The legislation of unintended penalties is tough at work amongst US states with “right-to-work” legal guidelines. Clustered primarily within the conservative Southeast and up by way of the nation’s midsection, right-to-work states have spent a long time luring automakers and different producers with a deep pool of low-cost, compliant labor. At the moment, the identical labor is attracting electrical automobile stakeholders. That places purple state officers within the awkward place of main the decarbonization motion, at the same time as they proceed to rail in opposition to it.
Proper-To-Work States Are Main The Electrical Automobile Revolution
Proper-to-work legal guidelines are designed to stop labor unions from organizing, if not remove them completely. Georgia is a working example. The state was among the many first wave of states to undertake anti-union, right-to-work laws starting shortly after World Struggle II.
At the moment, the Georgia Division of Financial Growth continues to pitch its anti-union standing to the auto trade. In Georgia, solely 4.7% of staff within the personal sector are unionized, “nicely under the nationwide common,” GDEcD notes within the Automotive part of its web site.
GDEcD additionally devotes appreciable consideration to attracting electrical automobile stakeholders. “Constructing on the belongings that make the Automotive Business profitable, Georgia is positioned as a hub for the electrical transportation trade,” GDEcD enthuses in an elaborately detailed part titled, “Electrical Mobility Manufacturing.”
“Since 2018, 35 EV-related tasks have contributed $23 billion in investments in Georgia,” GDEcD provides, highlighting Hyundai Motor Group’s current investments. That caught the CleanTechnica eye, too. “The newest clear tech funding to hit the Peach State is a brand new $4.3 billion three way partnership between Hyundai Motor Group and the electrical automobile battery maker LG Power Resolution,” we famous.
Electrical automobiles aren’t the one space during which GDEcD is throughout electrification. The company additionally leads the Georgia Electrical Mobility and Innovation Alliance, which is devoted to “assist the expansion of all the electrical mobility trade and foster innovation within the State of Georgia by making a business-friendly setting for the trade and selling favorable public coverage.”
The Electrical Automobile Memo
Regardless of GDEcD’s enthusiasm for electrical automobiles, Georgia is among the many 25 or Republican-dominated states that pitched a lawsuit final January in opposition to new federal Division of Labor guidelines that assist pension fund managers who ascribe to ESG (setting, social, governance) investing rules.
The setting leg of the ESG stool embraces renewable power, electrical automobiles, and different decarbonization expertise. On its half, the anti-ESG motion is targeted on defending fossil power stakeholders from having to compete in a low-carbon financial system, and a part of its technique is to fire up public opinion in opposition to one thing referred to as the “woke mob.”
Apparently Georgia State Legal professional Common Christopher M. Carr, who joined the lawsuit on behalf of Georgia, didn’t get the electrical automobile memo from GDEcD or the Electrical Mobility and Innovation Alliance. Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp additionally didn’t get the memo. He signed onto a joint anti-ESG assertion with 18 different governors dated March 16, railing in opposition to the ESG-friendly guidelines.
“The proliferation of ESG all through America is a direct risk to the American financial system, particular person financial freedom, and our lifestyle, placing funding choices within the palms of the woke mob to bypass the poll field and inject political ideology into funding choices, company governance, and the on a regular basis financial system,” the letter states.
Who Will Win The GM EV Battery Prize?
In opposition to this backdrop, final week GM made an enormous transfer to onshore the battery supplies a part of its electrical automobile provide chain. The corporate is pumping $1 billion or extra into Section II of its “Ultium CAM” three way partnership with the Korean agency POSCO Future M. The three way partnership, which is majority owned by POSCO, is aimed toward supporting GM’s Ultium lithium-ion EV battery platform.
CAM stands for Cathode Lively Supplies, a mixture of lithium and different uncooked supplies that go into lithium-ion EV batteries. The Section II funding additionally integrates pCAM, which refers back to the engineering of precursor supplies for producing CAM.
With CAM manufacturing concentrated primarily in Asia, GM and different US automakers are on the prowl for alternatives to shore up their North American provide chains, which is what Section II of the POSCO hookup will do.
“The Ultium CAM three way partnership will assist manufacturing of roughly 360,000 Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick and BrightDrop automobiles yearly within the 2025-2030 timeframe in North America,” GM said.
The large announcement left one factor out, which is the situation of the brand new, built-in CAM/pCAM processing facility.
GM has dozens of producing amenities across the US, together with two EV battery cell factories in its union-friendly residence state of Michigan. Georgia has come up empty-handed to this point, however that doesn’t imply right-to-work states are out of the operating. GM additionally has battery cell vegetation in Ohio and Tennessee.
GM Has A Stable-State EV Battery Card Up Its Sleeve
In case you have any thought the place the brand new Ultium CAM facility will land, drop us a notice within the remark thread. In the meantime, the POSCO angle is yet one more trace that GM is eyeballing solid-state EV battery expertise.
GM dropped a touch about its solid-state battery intentions again in 2021, when it introduced plans for a three way partnership with POSCO Chemical to launch Section I of the Ultium CAM challenge. POSCO surfaced once more final fall, when GM tapped the corporate as one among its six strategic provide chain companions.
One thing could also be effervescent up over at a GM analysis laboratory in China, too. Earlier this yr, GM reported that its GM China Science Lab in Shanghai acquired the 2022 R&D 100 Award for its new solid-state battery expertise, which GM has described as “game-changing.”
That flew beneath the CleanTechnica radar, however game-changing appears about proper.
“The high-power bipolar solid-state battery expertise presents glorious thermal stability and abuse tolerance, in contrast with standard liquid electrolyte,” GM enthused in its Spring 2023 on-line e-newsletter. “Its distinctive bipolar stacking and proprietary interfacial ionic booster enormously improve its all-climate serviceability and provides it a simplified conﬁguration.”
The GM e-newsletter additionally cited Dr. Helen Liu, supervisor of the Battery Lab Group, who mentioned that the “extremely secure battery innovation presents large potential purposes for selling electrification inside and outdoors the automotive trade.”
Who’s Afraid Of The ESG?
It’s nearly as if Dr. Liu had Georgia on her thoughts when she mentioned that factor about inside and outdoors the auto trade. In spite of everything, the Electrification and Innovation Alliance, which was launched by Governor Kemp himself in 2021, is already considering nicely past plain outdated electrical vehicles.
“In recent times we’ve got witnessed ongoing developments in fields corresponding to battery expertise, flying automobiles, autonomous driving and unmanned plane methods — developments like these are driving the electrical mobility trade,” EMIA declares.
“The Electrical Mobility and Innovation Alliance will be certain that our state is positioned to proceed main the nation within the quickly rising electrical mobility trade,” Governor Kemp agreed considerably dryly, in a 2021 press launch asserting the launch of EMIA.
So, does this imply all that stuff in regards to the woke mob is only a bunch of scorching air? Simply asking.
Discover me on Spoutible: @TinaMCasey or LinkedIn @TinaMCasey or Mastodon @Casey or Publish @tinamcasey.
Picture: Automobile electrification that includes GM idea vehicles (courtesy of GM).
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