By Piero Facchin

China’s Gotion High-tech Co Ltd is to build a $2 billion (U.S.) lithium battery manufacturing plant for electric vehicles (EVs) in Manteno, Illinois, which would create around 2,600 new jobs, the state governor’s office announced on Friday.

The investment is a victory for Illinois, which suffered a major blow when Stellantis closed its Jeep plant in Belvidere, laying off 1,350 UAW workers. Belvidere is about two hours north of the Gotion site.

Global electric vehicle battery manufacturers and automakers are looking to the North American market for new manufacturing facilities, in a bid to diversify supply chains and attract incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Gotion’s battery technology will help boost electric mobility in North America and economic and trade exchanges between China and the United States,” said Li Zhen, president of Gotion.

Gotion will be eligible for tax benefits totalling $213 million over 30 years, and will also receive $125 million in capital funding from the U.S. government’s Reimagining Energy and Vehicles incentive program. Gotion’s 30-year property tax reduction has also been approved by local authorities.

Backed by Volkswagen, Gotion is one of the world’s top 10 manufacturers of batteries for EVs. Once completed, the Manteno facility is expected to produce 10 GWh of lithium-ion batteries and 40 GWh of lithium-ion battery cells, according to the release. The plant is scheduled to go into production in 2024.

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