Johnson Controls of Holland, Mich., hosted President Barack Obama last month to tour its factory, the first in the United States to produce complete lithium-ion battery cells and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Johnson Controls will be producing battery systems for U.S. automakers and new hybrid models such as Ford’s Transit Connect.
“Look at this factory. Look what’s happening in Holland, Michigan. Every day, hundreds of people are going to work on the technologies that are helping us to fight our way out of this recession. Every day, you’re building high-tech batteries so that we lead the world in manufacturing the best cars and the best trucks,” Obama said.
More than 400 local officials and Johnson Controls employees attended the event, which highlighted the public-private partnership that made the facility’s opening possible. The facility received $299 million in matching funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and $168 million in incentives from the State of Michigan.
“These projects are great examples of public-private partnerships that use innovation and technology to produce products that reduce fuel consumption and create jobs. We are grateful for the outstanding support we have received from the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy, the State of Michigan and the City of Holland for their vision in building an advanced battery industry for vehicles in the U.S. and for the financial incentives that were provided,” said Stephen Roell, Johnson Controls chairman and CEO.
At full capacity, the new facility will employ 320 people, and Johnson Controls also has expansion plans for increasing hires at their facilities in Toledo, Ohio, and Milwaukee. They also plan to build a second facility similar to the new facility in Holland, Mich.
The opening of the Johnson Controls in Holland, Mich., as well as the expansion at the other sites are initiated in part by the new fuel economy standards that have brought renewed economic activity within research and development in the automotive and transportation industries.