Federal Energy Grants, Promoting Battery Manufacturing

By August 6, 2009Economy, Energy, Technology

President Obama was in Elkhart County, Ind., and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to NextEnergy, a nonprofit, in Detroit on Wednesday to promote battery development as an important piece of developing the less-polluting vehicles. From The Detroit News, “Big 3, Michigan win big in battery grants”:

Detroit — Michigan and Detroit’s Big Three automakers will receive more than $1.3 billion of $2.4 billion in federal battery and electric vehicle grants, the White House said today.

“The battle for America’s future will be fought and won in places like Elkhart and Detroit,” President Barack Obama said today at a speech in Indiana, outlining the awards that do not need to be repaid.

Five teams in Michigan will receive $966 million of the $1.5 billion in battery manufacturing grants as part of an effort to speed the introduction of mass market plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

Funding for the 48 grants for advanced battery and electric drive projects comes from the stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects were selected through a competive Department of Energy process, and recipients will put up a 50 percent cost share.  The White House news release provides more details of what the grants will cover:

  •  $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce batteries and their components and to expand battery recycling capacity;
  •  $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce electric drive components for vehicles, including electric motors, power electronics, and other drive train components; and
  •  $400 million in grants to purchase thousands of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for test demonstrations in several dozen locations; to deploy them and evaluate their performance; to install electric charging infrastructure; and to provide education and workforce training to support the transition to advanced electric transportation systems.

President Obama’s speech.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu traveled to a Mecklenberg County, N.C., factory to announce a $49 million grant for Celgard, which makes porous membranes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Chu’s speech.

More news coverage…

The influx of federal money is definitely a big story in Michigan and the Detroit Area. More from the Free Press:

  • Green jobs choice led to funding bonanza — 8/6/09
  • Detroit’s TechTown is launchpad for battery plan — 8/6/09
  • Q+A: What to know about these new jobs — 8/6/09
  • Battery grants to boost Michigan’s profile, but maybe not jobs — 8/6/09
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