Is Michigan’s LG Chem battery factory the Sleeping Giant? Chevy unveils new Bolt, and other stories we’re following

Happy New Year BBM Readers,

Who would have guessed 2015 would end with a bang (EV-news wise)? Even better, it’s also looking up for 2016.

For one, LG Chem announced that it has been increasing production at its Michigan plant. If the trend continues (up to, say, 3 gigawatt hours per year), LG could become the biggest EV battery manufacturing plant in the country.

Yes, bigger than the Tesla gigafactory.

Automotive News reports that the plant has been steadily gaining contracts from auto manufacturers since it’s halting start, enough that the plant might zoom past Tesla. Check out the full story below.

This just the latest in a flurry of good end-of-2015 EV news.

In other significant news, Ford also announced plans to add 13 PEV and PHEV models to its lineup. The first step is upgrading the Built by Michigan Focus Electric to a 100-mile range model. We’re hoping some of that $4.5 billion investment will come to Michigan- whether in auto manufacturing or battery development (which is something Ford been working on a bit more actively than other carmakers). For more on that, see our story below.

As for 2016, this week we also kept up with the Consumer Electronics Show, which dedicated 25% more floor space to automobiles this year.  Some highlights: the first look at the production-ready Chevy Bolt EV and an announcement about a Google - Ford match-up to develop autonomous vehicles. We’ve got details here.

With news like this, and the Auto Show next week to look forward to, it’s looking to to be a great New Year for Michigan-made EVs.

Until next time,

Charles Griffith
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center