At $2.8 billion, General Motors is making a major investment in its electric future with the Ultium Cells battery plant. Auto industry analysts say it's a major boost for the Mahoning Valley but also significant for the future of the industry.

"I think it's sensational for that area to be able to get such a massive battery plant," said John McElroy of Autoline.

"You know there are not a lot of those battery plants in the world and in fact there is a lot of talk that there is a battery shortage for electric cars so the fact that General Motors has decided to do this in house, other than Tesla, it's the only one so far to go this route is significant and the fact that they put it in Lordstown is even more significant and it wouldn't surprise me to see if electric cars really catch on like GM thinks it will, who knows they might even expand that facility in the future."

Now a critical component of GM's all electric future, the facility is truly energizing an area once devastated by the closing of the Chevy Cruze plant.

"This is a fantastic outcome on it's own, but when you put it against what could have been which is an empty shell of a plant, this is great news for that area," said Bernard Swiecki, with the Center for Automotive Research.

At nearly three million square feet, this will be only the second battery plant in the United States of anything near the size of Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada. The Ultium battery will power up to 30 GM electric cars.

"We're going to be in a big competition with China over this and it's good to see that GM has taken the first step of putting a plant in the United States," said McElroy.

"It takes 30% less labor to assemble an electric vehicle and not only that but we might lose the actual powertrain components so having this actually mean that those components will be made domestically definitely is a big deal," said Swiecki.

A major piece of the puzzle falling into place for GM in this global race of traditional automakers trying to go emissions free.

"In reality as this goes, it's only a question of time, so it is actually quite meaningful and it's good to be the tip of the spear, on the leading edge of this than in a following position," Swiecki said.

You can see more of the interview with John McElroy in a 21 News podcast here on