The face of the sleepy little town of Marshall is forever more going to change. In a press conference held Monday, Ford Motor Company announced that it is partnering with Contemporary Amperex Technology, a Chinese company, to build a multi-billion-dollar battery plant just outside of town. 

The site, known as the Marshall Megasite, lies on 2,000 acres of prime farmland located along the area of 12 Mile Road and 15 Mile Road in Marshall Township, along the Kalamazoo River.

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The marketing and development of the site is being managed by a partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Calhoun County, City of Marshall, Marshall Township, and the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance.

An Associated Press release reports that Ford Motor Company announced that the $3.5 billion factory would begin producing batteries at the site beginning in 2026. The 35-gigawatt-hour batteries could supply 400,000 vehicles per year. 

The lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are cheaper than the current nickel-cobalt-manganese EV batteries that are currently being used in many of the EV models. 

One local concern may be what impact the plant, which will sit near the Kalamazoo River, may have on the environment. And the Marshall school system, along with Albion, Battle Creek and other communities are surely going to be affected. 

Ford had been eyeing Virginia as the site of the plant, but Gov. Glenn Youngkin wasn’t on board to bring the partly owned Chinese plant into the state. He characterized the project as a ”front” for the Chinese Communist Party. 

Gov. Whitmer says that the plant will bring “generational opportunities" for West Michigan families. The new plant is expected to create at least 2,500 jobs in the community. 

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