Manteno, Illinois has approved the construction of a $2 billion electric vehicle battery factory owned by Chinese battery manufacturing and development company, Gotion, despite protests from its residents, according to this report.
The factory is expected to create up to 2,600 jobs and begin production in 2024. The project was approved after the state offered more than $330 million in tax incentives to make it happen. The plant will produce battery cells, battery packs like the kinds used in electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage systems.
The decision has been met with opposition from the community over safety concerns and Gotion’s alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party. The growing resistance now includes legal challenges.
After gathering evidence and testimony, the Planning Commission will adjourn until the last week of November for further deliberations, with a final vote to follow. The outcome will then proceed to the Manteno Village Board this week for a decisive meeting.
The re-zoning hearing for the Gotion Battery Plant was moved to accommodate an anticipated large turnout. The hearing allowed public input on Gotion’s controversial rezoning application—from light-industrial to heavy-industrial—to pave the way for a new lithium battery factory aimed at the booming EV market.
The controversy surrounding the Gotion Battery Plant highlights the growing political target for China and electric vehicles. The decision overcame objections from state Republicans, who described Gotion’s project as China’s “Trojan horse” and raised concerns about the plant’s impact on the local environment, per this report.
The outcome of the hearing will be decided by the Planning Commission and the Manteno Village Board.
What do you think of this news if you are from Illinois, especially if you are a resident of Manteno? Do you think the village and the state have left you down? Leave a comment and let the community know your thoughts about this issue.