General Motors appears to be moving forward with a plan to build an electric vehicle battery plant in northern Indiana.
The automaker has proposed spending $3.5 billion on what would be its fourth U.S. battery plant, according to government officials. The project outside New Carlisle, Ind., would have roughly 1,600 full-time employees by the end of 2027, at an average wage of $24 per hour, according to a development agreement filed with St. Joseph County.
County officials on Tuesday approved a development agreement and tax abatement with GM for the project. It amends an earlier agreement approved last year between the county and Ultium Cells LLC, the name of GM's joint venture with LG Energy Solution. Talks with LG broke down over a fourth battery plant that would follow three in operation or under construction in the U.S.
GM in April formed a joint venture with South Korean battery manufacturer Samsung SDI and said the two companies planned to invest more than $3 billion to open a plant by 2026.
A GM spokesperson said the automaker has not yet decided on a location.
"Samsung SDI and General Motors are developing a competitive business case for a battery cell manufacturing plant that could be located in New Carlisle, Ind.," GM said in a statement. "As part of that work, we submitted a tax abatement application with St. Joseph County, which was approved [Tuesday]. We appreciate the local support as the joint venture works to make a location decision."
GM and Samsung said their plant will produce prismatic and cylindrical battery cells, which will give GM additional form factors for its upcoming EVs. The automaker said it expects to have roughly 160 gigawatt-hours of battery cell capacity in the U.S. when the plant reaches full production.
Construction of the Indiana facility — two buildings totaling 3 million square feet — would begin in the fourth quarter and finish by the end of 2027, according to the development agreement.
St. Joseph County offered to eliminate GM's real property taxes for 10 years and personal property taxes for 15 years, though the company would pay $4.5 million annually for a decade toward infrastructure costs, according to the county.
GM has invested more than $7 billion in three Ultium Cells battery plants. The first, in Warren, Ohio, has begun production. A second plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., is expected to open this year, while a third near Lansing, Mich., is expected to open in 2024.