HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra believes LG Chem's struggles are more about the marke than the maker. The federal government pledged to create an industry and put 1 million electric vehicles on the road - but sales aren't even close.
The vast, modern facility in Holland has yet to produce a single battery.
LG Chem Michigan has repaid $842,000 in federal funds after an audit prompted by a Target 8 investigation that raised questions about how the Holland plant was spending a U.S. Department of Energy grant.
"When you're (trying to create an industry) and the market doesn't develop quite as fast as what you hope it would, it causes disruptions in the industry," Dykstra told 24 Hour News 8. "But I still think that long-term we're in a better position to have a company like LG in Holland than we are to not have it in Holland."
Company officials also blame market conditions but, in a statement, said they "remain fully committed to launching production at LG Chem Michigan's facility in Holland, Michigan and will use our best efforts to create additional new jobs and contribute to a more independent, sustainable energy future."
Until the electric car market improves, Dykstra said LG is looking to diversify and find other products and uses for lithium battery technology.
"Either LG having its products in additional vehicles, or the Chevy products taking off, or finding different markets for their lithium batteries to go into, expanded customer base will solve all of these ills."
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