Our Next Energy (ONE) announced a $1.6 billion investment in a new battery cell manufacturing plant in Van Buren Township, Michigan.

The location was decided on after a competitive site selection process, evaluating 12 states and a Canadian province. Michigan is considered the best for the gigafactory and also will provide a $200 million state grant.

The company has signed a multi-year lease agreement with Ashley Capit 659,589-square-foot building in Van Buren Township, which will be converted into a battery factory.

The battery plant will be called ONE Circle and is envisioned for lithium-ion battery cell and battery pack production for passenger and commercial vehicles. According to ONE, the campus will include also raw material refinement and cathode materials production.

ONE Circle property in Van Buren Charter Township, MI
ONE Circle property in Van Buren Charter Township, MI

The cell chemistry is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), prismatic type, in which ONE strongly believes in over the NCM (Nickel Cobalt Manganese).

Production is expected to start in the second half of 2024, reaching its full annual capacity of 20 GWh by the end of 2027. 20 GWh is equivalent to about 200,000 EV battery packs (100 kWh each).

Interestingly, ONE is very precise in terms of how many jobs it will create: 2,112, adding that it will offer "an average annual salary of $67,456 (38% above the ALICE wage threshold), as well as industry-leading benefits and a comprehensive training program". In other words, electrification once again strengthens the economy and creates new opportunities.

Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and CEO of ONE said:

"ONE is thrilled to select Michigan for our first cell factory, due to the state's unique combination of battery talent, proximity to material supply and access to low-cost energy. We applaud the leadership of Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the MEDC team, led by Quentin Messer. In addition, our collaboration and new strategic partnerships with DTE Energy, Van Buren Township, and Wayne County have helped ONE build a strong foundation for clean tech manufacturing in Michigan."

ONE Circle battery gigafactory in brief:

  • investment: $1.6 billion
    ($200 million state grant)
  • location: Van Buren Township, Michigan
  • production: raw material refinement, cathode materials, battery cells and battery packs
  • chemistry: Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) prismatic cells
  • expected production start: H2 2024 (full capacity by the end of 2027)
  • jobs: "2,112 highly skilled workers" with "an average annual salary of $67,456"

According to Automotive News, ONE already received orders from automakers for its batteries ahead of production start, but the company declines to name them. Passenger car manufacturers are interested in battery cells, while commercial heavy truck manufacturers would like to buy entire packs (battery systems).

Mujeeb Ijaz noted that by the time when the ONE Circle will reach its full capacity, the company might move to another facility - in other words, there is another battery gigafactory in the pipeline.

ONE announced that its LFP Aries battery systems will be offered from 2023 on. The company attracted multiple investors, including BMW i Ventures and works also on a hybrid battery pack (two different battery cell chemistries), called Gemini. Besides LFP, the company develops anode-free lithium-ion battery cell (lithium metal anode) chemistry with a very high volumetric energy density of 1,007 Wh/l. As we understand, those two battery chemistries would be used together in one battery pack.

Later this year, ONE will integrate the Gemini battery system in a BMW iX prototype, with a goal to achieve a range of 600 miles (965 km). In December 2021, a Tesla Model S retrofitted with ONE’s proof-of-concept battery (203.7 kWh) was able to cover 752 miles (1,210 km) on a single charge at a constant speed of 55 mph (88 km/h).

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