And We’re Down: Chevy Volt’s LG Chem Battery Plant In Michigan Closes Again

7 months ago by Jay Cole 16

LG Chem's Holland Started Commercial Production In August Of 2013...For A Few Days Anyway

LG Chem’s Holland Started Commercial Production In August Of 2013…For A Few Days Anyway

Remember way back in…ah, last month when we said production of battery cells that would be put into the new 2014 Chevrolet Volt had finally begun at the much delayed LG Chem Holland Michigan facilityForget all that.

Production Of Chevrolet Volt Batteries Shifts Back To South Korea For A Little Bit Longer

Production Of Chevrolet Volt Batteries Shifts Back To South Korea For A Little Bit Longer

Commercial production apparently didn’t last very long as the EPA had some questions about how the cells were being made.

The EPA even went as far as to issue a subpoena on LG Chem to learn what chemicals were used in production.  Apparently, the EPA was onto something not approved as of yet for US use as LG came out with a statement about the matter:

“We discovered the possibility that this material may not be properly registered and made the decision to pause our production until we have that  question resolved. We are currently reviewing the registration status and will work with the EPA to resolve the issue quickly. In the meanwhile, we  are delaying production activities for approximately 6 weeks until we have confirmed the registration status or otherwise obtain approval from EPA.”

There Is Something About Making These Cells The EPA Is Not Keen On

There Is Something About Making These Cells The EPA Is Not Keen On

The Holland, Michigan site has been a contentious point with the DoE as LG Chem idled the facility for almost 2 years while production continued in Korea for Chevrolet Volt batteries; that after drawing down $151 million in development money from the agency while having employees “spend time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies” according to a Office of the Inspector General report.   LG Chem was demanded to return $842,000 as a result of that report.

As for the chemical in question, LG Chem would only say it was a unspecified, low-volume ingredient.

During the shut down, LG says no staffing or employment will be affected and that they “view this as a temporary issue and are very confident that we will proceed with production soon.”

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16 responses to "And We’re Down: Chevy Volt’s LG Chem Battery Plant In Michigan Closes Again"

  1. David Murray says:

    I’m sure Faux news will be all over this to help enhance their toxic battery myth.

    1. kdawg-etti says:

      Yeah, I’m wondering which way they will spin it. Probably something like “Is Government Motors trying to poison your kids?”

    2. Taser54 says:

      Wait, so somehow you are proffering that the news shouldn’t report LG’s failure to comply with the EPA? The EPA wouldn’t require the registration of benign materials … right?

    3. Nargg says:

      Or it will probably be a cheap bash at the Obama camp for keeping jobs out of the USA. Though the EPA is run from Congressional directives, not the President.

  2. evnow says:

    May be something used in explosives ?

    1. kdawg-etti says:

      Or powdered organs from endangered species.

  3. Phil Trubey says:

    Is anyone noticing the angle that the EPA is a nightmare? The EPA has shut down a large factory because paperwork isn’t done right? No wonder we have less and less manufacturing in the US with the ever helpful EPA objecting to everything.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      There goes the oilies Earning Protection Agency (EPA) again.

    2. Paul Randall says:

      Did you read the article? The EPA didn’t order a shutdown, management did.

  4. Warren says:

    Yes. Just imagine if you tried to introduce ICE cars today, with all the poisonous fumes that come out of the tailpipe? The EPA would never allow it. We’d have to keep using electric trolleys, and bicycles, like we did at the turn of the last century.

    Hey! I like it. What are they waiting for? Gutless bureaucrats!

  5. Suprise Cat says:

    Nice try, industrial spy agency.

  6. Loboc says:

    Do any current EV batteries contain this mystery chemical/compound? This could lead to a nightmare recall.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      I read it as used in manufacturing, not the battery.

      I think it’d be usual hazardous substance protocol and they’ll have simply messed up by forgetting about it so it didn’t get checked with the EPA.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        I should add, that sloppiness is consistent with not really wanting to build the plant.

  7. Rick Danger says:

    They certainly had enough time to get this taken care of.

  8. Dennis says:

    We could blame LG Chem for taking a lot of Governement money and not following through.
    Or we could blame the Federal Government for throwing around a lot of money the wrong way.
    But I blame GM. Here we are at the beginning of a potentially huge market and do they partner with a US company?
    No. So we have US manufacturers shutting their doors (A123)…..
    The one thing we have going for us in the US is our university system which continually puts out technological breakthroughs and a robust patent system that protects them.
    Only to see big business piss it away by sending all the manufacturing overseas because there are so many regulations an taxes here in the states….
    Just look at Apple Electronics. They made a hundred and fourth BILLION dollars last year.
    Almost all of their parts and products are made and assembled offshore (Intel chips and Gorilla glass are the exception).
    And we wonder why we have a 7% unemployment rate….
    The elite in this county have abandoned us for a pot of gold.
    But can you blame them? If you are in business and your competition outsources to China you may be out of business. Who can compete with a country that has no OSAHA, EPA or labor unions?
    It’s a mess.
    Sorry for the rant. Getting off track:)
    I am happy the Volt is selling well. I wish I could afford one:)
    Ther have been some really exciting breakthroughs in Graphene super capacitors in the last few months. If they are as good as they say this debate about batteries may not matter.
    Lets hope:)