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State lands a major EV battery manufacturer

Friday, Sep 8, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* You have likely already seen this Crain’s article

Sources in both state government and the EV industry confirm that Gotion, a Chinese battery maker that earlier announced plans to open a plant in Michigan, has decided on Manteno in Kankakee County for a second, related $2 billion facility. […]

The biggest chunk, $213 million in payroll tax credits, will be paid over 30 years, assuming Gotion meets stated hiring goals of creating 2,600 full-time jobs that pay at least 120% of the average wage of similar jobs in Kankakee County — which would put salaries at $55,000 — and that the company invests at least $1.9 billion here.

In addition, the company will be the first beneficiary of Pritzker’s “deal closing fund,” receiving $125 million in capital funds. And the state will finance a new job-training academy nearby to prepare workers at the plant.

Local property taxes on the now-mostly vacant site will double to just under $2 million a year but then be capped at that level for 30 years. The abatement already has been approved by Kankakee and nine other local governments.

* IMA…

“Today’s announcement builds on our state’s long history of auto manufacturing, and we are thrilled to welcome Gotion to Illinois as we work diligently to create an ecosystem that supports our growing electric vehicle sector,” said Mark Denzler, President & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We are proud to have partnered with Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to put in place legislation to help bring these businesses to Illinois, and we look forward to the continued success of this important industry.”

* Gov. Pritzker…

Governor JB Pritzker and Gotion today joined local Illinois leaders and officials to announce the company’s decision to locate its new state-of-the-art $2 billion electric vehicle (EV) lithium battery manufacturing plant in Manteno. Bolstered by a REV Illinois (Reimagining Energy and Vehicles) incentive package and the new Invest in Illinois fund, Gotion’s decision to locate its new gigafactory in Illinois speaks to the state’s growing reputation as an EV manufacturing powerhouse and represents a significant step forward in growing its EV ecosystem and supply chain. The plant is expected to begin production in 2024.

“Today, we take another leap forward, announcing the largest electric vehicle battery production investment in Illinois to date. It’s my pleasure to welcome a world-leading battery manufacturer — Gotion — to Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This announcement is a testament to Illinois status as a leading destination for companies and investors who want the most talented workers, the best transportation systems, and a collaborative economic growth mindset from their partners in government at all levels. With 2,600 new jobs, a $2 billion gigafactory, and the most significant new manufacturing investment in Illinois in decades — it’s the most recent proof that we are in a new paradigm. Illinois is on the rise, and we’re open for business.”

“Our administration is creating a better and healthier future. This new facility will be a game-changer in our state’s economy, creating new jobs and showing our continued commitment to making Illinois a renewable energy manufacturing powerhouse,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “We are providing real solutions and new opportunities for our residents to push forward with us. I thank Governor Pritzker for his steadfast leadership for a greener tomorrow.”

“Energy and environmental protection are our common challenges. To address them, solar power, wind, and energy storage systems are becoming the backbone of a new energy system and accelerate the revolution in the global energy landscape,” said Li Zhen, Chairman of Gotion High-tech. “All that we see here [in Illinois] are of enormous value to us: an enabling business environment, a supportive state government for the new energy industry and their highly efficient work, as well as the prospects of the State of Illinois in the coming years. When we come to Illinois, we are not building a new factory but are planning to reuse an existing one and bring it back to life again as our way of cherishing and conserving resources. We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.”

Gotion’s new state-of-the-art EV battery plant will help bolster the supply chain and meet growing demand for batteries across the EV sector, including Gotion’s partners, as well as additional EV manufacturers across North America. The facility will focus on lithium-ion battery cell, battery pack production, and energy storage system integration. Once completed, the facility in Manteno is expected to produce 10 GWh of lithium-ion battery packs and 40 GWh of lithium-ion battery cells, which will strengthen the American EV battery supply chain. The site will cover approximately 150 acres.

With competitive incentives through REV Illinois, unmatched infrastructure, access to markets, as well as an abundant and qualified workforce, Gotion selected Illinois to locate its gigafactory after a competitive nationwide search. Illinois’ assets combined with a comprehensive REV Illinois incentive package and the state’s new Invest in Illinois Fund helped secure Gotion’s historic investment in Illinois.

Gotion’s total incentive package from the State of Illinois, which includes REV, Invest in Illinois, and other incentives, is valued at $536 million. Through REV, Gotion is eligible to receive tax benefits totaling $213 million over 30 years. The REV agreement specifies a minimum company investment of $1.9 billion and the creation of 2,600 full-time jobs that are paid at least 120% of the average wage of similar job classifications in Kankakee County. A link to the executed REV agreement can be found here.

Gotion will also be the first recipient of Invest in Illinois funding in the amount of $125 million in capital funding to the company. The Fund was signed into law in early 2023 to make Illinois more attractive when vying for large projects in highly competitive sectors like clean energy. A link to the executed Invest in Illinois agreement can be found here.

Gotion was also approved by local authorities for property tax abatement for 30 years.

As part of Illinois’ commitment to build out comprehensive EV hubs and support Illinois’ workforce, the state will also fund a new manufacturing training academy nearby, as well as award an additional grant to workforce providers to expand training and prepare regional employees for the new jobs.

“The legislature and Governor have worked diligently to create a stable, predictable economic climate in which business can thrive,” said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “Our partnership with Gotion is possible thanks to years of hard work and investment. Illinois is one of the best places in the world to do business.”

“This exciting project is another step toward putting Illinois on the cutting edge of the electric vehicle market—while also uplifting communities across our state,” said House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch. “Working together, the majority in the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker have made strides to rebuild Illinois’ fiscal house, pair 21st Century job creators with smart incentives, and show the world that Illinois is a hub of opportunity. There’s more work to be done and we’re going to continue moving Illinois forward, strengthening our economic future, and creating new opportunities across our state.”

“I am thrilled to see this groundbreaking development of Gotion’s state-of-the-art EV battery plant right here in Kankakee County,” said State Senator Patrick Joyce (D–Essex). “This facility not only represents a step forward in strengthening the EV supply chain, but also highlights Illinois’ commitment to innovation and job creation.”

“Illinois is emerging as a nationwide leader in the electric vehicle industry,” said Senator Elgie Sims Jr. (D–Chicago). “To see our state government providing more opportunities for long-term careers in this ever-growing industry is exciting and shows that we are committed to sustainable innovation.”

“This $2 billion investment in Kankakee County is also an investment in the future of our region and our state,” said State Rep. Nicholas Smith (D–Chicago). “We’re powering tomorrow’s in-demand vehicles right here in Manteno, and that will power good-paying jobs and economic development for the entire community.”

“Businesses that are looking to invest in their future are looking at the investments Illinois is making in our transportation infrastructure, our workforce, and in long-term partnerships with innovators,” said State Rep. Marcus Evans (D–Chicago). “We’re building a 21st Century economy that works for everybody, and this an exciting example of the businesses that are ready to be a part of that.”

“This exciting project is a win for the entire Southland region, made possible by south suburban lawmakers and the governor working together to invest in growing our business community and creating good-paying jobs for our region,” said State Rep. Thaddeus Jones (D–Calumet City). “I look forward to continuing to work for opportunity and investment in our local economy.”

“This announcement is a huge win for Manteno, Kankakee County, and the State of Illinois, and will only enhance and strengthen our robust manufacturing sector,” said Timothy O. Nugent, Mayor of Manteno.

“Between today’s announcement, recent investments in the electric vehicle space throughout the state, and thanks to our skilled and diverse talent pool, world-class universities, and key infrastructure, it’s clear Illinois is well-positioned to be a leader in the electric vehicle space,” said Jack Lavin, President & CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “Today’s announcement will set us on a course to secure significant jobs and investment for years to come. We thank Governor Pritzker for his commitment to investing in industries that drive our economic growth and create jobs and his leadership in the effort to secure this facility. We look forward to continuing to work together to attract more generational economic development opportunities across the state.”

“At Nicor Gas, we are proud to serve the Manteno community and are excited to welcome Gotion as they expand their state-of-the-art battery and energy storage operations into Illinois,” said Wendell Dallas, President and CEO of Nicor Gas. “We look forward to working with the State of Illinois and economic development partners with an ‘all of the above’ net-zero energy mix that will result in manufacturing jobs coming to Kankakee County.”

“Illinois’ strategic location and skilled workforce make it an attractive location for EV companies,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “Gotion will not only bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment to Illinois, but will also help advance the state’s thriving EV ecosystem.”

“Today’s announcement is a huge win for Governor Pritzker and Illinois. It builds on our state’s long history of auto manufacturing, and we are thrilled to welcome Gotion to Illinois as we work diligently to create an innovative ecosystem that supports our growing electric vehicle sector,” said Mark Denzler, President & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We are proud to have partnered with Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to put in place incentives to help bring these businesses to Illinois, and we look forward to the continued success of this important industry.”

“This project is an important step forward for Illinois,” said Rob Karr, President & CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “While the investment itself is significant, the broader impacts of the new jobs and related economic developments will be a significant boost for existing business. We congratulate Governor Pritzker, our legislative leaders, and everyone promoting Illinois.”

“Team Illinois has a bold vision to lead our country’s efforts to decarbonize transportation. This exciting announcement is a critical step and a sign of many more transformative contributions to come,” said Brad Henderson, CEO of P33.

“The Illinois Economic Development Association is proud to support the state’s new business attraction tools,” said IEDA Chairman Michael Cassa. “The announcement of the EV project proves the tools are working.”

“The Illinois Climate Equitable and Jobs Act (CEJA) empowered the Illinois Finance Authority to use finance to combat climate change as the Climate Bank,” said Chris Meister, Executive Director, Illinois Finance Authority/Climate Bank. “Through an economic development loan, and potentially other financial assistance to this project, we are proud to advance Governor Pritzker’s vision of a zero-carbon transportation future that will help families across our State and create good paying Illinois jobs.”

“Gotion’s decision to choose Illinois speaks volumes to our unmatched infrastructure, workforce, and incentives. The historic $2 billion commitment represents the largest EV battery plant investment in Illinois, bolstering the state’s EV battery supply chain and helping to attract and retain other heavy hitters in the industry. Most importantly, the gigafactory will create thousands of good-paying, clean energy jobs for hardworking Illinoisans,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “With global demand soaring, we’re proud to add Gotion’s EV batteries to the extensive list of products proudly made in Illinois.”

       

27 Comments
  1. - Quad Cities - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:11 am:

    Huge win for Illinois and Downstate Illinois. Congrats to Governor Pritzker, Deputy Governor Andy Manar and all who helped make this happen.


  2. - Hyperbolic Chamber - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:24 am:

    This is a great win for Illinois, its economy and its workers. Great leadership from the Governor, Dep. Gov. Manar, Director Richards and all the DCEO staff who made it happen. Let’s get another one!!!


  3. - levivotedforjudy - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:25 am:

    I’m sure there is something wrong about this and the naysayers will tell me as soon as they figure out what it is.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:38 am:

    Great news to a great policy win.

    It’s one thing to have “policy”, it’s another to govern *in* that policy… it’s quite the next step to engage in growing that policy within your state with business and jobs.

    It is a big deal.

    One only needs to read the react of many to this news, and where on politics they sit, and how good politics and good governing bring so many together.

    Congratulations. Good news for Illinois.


  5. - Aaron B - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:39 am:

    @levivotedforjudy - The opposite land folks at the Outrage of Kankakee County facebook page are already outrage that they have for this huge economic win for Kankakee County.


  6. - supplied_demand - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:42 am:

    The Crain’s article also had this: “Pritzker gave no details, but industry sources have been reporting for a while that two other battery makers have been discussing major investments here.”


  7. - Illiana - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:49 am:

    @levivotedforjudy

    I’m afraid it won’t take the naysayers long to figure out their complaint. I Googled the company’s name and two of the first six articles that popped up was a Fox News story titled “Company behind contentious Michigan battery factory quietly appeared as Chinese foreign principal in filings” and a NY Post article titled “Michigan EV plant’s work retreat features Red Army outfits, pledges to ‘fight for communism’”

    I don’t really care about all of that, but I’m sure it won’t take long until you see an ILGOP statement about the company’s ties to the CCP.


  8. - jimbo - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 11:53 am:

    ~~I’m sure there is something wrong about this and the naysayers will tell me as soon as they figure out what it is~~

    The complaint about the sister factory in MI is that somehow the Chinese ownership will convert everyone in MI into communists.

    Personally, I hope that somehow this helps Belvidere back into auto manufacturing.


  9. - Give Us Barabbas - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    You want to build the synergy of the battery plants being near the car factories, as well as near major rail hubs for shipping cross country. I don’t know if this will help Belvedere, but it might help Rivian. Or a non car market for home solar battery packs, something to compete with Tesla Power Wall units for the home.


  10. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:08 pm:

    Great news for Illinois and Kankakee County.

    Maybe if this proves successful, we might consider extending Metra service from University Park to Kankakee. That would be a big boost for a county that’s been suffering economically since the late 1970s.

    OTOH, and having grown up there, there are probably a lot of Kankakee County folks that wouldn’t want to pay to join RTA, nor be so connected to Chicago.

    But I can dream (and spend other peoples’ money), right?


  11. - Friendly Bob Adams - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    Looks like it’s Good News Friday….


  12. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:29 pm:

    I would recommend a great book for history buffs

    While England Slept which examined the build up of German Power that was ignored

    Now the State of Illinois is going into business with Chinese companies, owned by the CCP that hacked our Commerce Secretaries emails last month, and using tax dollars to subsidize it


  13. - Dirt Lawyer - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    ~~OTOH, and having grown up there, there are probably a lot of Kankakee County folks that wouldn’t want to pay to join RTA, nor be so connected to Chicago.
    =======================

    Oh, as I am sure you know there’s plenty of people in Kankakee County opposed to this and other pending development projects, just as they are to any project that might make it more like “up north.”

    Ironically, these are the same people complaining that Kankakee County doesn’t have things like a Costco, a Trader Joe’s, or a Portillo’s. They simply aren’t smart enough to understand you can’t have it both ways.


  14. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    “We are proud to have partnered with Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to put in place legislation to help bring these businesses to Illinois”

    Congrats and thanks to everyone who worked on this. It’s a big win. The governor has been attending groundbreakings of business/casino expansion. Things are looking up in Illinois.


  15. - Sue - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:47 pm:

    All for a new business with 2600 jobs although if I read this correctly- the State and local governments are ponying up 536 Million in incentives. If a Republican was behind any such project- you all would be howling at the moon in protest


  16. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    ===owned by the CCP===

    LOL

    The company’s largest shareholder by far is VW.


  17. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===…any project that might make it more like “up north.”===

    Yeah, that includes some of my old high school buddies that I’m still in touch with.

    I’ve often said, Kankakee is located 60 miles south of Chicago and still 60 years in the past.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre - and - Sue -

    Please give an update to FoxConn in Wisconsin, and while doing so please, back to the post, show the parallels where that (by all measures currently) failure is similar.

    If you’d like to “whatabout” policy, you first need to come to grips that FoxConn is a failure (measured today) and how here, and to this post, makes your thoughts relevant.

    Thanks.


  19. - trip - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 1:08 pm:

    This is good news for illinois, but I really hope we are not still manufacturing lithium batteries in 30 years.


  20. - Overbay - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 1:46 pm:

    Tip of the hat to Manar. He sold another massive policy change to the General Assembly that now appears to be working well for the state. He is quite good at that policy stuff.


  21. - cermak_rd - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 2:11 pm:

    This is great for Kankakee and Manteno and the whole state. Downstate? Only if one things it starts at Kankakee (I’ve always thought the dividing line was Shelby county.)


  22. - Arsenal - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==If a Republican was behind any such project- you all would be howling at the moon in protest==

    We’ll never know because all the last Republican Governor did was whine about unions.


  23. - Arsenal - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 2:22 pm:

    ==The company’s largest shareholder by far is VW.==

    Great, so we’re back to the Germans. /s


  24. - 17% Solution - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    Kankakee needs some love, so good.


  25. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    The I-57 corridor is really heating up and the Gotion factory will only add to it. The Amazon facility in Monee employs nearly as many people. And there’s a lot of development interest in the entire area, with the fate of the South Suburban Freight Airport yet to be told. Downstate? The Pace bus that serves the Monee Amazon is only 2 exits away from Manteno, and it transports workers to and from the Harvey and Chicago Heights hubs.


  26. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 4:08 pm:

    === While England Slept which examined the build up of German Power that was ignored ===

    Is it Shark Jump Week again?

    “When historians look back to understand the Chinese communist global domination, they will surely see the seminal spark in the sleepy Kankakee County town of Manteno.”


  27. - Back to the Future - Friday, Sep 8, 23 @ 4:26 pm:

    Hope Pritzker did his homework on who controls this Chinese battery manufacturer.
    513 million is a lot of money to spend.
    On balance it is always good to see new jobs come into the state and we should all hope that this works out.


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