Plans for electric vehicle battery plant in New Carlisle in jeopardy after GM, LG end deal
County leaders optimistic about plant moving forward despite setback
NEW CARLISLE, Ind. (WNDU) - Plans to build a multi-million dollar electric vehicle battery plant in New Carlisle have been placed on hold, at least for now.
Ultium Cells, LLC — a joint venture between General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solution — had zeroed in on St. Joseph County for its fourth U.S. battery cell plant. There was hope that it would bring as many as 1,600 manufacturing jobs to Michiana by 2027.
But according to reports from CNBC and The Wall Street Journal, plans to build the plant have been shelved indefinitely after talks between GM and LG recently ended without agreement.
GM is expected to continue with its plans to build the New Carlisle plant, but it is searching for another partner. If GM can’t find another partner, those plans could be in jeopardy.
Jeff Rea, President and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce, says he was not a part of that conversation, but got a call from The Wall Street Journal to comment on the matter.
He told 16 News Now that he is optimistic about the plant moving forward despite the setback.
“Our conversation from day one has been with GM and it’s been about the development of a site in New Carlisle and we’ve made the pitches about why we think we have a good site. . . We remain in regular contact with them. We’ve talked to them as recently as yesterday. We have every reason to believe that there is still strong interest in doing something here on our site,” Rea said.
GM is reportedly in talks with at least one other battery supplier. If talks are successful, the factory could proceed as initially planned.
“I still feel good about St. Joe County’s chances to land this long term. . . It’s a long process sometimes. So, we have continued to work through each of those processes. We remain optimistic though because we have what we believe is one of the best sites in the country. Every major project has looked at our site this last year. We remain focused on the GM partnership, relationship we have built with them over this last year,” Rea said.
The St. Joseph County Council approved a tax abatement for the plant back in August. Officials listed the total project price tag at $2.5 billion.
Stay with 16 News Now on-air and online as we continue to follow this developing story.
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