Legal battle over battery technology could spell trouble for Michigan EV jobs

🚗 TRANSPORTATION: Ford might experience delays with manufacturing electric vehicles — specifically its battery-electric F-150 which is slated for release in 2022 — due to a legal battle between two South Korean EV battery makers, reports Fortune.

  • LG Chem claims SK Innovation conducted patent infringement and poached dozens of employees to gain trade secrets.
  • LG Chem contacted the U.S. International Trade Commission about the matter this spring, and the ITC preliminarily ruled in its favor. The ITC barred SKI from importing materials for making batteries in the U.S. A final ruling is expected this fall.
  • Ford, which had agreed to purchase batteries from SKI for the electric F-150, has petitioned for a reversal and said it would be nearly impossible to switch battery suppliers because of the technology’s proprietary nature, The Detroit Bureau reports. It also warned that the ruling could negatively affect the 300 jobs in Dearborn, as well as others in its supply base and dealer network.

🌞 SOLAR: An Eau Claire, Wisconsin, artist’s new company, Solar Forma Design, combines artistic metalworking with solar technologies to create artful solar-generating sculptures, reports VolumeOne. The business aims to inspire communities across the globe to make solar investments in artful and beautiful ways.

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition is hiring a Manager of Community Engagement and Equity. Join the team to play a leadership role in developing an equitable and diverse Midwestern coalition to advance affordable homes and businesses that are free of climate change-causing air pollution.***


  • The U.S. Department of Energy announced $64 million in funding for 18 projects that support its H2@Scale vision for hydrogen technologies. Businesses in Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio are among the awardees.
  • DOE also announced up to $1 million in funding to support energy technology incubators with a new innovation prize.
  • A five-year, $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help Iowa State and other researchers develop innovative methods for turning biomass and manure into fuel.
  • Financial strain from the coronavirus pandemic prompted Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to cut all funding in the 2021 state budget for the Missouri Technology Corporation, a public-private partnership that fosters growth for new and high-growth businesses, reports Startland News.


  • Lightship Capital in Cincinnati is opening an office in the Indianapolis area to provide opportunities for Midwest startups run by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and people in the LGBTQ+ community, reports the Indianapolis Business Journal.
  • WisconsinInno profiled Green Bay, Wisconsin’s TitletownTech venture fund and described its successes one year after launch.

***SPONSORED LINK: The Cleanie Awards — the #1 awards program in clean technology — is now accepting applications! Submit to win, or contact us with any questions. Applications close July 30.***

💻 VIRTUAL EVENT: National Clean Energy Week will take place September 21-25. By going virtual this year, the symposium’s programming is available to attendees across the country who are interested in advancing the discussion about clean energy innovation and technologies.

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