Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beneficiaries of US Government Investment in Electric Vehicles

The Obama administration seeks to establish American leadership in advanced electric vehicles (EVs). The recovery act provides for $2.4 billion in EV grants for 48 projects. These projects were selected based on their ability to accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of EVs, batteries, and components in America. Grants were awarded at the end of a highly competitive process developed by the Department of Energy

Johnson Controls will receive a total of approximately $301 million to establish a manufacturing base for advanced batteries. Compact Power and Dow Kokam, will receive a total of over $300 million for manufacturing battery cells and materials. A123, a maker of automotive battery systems, was awarded $249 million in federal stimulus grants to build a prismatic battery.

Large automakers including GM, Chrysler, and Ford, will receive a total of more than $400 million to manufacture thousands of advanced hybrid and EVs as well as batteries and electric drive components. A $30 million grant will go to Ford Motor Company supporting the manufacturing of plug-in hybrid EVs in Kansas City and in Michigan; a $73 million grant to Chrysler for the manufacturing of 220 plug-in hybrid and electric pickup trucks and minivans in St. Louis and in Michigan.

Celgard, in Charlotte, North Carolina, will receive a $49 million grant to expand its separator production capacity. Saft America in St. Petersburg, Florida, will receive a $95.5 million grant to construct a plant that manufactures lithium-ion cells, modules and battery packs for military, industrial, and agricultural vehicles.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) received a $45.4-million grant to develop plug-in hybrid electric power systems for 378 demonstration trucks and shuttle buses. The program will deploy plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicles in over 50 utility and municipal fleets nationwide. AQMD is proposing to develop a fully integrated, production plug-in hybrid EV system for medium-duty utility and delivery trucks and shuttle buses. Navistar will receive a $39 million grant to manufacture electric trucks. Smith Electric will receive a $10 million grant to build and deploy up to 100 electric vehicles, including their “Newton” brand medium duty trucks.

East Penn Manufacturing Co., in Lyon Station, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $32.5 million grant to increase production capacity for their valve regulated lead-acid batteries and the UltraBattery, a lead-acid battery combined with a carbon supercapacitor, for micro and mild hybrid applications.

Due to the absence of EV degree programs in the US, new educational programs are being funded designed to create the next-generation of EV technicians and engineers. The University of Michigan, Wayne State University in Detroit, and Michigan Technological University in Houghton, will receive a total of more than $10 million for education and workforce training programs. These institutions will develop programs to train researchers, technicians, and service providers, and to conduct consumer research to accelerate the transition towards advanced vehicles and batteries. A $5 million grant will go to Missouri University of Science and Technology, to fund educational and workforce training programs on advanced vehicles technologies.

Other federal measures include corporate tax incentives for American fleet owners that offer savings ranging from $7,500 to $15,000 per low or zero emission vehicle.

The companies and institutions receiving government support are benefiting, but we are all beneficiaries of efforts to reduce vehicular emissions.
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