The announcement marks the single largest investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever made. Industry officials expect that this $2.4 billion investment, coupled with another $2.4 billion in cost share from the award winners, will result directly in the creation tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. battery and auto industries.
The new awards 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.
Today, President Obama visited Navistar International Corporation, in Elkhart, Ind., to make the announcement. Navistar will receive a $39 million grant to manufacture electric trucks which the company reports will ultimately will create or save hundreds of jobs when full scale manufacturing at the site commences. Overall, seven projects in Indiana will receive grants totaling more than $400 million. The applications from the companies and from one university engaged in this technology research anticipate that these awards will create or save thousands of jobs.
Vice President Joe Biden and four Members of the Cabinet also fanned out across the country to discuss the historic announcement.
Vice President Biden was in Detroit to announce over $1 billion in grants to companies and universities based in Michigan. Reflecting the state's leadership in clean energy manufacturing, Michigan companies and institutions are receiving the largest share of grant funding of any state. Two companies, A123 and Johnson Controls, will receive a total of approximately $550 million to establish a manufacturing base in the state for advanced batteries, and two others, Compact Power and Dow Kokam, will receive a total of over $300 million for manufacturing battery cells and materials. Large automakers based in Michigan, including GM, Chrysler, and Ford, will receive a total of more than $400 million to manufacture thousands of advanced hybrid and electric vehicles as well as batteries and electric drive components. And three educational institutions in Michigan, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University in Detroit, and Michigan Technological University in Houghton in the Upper Peninsula, will receive a total of more than $10 million for education and workforce training programs to train researchers, technicians and service providers, and to conduct consumer research to accelerate the transition towards advanced vehicles and batteries.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose Department selected the 48 award winners, visited Celgard, in Charlotte, NC, to announce a $49 million grant for the company to expand its separator production capacity to serve the expected increased demand for lithium-ion batteries from manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Celgard will be expanding its manufacturing capacity in Charlotte, NC and nearby Aiken, SC, and the company expects the new separator production to come online in 2010. Celgard expects that approximately hundreds of jobs could be created, with the first of those jobs beginning as early as fall 2009.