Back in May, Coda Automotive chief executive officer Kevin Czinger announced that Columbus, OH would become home to the company's "automotive-grade lithium ion battery system manufacturing facility" – if government loans went through. At the time, the announcement seemed a bit premature given that Coda listed its loan application status as "submitted soon." Initially, Coda settled on an even 1,000 employees to man its future battery manufacturing site and predicted a production capacity of 20,000 packs per year.
Now, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Coda's big battery plans may have grown even bigger. According to the report, Coda Automotive has told Ohio Governor Ted Strickland that the proposed battery plant could employ more than twice that, depending on the automaker's success in the electric vehicle market. Coda's application for federal help outlines a two-phase plan that has the company employing 1,000 workers from 2011 to 2013, followed by a second hiring phase that would add roughly 1,100 more to its workforce in 2014.
Again, Coda's grand plans are highly contingent upon the approval of a $400- to $500-million U.S. Department of Energy loan. Governor Strickland recently lobbied the DOE regarding the loan and remains confident that no roadblocks exist. Coda reportedly received word that its loan status has advanced to the next level, but the DOE has yet to reveal a timetable for loan approval. Hat tip to Roy!