Carmaker Stellantis NV announced Tuesday that it has signed an agreement with renewable battery company Samsung SDI to build a $2.5 billion electric-vehicle battery plant in Kokomo, which is expected to open in 2025 and create up to 1,400 jobs.
Stellantis said the investment could grow to $3.1 billion as the company—formed last year with the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA Peugeot—ramps up production of electric vehicles and therefore batteries.
Initially, the plant would be capable of producing batteries with total capacity of 23 gigawatt hours, with the goal of increasing to 33 gigawatt hours over several years.
Construction of the plant is expected to begin later this year with production scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2025. The plant’s tentative address is 2644 N. 50 E., near several other existing auto-related plants, about 37 miles north of Westfield.
“Just under one year ago, we committed to an aggressive electrification strategy anchored by five gigafactories between Europe and North America,” Carlos Taveres, CEO of Stellantis, said in a press release. “Today’s announcement further solidifies our global battery production footprint and demonstrates Stellantis’ drive toward a decarbonized future outlined in Dare Forward 2030.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. laid out what is believed to be the biggest incentive package in state history, with tax credits and investments totaling at least $186 million, some of which would go to the companies and some to pay for infrastructure for the project. The incentives include up to $37.5 million in tax credits, up to $2 million in training grants, and up to $20 million in redevelopment tax credits based on the company’s investment plans. Companies can only claim those credits if they create jobs.
The company declined to disclose estimated average wages for the 1,400 jobs at the new plant, but said they would be more than competitive. Employees at existing Stellantis plants in Kokomo are unionized.
The project will also qualify for up to $2 million from the Industrial Development Grant Fund so Kokomo can make infrastructure improvements to support the project and up to $100 million in what the state called conditional structured performance payments and $25 million for site readiness to offset capital and infrastructure costs.
The IEDC and other state financing authorities will also offer repayable financing support to the project to aid construction and infrastructure. The city of Kokomo, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance Inc., Howard County, Duke Energy Indiana and Northern Indiana Public Service Company offered additional incentives, the state said.
“I am so darn excited, I can’t stand it,” said Indiana Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers. “What a great day.”
Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automaker, has announced plans to sell 5 million electric vehicles by 2030, with 50% of its North American passenger car and light truck sales going fully electric by 2030. Stellantis plans to sell only electric passenger cars in Europe by 2030.
The announcement is a big win for Indiana, which has watched a raft of economic development megadeals announced in neighboring states. In Kentucky and Tennessee, Ford plans to spend a combined $11.4 billion to build battery production facilities and a vehicle assembly plant. In Michigan, General Motors is upping its electric vehicle output with a $7 billion investment. And in Ohio, Intel says it plans to spend as much as $20 billion to create the world’s largest semiconductor assembly facility.
A Stellantis representative declined to estimate how many batteries would be produced by the Kokomo facility annually, based on the initial projection of 23 gigawatts in capacity.
The typical capacity of an electric vehicle’s battery is 30 to 100 kilowatts per hour. Given that range and the anticipated initial capacity of 23 gigawatts, the Kokomo facility could produce between 760,000 and 230,000 batteries annually.
It’s just the latest announcement for Stellantis in Indiana, though, which said in October it would spend nearly $230 million to retool three Kokomo-area factories so they can produce transmission systems that work with both traditional gasoline-powered vehicles and gas-electric hybrid versions.
In 2020 it announced spending of $400 million to convert its Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo into an engine factory. Production began there in March.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement the plant “is another step toward positioning Indiana as a leader in the future of mobility, battery technology and clean energy.”
Officials from Stellantis and Samsung SDI thanked state and local officials repeatedly for their support in developing the project. Samsung SDI CEO Jun Young-hyun said he visited the Kokomo site in January.
“Because of your support,” Young-hyun said during the announcement, “we were able to make the right decision that Indiana is indeed the best site for our joint venture.”
Stellantis employs over 85,000 people across North America, including over 7,000 throughout its Indiana operations.