LFP batteries with Model 3-beating energy density could be made at Gotion's new Michigan factory
After the passage of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act where the government stuffed numerous "made in America" subsidy requirements for electric vehicle components and assembly, US-based battery facility buildout announcements reached a fever pitch.
The latest case in point is Gotion's planned American factory, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer pegs as a remarkable achievement for Michigan's economic development:
Gotion’s $2.36 billion investment creating 2,350 good-paying jobs in Big Rapids is the biggest ever economic development project in Northern Michigan and will shore up our status as the global hub of mobility and electrification. I am proud that Republicans and Democrats worked across the aisle to build up our economic development toolkit and empowered Michigan to compete for every project and every job...
Gotion's US factory plans were recently connected with Tesla and its LFP battery-powered Model 3 and Model Y bestsellers, due to the plant's gigantic planned capacity of 200 GWh for the 2023-2028 period. Volkswagen is another candidate for the LFP batteries made in Michigan, as VW China has a majority stake in Gotion. It has no majority voting rights, though; moreover, when Gotion announced its American battery factory plans, it said that the plant would supply "a large listed automobile company in the United States" with LFP batteries.
What's more interesting is that Gotion's R&D team has created phosphate batteries with energy density of 230 Wh/kg at the cell level, with the potential to hit 260 Wh/kg. For comparison, the best that Tesla can hope for from its current suppliers in the near future, are the 210 Wh/kg M3P phosphate batteries by CATL.
Furthermore, Gotion has a semi-solid battery technology ready, which offers up to 360 Wh/kg energy density, and can be used for EVs with 620-mile (1000km) range. It is not clear if these will be mass-produced at the Michigan factory that seems to be mainly for LFP cells, though.
Even if Gotion's plant only makes LFP and ternary batteries there, though, their energy density is expected to be higher than what Tesla and other US-listed manufacturers use at the moment, so it will be interesting to follow who will be getting the Michigan-made power cells.