New Carlisle remains on the radar for electric vehicle battery plant

NOW: New Carlisle remains on the radar for electric vehicle battery plant

NEW CARLISLE, Ind. -- General Motors and Samsung announced their partnership for plans to invest over $3 billion to build a new battery cell manufacturing plant Tuesday, and a Michiana site is in the running for its location.

The large boost that the plant would bring to the local economy is a plus, but that’s also what worries some New Carlisle residents.

“I’ve always been for growth, but I want it to be a growth that will fit in with the community,” says Dan Caruso, a resident of New Carlisle.

Caruso says he’s afraid of an ‘urban sprawl’; thousands of people from across the country coming into their community with no place to live.

“If we get housing in the area and if we get taxable property into the area, it could be a very nice harvesting for not just New Carlisle, for Saint Joe County, for Indiana,” Caruso continues.

He lives near the 686-acre site on the southwest side of New Carlisle once again being eyed by General Motors, now in a new partnership with Samsung, for an electric vehicle battery plant. 

“If we’re the final site, we will deliver to them a terrific site,” says President of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Rea.

The site off the intersection of State Road 2 and Larrison Blvd. was originally proposed as a possible location for the project last August, but plans tapered off when Ultium Cells was dropped as a partner. Now, the site is once again in competition for the plant.

“When we were looking at the Ultium project and we’re talking about the amount of capital investment and the number of jobs that were created, we were estimating an annual economic impact of over $700 million,” Rea explains. 

General Motors and Samsung are both familiar with the Indiana workforce from existing projects, so the Michiana site may be a frontrunner. 

“Companies have a lot of decisions to make along the way on where to make such a substantial investment, and so we’ve done everything we can to position our community for that investment,” Rea says.

“I just want them, GM and Samsung now, to sit down like Lightsource BP did with the people and hash out an agreement that is good for everybody,” hopes Caruso.

General Motors and Samsung hope to begin operations in 2026 at their chosen site, which leads Rea to believe a decision should be coming sometime soon since construction would take roughly two years. 

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