Advancing Clean Energy

ComEd Prepares to Power Up the State’s Largest EV Battery Plant This Year

May 7, 2024

Progress is underway on Gotion’s new gigafactory under construction in Manteno, which later this year, will start to produce its first Illinois-made energy storage and EV battery packs used in passenger, public and fleet vehicles driving here in Illinois and across the country. Gotion, a global manufacturing giant based in California, will not only play a key role in growing the state’s EV ecosystem but it will create thousands of jobs to grow the local economy.

Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and Solar Panels

Last year, ComEd, alongside Governor JB Pritzker, celebrated news of the largest EV battery manufacturer in the state of Illinois. The gigafactory – a massive manufacturing facility that produces electrification and decarbonization technologies – will produce battery packs and energy storage systems (ESS), 20-foot battery containers for the storage and supply of electricity.

Expanding EV manufacturers and suppliers is critical to meeting the state’s goals for increasing adoption of zero-emission transportation options as a means for reducing emissions and pollution. In fact, it’s a goal outlined in CEJA (Climate and Equitable Jobs Act), which calls for Illinois to add 1 million EVs on the road by 2030. Today, nearly 100,000 are registered, and scaling local manufacturing is expected to not only grow the market but to improve cost and access for consumers.

ComEd played a critical role in bringing the project home, working with the State of Illinois’ economic development leaders as well as local partners and Gotion to prepare a list of potential local sites. One thing that stood out to Gotion from their tour of a former K-Mart warehousing location – and the ultimate choice for their manufacturing plant – is immediate access to strong infrastructure and transportation networks. But what sealed the deal was the nation-leading power reliability offered by ComEd in northern Illinois.

“Gotion’s new manufacturing facility had very specific needs in terms of location, state support, and power needs,” said Mohamad Ali Zeitoun, deputy director of manufacturing for Gotion. “Chicagoland was the perfect place for Gotion to plant its seeds and begin serving EV manufacturers in the area and around the world, having ComEd to rely on to scale and grow over time. ComEd’s expertise and capacity to meet not only today’s, but tomorrow’s energy needs have made it an essential partner as we expand our operations.”

Manufacturing plant in Manteno, IL

Gotion’s new state of the art plant will revitalize a vacant site, which sits on approximately 150 acres, to scale manufacturing of clean energy tools used by customers here in Illinois and for their customers around the world. Delivering the site will require a large amount of power, and ComEd jumped into action to create near-term plans to power Gotion up this year, while ensuring infrastructure is in place to meet their growth plans into the future as well. ComEd will add a large mobile transformer to help kickstart production later this year. Next up, ComEd will build a substation to support electrical requirements of the project that will create 10 GWh of lithium-ion battery packs and 40 GWh of lithium-ion battery cells, which will strengthen the American EV battery supply chain.

“ComEd shares Gotion’s vision of a cleaner energy future powered by carbon-free and renewable energy, and we are excited at the opportunity to power Gotion’s new site in our service territory,” said Mark Baranek, senior vice president of Technical Services for ComEd. “The work ComEd is doing alongside Intersect Illinois to identify sites for new businesses is what helped secure the new project and continues to support regional economic growth.”

“Illinois offers EV companies a skilled workforce and a strategic location at the center of the nation’s infrastructure, including clean and reliable energy that is essential to business growth,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “ComEd’s commitment to powering projects with unique energy needs is vital to our efforts to bring investment and jobs to Illinois and to advancing our state’s position as a leader in the EV industry.”

Though Gotion’s Manteno plant is a few months out from the first products rolling off of the assembly line, the economic benefits of the project are already being felt in the region. Gotion reports that suppliers are undergoing site selection in Illinois to locate close to where production will occur.  And hiring is getting underway, with dozens of community career fairs held, attracting hundreds of job applicants.

Left to right, Li Zhen, Chairman of Gotion High-tech, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Manteno Mayor Tim Nugent

To operate the 1 million square foot plant, Gotion plans to hire up to 2,600 employees all of which will have vast opportunities for growth and additional training as the company expands at a rapid pace. In partnership with Kankakee Community College, the manufacturer will provide education classes in engineering, electrical, and battery manufacturing from which students are hired, and works with local school superintendents to connect the next generation of workforce to these opportunities.

“The addition of an EV battery manufacturing site represents a great future of economic opportunity for our village,” said Manteno Mayor Tim Nugent. “Gotion’s upcoming production plant not only symbolizes progress but also stirs anticipation for the abundance of educational and employment opportunities it offers.”