Today the Obama Administration announced $2.4 billion in grants meant to accelerate development of manufacturing capability for electric vehicles and electric vehicle batteries. The grants are funding 48 new battery and electric drive projects as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These projects were selected through a competitive process managed by the Department of Energy.
“If we want to reduce our dependence on oil, put Americans back to work and reassert our manufacturing sector as one of the greatest in the world, we must produce the advanced, efficient vehicles of the future,” said President Obama.
The grants cover the following areas:
- $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 and several people in his administration fanned out across the country to make this announcement. Pres. Obama visited Navistar International Corporation, who is developing all-electric delivery vehicles. Vice President Biden was in Detroit, an area which received several of these grants. Energy Secretary Chu visited Celgard in Charlotte, NC, a company making a separator film used in lithium batteries. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was in St. Petersburg, FL to announce a new plant being built by Saft in Jacksonville. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Porcari visited East Penn Manufacturing with an announcement regarding advanced batteries and supercapacitors they are developing. Commerce Secretary Locke was in Kansas City, MO, for an announcement concerning Smith Electric who has a manufacturing plant building electric trucks.
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