Second Stellantis, Samsung EV battery plant announced for Kokomo

Whitney Downard
Indiana Capital Chronicle

INDIANPOLIS — The City of Kokomo secured a second battery manufacturing plant for electronic vehicles, a $3.2 billion investment from Stellantis and Samsung SDI that will also operate as a StarPlus Energy gigafactory with an anticipated 1,400 new, high-wage jobs.

The deal announced on Wednesday comes after a series of other clean energy job increases, buoyed by prior EV battery facility commitments.

“Indiana’s economy is on a roll,” Gov.  Eric Holcomb said in a news release. “Today’s commitment from Stellantis and Samsung SDI will double the capital investment, the new jobs created, and the impact this joint venture will have on Kokomo and the state of Indiana for decades to come. This decision puts Hoosiers squarely at the center of innovating and developing the future of mobility, catalyzing Indiana’s leadership position in tomorrow’s global economy.”

Combined, the two facilities plan to create 2,800 jobs for a total investment of $6.3 billion, according to the governor’s office. The first factory, announced in May of last year, is under construction and set to launch in early 2025. The second factory could start as early as 2027.

“Our battery ecosystem is the foundation of our electrification strategy and our great partners Samsung SDI, the state of Indiana, and the city of Kokomo have created a compelling case for locating our sixth gigafactory in Kokomo,” said Mark Stewart, Stellantis COO North America, in the Wednesday release. “The BEVs coming to our North America brands play an important role in our drive to offer clean, safe and affordable mobility for all and achieve the bold goal of carbon net zero by 2038.”

Stellantis aims to reach a 100% battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales mix in Europe and  50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030.

“Through construction of the second battery plant of StarPlus Energy, Samsung SDI will be establishing its largest production base for electric vehicle batteries in North America,” said Yoon-ho Choi, president and CEO of Samsung SDI. “We expect Stellantis brand vehicles powered by Samsung SDI batteries featuring unrivalled technologies to contribute to fastening the U.S. transition to an era of electric vehicles.”

The transition to electric vehicles is one of the core issues for the United Autoworkers strike, which includes “Detroit Three” manufacturer Stellantis. Earlier this week, the company announced layoffs at a handful of facilities, citing the strikes, and still have roughly 50 Kokomo employees out of work, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Strikers want guaranteed protections as companies shift to EVs, which require fewer workers. The release from Holcomb’s office didn’t include information about the laid off Kokomo workers or potential impact of the ongoing strike. Stellantis alone employs more than 85,000 people in North America, including 7,000 in Indiana.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), a quasi-public agency, will commit up to $37.5 million in conditional tax credits and up to $2 million in conditional training grants, pending approval from the entity’s board of directors.

An additional $22 million in conditional redevelopment tax credits based on investment plans and up to $115 million in conditional structured performance payments are also available — a combined $176.5 million in state tax incentives.

Investments must be made and employees trained and hired before they qualify. That number doesn’t include incentives offered by the city of Kokomo, the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance INc., Howard County, Duke Energy Indiana and the Northern Indiana Public Service Company.

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