Michigan-based Soulbrain MI on Tuesday announced plans to invest $75 million to build a manufacturing facility in Kokomo. The company, a subsidiary of Soulbrain Holdings in South Korea, says the facility will be used to produce high purity electrolyte for the production of EV batteries at the planned Stellantis-Samsung SDI plant in Kokomo. The investment is expected to create up to 75 jobs by the end of 2025.
Soulbrain MI bills itself as a tier one supplier for the electric vehicle battery industry. Founded in 2010, the company is Soulbrain Holdings’ North American research and development center.
The company says it will construct and equip a 30,000-square-foot facility on a 22-acre site at 2141 North Touby Pike.
Hiring for a variety of positions, including engineers and technicians, is slated to begin in early 2024. The new positions are expected to offer average salaries higher than the Howard County average, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
“Indiana is uniquely positioned to be a leader in innovating the future of mobility and producing new, electric solutions that will power the world,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers said in written remarks. “Our state’s electric vehicle industry continues to grow and attract like-minded, future-focused companies like Soulbrain MI, and I’m confident that Indiana will be at the center of tomorrow’s global mobility industry.”
Soulbrain MI plans to break ground on the facility in March.
The IEDC has offered Soulbrain MI up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits and $100,000 in training grants, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs.
The city of Kokomo is considering additional incentives.
“We are excited and honored that Soulbrain MI has chosen to invest in Kokomo,” said Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore. “This additional development shows that Kokomo and Howard County are at the forefront of the emerging EV industry. I am confident that our talented local workforce will be poised to fill these positions and help Soulbrain MI succeed.”
In May, global automaker Stellantis (NYSE: STLA) and Samsung SDI announced a joint venture that would invest $2.5 billion to establish an EV battery manufacturing plant in Kokomo and create 1,400 jobs. Stellantis said that investment could grow to $3.1 billion as the facility produces batteries for EVs produced at its assembly plants throughout North America.
In a follow-up interview, Mayor Moore said the city had already been receiving inquiries from suppliers regarding the Stellantis project, adding, “It stands to have a huge economic impact on the community.”