PLUG OK license plate
US Announces $2.4B Battery and Plug-In Manufacturing and Deployment Grants
Aug 5, 2009 (From the CalCars-News archive)
CalCars-News
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
Want more? Become a subscriber to CalCars-News:


We want to share ASAP today's news. Below we include a quote, the basics, our quick summary of who got what, and URLs for the full list and related primary sources.

CalCars' Founder Felix Kramer said, "We appreciate President Obama's announcement of the largest-ever federal funding of the electric battery industry. This $2.4 billion is for manufacturing and deployment--not for research. Batteries are good enough already; further improvements will be icing on the cake. This program will significantly accelerate the availability of components for the new plug-in vehicles coming in the next three years. It will put thousands of vehicles on our roads. It boosts the electrification of larger heavy-duty vehicles. And it begins to demonstrate the feasibility of converting existing vehicles to plug in."

The President led an A-team fanning out around the country, announcing 48 projects in 25 states, funded by the Recovery Act. He returned to Elkhart, Indiana, where he had visited a town meeting in April 2008. Speaking at the Monaco RV plant (a Navistar Company) in Wakarusa, he said this was about "creating the infrastructure of innovation," zeroing in on the jobs, economic, energy security and environmental benefits of these grants. Vice President Biden, accompanied by GM CEO Henderson, Michigan Governor Granholm, and members of Congress, is announcing grants in Detroit. Energy Secretary Chu is announcing grants in North Carolina. They've left it to the companies to provide details, including estimates of job impacts

In all, 257 companies and joint ventures applied for a total of $9.6 billion. 20 percent of the awards will go to small businesses, and the private sector funds matched the grants with a $2.4 billion cost share. The program is known as "Recovery Act Funding Opportunity DE-FOA-0000026 Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative. Still to be announced are "Transportation Electrification" and "Clean Cities FY09 Petroleum Reduction Technologies Projects for the Transportation Sector"

Though some early news stories mistakenly described these as "research" grants, the White House's press headline says it best: "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."

The grants cover, according to the press release:

  • $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.

Our quick look at the five-page list leads to this summary:

  • Battery and materials manufacturing grants go to a range of solutions in the lithium family, most to the largest, most-established cell manufacturers and packagers, with two small lead-acid variations for micro or mild hybrids.
  • GM gets $240M in three grants; Ford gets $92.7M and Chrsyler gets $70M; smaller US manufacturers and integrators didn't receive grants.
  • Most component maker grants went to largest, most-established suppliers.
  • Oregon, Washington, Callifornia, Arizona and Tennessee will get 12,500 battery charging stations from eTec, all Level 2 (240 volts) or Level 3 (high-power charging for large vehicles and fast-charging for small ones).
  • Deployment funds will put on the road 5,000 Nissan EVs, 220 Chrysler PHEV pickups and minivans, 378 trucks and shuttle buses by companies working with South Coast Air Quality Management District, 400 Navistar EV delivery trucks, 500 Chevy Volts for consumers and 125 for utilities, and 130 Ford Escape PHEVs.
  • Large vehicle conversions include the redesign and delivery by Ford of 20 E450 vans as PHEVs and perhaps some Ford F150s turned into "Faraday" EVs by Smith Electric.
  • Multiple education and training programs for both professionals and graduate, undergraduate and high school students include one at San Francisco City College with Pat's Garage and Perfect Sky (trainer Jack Rosebro), both long-time CalCars partners.

See analyses and comments at http://online.wsj.com/­article/­SB124948593451108031.html http://www.greencarcongress.com/­2009/­08/­president-obama-announces-48-projects-to-receive-24b-in-grants-for-nextgeneration-of-batteries-and-e.html

Primary sources:

Copyright 2003-09 California Cars Initiative, an activity of the International Humanities Center | Site Map