As drivers across the country make the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), Michigan has positioned itself as a leader in an all-electric future. Michigan’s MI Future Mobility Plan lays the groundwork for robust workforce, infrastructure and mobility policies, and the state has positioned itself as a prime contender for business retention, attraction and expansion. For international battery manufacturer Gotion Inc., Big Rapids provided both the resources and talent necessary to sustain a monumental $2.36 billion investment – the biggest economic development project in Northern Michigan’s history.
Big Rapids transformed
The availability of local resources and talent found in Big Rapids were key factors in attracting this major investment from Gotion, which will result in 2,350 new jobs created in the area. The influx of employment is expected to lead to additional investments and redevelopment opportunities, generating over $11.5 billion in new personal income over the next 20 years.
Paul Bullock, Mecosta County controller/administrator, remarked, “This project has the potential to provide great jobs to multiple generations of our residents who will no longer have to leave the Big Rapids community for this type of opportunity.”
As home to Ferris State University, Big Rapids boasts a strong talent ecosystem that produces an enthusiastic workforce invested in Michigan’s businesses. This pool of skilled talent is one of the region’s greatest assets, and, along with the university’s infrastructure and resources, played a key role in Gotion’s decision to invest in the area.
“The location and community have been prepared for an opportunity like this to utilize the infrastructure, locally trained talent pool and outstanding resources from Ferris State University,” said Brent Case, VP of Business Attraction with The Right Place. “We are well on our way to positioning the region at the center of West Michigan’s growing mobility and EV sector.”
The power of this educational partnership, along with collaboration between multiple organizations and a statewide commitment with the MI Future Mobility Plan, helped bring the transformational Gotion project to Big Rapids, altering the course for the region.
Michigan leading the charge globally
Since Michigan first put the world on wheels, the future of transportation has been tied to Michigan. As the birthplace of the automotive industry and home to nearly 19% of all U.S. auto production, the state has established itself as a leader in the EV revolution. In fact, Michigan was ranked first in “Automotive Manufacturing Strength” by Business Facilities magazine’s 2021 state rankings.
EVs are the fastest-growing sector of the automotive industry, with more than 200,000 sold in the summer of 2022 alone. This surge in demand, dubbed the “battery boom,” has resulted in significant investments – $36 billion in 2021 and $24 billion in the first five months of 2022, according to the Center for Automotive Research.
The road ahead stretches across Michigan
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer underscores how Gotion’s investment will shore up Michigan’s status as the global hub for electrification, stating, “We will continue winning investments in this space and become the preeminent destination for EV and mobility companies. We will work with anyone and compete with everyone to keep bringing supply chains of batteries, chips, and EVs home to Michigan.”
Gotion’s investment is one among many other recent EV investments across Michigan, totaling more than $14 billion, by companies such as Ford, General Motors, LG Energy Solution and Our Next Energy. These investments support the efforts behind Michigan’s MI Future Mobility Plan to make the state a leader in future mobility.
To find out why Gotion and others are choosing Michigan, visit michiganbusiness.org/why-michigan/.