President Obama To Visit Holland Battery Factory

For the second time in 13 months, President Obama will visit the City of Holland to highlight lithium ion battery manufacturing.

The President will tour the Johnson Controls-Saft plant on 48th Street and discuss how the technology will help vehicles achieve his fuel economy standards.

Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra spoke at the ceremony and was part of a small group that included the President as he looked at some of the new vehicles.

“For us to have this twice in little over a year is fantastic,” said Dykstra.

Right now, Saft, a French company, is manufacturing the battery cells, which are assembled and shipped out of JCI in Holland.  Their workforce is about 75, said a company spokesperson.  This Fall, the facility will also manufacture the cells, employing 320, when at full capacity.

In July of 2010, the President attended the groundbreaking of the LG Chem advanced battery plant.  That plant will eventually be staffed by 300.

Dykstra said the two plants constitute more than a third of the nation’s lithium ion manufacturing.  And that doesn’t include other plants in the Muskegon and Battle Creek area from other companies.

The White House press office issued a statement saying, "While at Johnson Controls, the President will highlight the key role innovative technologies will play in helping automakers achieve the historic fuel economy standards, establishing U.S. leadership in advanced vehicle manufacturing, spurring economic growth, and creating high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America."