HOLLAND, Mich. — A tour of Clarios, a lithium-ion battery plant, in Holland was held Tuesday at the Clarios Meadowbrook Plant.
During the tour, Clarios CEO Mark Wallace discussed lithium-ion battery production and recycling efforts.
“One of the things we’ve developed with our AGM technology was higher levels of reliability for longer lasting batteries for vehicles," Wallace said. "Number two, when you look at lithium-based chemistries, it should be a 7-9 year life span."
AGM batteries are Absorbent Glass Mat batteries, designed to deliver more reliability, durability, and safety.
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Clarios was the first facility in the U.S. to build lithium-ion battery systems in 2010.
The batteries made at the Holland plant aren't the batteries that power the car, rather, they are batteries that power other low-voltage safety and sustainability features.
“On low voltage, specifically on electrified vehicles, as the vehicle is operating, we are actually taking power from the high voltage traction batteries to charge up the low voltage network," Wallace said. "As soon as that vehicle gets shut down, the low voltage network takes over the vehicle from a safety perspective but also provides a lot of creature comforts from air conditioning, to infotainment, along with safety and security.”
Lithium-based batteries have a 7-9 year life span. The cost to replace vehicle batteries vary but would likely cost $100-$200 for a lead acid battery replacement and would cost significantly more for a lithium-based battery replacement, Wallace said.
With electric vehicles increasing in popularity, especially as gas prices continue to rise, Wallace said these functions are crucial to the future of transportation.
“The vehicles of the future require a lot more capability and low voltage network to provide more functional safety to keep both the passenger and vehicle safe," he said.
Because lithium-ion batteries are crucial to electric vehicles, officials with Clarios said the company will partner with virtually every automaker in the world.
The Holland plant currently employs 100 people but had announced plan to increase that number by 15 percent.
Wallace said there are a few open positions.
Anyone interested in applying could find more information on the plant's webpage.