Yesterday, President Obama announced $2.4 billion in technology grants to car companies, battery makers, universities, and research facilities across the U.S. During his speech in Elkhart, Indiana, the president stressed the importance of battery development as a way of reviving America's manufacturing sector and reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil. Vice President Joe Biden and several members of the president's cabinet also unveiled grant awards at various sites around the country.
These announcements have been some time in coming. The grant funds were included in the $787 billion stimulus package created by the federal government in February of this year. In all, 48 of the 122 grant applicants received funding, representing organizations in 25 states across the country.
Of the funds distributed, approximately $240 million went to General Motors, which will be the first of Detroit's Big Three to release an extended-range EV when it launches the Chevy Volt. Ford and Chrysler also received large pieces of the battery pie at $100 million and $70 million, respectively.
The biggest winner of the day, however, was Johnson Controls, which received just under $300 million to produce nickel-cobalt-metal battery cells. Nissan also scored big, garnering grant funds to develop infrastructure -- specifically fast charging stations for EV's in Arizona California Oregon Tennessee and Washington.
For a fuller report, check out our sister site, Green Car Reports. You might also enjoy skimming out the DOE's scintillating press release, pasted below.
August 5, 2009
President Obama Announces $2.4 Billion in Grants to Accelerate the Manufacturing and Deployment of the Next Generation of U.S. Batteries and Electric Vehicles
Recovery Act will fund 48 new advanced battery and electric drive components manufacturing and electric drive vehicle deployment projects in over 20 states
Elkhart, Indiana - Further accelerating the manufacturing and deployment of electric vehicles, batteries, and components here in America, and creating tens of thousands of new jobs, President Obama today announced 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive $2.4 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These projects, selected through a highly competitive process by the Department of Energy, will accelerate the development of U.S. manufacturing capacity for batteries and electric drive components as well as the deployment of electric drive vehicles, helping to establish American leadership in creating the next generation of advanced vehicles.
"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.
"For our nation and our economy to recover, we must have a vision for what can be built here in the future - and then we need to invest in that vision," said Vice President Biden. "That's what we're doing today and that's what this Recovery Act is about."
“These are incredibly effective investments that will come back to us many times over – by creating jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, cleaning up the air we breathe, and combating climate change,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “They will help achieve the President’s goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015. And, most importantly, they will launch an advanced battery industry in America and make our auto industry cleaner and more competitive.”