Gov. Whitmer Champions Clean Energy, Electric Vehicle Opportunities in Michigan During European Investment Mission

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

OSLO, Nor. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer spent the first full day of her investment mission in Europe meeting with Norwegian officials from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to discuss innovation and cooperation within the clean energy sector, including smart mobility, hydrogen fuel cells, battery and energy storage solutions, and clean energy generation technologies.

“Norway and Michigan share several common goals in the clean energy sector, including our common desire to reach a carbon neutrality target by 2050. Like Norway, Michigan continues to prioritize clean technologies; as the state that put the world on wheels, we continue to lead the charge in implementing clean technologies into automotive design and manufacturing,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan has focused on the hydrogen economy for many years, and we look forward to partnering with Norway to accelerate our clean energy transition away from fossil fuels in the coming decades.”

During the meeting, Governor Whitmer presented the ministry officials with hats made by the Michigan-based company, Stormy Kromer, noting that famed Norwegian educator, cross-country skier, adventurer, and motivational speaker Liv Arnesen is a proud wearer of Stormy Kromer hats.

The governor also met with Norwegian companies including Norsk Hydro, one of the largest aluminum companies in the world. While meeting with Hydro, the governor thanked the company for its recent announcement that it was constructing a new facility in the village of Cassopolis where it will bring a new product line to support the electric vehicle market as well as other applications.

“The decision by Hydro to bring its new recycling technology to Michigan demonstrates how leading-edge, global companies are looking to Michigan to grow in the electric vehicle space,” said Governor Whitmer. “We applaud Hydro’s commitment to Michigan and look forward to working with the company as it continues to develop electric vehicle and recycling technologies.”

In August, Governor Whitmer visited the facility in Cassopolis, which will be the first manufacturing operation located in the village’s Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology (SMART) Park. Part of the project will include a new rail spur that will also allow other businesses in the SMART Park to ship and receive their own materials. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $150 million and create up to 67 new well-paying jobs, supported by $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds.

Tomorrow, the governor will travel to Zurich, where she will meet with Swiss companies and government leaders to discuss investment opportunities and collaboration in global industries, including mobility and hydrogen. On Wednesday, she will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, “Cooperation in a Fragmented World,” in Davos. The governor was invited by the Forum leaders to speak on a panel, “The Return of Manufacturing,” joining executives from the mobility and semiconductor industries. 

The World Economic Forum, established in 1971, is an international, nonprofit organization that engages the foremost political, business, cultural, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.

Governor Whitmer departed for Europe on Sunday for a five-day investment mission to Norway and Switzerland, focusing on attracting job-creating business investments, particularly in Michigan’s next-generation of automotive manufacturing and clean energy independence ecosystem. This marks the first economic development visit to Europe under the governor’s administration; the first-ever governor-led mission to Norway in recent history; and the first Michigan governor trip to Switzerland since 2016. The governor was joined in Norway by Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin L. Messer Jr. and other MEDC officials.

“Throughout this trip, we have the opportunity to meet with business decisionmakers and have productive conversations on how Team Michigan can strengthen our ties with them and attract more jobs to and create greater business opportunities for our 10-million-plus friends and neighbors at home in Michigan, a truly international state,” MEDC CEO Quentin L. Messer said. 

Norway, located in Northern Europe, is bordered by Sweden, Finland and Russia. It is home to some 5.4 million people. Switzerland, located in Central Europe, is bordered by Italy, France, Germany, and Austria, and has a population of approximately 8.7 million. Business leaders and economists estimate large potential growth opportunities for Michigan in Norway and Switzerland: 

  • Between 2018 and 2021, Michigan companies exported a total of $895 million in goods and materials to Switzerland and Norway, with transportation equipment as the top Michigan export to both countries. 

  • Overall, eight foreign direct investment projects were created in Michigan by Swiss and Norwegian companies between 2018 and 2022, resulting in a total of 161 jobs. Those projects generated a total capital investment of $39.8 million.


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.