LG Energy Solution and Michigan: Leader in Battery Evolution


LG Energy Solution’s latest expansion into the Netherlands further strengthens its relationship with Michigan as a leader in battery production

In March 2022, LG Energy Solution (LGES) announced a $1.7 billion investment to quintuple plant capacity in Holland, Michigan, providing a strong pipeline to produce battery components in Michigan today. and in the future as the electric vehicle (EV) industry develops. Read the full version here.

“LG Energy Solution is at the forefront of green business, promoting sustainability, electrification and innovation. We have already become a contributor to Michigan State’s “championship economy”. Michigan was a natural fit for our commitment to building an impactful global business because of its rich talent pool, proximity to the geographic epicenter of the automotive industry, and strong support,” said Bonchul Koo, President of LG Energy Solution Michigan. “I’m optimistic about achieving LG Energy Solution’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and creating ripple effects on environmentally conscious businesses in Michigan and beyond. of the. I look forward to what the future holds.

Founded in 1947, LGES, formerly known as LG Chem Michigan and a division of LG, designs and produces innovative energy solutions to solve the automotive industry’s toughest challenges. The company manufactures large lithium-ion polymer battery cells and packs for electric vehicles and other energy storage applications.

LG Energy Solution has had a presence in the Netherlands since 2010, when it chose Michigan for its first electric vehicle battery factory in the United States, planting a flag for the state’s national leadership in battery manufacturing. LGES now has 1,495 employees in Michigan, with the South Korean electronics giant expanding its Dutch battery factory in 2018, adding 100,000 square feet to its facilities.

Once again, LGES has chosen Michigan as a home of opportunity and growth, helping position the state to prevail in battery manufacturing as the auto industry moves toward an electric future.

Connected to Michigan

The LGES expansion announcement comes just months after GM announced its historic $7 billion investment in the state, which includes up to $2.5 billion to build the company’s third cell plant. Ultium batteries in the United States in the city of Lansing and Delta Township. GM acted as a key partner in bringing LG to Michigan; its latest Ultium joint venture with LGES is expected to increase the state’s global leadership in the production of electric vehicles and advanced batteries. The facility will include a clean room environment, machinery and equipment that will enable the high volume production needed to produce cells at this capacity. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $2.5 billion and create up to 1,700 jobs.

The Ultium Battery Cell Plant Project is one of the first to be approved using the new Critical Industry Program and Strategic Site Readiness Program signed into law by Governor Whitmer in December 2021. These programs were created to ensure that Michigan can effectively compete for billions of dollars in investment. and attracting tens of thousands of jobs to support the state’s economy – and already, these tools are paying off.

Today, LG has roots across the state, with investments in Troy, Holland and Hazen Park that began under former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, now US Secretary of Energy. With the company’s latest $1.7 billion investment in Holland and the new Ultium battery cell factory in Lansing, it’s clear that LGES is plugged into Michigan for long-term success.

lead the charge

As the proud home of approximately one-third of battery production in the United States, Michigan ranks 5th nationally for employment related to electric vehicle battery manufacturing, with 2,000 workers employed at various sites Michigan battery manufacturing and OEMs, including LGES. The state’s continued focus on driving the future of the mobility and electrification industry continues to attract battery investment from around the world.

In particular, western Michigan – dubbed the “Smartcoast” – has become a hub for lithium-ion battery technology found in electric cars, motor homes and specialty vehicles in recent years. This success is part of the region’s emergence as a destination for innovative high-tech startups. Using entrepreneurship and collaboration, they showed how a region’s economy thrives on the success of large and small businesses.

Downtown Holland, MI

Dutch companies Jolt Energy Storage Technologies, Volta Power Systems and Global Battery Solutions have been at the forefront of this entrepreneurial revolution, all benefiting from Michigan’s strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. Lakeshore Advantage, a non-profit economic development organization founded in 2003 with key support from MEDC, assists businesses from startups to adults, and helps foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the counties of Ottawa and D ‘Allegan. Through its SURGE program located in the Holland SmartZone, Lakeshore Advantage has supported Jolt, Volta, and Global Battery Solutions by providing mentorship, resources, and networking opportunities that have helped them secure a collective $90,000 to achieve their next milestones. Lakeshore Advantage was also a critical partner in securing LGES’ recent investment in Michigan, providing practical support and guidance to make the project a reality for the state.

“We are extremely grateful for LG’s long term partnership and employment in our community. As a global leader in advanced energy storage, LG’s choice of our region for this transformational expansion is extraordinary,” said Jennifer Owens, President of Lakeshore Advantage. “Automotive electrification is the future and having a world leader in electric vehicle production residing in our community cements West Michigan as a national contender for future-focused economic prosperity.”

Like many companies established along the west coast of the state, LGES was drawn to Holland for its quality of life, from the area’s community orientation to its proximity to Lake Michigan.

As a world leader in battery manufacturing, LGES also keeps sustainability in mind with its business practices in the state. Its production facilities in the Netherlands are landfill-free, meaning that less than 1% of its total waste stream is sent to landfill. Of the waste produced, 97.4% is recovered and 2.5% goes to energy recovery.

Preparing MI Talent for the future

As the company continues to expand its footprint in the state, LGES provides growth and development opportunities for its nearly 1,500 Michigan employees and more.

LGES is developing a Battery Academy that each employee will follow as they are integrated into positions, from beginner to experienced level. This training module will indeed present a map of development paths, giving employees a clear vision of how to develop skills to move up the ladder. Training programs will include, but not be limited to, career path training, apprenticeships, engineering development programs, leadership development, and hydraulic and pneumatic training.

There are many modules in development that will be cross-collaborated with institutions of higher education, including Grand Rapids Community College, Muskegon Community College, and Grand Valley State University. In addition, LGES reimburses tuition fees for job-related degrees and certifications, providing employees with the opportunity to receive degrees they may not otherwise have access to.

Innovative talent solutions like these ensure that Michigan will continue to have a strong electric vehicle and battery manufacturing workforce at LGES and businesses across the state into the future.

Go forward

LGES recently caused a stir when it debuted on the South Korean stock market in January 2022. From its initial investment in Holland in 2009 to the latest expansion, LGES has established Michigan as a battery capital of the world, while demonstrating a strong relationship between Michigan and South Korea in foreign direct investment opportunities. Today, South Korea is the world’s third largest investor in Michigan, investing $1.2 billion over the past five years. In fact, South Korean FDI projects were the largest of any country, with projects averaging $152.7 million in capex; projects originating in South Korea were about four times larger than the average for all other source countries.

Home to over 1,400 foreign companies with more than 5,000 locations statewide, LGES’ $1.7 billion investment in the Netherlands once again proves that Michigan is the premier gateway for the expansion of businesses around the world.

Find out how Michigan is a place of pure opportunity for global companies like LGES at michiganbusiness.org/pure-opportunity.

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