KOKOMO — The City of Firsts will add another first when the state’s first electric vehicle battery plant opens in 2025. The Kokomo Plan Commission this month gave the thumbs up to the development plan for Star Plus Energy LLC, a joint venture of Stellantis N.V. and Samsung SDI, which will build the 2.4 million square foot facility on the city’s northeast side.
The company will produce lithium-ion batteries and employ 1,400 people at the plant. It will be the first of its kind in North America, the companies say. The project is part of Stellantis’ long-term electrification strategy to invest $35 billion through 2025 in electrification and software globally.
“We want to work with the community in a way that will help the new employees feel welcome and comfortable here,” said Seung-Kyung Kim, director of IU Bloomington’s Institute for Korean Studies, which opened in 2015. She plans to teach locals about everyday Korean culture as well as host an event for the company to introduce itself.
For example, she says Korean workers tend to stay after hours to socialize with coworkers, while Americans typically head home to be with their families. She will also work with IU Kokomo to offer Korean language classes. Kim says the goal is to get residents up to speed on the differences between cultures so they can communicate effectively.