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Rick Haglund: Tesla’s gigafactory tempers Michigan’s dreams of being electric car battery capital

A Chevy Volt parked outside the LG Chem battery plant. The Holland facility celebrated the first shipment of batteries to GM last year, but it’s not likely to make Michigan the advanced battery capital of the U.S. ( Mark Copier | MLive.com

Five years ago, Michigan handed out $700 million in special business tax credits in an effort to turn the state into what then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm called “the advanced battery capital of the world.”

Elon Musk is working aggressively to prevent Michigan from wearing that crown.

Musk, the chief executive officer of California electric car manufacturer Telsa, is moving ahead with plans to build what he calls a $5 billion battery “gigafactory.”

The plant is seen as one of the juiciest economic development prizes in the United States.

But it won’t be built in Michigan, despite the state’s improved business climate ranking and a recent right-to-work law that supporters claimed would make the state more attractive for manufacturing investment.
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