Small Michigan Town Sued by Massive Chinese Firm Over EV Project

( – A small town in Michigan is facing a lawsuit from a massive Chinese energy firm subsidiary company after local officials opposed a project by the company to develop batteries for electric vehicles (EV).

On Friday, March 15th, Green Charter Township in Michigan received a breach-of-contract complaint from Gotion Inc. The power battery development company is a subsidiary of Gotion High-Tech, a billion-dollar energy firm headquartered in Hefei, China. The firm also has connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The lawsuit, which is the latest step in a feud between the town and Gotion over several months, was filed in the Western District of Michigan’s US District Court and alleges that Jason Kruse, the Green Charter Supervisor, and other elected leaders took unlawful actions against Gotion and are “motivated” by an “animus” against the company.

The breach-of-contract complaint requested that the court reinstate permits that the township canceled, which would allow the battery project to continue. A motion for a preliminary injunction was also filed by Gotion, which asked the court to intervene quickly.

Kruse said the township is “saddened and disappointed” by Gotion’s decision, and said his “number one concern” and supervisor is to protect the interests of its residents. Kruse said Green Charter Township officials will continue defending their position. He added that although the township may “be a small community,” they “refuse to be bullied.”

Vice president of Gotion’s North American operations, Chuck Thelen, said that it was “unfortunate” the company “had to resort to litigation” to make Green Charter Township “comply” with the initial agreement’s obligations.

The conflict between the power battery company and the Michigan township started in October 2022 after Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer announced that two giant production plants would be constructed through a $2.4 billion investment from Gotion. The plan would develop an area of 260 acres in the township.

Although town officials originally went along with negotiations, residents immediately resisted the plan, ousting the previous town board. After new members were elected, including Kruse, they immediately rescinded the development agreement and began fighting back against the plan.

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