The future is bright; production begins on EV batteries | News, Sports, Jobs

Electric vehicle battery cells roll off the production line at our region’s newest manufacturing plant.

The exciting news was released last week on the same day Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and other state officials were in town to tour the high-tech factory of the future.

Indeed, it is just one more step towards ensuring that our Mahoning Valley will live up to its lofty goal of becoming “Valley of tension.”

The battery cells, manufactured at the massive new Ultium Cell Plant, a joint venture between General Motors and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, will power GM’s vehicles of the future. The brand new 2.8 million square foot facility is located along State Route 45 in Lordstown.

As Ultium Cells Vice President Tom Gallagher said last week, “It’s been a journey.”

We couldn’t be happier to have our valley as the starting point for this trip.

Battery cells are expected to begin shipping for use in several GM EV models by the end of this year. The batteries will go into GM electric vehicles, which currently include Hummer EVs, Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup trucks and the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV. This list is sure to grow.

While full production is not expected to be reached here until the end of 2023, the plant already employs around 800 workers. It expects to exceed the 1,100 workers the company had anticipated needing, officials said.

Undeniably, the future is bright for production here. Indeed, GM CEO Mary Barra has been unequivocal in the company’s future plans for electric vehicles, saying GM’s goal is to convert all of its passenger vehicles to electric vehicles by 2035. .

Stop for a moment to consider this comment – 2035 is just over 12 years away.

Visiting the plant last week with the Ohio administration was JP Nauseef, president of JobsOhio, the state’s private, nonprofit economic development corporation.

Indeed, the interest and excitement was palpable, considering the jobs and the impact on Ohio’s economy.

Along with the new Ultium plant, the growing electric vehicle industry could seek even more workers if a new plant planned by Honda and LG Energy Solution lands in Ohio, or better yet, the Mahoning Valley.

Honda announced plans for a new joint venture plant on Monday, and given that the Japan-based company already operates a large manufacturing plant in Marysville, Ohio, hopes are high that the company will look to our state. to accommodate its planned new battery factory. .

For now, however, DeWine was singing our valley’s praises during Wednesday’s visit.

“It shows where the Mahoning Valley is going, it shows where the state of Ohio is going, and if you look at it as a whole, Ohio has always been a great automotive state,” DeWine said during his visit. “We are not only a major producer of cars, but also of auto parts, and it is very important, as we make this transition to electric, that a factory like this is here.

Husted said the high-tech manufacturing plant lived up to the hype.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more high-tech automated process than the one we just had the opportunity to witness,” Husted said.

Indeed, Ohio and our Valley are well positioned entering the electric vehicle sector on the ground floor.

Car manufacturing in our region is a tradition. We are confident that we will now be able to meet the demands of the next generation of automotive manufacturing.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox