More than 90 percent of Ohio's exports currently go to the internal combustion engine supply chain, according to a new report.
It's critical that the state adapt to the changing automotive market. And there are signs that it's doing just that, but the region's fledgling electric vehicle supply chain still has a ways to go.
The "Ohio Battery Supply Chain Opportunities" report, released in February, was created by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, which focuses on pricing and data in the lithium ion battery and electric vehicle supply chain, with support from economic development organization JobsOhio and environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council. The report noted the importance of creating "supply chain hubs" in geographic regions.
"Building supply chain hubs will help to reduce manufacturing cost and risk for industry participants, but also creates significant pressure to attract this major job growth and tax revenue opportunity to the United States before it locates elsewhere," the report said. Some of the state's strengths cited in the report are its history in the automotive supply chain, its proximity to manufacturers and resources, its work force and its infrastructure.
The biggest success in this space so far has been the attraction of Ultium Cells L.L.C. to Lordstown in Trumbull County.
Battery cell maker Ultium Cells is a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution.
The Lordstown plant is the venture's first. The factory, which will be supplying facilities from Michigan to Tennessee, is located near the old Lordstown GM plant, where electric vehicle maker Lordstown Motors Corp. now resides. By the end of the third quarter of 2022, Ultium Cells expects to be in production on some lines in Lordstown, while it continues to add capacity.