South Korean LG Chem will finally begin commercial battery production at its Holland , Michigan, in July, Reuters says. The batteries will initially help power GM’s Volt.
Three years ago, at a groundbreaking ceremony for an LG Chem Battery plant in Holland, Michigan, President Obama promised that this and other pants will be “a boost to the economy in the entire region.” The plant made headlines for doing nothing.
Half of the plant’s $300 million price was funded by the tax payer, courtesy of a $150 million government grant. Its workers “had little work to do and were spending time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies at the expense of the federal government and taxpayers,” Gregory Friedman, inspector general at the Department of Energy, concluded in a report.
The has not started production because “demand for electric vehicles such as the Volt has been lower than expected,” LG Chem told Reuters.
How many batteries will be built is unknown, but “volume is expected to consistently increase depending on the electric vehicle market and securing additional contracts,” LG Chem promises.