Wayne have been part of the production of countless firsts for family vehicles,” Holcomb said in a news release. “This historic investment is further proof that Indiana has turned it up and shifted into a higher gear when it comes to helping create the future of mobility and more customer options out on the open road.”

Carl Baxmeyer, president of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners, said the project is the largest single investment and job commitment in the county in the last 75 years. He said the effort will impact the region for decades.

“Our region has a long history of innovation in the automotive industry, and for generations have built vehicles or parts that have been included in vehicles around the world,” Baxmeyer said. “As the industry evolves, we’re thrilled to once again be at the center of this transformational time for the industry”

Samsung SDI is no stranger to Indiana. The company is also part of a joint venture with global auto giant Stellantis that is building a more than $2.5 billion EV battery facility in Kokomo that is expected to create 1,400 jobs.

“Through establishment of a battery joint venture with GM, we are grateful that Samsung SDI can contribute to boosting the economy of Indiana and creating new jobs here,” said Yoonho Choi, president and CEO of Samsung SDI. “Securing Indiana as a strong foothold together with GM, Samsung SDI will supply products featuring the highest level of safety and quality in a bid to help the U.S. move forward to an era of electric vehicles.”

An incentive package from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for the project is still being finalized. In addition to St. Joseph County, Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power and Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. have offered incentives.

The announcement comes just one day after GM detailed plans to invest $632 million in its Fort Wayne Assembly plant. The automaker is also investing $491 million to expand and upgrade its Marion Metal Center, as well as $45 million in its Bedford Casting Operations, both of which were announced last year.

GM employs more than 5,700 Hoosiers across the state.

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