EV Battery Plant Will Furlough Workers Due To Low Demand (VIDEO update)

OCT 10 2012 BY MIKE 6

According to an article from Fox News, workers at Compact Power, who makes lithium-ion cells for EVs, will have to furlough workers. The terms for the furloughs means all workers will only work three weeks per month.

President Obama gets into an electric Ford Focus as he attends the groundbreaking of a factory for Compact Power Inc. in Holland, Mich.

The plant, which is located in Holland, Mich. and currently ran by LG Chem, was built using $150 million in taxpayer funds, but to date, not one battery has been manufactured there. As part of President Obama’s hope to bring “manufacturing jobs… back to the United States,” he was even at the ground breaking for this facility.

“You are leading the way in showing how manufacturing jobs are coming right back here to the United States of America,” Obama told workers at the ground-breaking ceremony. “Our goal has never been to create a government program, but rather to unleash private-sector growth. And we’re seeing results.”

Although the $150 million in taxpayer funds helped construct the building, local governments made the deal even sweeter. LG supposedly received a large tax break for property taxes over the first 15 years which will save them almost $50 million plus $2.5 million annually on local business taxes for an undisclosed term.

Fox News says the plant was to manufacture batteries for both the Chevrolet Volt and the electric Ford Focus, but currently batteries for the Volt are still manufactured in South Korea.

“The market conditions haven’t been as favorable, but this hasn’t slowed down plans one bit,” Randy Boileau, spokesperson for LG Chem said. “LG Chem has repeatedly said that this facility is a critical component for them globally.”

Here is a rendering of the $150 million dollar facility.

Randy Boileau, a spokesperson for LG Chem, said he feels that this is only temporary as they are expected to start battery production as soon as Chevy increases output of the Volt which is starting Oct. 15. He also said that workers at the plant that are affected by this are eligible for unemployment the weeks they are not working plus the company will still contribute to their benefits during that time.

To learn more about the struggles and possible resulutions for this plant, check out the story at Fox News.


Video from NOT FOX NEWS:

Categories: Battery Tech, Chevrolet, Ford, General


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6 Comments on "EV Battery Plant Will Furlough Workers Due To Low Demand (VIDEO update)"

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Mark H

Always sad to read the political spin. Of course there is a need to furlough for a plant of this capacity. Expect this in varying degrees for five years. This is an emerging market that sold 17,000 EVs in the US for 2011 and probably 50,000 in 2012. The industry has to start somewhere but it is consistently on the rise. Shame on you Fixed News for misleading your viewing base and implying failure.


This is so maddening.
They should be making EVERY Chevy Volt pack in the US.
That was the idea in the first place.
Chevy will end up making around 35000 Volts this year.
That’s 35000 packs that could be made in this plant employing American workers…..
Not Korean workers in SK.

@Mike Buchanan 2 Negative stories re: electric cars in one morning! This is even a record for you! Look Mike – don’t quote Fox News for “FACTS” regarding EVs or EV-related news, OK? LG’s Michigan plant information has been available for weeks and weeks. I’d pull this story due to it’s negative slant and dubious source – SERIOUSLY. LG makes fantastic batteries. So far, they’re unmatched in miles driven and reliablity. This story makes LG’s brand-new facility out as some sort of failure – a place that is failing due to slow demand for it’s product. This is UNFAIR and UNTRUE. Other news sources rely on CONTROVERSY and SENSATIONALISM to get hits, or viewership. InsideEVs.com is not one of these. LG’s U.S. operation is just getting started. Thank God they’re ahead of demand, instead of p playing catch-up creating backlogs and disappointed consumers who have to wait in line to get a gas-miserly vehicle! This plant will ramp up production as several of it’s partners ramp up PHEV and EV production. Better to build capacity and production square footage ahead of demand. This article and FOX NEW’s information stating this plant is ONLY FOR FOCUS EV and CHEVY VOLT batteries… Read more »